In spite of the increasing economic difficulties, textile and clothing remains one of the most significant manufacturing sectors of the EU-27. This is true in respect of production volume, added value and job creation.

Over the last ten years, reduced competitiveness especially among European industry specialists, changing priorities in the international textile and fashion market, and world-wide financial uncertainties have caused a global restructuring of the textile and clothing sector. Manufacturers have revised employment patterns and worsening socio-economic conditions have prompted regions to rethink their plans for economic development.

In response to the pressures of a global transformation of the sector, some regions of the European Union with long-standing expertise in the textiles and clothing industry have joined forces to capitalise on best policy initiatives and to creatively support SMEs in the textile and clothing sector.

The PLUSTEX Project contributes to this strategic ambition by bringing together public authorities and a range of sector stakeholders to identify and exploit new opportunities through the sharing of good practices.

PLUSTEX is co-financed by the Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC through the European Regional Development Fund. The Programme aims to facilitate the exchange of policy know-how so as to improve effective delivery of regional and local development policies in the specific areas of innovation, knowledge economy, environment and risk prevention. In line with Europe 2020 the project advocates modernisation and strategic transformation of SMEs through a knowledge and innovation-oriented approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The project mobilizes public authorities and other stakeholders from eight European regions that each have a strong investment in the different facets of the textile and clothing industry. By collecting, analyzing and exchanging examples of good practices, partners have the opportunity to reflect on shared expertise and scope for possible transfer of good practice from region to region.

Knowledge exchange undertaken through Good Practice workshops will focus on what the PLUSTEX partners have identified as some key contributing policies to a forward-looking and competitive European textiles and clothing industry. These are:

  • Support of young entrepreneurship and innovative business models;
  • Diversification of production towards high-quality and high-tech textiles and niche products;
  • Increased levels of art, design and creativity in market production;
  • Support for the clustering and internationalisation of SMEs;
  • Fostering eco-innovation and social responsibility in the sector;
  • Fostering incubation and start-ups in the sector.

Each theme will be elaborated through a series of Policy Learning Cycles that combine field and desktop research, expert coaching and study visits to the different partners locations and facilities. Through the Policy Learning Cycles partners will discuss and review innovative business models, manufacturing technologies and marketing strategies; and focus their thinking on material quality, technology, design, sustainability, and user-driven production.

A small number of select examples of Good Practices will then be collected in formal implementation plans (the so-called Partnerships for Regional Innovation), which detail how the partners might implement policy changes to support the competiveness of the textile and clothing sector in their region.

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PLUSTEX is cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund within the INTERREG IVC Programme. The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.

Read more…

to Unlock Skills
in the TEXtile sector

Lead partner
Municipality of Prato (IT)

Contact person
Alessandro Fontani
+ 39 0574 183 6007

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