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Cheap Clothing Created Some of the World’s Richest People

Inditex Zara
Clothes might not make the man, but cheap ones make him rich.A report published recently by Quartz pointed out that some of the wealthiest men—and women—in the world bankrolled their billions in the business of fast fashion.

Amancio Ortega, Zara

Amancio Ortega, founder and chairman of Zara parent Inditex, is not only the wealthiest man in Spain, but the second-richest person in the world. He is worth $75.3 billion as of Aug. 8.

Stefan Persson, H&M

The richest person in Sweden is Stefan Persson, chairman of H&M, the fast-fashion empire his father founded in 1947. Though he ranks 32nd on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, his current net worth is $20.1 billion.

Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo

Fast Retailing chairman, president and CEO Tadashi Yanai is Japan’s richest man. His company, which owns Uniqlo—its flagship brand—as well as J Brand, Theory and GU, has helped him amass a fortune worth $18.7 billion.

Hilary Weston, Primark

For the eighth year running, Hilary Weston—whose family owns the Selfridges and Brown Thomas luxury department stores in addition to cheap-as-chips Primark—is the richest person in Ireland. According to The Sunday Times, her assets are valued at 14.1 billion euro ($15.6 billion), more than three times what the country’s second-richest person is worth.

The Brenninkmeijer Family, C&A

The secretive Brenninkmeijer family, owner of Dutch fast-fashion retailer C&A, has never revealed financial information about its operations, but in 2012 Forbes estimated its net worth to be around $33.94 billion. This has never been officially confirmed. By comparison, the latest list of the world’s billionaires from Forbes ranks Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, worth $13.6 billion, as the richest person in the Netherlands.