Europe is home to some of history’s most important textile and fashion inventions and a number of the most celebrated designers, manufacturers, innovators and artists, such as Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior, to name a few.
Today, the EU textile and clothing sector remains an SME-based industry. Companies with less than 50 employees account for over 90% of the workforce and produce almost 60% of the value added. Clothing and textile is also a global industry with the chain of production, wholesale and retail including dozens of stakeholders and spanning many continents.
When referring to the fashion industry, we include clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery and other accessories. Due to its size, the fashion industry across Europe offers many business opportunities. However, it also faces major issues such as counterfeiting, knock-off or unfair competition.
Against this backdrop, the present fact sheet sheds light on the importance of different intellectual property (IP) rights such as trademarks, designs, or copyright for the fashion industry and underlines the importance of a sound IP strategy for the welfare and protection of businesses – especially SMEs – striving to succeed in this dynamic industry sector.