Smart and Safe Work Wear Clothing

March 2016 -
February 2019

1. Innovation 1.3 Non-tech innovation


The Interreg project SWW showcased enterprises manufacturing work wear in the Baltic Sea region how to introduce mass customisation and integrate IT technology into clothing, and by this to increase their competitiveness against new producers and cheap imports from Asian markets.

The opportunity

Increasing imports from Asian markets

The clothing industry in the EU have been struggling with cheap imports from Asian markets. Already in 2013, the value of imported clothes was almost twice as high as for clothes produced in the EU. Companies in the Baltic Sea region experience a similar challenge: outsourcing and merchandising is increasing whereas domestic production is decreasing.

Finding a niche as a panacea

By finding a niche for ergonomically designed, functional smart clothing and safe products, companies manufacturing work wear can successfully develop their businesses across the Baltic Sea region. Companies in Latvia and Finland already have specific know-how in smart textiles and their application, whereas companies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are the main producers in the Baltic Sea region. Closer cooperation between research and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can help meet essential needs of the industry, and open way for new solutions, increasing the competitiveness of companies in the Baltic Sea region.


Smarter work wear garments created

The project conducted interviews and 3D body scans of 547 work wear users in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland to create new measure tables that any company manufacture garments can freely use now. The collected data, designed 2D patterns and virtual 3D fitting, enabled the project partners to develop five customised prototypes of work wear garments for construction works, chemical industry, military forces (marines and regular army), and firefighters. They incorporated smart fabrics, for example, to repel insects, and electronic devices that enable to track the location of a person wearing the work wear in emergency situations, communicate remotely or monitor the firefighters’ physiological parameters.

First companies profiting from cooperation with researchers

Each prototype was developed jointly by a company and a research institute. The cooperation strengthened the position of 11 companies from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to compete more effectively against imports from Asian markets. By using 3D body scanning, digital pattern making, virtual fitting, and introducing smart functionality to work wear, the companies can save time and money when developing new products, and increase the quality and functionality of new work wear produced.

More competitive work wear market

Thanks to EUR 2 million of support from the European Union, the Interreg project SWW paved the way for enterprises manufacturing work wear around the Baltic sea to bring a competitive edge over Asian cheaper imports and new producers.


€ 2.44
€ 2.00
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00



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Project manager

Centria University of Applied Sciences Ltd

Egidija Rainosalo

358 447 250 264

Legal representative

Centria University of Applied Sciences Ltd

Kari Ristimäki

+ 358 447 250 047

Financial manager

Centria University of Applied Sciences Ltd

Katja Koutonen-Hautala

358 407299920

Communication manager

Centria University of Applied Sciences Ltd

Kristina Tyynelä