Though the European Union fears a significant decline in denim imports due to COVID-19, it will continue to remain a huge market for international denim exporters. As per a report by the Centre for Promotion of Imports, the Europe Union imported denims worth €9.2 billion in 2019.
Germany: The largest denim importer in Europe, Germany imported denims worth €2.1 billion in 2019. From 2014-2019, the country’s denim imports grew at an average rate of 3.5 per cent per year in value, while their volume grew by 2.4 per cent per year. Men’s denims constituted the larger portion of Germany’s denim imports in 2019 with 65.1 per cent share while women’s denim had a 34.9 per cent share.
The Netherlands: Amounting to €1.2 billion Netherlands’s denim imports grew at an average rate of 7.5 per cent per year in value while they grew by 3.5 per cent in volume. Men’s denim segment grew by 8.2 per cent every year on average while women’s denim overall import grew by 6.3 per cent.
Spain: Spain was the third largest importer of denims in Europe, with imports amounting to €1.1 billion in 2019. In the five last years, the value of Spain’s denim imports grew at an average rate of 7.5 per cent per year, while their volume grew by 7.1 per cent.
From 2014-2019, the value of women’s denim imports grew by 10.1 per cent while that of men’s denim grew by 4.0 per cent.
France: Fourth largest European denim importer, France imported denims worth €953 million in 2019. The country’s denim imports grew by 2.1 per cent in value while they grew by 2.4 per cent in volume. Import of men’s denims constituted 56.5 per cent of its total denim imports while women’s denims constituted 43.5 per cent.
The United Kingdom: The UK was the fifth largest denim importer in Europe in 2019. The country imported denims worth € 750 million in 2019. Men’s denims constituted 53 per cent share of UK’s total imports’ value in 2020.
Italy: Sixth largest denim importer, Italy imported denim worth €634 million in 2019. From 2014-2019, the value of Italy’s denim imports grew at an average rate of 2.6 per cent per year, while their volume grew at 3.2 per cent per year. Men’s denim products comprised the larger denim segment in Italy with 55.2 per cent, followed by women’s denims with 44.8 per cent.
New denim styles
Skinny and super skinny women’s denim jeans transformed into high-waist straight or slouch trousers in 2020. Denim length shortened with new features like split trousers legs, legs cropped from the cuffs and very wide legs being added. Mom’s Jeans high-waist fit of denim trousers gained popularity during this year along with jeans in “used” or stone-washed style.
Online denim brands to surge in 2021
Online distribution of denim jeans is expected to continue in 2021 too. Denim manufacturers need to collaborate with smaller online brands to maintain production standards. Companies from developing countries like India need to distribute their products right to the customer using digital channels.
Athleisure popularity threatens denim
The emergence of athleisure in 2014, has threatened denim sales across the world. Already popular for its leisure features, athleisure sales grew by 12 per cent from 2018 to 2019. However, the industry is uncertain of this trend’s future influence on denim imports.