Exporting denim trousers to Europe

Europe is a strong market for denim imports, despite experiencing a moderate decrease in both import value and volume due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The total import of denim to Europe reached a value of €7.4 billion in 2020 (compared with €7.7 billion in 2015), reaching a negative average annual growth rate of -0.8% from 2015 to 2020.

The European denim market is characterised by very dynamic changes in the style and designs of denim trousers, and a steady growth in total imports over the last few years. Due to the steady demand for denim trousers both for leisure and work, the market is expected to grow further over the next few years.

You must comply with several legal requirements, including REACH, when exporting denim to Europe. Buyers may also have requirements regarding sustainable production and product development. Interesting channels to get your product on the market are intermediaries such as private label companies, (small) brands and retailers and multi-brand online platforms. Denim is experiencing competition from athleisure (a hybrid fabricated of materials that are used for fitness/sports clothes, but can also be worn on a daily basis), reflected in the rising popularity of stretch denims such as “joggers” (jeans made of light fabric).

The following information is intended to illustrate the most important opportunities and threats and act as a guideline for entrepreneurs considering exporting denim trousers to Europe.

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