Clothing is not a luxury. It is one of the basic
necessities of life. Global textile industry will never see the verge of
extinction. Of course, the current scenario can change in future. Reigning
textile giants may lose their market position. Emerging economies like India
and China, which have a well established textile industry, may rule the world
textile industry after a short span of time. Or this may prove merely to be an
exaggeration and not actually happen! As for now, advanced economies of the world
like USA and Europe undoubtedly dominate this industry.
India and China have a booming textile industry. They are the world leaders in terms of cotton, silk, and jute production. Textile and apparel exports in India increased by 20.05 percent in the year 2011-2012 as compared to the previous financial year and reached an amount of $33.31 billion. Chinese textile exports grew by 1.04 percent in the first nine months of 2012 to reach $192.69 billion. Other than these countries, American and European textile industries also face tough competition from ASEAN region.
However, regardless of which countries manufacture textiles the most, the current rulers of the global textile market are undoubtedly the American and European countries. They hold the power to manipulate the market on their terms, because they are the biggest importers of textiles. They hold the "money power"! The exporters of textiles are mostly developing economies who earn a large chunk of their overall revenue by producing and selling inexpensive clothing, fabrics, or yarn. Many economists believe that buying decisions taken by them can affect the overall export revenue of developing economies to a considerable extent.
The recession of 2008/09 greatly reduced the spending powers of USA and Europe and it reduced their apparel imports. Owing to the great recession, 2008-09 in these two advanced economies, the textile exports of many emerging economies suffered. Almost 60 percent of the total cotton exports in India were targeted towards USA and Europe till 2008-09. But in the next two years, India exported less than 45 percent of the total cotton production to these countries. This proves the fact that any occurrences in these countries can practically affect the whole world.
USA, Australia, New Zealand, and many other developed economies are shifting their focus towards the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in terms of textile import. This has also made other countries of the world eye on ASEAN regions for textile imports. Vietnamese textile exports to USA grew by 15 percent in the first six months of 2012 and to the European Union by 3 percent in the same period. ASEAN countries are fast becoming the textile hubs of the world.
Almost all the major apparel and clothing brands come from USA and Europe. Popular manufacturers like Nike, Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Lee, Levis, and others come from these advanced economies. Major retailing brands like Marks and Spencer, American Apparel, Macy's, Calvin Klein, Next, etc. also root from these countries. On the other hand, there are hardly any brands from the emerging fashion economies which are considered as competent as these brands on an international level.