Sustainable fashion: how can we buy more?

Pollution processes, over-consumption, waste – it‘s all fast fashion impact. However more and more customers are prioritising sustainability. Faced with this reality, comapnies are rethinking their products and focus more on sustainability, functionality and ergonomics. The textile industry is putting more and more efforts to produce products from eco-friendly materials, reduce pollution in the world, and create sustainable, eco-friendly products.

The textile sector employs a large proportion of working adults worldwide. The textile and clothing industry uses a variety of natural (cotton, linen, wool, etc.) and synthetic (polyester, polyamide, etc.) materials, recycles them into yarns and fabrics, and manufactures a variety of products (bedding, clothing, etc.).

The clothing and textile industry has long lasting traditions throughout the European Union and is still recognized as one of the most important industries in some countries. Textile and clothing are a diversified sector that plays a crucial role in the European manufacturing industry. The sector employs 1.7 million and has a turnover of EUR 166 billion. This industry sector has undergone radical changes in order to maintain its competitiveness and move towards high value-added products.

The textile sector is especially important for the Lithuanian economy. Although this sector has been declining recently in the country’s economy, it remains a very important part of the industry. Textiles, on the other hand, are undergoing a strong transformation around the world. Although the structure of this sector is dominated by classic products, which are intended for a wide range of consumers, the need for products that require modern science and various technological knowledge is constantly growing.

Lithuanian Association of Clothing and Textile Enterprises (LATIA) is implementing the project “LATIA Export Development” according to the measure No. 03.2.1-LVPA-K-801 “New Opportunities Lt.” according to priority No. 3 “Promotion of Small and Medium Business Competitiveness” of the 2014–2020 EU funds investment action program.

The aim of the project is to promote the export of Lithuanian products of Lithuanian clothing and textile companies. In order to further increase the export sales of Lithuanian products and to remain competitive participants in the global market, LATIA companies are planning to pay as much attention as possible to the development of the existing markets and the search for new foreign markets in the course of implementation of the project.

One step forward is enough to make the most of the potential of the fragmented Lithuanian clothing and textile industry and to attract consumers of the Western market. The members of the LATIA Export Development cluster have stepped it and started creating a product line, the objective of which is to represent the members of the cluster in the target foreign markets.

As the textile industry is increasing more and more oriented towards sustainable and nature-friendly manufacturing methods, by the decision of the members of the cluster, the product line have the following words in common: sustainable, functional, ergonomic. Each of the 9 companies-members of the cluster will introduce a product combining the aforementioned key words.

According to the companies participating in the LATIA Export Development cluster, even though they are operating in the same industry sector, their production and area of operation are rather different yet that is more an advantage than a disadvantage. Therefore, it has been decided to manufacture not one product, but a series of products that would be relevant to different clients and partners. The accumulated competencies, experience and knowledge of each member of the cluster will help to ensure the development and production of sustainable future products by representing the entire clothing and textile sector in Lithuania.

The range of products presented in the product line is very wide – each member of the cluster creates in the area they specialize in most and have most experience. The cluster includes different product types: primary level – textiles (production of different types of materials, i.e., “Textile”, “Mittet”) and final product – different types of clothing (e.g., knitwear “Eustilija”), socks and knitwear, men’s, women’s, youth and children’s clothing, baby clothing and technical clothing for work or sports (“Vitameda”, “Sabalin”), or their accessories (A.Valiuškis’ company, “Šilta mada”).