The Swedish School of Textiles Participates in Baltic Fashion
The start of 2011 saw the beginnings of the EU project Baltic Fashion, focusing on female entrepreneurship. The objective is development of small and medium-sized enterprises in fashion design in the Baltic region, and the Swedish School of Textiles is part of the deal.
“It is only natural, we are in the thick of it,” says professor Clemens Thornquist at the Swedish School of Textiles, and continues “It is an important project, because we have a culture of starting up businesses, in a slightly different way than the other countries in the region.”
Pia Mouwitz and Clemens Thornquist.
Baltic fashion is an EU project that is worth 26 million SEK overall. 2.6 million of those are earmarked for the Swedish School of Textiles.
“We will take time to examine the situation of today, and based on our findings develop and see if we can find different ways of supporting and building networks. We will also strengthen the connection between the School of Textiles and the companies involved, through workshops and more,” reveals Clemens Thornquist.
How Important is Baltic Fashion to the Swedish School of Textiles?
“Very important. We see a variety of initiatives in Borås, among them Marketplace Borås, Espira as well as the Textile and Fashion Factory. I see this as an opportunity to strengthen those and other initiatives that are already in place. We are also keen to see that our students who later move on develop the ideas we work on here,” says Clemens Thornquist.
Over the three years that the project will in place, the objective is to get more people to start and run their own companies.
“We have a lot of students here, many of whom are starting businesses and trying to get it running. It is important that we, as an institution, help them by doing research in the field and thereby stimulating their development,” explains Clemens Thornquist.
“We are talking about designing education in a way that benefits alumni and businesses that are already up and running. There are different ways of helping. This is a good opportunity to develop what is already there, but to try it in a new way.”
Clemens Thornquist and Pia Mouwitz, university teacher at the School of Textiles, will be working on the project.
“I want this to be a project that brings something to the region and the university. Among other things, we are talking about female entrepreneurship, which is an area that we want to develop,” concludes Pia Mouwitz.
Text and photo: Kristoffer Lidén