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The Fashion Industry in Poland

Polish fashion evolves and adapts to current trends with each season. Currently, there are two industry capitals in the country, which bring together both educational institutions and chambers of commerce.  However, the most important events of this industry also take place in other cities. The strategy currently implemented by the authorities of the European Union promotes the trend of being “eco”. So where should you go and what is worth knowing to be up to date?

Where is the heart of the Polish fashion Industry?

In the world of fashion, there are several cities that, due to the position of the industry, the availability of materials, specialists, educational institutions and events, are considered the capitals of this sector. These include, above all, such cities as: Paris, Milan, London and New York.

In Poland, Łódź and Warsaw are considered to be the most important cities for this industry. The position of each of them has its justification. Łódź as a city with textile traditions still remains a strong center for the production of clothing. Warsaw’s position, on the other hand, largely results from the business and political role of the Capital. This does not mean, however, that in other centers we will not find representatives of this industry. For example, when it comes to jewelry created from amber, the main centre will be Gdańsk. However, in terms of events in the footwear industry – Krakow.

What are the most important industry events?

When it comes to the most important industry events, apart from the location, it is worth paying attention to their profile. Currently, three profiles stand out in the group: clothing, footwear and jewelry.

The most important events for the clothing industry take place primarily in Łódź. These include among others:

  • Fashionweare fair held twice a year. Their goal is to show trends for the spring-summer and autumn-winter seasons. Originally, the event was organized in the Fashion Promotion Center at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, however, now in the Expo-Łódź hall. The event is strictly an industry event.
  • The Golden Thread competition held as part of the Łódź Young Fashion event. In addition to the possibility of verifying current trends, it is a good opportunity to discover the creative potential of young talent. This year’s edition will take place at the end of November.

The most important event for the footwear industry is the POLSHOES fair held in Krakow. The event is organized twice a year. As in the case of Fashionware, the aim of the event is to present the latest trends for the spring-summer and autumn-winter seasons.

The most important event for the jewellery sector is the one related to the production of amber products – the Amberif fair. This event also takes place twice a year in the Amberexpo complex in Gdańsk, which is the capital of this raw material.

In addition to those mentioned above, a number of smaller events are also held in the country,  as Fashion Weeks. As part of the development of a pro-ecological approach, events for exhibitors specializing in craft production and products consistent with the so-called slow idea are also becoming increasingly popular.  These include, among others, events such as the” I Am Slow fair” and the Responsible Fashion Awards competition organized by the International School of Costume and Fashion Design.

Which educational institutes offer courses to do with fashion?

In Poland there are numerous educational centers shaping future industry specialists. Specialist education is to be found in both universities, Art schools and so-called vocational schools. There is also the possibility of acquiring knowledge, e.g. as part of postgraduate studies and courses.

In Łódź, two educational institutions are currently the most popular. The first is the Faculty of Design Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, and the second is the Fashion Industry School Complex.

However, there are much wider educational opportunities in the field of fashion to be found in Warsaw. As many as five educational institutions are to be found in the capital. These include among others, the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts, Viamoda Industrial, the International School of Costume and Design mentioned on the occasion of events, Lazarski University, which specializes in activities for the development of sustainable fashion, the School of Form of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and the Complex of Clothing, Hairdressing and Cosmetic Schools No. 22. At the same time, it is worth remembering that the growing interest in the subject of fashion contributes to the opening of new courses within existing and new educational institutes.

What organizations does the industry have?

There are many industry organizations operating in Poland. Each of them operates on the basis of slightly different regulations and on different principles. In the most prominent group there are three industry chambers – one in Warsaw and two in Łódź. The most popular is the Fashion Industry Entrepreneurs Association Lewiatan, operating in the clothing sector. When looking for business partners in this sector, it is also worth paying attention to the Federation of Apparel & Textiles Industry Employers (PIOT). In the footwear industry,  the Chamber of Shoe and Leather Industry is the most active in Poland.

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Fashion for ecology

When it comes to developing industry trends, pro-ecological production and a gradual departure from sourcing products on a mass scale should be considered mainstream. Currently, in addition to advanced work on technologies of recovery and reuse of fabrics, methods of renewal and refreshment of products from the clothing and footwear industry are becoming more and more popular. The aim of the ongoing work is to create an efficient system that, on the one hand, will enable customers to purchase good quality products which will serve them for a long time, while on the other hand, will allow for the further development of the industry thanks to the possibility of re-using fabrics derived from products no longer suitable for further use.

This trend is largely a consequence of the strategy for sustainable and circular textiles implemented by the European Union. The pro-ecological approach and the resulting legislative changes motivate both entrepreneurs and scientists to work on creating products and technologies that will reduce environmental unfriendly factors and enable the creation of pro-ecological production .

In November 2022, the UN Global Compact Network Poland together with the Know-How Hub Knowledge Transfer Center and the Lazarski University Institute for Sustainable Development and Environment, published a report entitled “The Sustainable Fashion Market”. Written in Polish, the document is not only a specific translation of the strategy implemented by the EU, but also a valuable source of information on good practices and methods of modernization and adaptation of production lines to the requirements resulting from the needs for environmental and climate protection on the continent.

When talking about sustainable development, it is worth mentioning the Sustainable Fashion Institute Start-up project, which, as part of cooperation with LPP,  develops a technology for the production of recyclable fabric. You should also check out the map of ecological innovations – Accepoint, available on, among others, the LinkedIn profile of the smart technology accelerator. In terms of information, it is worth paying attention to a number of publications by experts from the Institute of Sustainable Development and the Environment. As part of cooperation with research and development units, the institute has developed a number of industry reports, analyzes and guidelines for various industries, including the fashion sector.

Which public institutions promote Polish fashion?

Public institutions, including cultural institutions, play an important role in shaping knowledge about the industry. In terms of business development, one such institution is the recently established Centre for the Development of Creative Industries and a number of smaller local government institutions, such as the Targowa Centre for Creativity in Warsaw. In the case of business cooperation with the sector, however, it is best to contact institutions such as the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. PAIH, as an agency promoting Polish business, not only has a developed network of industry contacts, but is also responsible, for organizing promotional events.

In terms of promoting  the fashion world, noteworthy institutions are certainly the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź and the Amber Museum in Gdańsk. In both institutions, apart from historical collections, works of contemporary designers are also presented. In addition, each of these  institutions conducts educational activities focused on the organization of conferences, lectures and competitions oscillating around the industry.

If you want to learn more about Polish Fashion, we encourage you to contact the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.

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