Editorial to the Special Issue ‘Independents’

Perhaps they consider it a temporary activity, waiting to be absorbed by a “Big brand”; perhaps they just escaped from a “Big brand”. Maybe some were simply homesick and prefer a familiar clientele in the same town where they were born. The fact is that Europe is full of small workshops, run by young graduates from fashion schools, alone or in small groups. Each one carries out more or less each of the steps in clothing manufacturing: design, pattern making, prototyping, finding raw materials, manufacturing, and promotion. Some feel they haven’t made it just because they wanted to walk in a catwalk, and maybe are struggling to survive. Others have found their niche and prefer to stay as they are.

In any event, the fashion world is currently not made for them, design tools aspire to be bought by big brands, fabrics are only available at a decent price in large lots, price competition is fierce, and the market seems to not take them seriously.

We, on the contrary, see a huge potential. If only they had access to frugal tools. If only they could manage their laboratory workflow better. If only they had access to e-commerce and logistics platforms. If only they could learn how to network and support each other.

In this special issue, we therefore have brought together the following articles in order to support knowledge flow and provide inspiration:

We hope you enjoy the reading!


Maria Adele Cipolla, Wouter de Roy van Zuidewijn, Frédérique Thureau
Guest Editors of the Special Issue


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