The world textile sector is big business. Unlike some industries that suffer from influxes, textiles are pretty much a constant – everyone needs clothes, so everyone needs textiles.
The global textile export market, as of 2013, generated $773 billion dollars. You don’t need us to tell you that is a ridiculous amount of money. In fact, the period between 2013 and 2012 saw a 5% rise in textile export market, yet more proof that the sector is somewhat “recession proof”.
But who are the global leaders in textile exports? We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 biggest textile exporters in the world.
$28 billion (2013)
Bangladesh is one of several poorer countries for which textiles are a vital industry. The likes of Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia are all benefitting from European and American contracts. In fact, textiles is Bangladesh’s only source of economic growth, largely down to the majority of factories being owned by local investors, not international corporations.
$35 billion (2013)
One of two European countries in the top 5, Germany’s textile market is second only to their food and beverage industry in terms of revenue. German has set itself apart by bringing in high tech manufacturing processes into the sector, upgrading itself from the low tech approach many countries still use. This has lead to them being the market leader for technical textiles (fabrics that require technical precision to make). Weirdly, they are also the second biggest textile importer, behind only America.
$36 billion (2013)
Being synonymous with fashion clearly doesn’t hurt in the textile export business. While Italian raw textile exports are good, the countries fashion lineage is to thank for them topping all other European countries in textile exports. There isn’t a clothing range, be it shirts, trousers, hats or underwear, that Italy doesn’t have a strong foothold in.
$40 billion (2013)
The biggest mover in the year ending 2013, India saw a 21% rise in its textile exports. It is little wonder why – the Indian textile sector is the largest employer in the country, and several multinational corporations are investing in the over 6,000 textile factories scattered around India’s various regions. But, even though they export large quantities of cotton, wool and silk, they are unlikely to topple the country above them…
$274 billion (2013)
Don’t get a calculator out, we’ve done the math for you – the Chinese textile industry is more than 6 times bigger than India. It makes up 35% of the global textile export market. And this is an industry that suffered greatly during the 2008 global financial crisis. How did it climb back up? A few factors helped. For one, the government doesn’t interfere with the industry as much as it does others, leaving owners to go about their business. On top of that, the country has a long tradition of textile manufacture, so it wasn’t hard to pick the quality or the quantity up in the years since 2008.