hohes Risiko
Mittel- und Osteuropa
sehr hohes Risiko
sehr hohes Risiko
Naher Osten & Türkei
hohes Risiko
sehr hohes Risiko
sehr hohes Risiko



  • Growth of the middle class in emerging countries
  • Formalisation of retail in developing countries attracts fashion brands
  • Robust demand for sportswear and outdoor clothing
  • Development of a "green" textile industry, including among traditional players


  • Cyclical sector, with the exception of the luxury segment
  • Textile fibre prices highly sensitive to fluctuations in raw material prices and weather conditions
  • Increasingly stringent ESG regulations, affecting both manufacturers and retailers
  • Traditional clothing retailing in competition with e-commerce and the second-hand market

Risikobewertung des Sektors

In 2024, textile production could be boosted by the end of destocking by clothing brands and retailers. It should also benefit from a recovery in consumer demand thanks to the slowdown in inflation. However, this recovery is likely to be limited by low household confidence and the slowdown in private consumption in China - the leading sales market. The price of energy and the vagaries of the weather will continue to pose major risks to the cost of textile fibres, affecting manufacturers of clothing and other textile-based goods (sheets, carpets, etc.).

Durably limited demand for textile products will exacerbate the upheavals taking place in the sector. It will underline the importance of digital marketing for fashion players against a backdrop of increased competition due to the development of online sales. In addition, the cautiousness of consumers, who are trying to limit their spending (particularly discretionary spending) is likely to favour “fast fashion” more than traditional fashion.

Consumer gloom should not, however, affect all textile products in the same way. Textiles used to make outdoor objects and clothing, as well as those made from recycled fibres or derived from natural raw materials, could prove more resilient. By contrast, the outlook for home textiles (used for furniture, decoration and household linen) is less positive.

Wirtschaftliche Einblicke in den Sektor

The landscape remains gloomy and risky...

The textile and clothing sector had a difficult year in 2023, with production costs remaining high and demand for textile and clothing products weakening against a backdrop of high inflation. In 2024, certain factors point to a slight improvement in demand. First of all, the first signs of a normalisation in fashion brand and retailer inventories suggest an end to the massive destocking process that has been taking place since mid-2022. This could boost the order books of textile factories – over 60% of textile production is destined for clothing1 – and garment manufacturers. Secondly, the slowdown in inflation compared with the previous year should support real wage growth and consumer purchasing power in most advanced economies. Nevertheless, this improvement in demand will continue to be limited by inflation that is still higher than its historical average, persistently high interest rates and an uncertain geopolitical landscape that will continue to weigh on household confidence. In addition, growth in private consumption in China, the leading market for clothing and footwear (around a quarter of global sales), is set to slow.

This context of still-fragile demand should contain the growth in textile raw material prices. In addition, global supply of cotton (the main natural fibre accounting for around 22% of global textile fibre production) is set to increase in 2023-242. The reduction in harvests by the main cotton producers - China, India and the United States - should be more than offset by the increase in export supply from Brazil. However, as in 2023, energy prices will remain a major risk. Vulnerable to a geopolitical environment marked by tensions and conflicts in recent years, energy prices have a major impact on the sector, as synthetic fibres (65% of textile fiber production) are derived from them. Because of their substitutability, any significant movement in the price of those fibres would have an impact on the price of natural fibres. For example, the price of cotton, which has remained higher than before the pandemic in 2023 (15% above the 2015-2019 average), could be pulled further upwards. Another factor driving up raw material prices is the climate, as textile fibres are largely produced in economies that are among the 10 countries most affected by climatic disasters. In 2022, 71% and 51% of cotton and chemical fibre exports respectively came from these countries.

If the price of textile fibres were to rise, clothing manufacturers would probably be the worst affected link in the clothing value chain. In 2021, the sharp rise in the price of yarns and fabrics sold by textile manufacturers was only very partially passed on to the selling prices of clothing factories. As was the case at that time, the rise in input costs could reduce the margins of clothing manufacturers, who would be unable to pass on these higher costs in full to their customers, given the imbalance of power in favour of fashion brands and the fragility of demand from end consumers.

It should be noted that this climate risk impacts not only the production of textile fibres but also the rest of the clothing value chain (yarn, fabric, garment), which is highly concentrated in countries vulnerable to climatic hazards such as China, Bangladesh and Vietnam.

... which highlights the upheavals in the sector

One of the major changes in the clothing sector in recent years has been the development of online sales, which has heightened the competition in the sector. Increased competition, as well as the greater role of the internet and social networks in everyday life, has led fashion brands to focus more and more on these tools in their marketing strategy. The unfavourable environment for clothing consumption makes it all the more important for players in the sector – from global leaders to smaller-scale brands – to make use of these tools, including through partnerships with influencers. However, in a survey carried out by BoF and McKinsey in 2023, 65% of respondents said that they were turning less to influencers specialising in fashion than they had a few years ago. This weariness with fashion-related advertising content on social networks highlights the need for players in the sector to evolve their presence on social networks. Changing the panel of influencers they work with may be one option, as consumers increasingly prefer influencers who are more spontaneous and authentic than traditional influencers.

Consumers' attention to prices, particularly those of discretionary goods, would encourage demand for the low-cost clothing offered by fast fashion. This environment will also support the growth of the second-hand market, which is also supported by the greater sensitivity of some consumers to environmental and social concerns. The clothing retail sector has seen the development of specialist shops and online platforms such as Vinted. While the expansion of the second-hand market may appear to be detrimental for new clothing sales, it can in fact further support “fast fashion”. Income from the sale of used clothes enables retailers to maintain their consumption of new clothes, thus supporting the daily release of thousands of new products offered by the new generation of "fast fashion" players, sometimes called "ultra-fast fashion", such as Temu or Shein. Their success is increasingly threatening traditional fast fashion manufacturers, such as H&M, whose new CEO announced in early 2024 that he was preparing a plan to react more quickly to new trends. This enthusiasm for this segment runs counter to a growing interest in more responsible and environmentally friendly clothing production, which offers fewer items at generally more expensive prices.

Uneven growth in demand for different textiles

However, the opposition between fast fashion and responsible clothing production is not absolute. Aware of consumers' growing interest in these issues, fashion brands, including fast fashion brands, are incorporating environmental and social considerations into their strategies. H&M, for example, aims to use 50% recycled materials by 2030. As a result, although demand for textiles will remain fragile overall in 2024, certain segments such as recycled fibres (7.9% of textile fibre production in 2022) and garments made from them may prove more resilient. This trend will continue in the longer term, also be encouraged by government initiatives. China has set itself the target of recycling a quarter of textile waste into new fibres by 2025 (up from 20% in 2020). The European Union, for its part, plans to require all its member states to set up a system for the separate collection of textile waste with a view to reuse and recycling. In the short term, this will represent a cost for clothing brands and retailers in the area, who will have to contribute to the cost of setting up the system.

In the same vein, natural and man-made fibres (28.6% and 6.3% respectively of global textile fibre production in 20223) are likely to be in greater demand than synthetic fibres. Although man-made fibres are produced using chemical processes, they are derived from natural materials - mainly wood. Furthermore, their production does not require the use of pesticides, insecticides, or large quantities of water, as is the case with cotton. This may explain why exports of man-made fibres rose by 8.3% in 2022, compared with a fall of 0.6% for synthetic fibres. The main exporters of these fibres, – China (30% in 2022), the United States (17%) and Indonesia (16%) – could therefore benefit. That said, growing environmental awareness will also drive concerns about deforestation, to which man-made fibre production may contribute. The European regulation on deforestation, which will ban the import of products linked to deforestation from 30 December 2024, could therefore affect certain artificial textiles.

Beyond the ecological issues, some technical textiles used in the medical field, where demand is not vulnerable to the economic cycle, show relatively positive prospects. The same is true of specialised textiles and clothing for sports (approximately 20% of clothing and footwear sales in 2022) and outdoor activities (breathable materials, waterproofs, etc.), due to the popularity of these activities among consumers since the pandemic. In contrast, the outlook for indoor textiles (the second most important use of textile fibres after clothing) will remain weak, with a construction sector still marked by restrictive monetary policy in Western countries and a property crisis in China.