Top 10 Garment Exporters in the World

When choosing a clothing manufacturer, it helps if the company is from a country with an established textile industry. This way, you know they have the necessary infrastructure to meet your production and supply requirements. The garment industry is a crucial contributor to several countries’ GDP. And the trend will likely persist in the future.

The global textile apparel industry continues to grow exponentially on the backs of the world’s top garment exporters. While China sits at the top of the table, its market share has been slowly dwindling over the past several years. On the contrary, apparel exports have risen in India, Bangladesh, the US, and the EU.

The global garment industry will grow with the ever-changing fashion trends around the world. On that note, let’s look at the top 10 garment exporters in the world today.

Top Garment Exporters in the World

These are the top ten garment exporters based on volume.

China

China is the world’s largest exporter of garments. The country meets 52.2% of the global textile demands, and the industry is worth $118.5 billion annually. The Chinese textile apparel industry is well organised and is capable of producing bulk quantities, thanks to an elaborate supply chain.

China produces the highest quality raw materials and finished products, and the apparel industry uses cutting-edge technology, cheap labour, and developed infrastructure to meet global demands. China has been the world’s largest textile producer and exporter since the early 90s, and despite a few setbacks, the industry is still going strong.

Germany

Coming in at number two, the German textile industry is one of the world’s largest, with an annual export value of $40 billion. However, this wasn’t always the situation. The Germans altered existing rules and introduced regulations favouring the apparel industry. And the changes benefitted domestic productions.

The German textile industry focused on producing volume while keeping prices low. However, their focus recently shifted to manufacturing high-quality products that sell for higher profits. The Germans have the necessary technology to fuel the apparel industry. However, they lack China’s workforce, which prevents them from reaching the number one spot.

Bangladesh

Next on our list are Bangladesh. The country is one of the biggest clothing manufacturers in the Indian subcontinent and was the second largest textile exporter in the world till 2018. However, several factors led to the country dropping to the third spot. And despite several attempts to revive products, Bangladesh lurks in the third spot.

Like China, Bangladesh has a steady supply of cheap workforce. The garment industry employs over 20 million people across Bangladesh. The country sustains a thriving export industry with an abundance of raw materials, developed production infrastructure, and organised transit corridors. It’s a haven for brands looking for high-quality apparel manufactured cheaply.

Vietnam

Vietnam is the fourth-largest garment producer in the world, with an average turnover of $38 billion annually. Vietnam specialises in diverse manufacturing techniques and is the hub for several prominent fashion brands. The industry is backed by cheap labour, an intricate supply chain, and favourable trade policies that enhance the ease of doing business.

Textile companies in Vietnam are known for producing high-quality garments at competitive prices. And their primary focus is modernisation. A steady increase in demand from domestic and foreign fashion brands has further boosted Vietnam’s apparel industry. And the trend is projected to continue well into the future.

India

India is one of the world’s top garment manufacturers. And the apparel industry India can be classified into two sections – organised and unorganised. The former includes yarn, fabric, and apparel manufacturers, while the latter comprises sericulture, handloom, and handicraft industries. The unorganised sector is highly competitive and forms a significant chunk of the lucrative $37.11 billion industry.

The Indian textile industry benefits from cheap labour, business-friendly government policies, abundant raw materials, and developed infrastructure. The country specialises in weaving, spinning, processing, and manufacturing. India is heavily invested in its image as a manufacturing hub. And will climb this list in the near future.

Italy

Italy is one of the world’s largest garment exporter, and the industry primarily focuses on luxury wear. Italian clothing is renowned globally for its high-quality craftsmanship, luxury designs, and sharp tailoring. And the country has been the home of opulence since the 11th Century. Garment exports are vital to the country’s GDP and integral to its culture and heritage.

Italian craftsmen use various fabrics, like cotton, wool, linen, silk, etc., to create luxury garments. And the export market is worth $36.57 billion annually.  Product innovation is crucial to Italian craftsmanship, and the industry focuses on technical performance to extend application areas.

Turkey

Turkey is one of the world’s largest textile manufacturers. The country has a reputation for producing a broad range of high-quality apparel. And the garment industry is valued at $29 billion annually. Turkish craftsmen create intricate designs from the finest materials. And the country has a high-tech textile industry with state-of-the-art facilities.

Turkish production facilities have shifted focus from low-value commodities to high-valued fashionable goods. And this has increased the demand for made-in-Turkey garments. The country has a flair for extravagant clothing. And Western nations are opening up to the market. The Turkish apparel industry is booming thanks to high-tech manufacturing, flexible production capacities, and high-quality garments.

United States of America

The United States is the world’s eighth-largest garment manufacturer by export volume. The country specialises in the export of high-quality raw materials like yarns, dyes, etc. And the industry is valued at $27.14 billion in annual turnover. The American textile industry specialises in non-woven and industrial fabrics, protective apparel, and medical textiles.

However, unlike their Asian counterparts, the USA lacks cheap labour. This is a crucial factor contributing to lower garment production. However, the industry is organised and uses high-tech manufacturing equipment. Clothes manufactured in the USA use the finest materials and are generally top-notch in terms of quality and comfort.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the world’s largest textile producing countries and sits at the ninth spot on our list. The country is renowned for its printed and dyed fabrics and is one of the world’s largest exporters of denim weaving, cotton spinning, fine-gauge cotton knitting, and knit-to-shape panel knitting textiles.

Hong Kong benefits from China’s easy business policies and cheap labour. And the country has been quickly increasing its export figures. The market value of OEM and ODM garments manufactured in Hong Kong is swiftly rising, and the trend will likely grow in the future. And we expect to see Hong Kong rising up the charts soon.

Spain

Apparel exports from Spain are on the rise. And the apparel industry is among the top contributors to the country’s GDP. Spanish garment exports are famous for their advanced spinning, weaving, dyeing, and finishing. And the market is worth $20 billion annually. Although Spain sits at the 10th spot on this list, the industry is expanding.

The Spaniards are focused on producing the best quality products from the finest raw materials. And despite lacking the human resources to scale operations, they have accomplished a fairly booming industry. Spain relies heavily on cutting-edge technology for textile manufacturing, and the results are pretty promising so far.

Biggest Challenges in the Global Fashion Industry

One of the major concerns for fashion experts is the rising protectionism in the United States. As trade tensions with other countries rise, The US is increasing the tariff on goods imported from other nations. And the textile industry is facing the brunt. While trade tensions seem temporary, there is no guarantee of them easing anytime soon.

Hence, of the significant challenges for clothing manufacturers is reduced demand from US fashion brands. American businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to source materials from outside the country due to the high taxes. Hence, prices are rising, and demand is slowly but surely depleting. Rising labour costs and growing political tensions are impacting the ease of doing business. And the industry is not as lucrative as it once was.

Fashion experts say the rising production cost is the third most significant challenge. India and Mexico are rising to the occasion as the tension between China and the US increases. Besides production costs, most high-value fashion brands are concerned about political and trade tensions. The situations are conducive for apparel manufacturers in Asia to sweep in, and India has emerged as one of the biggest contenders for the job.

Wage Growth in the Garment Industry

Production costs are a crucial factor when picking a wholesale vendor. And you must analyse the labour costs at the manufacturing partner’s base of operations. A country with cheap labour today might increase the minimum wages exponentially in the future. Hence, fashion labels must analyse the situation before committing long-term.

The rising manufacturing cost in China and Indonesia results in lower export figures. At this rate, manufacturing in China will become more expensive than in other developing nations. Several local factors contribute to wage hikes. And you must analyse the situation before choosing a manufacturing partner.

50 States Apparel is India’s most popular kids’ wear brand. And we offer flexible production packages to suit your custom needs. Having worked with several top fashion brands over the years, we know the struggles of operating in this highly-competitive industry. Our full-package production solutions are designed to solve your pain points. And we strive to streamline garment production so you don’t have to deal with multiple manufacturers simultaneously. Talk to our veteran production specialists today, and let’s explore the possibilities of working together!