The Japanese apparel market is among the largest in the world. While traditional clothing remains an integral part of the Japanese culture, the industry has been adapting to Western fashion trends and in turn, setting trends itself. National dresses are nowadays worn mostly at special events, with the seldom use affecting the shrinking kimono market . Instead, so-called Western-style clothing, referring to non-traditional items such as pants, skirts, and suits, has replaced the traditional garments in everyday life. A major factor influencing the shifting styles are apparel manufacturers and retailers, whose clothing sections are dominated by an assortment of Western clothing.

Fashion brands

Japan is home to large fashion brands catering to the diverse demand of consumers; ranging from affordable casual wear to high-end luxury fashion. Whereas global fashion shows are major trendsetters for the imported luxury fashion segment , local fashion events showcasing casual wear primarily by Japanese brands are targeted at the general public. Additionally, fast fashion companies such as Fast Retailing’s popular brands Uniqlo and GU are steadily rolling out new styles through their seasonal collections, while revolutionizing the apparel market with innovative functional wear.

Sustainable fashion 

In recent years, the awareness of sustainability became a contributing factor in the purchasing behavior in Japan. Starting with the purchase of new items, consumers’ demand for sustainable materials is rising, with organic and recycled materials leading the trends. Furthermore, instead of discarding unneeded clothes as residual waste, items in a good condition receive a second lifespan within the reuse market.
Addressing this issue, re-commerce platforms to resale unwanted clothing spawned the country’s first unicorn startup to be valued at one billion U.S dollars. The C2C flea market app Mercari more than doubled its active user base within a few years after launch and became the most popular online marketplace app for secondhand goods in Japan.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 30 most important statistics relating to "Fashion industry in Japan".


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