Russia attacked neighbouring Ukraine, claiming that its contemporary, Western-leaning values posed an ongoing threat. Six months later, there is still no sign of an end. The death toll on both sides continues to rise, and the impact on the apparel market is being felt throughout Europe and beyond. According to the Ukraine Conflict Executive Briefing produced by Just Style’s parent firm GlobalData, at the commencement of the war (2021), Russia was the fifth largest apparel market in Europe and the tenth largest in the world, with sales of US$46.4 billion. During the same time period, Ukraine was estimated to be worth $3.5 billion. Just one month before the conflict began, Russia’s garment sales by volume had decreased to $31.76 billion, a $14.64 billion loss in a year. GlobalData calculates the Russia-Ukraine trade deficit.
The top ten European countries by clothes sales volume had a decline in apparel sales volume at the height of the pandemic (2020). As shown in the graph above, the recovery from the pandemic has stalled since the start of the Ukraine/Russia war, with inflationary pressures taking their toll. GlobalData continues to forecast a $21.65 billion growth in sales volumes for the top ten European countries from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023. This is a 4.69% increase from $461.55 billion in 2022 to $483.2 billion in 2023. Interestingly, Stephens says that, despite the fact that Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom are Europe’s three largest garment markets, GlobalData’s Apparel Market in Europe 2020-2025 analysis forecasts the highest growth over the next three years.
Other than Russia and Ukraine, which will continue to be hit by the war, Stephens predicts that Portugal will have the slowest apparel growth from now until 2025. “This is due to its struggling economy and elderly population, who are less eager to frequently purchase new clothes products,” she explains. The Ukraine/Russia conflict has resulted in decreased global growth in 2022 compared to 2021, according to GlobalData’s Risk Report Q1 2022. The global economy is expected to increase by 3.3% this year, compared to 5.7% in 2021, with inflation at 6.8%, compared to 4.3% in 2021. According to the paper, the Russia-Ukraine war caused oil prices to skyrocket, resulting in widespread high inflation.