Successful CLOTH project ClusterXChange in Milan


PRESS RELEASE, February 2023

The team of the Bulgarian Fashion Association has returned from Milan, where it organized a short-term exchange in the EU supported CLOTH Project. The participants, 8 Bulgarian companies and 7 companies and organizations from Denmark, Spain and France, shared their content from the excellent organization and rich program. During the first two days, they visited the MILANO UNICA fair to research and find sustainable and innovative fabrics and accessories and learn what are the fashion trends for spring-summer 2024.

At the booth of the Biela fabric manufacturer DRAGO, the companies learned about the company’s fabric production and its new project „Etherique” – the first sustainable luxury line of fabrics with Kapok – a valuable natural fiber that is considered the lightest in the world.

DRAGO is an Italian company that produces quality fabrics for men. The values of the Italian tradition are interpreted in a modern and innovative way. DRAGO is a fully integrated woolen mill: from careful selection of the best raw materials Drago produces internally more than 1.7 million meters of high-quality fabric that exports worldwide. In addition to a strong presence in the Italian market the Drago fabrics are appreciated by the best international brands, especially in Japan, Korea and the United States.

Drago Spa, increasingly attentive to the constant evolution of the development process and renovation of all business activities, works to ensure that all the various steps in the production process, both internal and external, are carried out with a view to eco-sustainability in full compliance with environmental respect and of the existing norms, thus achieving excellence through the overcoming of standard values.

The companies also visited the stand of Brunello – an Italian lining manufacturer. Brunello linings are a tangible representation of their values: “made-in-Italy” signature, as well as the environmentally sustainable choices, are the pillars of Brunello’s excellence. In addition to their classic plains and dobby, their patterns include traditional jacquards, squares, unique designs, checkered, stripes as well as traditional and inkjet prints. All their products are crafted from yarn or piece dyed and have the most detailed finishing.

Another Italian wool fabric manufacturer that the participants visited was Vitale Barberis Canonico. The organization works in harmony with nature, their goal being the lowest possible impact on the environment. Their spring-summer 2024 fabric collection is inspired by the French Riviera. The green of the palm trees, the blue of the sea, the ocher of the sand together with the unmistakable quality of Vitale Barberis Canonico guarantee freshness and comfort even in the middle of summer.

Woolmark introduced merino wool as an ecological material. Clothes made from natural fibres, such as Merino wool, are not only easily recycled, but at their ultimate end of life are biodegradable, releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. Woolmark also introduced the participants to the certification options for products made from wool.

The Innovation Zone of Milano Unica was also visited. All clothing fabrics offered by the company SITIP are part of a sustainable supply chain for lower consumption of natural resources and limited dependence on non-renewable energy, in full compliance with leading international environmental standards.

PENN Italia’s ECOINNOVATION line offers a wide selection of recycled and degradable fabrics made with recycled polyamide yarns to create a new sustainable and quality product that highlights the innovative aspects of the company.In a circular economy, the goal is to create less waste by getting the most out of every possible material and fabric involved in the production process. 

Imbotex uses fabric scraps that are recycled from industrial production without requiring further consumption.The entire process is mechanical and does not involve any kind of chemical. It is also less impactful in terms of energy consumption, waste production, water use, CO2 emissions.

The participants of the trade mission also visited the exhibitors Atelier Riforma, Raphael, Staff Jersey and Silcomo. 

During their visit to Milano Unica, the companies met with the president of the Italian textile innovation cluster Dr.Pellerey, who spoke about the activities of the cluster and the possibilities for cooperation and common future projects.

The ClusterXChange was hosted by CNA Lombardia – the branch of the Italian Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises responsible for the Lombardy region. In organized B2B, B2C and C2C meetings on February 1st, the participants met with Italian fashion companies, members of CNA Lombardia and representatives of the Made in Italy Cluster and identified the potential for joint future projects. They were welcomed by Beppe Pisani, President of the Federation, Stefano Binda, Secretary of CNA Lombardia, Mariagracia Berardi, Project Manager and Silvia Kabaivanova, Chairman of the Bulgarian Fashion Association.

On February 3rd, the participants visited Raffles Milano – a fashion school with an unconventional spirit and method that has assembled a great team of teachers, in many cases leading names on the international scene of style and design.There they got acquainted with sustainability and creativity in the fashion system and with innovative biomaterials for fashion and design from the companies Lenzing, Organge fiber, Phillacolor, Manteco, Texmoda, Rilegno.

They also met students from Raffles Milano and learned about their projects.

Finally, the participants visited the Italian concept stores and platforms Modes Milano and Antonia Milano in order to explore Italian fashion and gain inspiration and new business opportunities.

Photos © Bulgarian Fashion Association


CLOTH projectCLuster Alliance fOr the Transition to green and digital fasHion – is a new alliance 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 Textile, circular economy, creative industry and Digital.
During the EU supported CLOTH Project will be organized minimum 100 short-term exchanges between targeted members of clusters located in other countries. 

The CLOTH project is funded by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (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 Programme with ClusterXchange scheme connecting ecosystems and cities).For more information:


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