Textile and apparel industry in Croatia is in extremely bad situation considering complex conditions of workers and especially technology. Despite government initiatives industry is s till in crisis. Layoffs, salary cuts and increasing pressure from other cheaper textile imports are the main problems. Also textile and apparel industry have difficulties in marketing its products to the domestic market. Only companies which have made substantial investments and have already modernised their manufacturing technology have good prospects. So, what should they do in the future?
Primarily, textile and apparel companies should look at themselves and notice that, at the moment, they are not managing to adapt to existing requirements of changing market conditions. Also they are slow in recognizing future needs of potential customers, modernizing and restructuring production.
One of the proposed solutions is to produce value-added products and own brand products, as well as the consolidation of textile and apparel companies. We need changes in human resources, innovation and market repositioning and all that has to match with capacity of the industry. It’s necessary, for each of this solutions, to invest financial capital but at this moment industry does not have it. Half of the market share is determined for only a few companies and in this industry only they operate with a profit. Althought the textile and apparel industry in Europe applied policy for sustainable growth and development of such industries, in Croatia there is still no scientifically based economic and social platform for the reconstruction of the textile and apparel industry. That implies a number of various consequences like manufacturers of textiles and apparel industry are importing 90% of raw materials for production.
For now, textile and apparel industry in Croatia is trying to overcome the global recession by relying on state aid and on the financing of production facilities. Various production and bussines models helped textile apparel industry in EU to make positive results so Croatian industy should follow the lead of these industries. At this moment, the industry has two main goals ahead of EU accession: to change production structures according to higher quality price brackets and to improve business operations and apply innovations and knowledge.
Authors: Ivana Mišura, Antonella Cassarà, Tedi Marković and Isabel Tina Braun.