Work Life

Survey Results: Toxic Workplaces in the Fashion Industry

By  | conducted a survey of over 1000 fashion industry professionals about their experiences with Toxic Workplaces. In this post, we explore the prevalence of toxic workplaces in the fashion industry, examining their impact on professionals and shedding light on the demographics affected.

Understanding Toxic Workplaces:
A toxic work environment is characterized by harmful attitudes and actions that are not only tolerated but sometimes even rewarded. Such environments breed stress, hinder communication, and foster a culture of blame. These factors have detrimental effects on professional development, mental health, and overall job satisfaction.

Demographics and Toxicity in the Fashion Industry:
A survey among fashion industry professionals revealed that an alarming 96.7% reported experiencing toxic work environments at some point in their careers. The survey also uncovered certain demographic trends within this concerning reality.

While almost 97% of fashion industry professionals claim to have worked in a toxic environment at some point in their career, just under 20% consider their current employment situation toxic.

Generational Impact:
Approximately 50% of those who experienced toxicity were Millennials, followed by 36% from Generation X. While Baby Boomers and Gen Z respondents reported fewer instances of toxicity, it is important to note their relatively lower representation in the fashion industry.

Gender Disparity:
Among individuals who experienced toxicity, 85% were women and 14% were men. Given that women comprise around 80% of the fashion industry workforce, these statistics raise concerns about gender dynamics and potential discrimination in the workplace.

Job Titles and Toxic Environments:
The survey found that designers were the most affected by toxic environments. The pressures associated with their creative roles may contribute to elevated stress levels and the prevalence of toxic behavior. Technical designers ranked second, likely due to the demanding nature of their work and tight deadlines.

Severity and Industry Segments:
Among those who experienced toxicity, 40% attributed it to their boss or department, while 60% characterized the entire company as toxic. Furthermore, a significant 82.7% reported suffering from mild to severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their toxic work experiences. These figures underscore the profound impact of toxic environments on employees’ mental health.

Regarding industry segments, nearly half of the respondents who experienced toxicity worked in the Discount/Budget/Mass Market/Moderate sector whereas just 15% reported toxic workplaces in companies producing Designer or Couture-level products.

Toxic workplaces have become alarmingly prevalent in the fashion industry, negatively affecting professionals’ mental well-being, job satisfaction, and career growth. Industry leaders, employers, and employees must prioritize the creation of positive work environments that foster creativity, collaboration, and personal development. By addressing toxic workplace issues directly, the fashion industry can evolve into a place where talent can thrive without compromising mental health or professional fulfillment.

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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