This article will examine key statistics and trends for the sock industry in 2023.
While the market is well-defined, the sock industry has seen a recent uptick due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are now working remotely and spending more time at home.
But just how much? And is this trend sustainable?
Below is our up-to-date list of the sock industry.
- The total addressable sock market is worth $14.30 billion.
- The sock industry is expected to grow 2.82% annually between 2023-2027.
- The biggest opportunity for the upcoming year is digital.
- To differentiate themselves from the competition, companies are focusing on consumer engagement.
- Approximately 18% of all global fibers are sourced from recognized renewable programs, recycled bottles, and recycled pre and post-consumer textiles.
- 1-in-5 clothing items bought in 2021 were socks.
Sock Industry Trends and Growth Statistics
The total addressable sock market in the United States is worth $14.30 billion (Statista).
Since 2014, the US sock industry has grown from $12.39 billion to $14.30 billion in 2023. That is an increase of 15.4% in 9 years.
Between 2023 and 2024, the sock industry is expected to experience a modest growth of 3% to $14.73 billion.
40% of all purchases in the hosiery market are made online.
For context, the entire global hosiery market is valued at $50.7 billion (Fact.MR). Women represent 65% of the total market share ($33 billion).
For comparison, the global sock industry had an addressable market of $42.75 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $76.96 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 6.1% (Phrophecy Market Insights).
Average revenue per capita is expected to surpass $2 per pair of socks by 2027 (Statista).
Historically, average revenue per capita for socks has never exceeded $2 per pair, despite the fact that the sock industry has grown 15.4% in 9 years.
In 2023, the average revenue per capita for a pair of socks will be $1.86. In 2014, it was $1.77, a difference of 5.1%.
During the pandemic, the average revenue per capita for socks was only $1.55, the lowest it has ever been in the last nine years.
32% of fashion industry executives see digital being the biggest opportunity ahead for 2023 (McKinsey).
Fashion companies are directing their attention to NFTs, and digital fashion as 81% of Gen-Z played video games in the past six months, averaging 7.3 hours per week. One executive, Daria Shapovalova, co-founder of DressX, estimates that the total addressable market for digital fashion is $31 billion.
Companies cite “consumer engagement” as the biggest differentiating factor between brands. Therefore, creating offline and online experiences will be the key to separating themselves from the competition.
Sustainability practices are both a challenge and an opportunity for the fashion industry. However, converting to sustainable practices may be costly in the near term, and executives are unsure if the costs will outweigh the business benefits.
30% of executives cited supply chain disruptions as being the challenge ahead due. It is expected that the disruptions will impact margins.
Due to inflationary pressures, 67% of fashion executives expect to increase retail prices by 3.2% in 2023.
Approximately 18% of all global fibers are sourced from recognized renewable programs, recycled bottles, and recycled pre and post-consumer textiles (Textile Exchange).
To emphasize the importance of sustainability, in 2000, only 58 million tonnes of fiber were produced. In 2021, that number grew to 113 million tonnes, a 94% increase. By 2030, that figure is expected to rise to 149 million tonnes, a 31% increase from 2021 and a 156% increase from 2000.
Interestingly, preferred cotton, a variant of cotton that has been sustainably sourced or recycled, has decreased in fiber production from 27% in 2019/20 to 24% in 2020/21. The decrease was attributed to several factors, including weather, social-political unrest, and industry changes to certification programs.
On the other hand, wool, a common material found in socks, has a global production of approximately 1 million tonnes as of 2021. Of which, the recycled wool market share is 6%.
Wool continues to be the most popular animal fiber in the world.
Furthermore, 2.62% of all wool was sourced in 2021 in accordance with the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS). In 2020, only 1.23% of all wool sourced was in accordance with the RWS, marking a 113% increase in one year.
1-in-5 clothing items bought in 2021 were socks (NPD).
In total, 64% of adults wear socks at home. Interestingly, men are more likely to wear socks in the house than women.
The biggest growth driver in the sock industry is people purchasing socks for sleep. From 2017 to 2021, the number of people purchasing sleeping socks increased by 21% – representing a 4x growth compared to the sock industry as a whole.
Dominance in the top 10 retailers continues as they represent 64% of all sock purchases. This is an increase over the 57% of all sock purchases in 2018.