CRE@CTIVE market study sheds light on the value of “Made in Italy” then and now!


Italy has been renowned for its high-quality craftsmanship and luxury designs since the 11th century, making the textile industry an integral part of the country’s economy. The traditional success factor of the Italian textile industry is its ability to combine innovation, fashion, creative style with production technologies, making it the centre of the fashion industry. The Italian team of the CRE@CTIVE project has taken it upon themselves to conduct a thorough study to assess the market situation of the traditional sectors of footwear, leather, clothing, and textile in the centre of the Mediterranean fashion industry and the value of the “Made in Italy” trademark!

The industry in Italy developed mainly in the north: in the Upper Milan area and around Biella and Bergamo. Como, in particular, specialized in silk manufacture, while the center has grown particularly in Prato's industrial area, which is Italy's greatest in terms of the number of enterprises and employees.

In 2019 the sector generated a turnover of 100 billion Euros, representing 11% of the country's total exports, and employed 800,000 employees. 2019 recorded a total of 200,000 companies across the country, with Tuscany in the first place (8,495) followed by Lombardy (8,295) and Veneto (4,700).

Italy has remained the world's leading exporter of wool yarns and is the second-largest exporter of pure silk fabrics and the third-largest exporter of footwear.

Yet, the impact of Covid-19 has generated severe consequences in the textile-fashion sector. Around 95% of textile and clothing companies have planned to use welfare measures, affecting more than 80% of workers, 80% of companies have activated smart working.  In the first quarter of 2020, the average decline in turnover was 25.4% and 29.2% in industrial orders. Estimates indicate that there has been an increase in unemployment between 30.4% and 38.3% in 2020.

As the pandemic continues well into the end of 2021, the industry is slowly recovering with fashion shows returning in Milan and the ongoing vaccinations. The CRE@CTIVE project aims to support and accelerate the recovery of the traditional sectors from the effects of the pandemic and develop cross-border cooperation between the Mediterranean region through integrating innovation into the supply chain and creating a resilient governance model.