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Fashion Industry: A Resource Guide

Retail, Wholesale, Manufacturing & Trade

There are various systems used for industry research to classify business entities. Knowing these schemes can make some areas of research easier because some databases, many of the print sources, and the U.S. government (most notably the Census) use them in their indexing, charts, graphs, lists, and indexes. The most important of these in the United States are the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). Internationally the International Standard Industrial Classifications of All Economic Activities (ISITC) External is maintained by the United Nations. Manufacturing and retail are treated as their own activities so both are necessary to understand the industry as a whole.

Relevant codes from these systems for the industry are included in the sections below, along with links to government data related the fashion industry are included when available.

Retail & Wholesale & Manufacturing - Data & Industry Codes

Various fashion and clothing articles may appear in conjunction with Products & Services Codes in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

Retail Industry

448 Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores
448110 Men's Clothing Stores
448120 Women's Clothing Stores
448130 Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores
448140 Family Clothing Stores
448150 Clothing Accessories Stores
448190 Other Clothing Stores
448210 Shoe Stores
4483 Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores
45221 Department Stores

Wholesale Industry

4243 Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers
424320 Men's and Boys' Clothing and Furnishings Merchant Wholesalers
424330 Women's, Children's, and Infants' Clothing and Accessories Merchant Wholesalers
424340 Footwear Merchant Wholesalers

Manufacturing Industry Codes

315 Apparel Manufacturing
3151 Apparel Knitting Mills
31511 Hosiery and Sock Mills
31519 Other Apparel Knitting Mills
31521 Cut and Sew Apparel Contractors
31522 Men's and Boys' Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing
31524 Women's, Girls', and Infants' Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing
31528 Other Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing
3159 Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing
31611 Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing
31621 Footwear Manufacturing
3169 Other Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing
33991 Jewelry and Silverware Manufacturing

External Websites

Trade - Data & Industry Codes

Trade data is another piece of the industry. Internationally the Harmonized System (HS) External and the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) External are both necessary. Here are just a few that you will need to know but there are others.

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)

Division 83 Travel goods, handbags and similar containers
Division 84 Articles of apparel and clothing accessories

Harmonized Code

41-43 Raw Hides, Skins, Leather, & Furs
50-63 Textiles
64-67 Footwear / Headgear

External Websites & Subscription Databases

There are a number of free to use data sources as well as fee-based subscription sources that can provide trade data. The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.