rag trade

noun Slang.
the garment, clothing, or fashion industry.
Also called rag business.


Origin:
1835–45

rag trader, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rag trade
 
n
informal the clothing business, esp the aspects concerned with the manufacture and sale of dresses

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
And the rag trade is as footloose as its customers are fickle.
The best-known models of yesteryear often led rags-to-riches lives, courtesy of the rag trade.
They ran the rag trade, boiled bones and scoured the streets for old cans because the solder and metal could be sold or reused.
The shirts themselves are vintage, a rag trade euphemism for used.
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