That dollar amount results from a 20.2% increase for all importing countries since 2018 when international purchases of imported T-shirts cost $41.4 billion.
Year over year, worldwide T-shirt imports accelerated in overall purchases by 15.4% compared to $43.1 billion during 2021.
From a continental perspective, buyers in Europe purchased the highest dollar worth of imported T-shirts at $24.7 billion or about half (49.7%) of the global total for 2022. In second place were importers in North America at 22.6% while another 18.7% of T-shirts imported worldwide was delivered to customers in Asia.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Latin America (5.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (2.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand, then those in Africa (1.5%).
Cotton is the dominant material for T-shirt manufacturing. Cotton T-shirts accounted for $35.9 billion in worldwide purchases or approaching three-quarters (72.3%) of all T-shirts imported during 2022.
Similar apparel made from textiles other than cotton equaled $13.8 billion for the remaining 27.3%.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for knitted or crocheted T-shirt is 6109. Drilling down, cotton T-shirts fall under 610910 while T-shirts made from other materials are categorized as 610990.
T-shirt Imports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of knitted or crocheted T-shirts (regardless of source materials) during 2022.
- United States: US$9.3 billion (18.7% of total imported T-shirts)
- Germany: $4.8 billion (9.7%)
- France: $2.7 billion (5.4%)
- United Kingdom: $2.6 billion (5.2%)
- Spain: $2.15 billion (4.3%)
- Japan: $2.12 billion (4.3%)
- Italy: $2 billion (4%)
- Netherlands: $1.7 billion (3.5%)
- Poland: $1.34 billion (2.7%)
- Belgium: $1.27 billion (2.6%)
- Canada: $1.05 billion (2.1%)
- South Korea: $1.04 billion (2.1%)
- China: $966.9 million (1.9%)
- Mexico: $893.7 million (1.8%)
- Australia: $863 million (1.7%)
By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 70.1% of all T-shirts imported in 2022.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for T-shirts since 2018 were: Mexico (up 66.9%), Poland (up 59.7%), United States of America (up 51.6%) and Canada (up 43.7%).
A trio of major suppliers posted declines in their imported T-shirts purchases, namely: Japan (down -11% from 2018), Belgium (down -4.7%) and the United Kingdom (down -3.3%).
T-shirt Imports by Country: Cotton
Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of cotton T-shirts during 2022.
By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 69.5% of all cotton T-shirts imported in 2022.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for cotton T-shirts since 2018 were: Poland (up 78.6%), Mexico (up 75.8%), United States of America (up 54.8%) and Canada (up 47.1%).
Posting the most modest gains in their purchases of imported cotton T-shirts were buyers in the United Kingdom (up 0.3% from 2018) and Belgium (up 0.5%).
T-shirt Imports by Country: Non-Cotton Textiles
Below are the 15 countries that, during 2022, imported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts made from textile materials other than cotton.
- United States: US$2.7 billion (19.9% of imported non-cotton T-shirts)
- Germany: $1.4 billion (10%)
- Japan: $818.7 million (6%)
- United Kingdom: $783.9 million (5.7%)
- France: $765.3 million (5.6%)
- Spain: $511.9 million (3.7%)
- Netherlands: $480.8 million (3.5%)
- Italy: $407.1 million (3%)
- Belgium: $383 million (2.8%)
- South Korea: $362.2 million (2.6%)
- Canada: $333.8 million (2.4%)
- Poland: $270.4 million (2%)
- China: $235 million (1.7%)
- Australia: $222.4 million (1.6%)
- Austria: $214.1 million (1.6%)
By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 71.9% of all non-cotton T-shirts imported in 2022.
Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for non-cotton T-shirts since 2018 were: United States of America (up 44.5%), Canada (up 36.9%), Netherlands (up 13.3%) and Poland (up 12.4%).
Major suppliers that posted declines in their imported non-cotton T-shirts purchases were led by: Japan (down -30.1% from 2018), Spain (down -18.7%), Italy (down -17.3%) and Belgium (down -15%).
T-shirt Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following B2B (business-to-business) companies are examples of international T-shirt suppliers.
- B2B Print SIA (Latvia)
- CIAO Develop Co, Ltd (Taiwan)
- Dongguan Qinghuo Apparel Co, Ltd (China)
- Fashion Mag Trade (Italy)
- Guangzhou Mingmen Garments (China)
- Iniz Solutions (India)
- MONA Trading B2B (Poland)
- OITA Sports Industries (Pakistan)
- Push Top Service & Trading Co Ltd (Vietnam)
- Xiangshan Eco-Friendly Knitting Co (China)
The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses.
See also T-shirt Exports by Country, Top Exported Hats by Country and Top Exported Baby Clothing Sales
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Imports – Commodities. Accessed on August 29, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 29, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 29, 2023