Fashion’s impact

in numbers

Fast facts on fashion’s environmental and social footprint, from your closet to the global industry.

$2.4 trillion

was the estimated worth of the global fashion industry in 2016.


is the estimated number of plastic microfibers released from washing a load of acrylic garments.


Washing is the second-biggest factor determining the carbon footprint of a garment.


garment workers died and 2,500 more were injured when a multi-factory building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013.

200 tons

water can be required to produce 1 ton of dyed fabric.


of all clothing is landfilled or incinerated.

551,155 tons

of plastic microfibers are estimated to pollute the ocean each year from washing clothes -- equivalent to the plastic pollution of more than 50 billion bottles.

100 billion

In 2014, the number of garments produced exceeded this milestone for the first time.


white cotton shirt purchase results in the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as driving your car for 35 miles (56km).

2.31 billion tons

of greenhouse gas emissions were produced from the global fashion industry in 2018 -- 4% of the global total.


The secondhand market is projected to grow to almost twice the size of fast fashion by 2029.

$26 a month

is how much the average Ethiopian garment worker makes.


of global clothing donations are estimated to end up in Africa, which can damage its local economies.

$660 million

worth of used clothes were exported from the US to other nations in 2018.


The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 that the United Nation’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action has committed to. Just over 100 brands have signed.


of a €29 shirt (0.6%) goes to the worker.

Source: $2.4 trillion: “State of Fashion 2017,” McKinsey & Company; 2.31 billion: McKinsey & Company, “Fashion on Climate,” 2020; 200: National Resources Defense Counsel; 1: Oxfam; 2: Waste and Resources Action Programme; 1,132: International Labor Organization; 728,789: University of Plymouth; 500,000: Ellen McArthur Foundation; 80%: Pulse of the Fashion Industry, 2017; 2x: GlobalData; 30%: United Nations; $26: NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights; $660 million: Observation of Economic Complexity; 70%: Oxfam; 18 cents: Clean Clothes Campaign; 100 billion: McKinsey & Company. Photo illustration: PA Images/Getty Images/CNN