7 SMEs participated in a CLOTH project trade mission in Florence and Prato January 2024

Submitted by Lídia Morcillo… on 21 February 2024


Bulgarian fashion association, a partner in the CLOTH project, organized a trade mission during the PITTI UOMO fair in Florence, from January 8 to 12, 2024. 7 Bulgarian companies from the fashion sector took part in this short-term exchange in the EU-supported project.

CLOTH, the European alliance that brings together individuals, companies and clusters working on the transformation of the fashion sector towards sustainability and digital technologies, organized its latest ClusterXchange event in Florence and Prato, Italy. It was held from January 8 to 12, 2024 with the participation of 7 fashion companies from Bulgaria – Banderol, Donev Design, Gama Company, Valtasasar Apparel Garden, Remix Iva, Polmarket and ARA SV BG.

The ClusterXchange mobility program aims to facilitate the exchange of experience and best practices between SMEs and clusters. ClusterXchange in Florence and Prato included a visit to the Pitti Uomo trade fair to explore sustainable and innovative clothing and accessory brands and learn about fashion trends.

THE MAIN OBJECTIVES were to gather and share knowledge about:

Sustainable and circular fashion at the most popular Italian trade fair for men’s fashion – Pitti Uomo
The 2024 fashion trends
Italian fashion and crafts
The activities of the OTIR2020-Tuscany Fashion Cluster
Finding new partners in Italy
During the ClusterXchange event, participants visited PITTI UOMO – one of the world’s most important fashion fairs for men’s clothing and accessories, collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion.

SMEs had the opportunity to visit some specific sustainable brands:

959 NINEFIVENINE – an eco-design line made from parts made from recycled car belts
Fornari – scarf and tie production
Got Bag – the world’s first Ocean Impact Plastic backpack
Hul le Kes – Dutch circular fashion brand
CARL GROSS – creates men’s clothing that is distinguished by Italian styling, German security and quality.
Campomaggi Bags
Joseph Cheaney and Sons – Traditional English Shoes
Altemflower Shirts
Alea – Men’s Shirts & Italian Style
Brunello Cucinelli – Luxury Goods
Belvest – Men’s Fashion
At the fair, companies also visited various sustainable menswear sections such as Fantastic Classic, Futuro Maschile and VINTAGE HUB Circular Fashion. SMEs also had the opportunity to visit the Polimoda fashion institute as well as the Accademia Italiana. During the visit, they met with fashion designers, saw their production facilities, student classes and their fashion collections made from sustainable materials.

The program included a visit to the Museum of Costume and Fashion. The museum offers over 6,000 pieces of court and gala clothing, including haute couture, ready-to-wear, uniforms and theatrical costumes. It features works by the most respected designers of the 20th century, including Armani, Missoni, Valentino, Versace and Saint Laurent.

ClusterXchange was hosted by the OTIR Tuscany Fashion Cluster – Next Technology Technotessile – a research center located in Prato. The cluster presented the latest technologies for innovation and circular fashion and pre-treatment for textile recycling.

In Prato, the participants also visited the Museo del Tessuto – the largest cultural center in Italy dedicated to the promotion of historical and contemporary textile production and art.

Cluster organisation
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