The Apparel 50 2023 report points out that as sustainability becomes an increasing driver of choice between apparel brands, global fast fashion brands are taking a hit to their brand strengths and reputations.

Nike, which has kept its top spot since the report started nine years ago and is valued at $31.3bn, has also achieved the highest sustainability perceptions value score in the 2023 report.

Brand Finance explains that its ‘Move to Zero’ sustainability campaign garnered global attention and enhanced global perceptions of its sustainability commitment.

On the other hand, the report argues that Swedish fashion brand H&M, which had its brand value go down 26%, and Spanish fashion brand Zara, which is owned by Inditex and had it’s value down by 15%, are taking a hit to their brand strengths and reputations.

The report states: “Their weaker brand strengths can be attributed to vague communication and a lack of transparency regarding sustainability. For example, H&M’s Conscious Collection was found to extensively use synthetic materials derived from fossil fuels. This case reflects a larger trend in the industry, whereby such retailers engage in ‘greenwashing’ to mask cost-saving initiatives.”

Brand Finance UK general manager Annie Brown believes it is not just NIKE‘s sustainability credentials that has kept at the top. She also cites its relentless commitment to innovation, ability to stay ahead of the market trends and extensive partnerships with worldwide.

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She states: “In 2023, the brand is continuing to leverage its enormous global influence and reputation to empower positive change in the sporting world and beyond.”

Top apparel, sportswear and athleisure patent assignees between 1 January 2019 and 2023

Source: GlobalData

Nike’s focus on innovation is evident from GlobalData’s patent filings data which shows that Nike had a total of 5,610 patent publications under its name between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2023.

Nike isn’t the only sports brand to reap success in this year’s report. German sports brand adidas, had its brand value go up 2% to $14.6bn, German sports brand Puma (brand value up 13% to $4.5bn), and Canadian athleisure brand Lululemon saw its brand value go up 28% to $4.2bn.

Sportswear sector will outperform the global apparel market

GlobalData forecasts the global sportswear market to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% between 2022 to 2027. Louise Deglise-Favre, associate analyst at GlobalData, shares that sportswear is expected to continue outperforming the global apparel market.

The Key Trends in the Global Apparel Market webinar by GlobalData details the drivers of the sportswear market. These include:

  • Rise of premium sportswear
  • Focus on women in sports
  • Tapping into more sports categories
  • Sustained demand for outdoor sportswear

The top 10 apparel brands for 2023

  1. Nike (non-mover), worth $31.3bn
  2. Louis Vuitton (non-mover), worth $26.3bn
  3. Chanel (up 1 place), worth $19.4bn
  4. Gucci (down 1 place), worth $17.8bn
  5. Adidas (non-mover), worth $15.7bn
  6. Hermes (non-mover), worth $14.2bn
  7. Dior (up 4 places), worth $13.2bn
  8. Cartier (up 1 place), worth $12.5bn
  9. Zara (down 2 places), worth $11.0bn

Last year the Brand Finance 2022 report revealed sportswear brand Nike and some of its main competitors were continuing to benefit from the casual and sportswear trend that started during the pandemic.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.