Clothing Manufacturers in Europe

The Biggest Clothing Manufacturers in Europe

threads for sewing
Colorful threads used for sewing

Europe has thousands of manufacturers of clothing-related products spread throughout its mainland, with Italy, Turkey, and Germany being the biggest producers.

Italy has been on top for many years for having a reputation as being one of the few countries in Europe and in the world for its excellence in manufacturing and tailoring. It is the main producer of the luxury brands mostly, like Luxottica, Prada and Giorgio Armani holding the top three spots.

Turkey, on the other hand, has a very well-established and well-developed textile industry in southern Europe exporting many garments and shoes on the continent; it even produces luxury shoes and bags for Italy.

sewing machine
A sewing machine working

But even France and UK don’t stay behind, with Sewport, DSA Manufacturing, and London Tradition being three of the main manufacturers of textile in the U.K.

In France,  the focus is concentrated in high fashion brands which have been in the market for more than a century with stores all over Europe, as well as overseas.  Example French Brands include Louis Vuitton, Aigle, and Hermes.

European clothing manufacturers are considered the most professional clothing manufacturers in the world, firstly because of the medium to a high-end product that they process and secondly because they are pro-environment, an issue very sensitive in the last decades. The downside is that because of the good material and high cost of labor, you have to think twice when you choose a European manufacturer. But it’s not all over Europe though, in Albania i.e., there is a quite established textile and shoe industry that has caught the attention of western countries recently and we will explain why later on.

The Shoe and T-Shirt manufacturers in Europe, a general insight

Speaking of shoe and t-shirt manufacturing,  the main manufacturers oscillate between the countries that we mentioned earlier. For instance, the Gucci goods (Italian fashion house which produces shoes and accessories among others), are made in the Tuscan town of Prato, which is located outside of Florence. Prato is the center for leather-goods production from top luxury brands.

t-shirts in europe
T-shirts being displayed in a clothing store

In Turkey, there´s for one the ‘European T-shirt Production’, a top manufacturer of t-shirts that are finished and distributed everywhere in Europe. This is the only company in Europe that produces tubular t-shirts and releases 8 million t-shirts per year to the market. Another big name in the European high-quality t-shirt production sector is Portugal-based RTG Textile. The company that has a branch in the UK applies a combination of in-house production and subcontracted services. Besides t-shirts, the company is known for products such as sweatshirts, polos, dresses, boxer shorts, etc.

Remaining in the U.K. are ‘Norman Walsh Footwear’ and ‘Cheany shoes’ are some of the most prominent shoemakers in Great Britain.

Last but not least, to not forget the German colossus of footwear and clothing, Adidas based in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Adidas is considered the largest manufacturer of sports garments and shoes in Europe with total revenue of €21.22 billion in 2017.

Why should you consider Albania as a manufacturing option in Europe?

a clothing factory in albania
A textile factory in Cerrik, Albania  Photo Credit/USAID

Although Albania has had its own textile industry quite established even before it became a democratic country, the western European countries have paid attention to this small country starting only in the 2000s.

The major advantage for foreign brands to manufacture clothes and shoes in Albania is the price. The cost of the production is much lower here, not only compared to western Europe but also compared to surrounding south Europe countries. Thus an increasing number of brands are shifting their manufacturing from the Asian market to the Albanian one, where another big advantage the geographical closeness with the respective western European countries is. Delivering the final products to them is faster and more flexible compared to an Asian country like Vietnam, India or the Philippines. Albania might not have a big name in the European fashion walkways yet, as they lack their own brands, but surely and strongly it´s contributing to manufacturing the apparel and shoes for established European brands.


If you need further information or a list of Albanian manufacturing companies, please use the contact form below.