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Where do our clothes come from?

April 22, 2019 at 10:25am

The EU Member States imported clothes worth €166 billion in 2018, just over half of which came from non-EU Member States (51%, or €84 billion). Compared to 2013, import of clothing to the EU Member States increased in value by 25%.

€116 billion of clothes were exported by the EU Member States, the majority of which went to other EU Member States (77%, or €89 billion). Compared to 2013, this represents a 36% increase in the value of EU Member States’ total exports.

Cyprus

According to Eurostat, in 2013 Cyprus imported €11,276,086 worth of clothes, in 2014 €12,137,327, in 2015 €12,182,118, in 2016 €10,868,499, in 2017 €12,234,778 and in 2018 €11,532,222.

China, the main origin of imported clothes

Imports of clothes from non-EU countries came mainly from China (€27 billion, or 32% of total extra-EU clothes), Bangladesh (€16 billion, 19%) and Turkey (€10 billion, 12%), followed by India (€5 billion, 6%), Cambodia (€4 billion, 5%), Vietnam (over €3 billion, 4%), Morocco and Pakistan (both €3 billion, 3%).

Germany, the largest importer of clothes

In 2018, €17 billion-worth of clothes were imported by Germany from non-EU Member States (20% of total extra-EU imports of clothes imports by value). This makes Germany the largest EU importer of clothing from non-EU countries, ahead of the United Kingdom (over €12 billion, 15%) and Spain (€12 billion, 14%), followed by France (€10 billion, 12%), the Netherlands (€10 billion, 11%) and Italy (€8 billion, 9%).

Italy, largest clothing exporters

Among EU Member States, Italy exported to non-EU Member States clothes worth €9 billion in 2018 (36% of total extra-EU exports of clothes by value). This makes Italy the largest extra-EU exporter of clothes, ahead of Germany and Spain (both €5 billion, 17%), followed by France (€3 billion, 12%) and the United Kingdom (€1 billion, 5%).

The source dataset is accessible here.