Hub of expertise opens door to promising future for textile industry

The Swedish town of Borås is making a name for itself with a thriving textile cluster. Innovative products, new jobs and efficient processes stand out as benefits to be gained for the local sector.

Borås has been Sweden’s leading textile town for about 200 years. Its approach has always been to adapt, in recent times by using new technologies and drawing on the resources of a business cluster.

One company, TST Sweden, makes special protective overalls. The product represents 60 % of the company’s €5 million turnover and has boosted the staff to 12. The business cluster was an obvious choice for the product creators. Jörgen Lillieroth from TST says the combined talents meant certain product costs were one tenth the normal amount.

Susanne Nejderås, manager of another participating company Smart Textiles, says: ‘When a project comes to us, we have researchers, technicians and also students adding their competences to the project.’

Since the 2006 cluster launch, some 50 new products have been created and 130 prototypes developed. With 180 businesses, 1 000 students, 60 researchers and five specialist labs, the cluster has reinvented the sector’s working methods. 

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