The fashion and clothing cluster of Serbia was formed not so long ago, in September 2010 by the association of business entities,scientific and research institutions and educational institutions for more successful rounding access to the market and thereby increase the chances of success.Cluster Fakts member companies are Ivkovic, Belgrade, Tifani Production, Cacak, Jasmil, Arilje, who are also founders of the cluster, then Luna, Pozarevac, Eminent, Subotica, Beba kids, Belgrade, PS fashion, Cacak, Pasaz Pancevo, Jeger Kragujevac, Leonardo, Ada , Sanateks, Sjenica, Garman Arilje, Soda sport Arilje and educational institutions: Faculty Mihailo Pupin, Zrenjanin, Faculty of Applied Arts Belgrade and High Textile School of Design and Management, Belgrade.

The purpose of the Cluster is to enable business entities to develop faster and with continuous cooperation with the holding companies and with mutual interests, they are easier to operate than it would have happened if they were outside of Cluster and together they influence the strengthening of the competitiveness and the visibility of the textile branch itself.The essence of the association is the exchange of knowledge and experience between cluster members,but also business connecting ,strengthening of specialization, development of mutual projects and on the basis of increasing efficiency and productivity.

Cluster of fashion and clothing industry of Serbia in order to be able to work professionally and it worked first established and completed the phase of founding and organizing:1) Established and organized a Cluster office; 2) established organizational and procedural policy and cluster structure; 3) a success monitoring program established; 4) developed and standardized marketing materials and tools; 5) identified possible sources of financing.

It’s very important for Cluster that in addition to the basic sources of financing through membership clusters,identifies additional sources of financing in order to be able to implement projects which are extremely important for the development of the Cluster,as well as for raising the competitiveness of Cluster members,and which Cluster members are unable to finance the full amount.At this moment, Cluster is in the final phase of the implementation of the Project”Establishment of Virtual Innovative Cluster Center FAKTS”,through which member firms and educational institutions are in direct interaction and connections thanks to Forum we have raised and through which professors from educational institutions and designers employed in member firms have direct and continuous communication and knowledge exchange.This project was realized through the mutual participation of the companies of cluster members FAKTS and the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development of Serbia.

The fashion and clothing cluster of Serbia was established as an association of business entities from the fashion and clothing industry,as well as other persons,institutions and educational organizations of importance to this field,in order to achieve goals in the field of development,protection, promotion, growth, improvement and alignment of interests, work, activities and business of its members, and other economic entities, institutions, organizations and persons associated with this area, as well as fashion and clothing industries in general terms.

The characteristics of a common vision of the cluster include:

  • To become the leading source of encouraging innovation and support to textile companies in Serbia, through partnership with institutions in the public and private sectors;
  • National (local and regional) and international presence of the textile industry;
  • A central point for increasing competitiveness through raising awareness of performance standards, certification (quality) and success, and in turn increasing the economic (and other) success of members;
  • To serve as a “common voice” of members to third parties, both political and economic;
  • Continually generate new marketing opportunities, which will translate into sales promotion and potential profitability for member companies;
  • Raising the image of the Serbian textile industry in general
From this it follows,that the Vision of the Fashion and Clothing Cluster of Serbia is to be the leading support organizationin strengthening the overall economic competitiveness of enterprises in the field of fashion and clothing industry as well as textile industry in the Republic of Serbia.

The mission, that is, the role of a cluster that contributes to the realization of a common vision is:
providing organizational, logistical, professional, infrastructural, institutional, technical, information and other assistance and support to the continuous development and improvement of the quality of products and services, innovation and competitiveness of Cluster members, as well as fashion and clothing industries in general terms.

So far with the help of the GTZ, the German government and the EU SECEP project, the cluster has managed to set the basis for strategic planning that helped the cluster to identify the strategic goals and basic principles of the action plan.Identified goals will be used to measure the success of the organization’s activities through its development.

So far, the planning process has identified the following problems that need to be addressed in four key areas:

  • Administrative and organizational development
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Human Resources
  • Mutual projects and the financial strategy of cluster development are focused on:
  • • Increasing and strengthening the visibility of the organization and the entire industrial sector in the public and private sectors,
  • Development of human resources
  • Business connecting and developing common services
  • To achieve the medium and long-term financial sustainability of the Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry.

For Cluster members, one of the most important activities that contribute to business linking and development of common services relates both to the development of human resources and to the promotion of exports.

In the development of human resources for Cluster members, not only the professional development of employees is important,but also the education of potential employees, which implies the establishment of active, continuous cooperation with educational institutions and contribution to the creation of new or modified curricula.In an effort to solve the growing problem of the lack of skilled labor in the companies of their members,as well as to give students the opportunity to build a career in the clothing industry,members of cluster FAKTS presented a program of professional practice for VTSŠ DTM students from Belgrade.Four member firms of clusters participate in this program,in which students will be paired with leading clothing companies based on the technical needs of companies and the need for human resources,taking care of the student’s determination and the geographical position of life in relation to the factory.Obviously, the benefits of this program are all of our cluster members, both the school and the member firms of the cluster.Students developed and learned new skills during professional practice,while on the other hand, companies have developed a new potential workforce that will be used in the future as their competitive advantage.This is a great way to get students through cluster associations closer and practically in the clothing industry and its companies.At the same time, private sector companies in our cluster have a huge benefit, as this gives them an invaluable insight into the future employees of each of these companies.

In order for Cluster to develop and strengthen its social role as a non-profit organization,it was necessary to design and organize the organizational structure of clusters,which goal was to offer a balance of adaptation capabilities to changes in market conditions (both structures and activities undertaken),and stability, or consistency in meeting the goals

The cluster has the status of a legal entity.The cluster parts are:

  1. Assembly;
  2. Board of Directors and
  3. Representative(Cluster Manager).

The Assembly Assembly is the highest authority of the cluster, which brings all the most important cluster acts (such as the Statute, and other general acts),determines attitudes and gives guidelines for the work of clusters, elected and dismissed by the board of directors and the cluster manager considers and adopts the financial plan and annual financial report,as well as other tasks determined by the Statute and the Law.

The Board of Directors The Board of directors which manages the cluster and takes care of the implementation of its goals.The Board of directors also carries out operational activities and realizes planned,working, business, professional, technical and current tasks of the cluster,including all matters related to the conduct of business,current activities and cluster activities,except for issues that are within the competence of the Assembly.
The Board of Directors has five members, elected and dismissed by the Assembly from among the members of the Association.

Representative(Cluster Manager) or cluster director is at the same time a cluster legal representative. It has the role and responsibility of the executive body and is responsible for the lawfulness of the work of the cluster.Cluster Manager is, besides other things, responsible for cooperation with public institutions, associations, economic, educational, professional and other subjects.The responsibility of the cluster manager is related to the fulfillment of the set objectives and the management of the work of the cluster.

The cluster also has an advisory body – the Council,,who gives opinions on important issues related to the fashion and clothing industry,as well as the work of the Association.Council members are not members of the Cluster.

The cluster can educate the expert services,working groups, commissions, and other bodies for carrying out administrative, technical, professional and other tasks for the needs of the Cluster.

Depending on the need of the cluster, the cluster may also form a suitable working group(eg Working Group for Membership / Network Expansion, Working Group on Finance and Administrative Issues,Working Group for Marketing and Promotion, Working Group for Project Activities.

The above-mentioned working groups undertake activities within their competence,carry out appropriate analyzes and submit initiatives and proposals to the Steering Committee.Working groups have close responsibilities towards the goals they have been established for.Right on,their establishment and extinguishing by achieving goals ensures cluster dynamism.

In order to strengthen the current position in the domestic market of fashion and clothingit is necessary primarily to improve cooperation with scientific-educated institutions in order to better profiling the workforce,which would satisfy the current shortage for narrow-skilled staff.Cluster members also plan further development through the exchange and strengthening of expertise and know-how,strengthening innovation, improving quality and productivity.They’re interested for interconnection in the field of procurement of raw materials and materials,providing specialized services,as well as other forms of joint performances that would provide themabove-average concurrency compared to other companies in this branch.

Cluster members are interested in entering,ie expansion of business to the market of Russia,as well as the markets of countries in the region, such as:Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, but also the markets of other European countries (Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Slovakia, etc.).

Entering the international market,ie expansion of business abroad is planned through joint provision of information on market trends,technological trends,business connecting,mutual appearance at international fairs,opening of mutual exhibition and sales spaces,mutual distribution centers and marketing promotion through which they would generate significant cost savings,as well as enriching the offer considering of supplementing production programs and specialization options.Cluster members are interested in education and professional development,as well as joint research work and development,because these are the basic preconditions for raising their competitiveness, especially in the international market.In this connection, Cluster, through the project of Establishing an Innovative Center, had a mutual activity of 10 member firms and 3 educational institutions,important for a common approach to the innovative innovative service.This activity was over 10 million dinars.This service is of great importance for research,development and exchange of cluster members’ knowledge.

Cluster FAKTS also has a participation in the project of the German government ORF through which it achieves the goal of establishing contacts and cooperation of the Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry of Serbia with other similar organizations from the region and the exchange and transfer of knowledge between manufacturers,but also scientific-educational institutions from participating countries (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Serbia). Right on, project of the Government of Germany GIZ / ORF The cluster of fashion clothing industry enables international cooperation in the field of research, development and knowledge exchange.The ORF project began in July 2011 and is planned to last until February 2013.

The fashion and cloathing industry cluster of Serbia is also invited to join the EU’s IPA IPA project with a consulting firm from Germany and Austria as the bearers of the EU SEE project,with the participation of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Serbia – or our Cluster.The project was launchedwhose goal is to strengthen the competitiveness of the textile industry in this region and to provide an accurate database of all textile producers in the region for easier communication and new business and expansion of cooperation.The project will be includedfaculties in Bologna and other academic institutions from the region that are members of the clusterand in this way, start the exchange of technological knowledge, but also education in the field of expertise of the textile sector, both professors and students.Also, the project envisages the exchange of our experiences and knowledge with the participating countries.The project is scheduled to be submitted in the 4th call in December of 2011.

Probably one of the biggest movers for the association of textile companies in the cluster,The obvious lack of professional staff is constant bother cluster members in their efforts to sustain and increase productivity.There is a gap between the curriculum and the capacity of completed staff from domestic universities and vocational schools.

In this sense, several critical areas have been identified:designers, modelers, production managers / textile engineers, sewing machines as well as sales managers.

In cooperation with the High Vocational Textile School DTM and the German Organization for Technical Cooperation GTZ was organized in June 2010, the so-called. “Summer camp” (Summer camp),within which were held courses for standardization, design, management and other similar things.On this occasion, local experts were also trained,who later, in September 2010, independently,in cooperation with cluster members, organized a similar course for standardizing in Arilje. The course proved to be very effective and necessary for more efficient operations of domestic companies.

The mentioned mutual project has confirmed that activities that will focus on overcoming the problem of the lack of skilled labor in the labor market must be covered.

In this sense, the cluster will,among other things, focus their activities on recognizing the possibility of cooperation and undertaking the initiative of introducing projects and activities,which would result in overcoming the problem of the lack of profiled labor.

This program is certainly envisaged as a long-term initiative, within which the cluster will:

  • Examine member companies about restrictions and needs in the area of development of expertise and workforce;
  • Examine and engage in dialogue with academic institutions and clusters’ professional schools about their readiness and opportunities for developing workforce;
  • • Identify financiers and technical supporters who will commit themselves to link this public-private partnership in the textile industry;

Currently, several companies have a program to help with learning crafts and acquisition of practice in the production of textiles in Serbia.Such a practice should be promoted and at the same time identified the problems associated with such programs.Also, it is necessary to connect, as members of the cluster,as well as the National Employment Service, universities, schools in activities to solve the mentioned problems.Furthermore, the best experiences should also be emphasized and shared in order to maximize the benefits of these training.

The current project of our Cluster “Establishing Virtual Design of the Innovative Center of the Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry of Serbia” has a great influence on the development of the workforce.Through the provided training and consultations, the level of knowledge and competence of professional people employed in textile companies in the fields of Visual merchandising and Product management is raised.Students will also be included in these programs from the curriculum of contemporary textiles and textiles,textile and clothing design, clothing technology and management, so that they also get new knowledge in these areas.In addition to students, in the project seminars for professors will be held in order to get to know the needs of business subjects that are not satisfied with the existing curriculum.This project should motivate faculty professors to improve existing curricula and adapt as much as possible to the real needs of firms in the textile industry.

Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry of Serbia,plans to take part in the project of cross-border cooperation with the possibility of providing equipment,in the first place, a laboratory that would serve to test the quality of the fabric, but also to develop the innovations of educational institutions.Since Cluster has not yet officially approved this project, I am not able to speak about details, but it is evident that plans in this regard,related to the additional benefit of companies and educational institutions exist and that the cluster development strategy is planned on the basis of mutual benefit both for the private sector and for educational institutions.

As can be concluded,a set of program initiatives that cluster association is doing and works,leads not only to the synergistic effects of educational institutions and the private sector, but also to the direction of the Cluster in order to fulfill an important strategic goal, which is the development of human resources in the textile industry of Serbia,with the ultimate goal of making the education system in line with the real needs of the textile industry.


objectives of Cluster FACT:

Human resources development
Success indicator: :
Educational system in line with the needs of industry, established system of permanent education of personnel in the medium term

An example of the Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry is an example of a cluster that works properly, with the constant cooperation of the economy and educational institutions in the way of equal partners and participants.

Prepared by: Slađana Milojević, Director of the Cluster of Fashion and Clothing Industry of Serbia