Garment manufacturing, new business models, circular economy and digital fashion were the focus of CXC in Ruse/Bucharest

The CLOTH project ClusterXchange visit to Ruse and Bucharest took place from 19 to 21 April 2023. SMEs and clusters from Denmark, Spain and Moldova took part in this short-term exchange within the framework of the EU-supported CLOTH project.

April 24, 2023 – Rousse / Copenhagen / Aix-en-Provence / Barcelona / Yas : CLOTH Project, the European alliance bringing together individuals, companies and clusters working on the transformation of the fashion sector towards sustainability and digital technologies, announces the results of its ClusterXchange Event, which took place in Bucharest, Romania on April 19 and in Rousse, Bulgaria on April 20 and 21, 2023
ClusterXchange was launched in Bucharest, where participants visited Gentlemen's tailoring and the Merer clothing factory.

Gentlemen's Tailoring owns the first private showroom in Romania dedicated to men. They make men's suits (formal or business), coats and shirts according to customer sizes from Egyptian cotton, wool, cashmere, mohair, silk, velvet and cooperate with famous fabric manufacturers from Italy and Great Britain. In addition to the suit, they provide various accessories such as cufflinks, tie pins, lapel and shirt pins, ties, scarves, armbands and bow ties made of silk, velvet, shoes.

At the Merer Garment Factory, participants saw the production of men's shirts – classic and traditional shirts with embroidery.

The next day, ClusterXchange participants visited several factories and workshops in Ruse. They started at Bulammas Made-to-measure, where they saw the production of men's shirts, trousers and accessories and learned about the new made-to-measure and made-to-order business models. At the Gabic factory, they learned the advantages of dye sublimation over other textile printing methods and why sublimation printing is sustainable. They also visited the Savannah women's clothing factory. At the end of the day, they visited Charlino - one of the oldest Bulgarian fashion brands, which sells its products in many foreign countries. They also produce stage costumes for operas and theaters in Europe and Asia.

During the day, there were several presentations at the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry. First, Milen Dobrev, executive director of the Chamber, presented its work and current projects. Ekaterina Yordanova from Enterprise Europe Network Ruse presented the services that EEN offers to SMEs.

The participants also learned about the Bulgarian circular economy from TexCycle. The company was founded as a textile sorting and wholesale business in 2000 in Bulgaria and has expanded into a group of textile recovery companies specializing in the collection, sorting, distribution and recycling of used clothing, footwear and other textiles.

Anna Naydenova went online and presented the Bulgarian ICT Cluster and their current projects and support for the digitalization of SMEs.

BMA invited CXC to RTIK and other fashion companies from Ruse, including Maximilian shoes and DIR Styles, and a B2B meeting was held.

The third day started with a visit to the Future Education Space of the University of Ruse, where companies tested VR applications and 360-degree fashion reviews, presented by Assoc. Dr. Prof. Galina Ivanova. After that, Ph.D. Prof. Plamen Zahariev made a presentation on 3D technologies for the fashion industry, and the participants saw 3D scanners and printers.

This was followed by a visit to Fenix 94 – a manufacturer of women's and men's socks. There they saw the entire process of making the socks and were also shown the innovative heated ski socks they are producing for a customer.

In the afternoon, they visited the "Nedka Ivan Lazarova" fashion school, where they even attended a mini fashion show organized by the students.

The exchange ended with a walk along the main pedestrian street and a visit to the stores of Bulgarian fashion brands - Danini, Rosi Fashion, Kensol, Lucy, Martini shoes, etc.

The CLOTH project - CLuster Alliance for the Transition to Green and Digital Fashion - is a new initiative aiming to create a favorable ecosystem of relevant stakeholders from a cross-sectoral perspective, promoting a greener, smarter and more competitive and innovative European fashion industry.

The CLOTH project is an integrated cross-sectoral partnership with 5 partners from 5 European countries (Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark and France) working on different value chains: fashion and textiles, circular economy, creative industry and digital technologies.
During the EU-supported CLOTH project, a minimum of 100 short-term exchanges will be organized between targeted members of clusters located in other countries.

The CLOTH project is funded by the Executive Agency for the European Council for Innovation and Small and Medium Enterprises (EISMEA), under the powers delegated by the European Commission, COSME programme, call COS-CLUSTER-2020-3-03 / COS-CLUSTER-2020- 3-03 -1 (European Cluster Excellence Program with ClusterXchange scheme connecting ecosystems and cities).

For more information: https://clothproject.eu/

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