The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) has confirmed it will strengthen powerful partnerships next year, in a move to further support Australian fashion designers in their bid to increase export sales.

The joint collaborations - with key industry stakeholders including Fashion Group International (FGI), IMG-Fashion, Hong Kong Trade and Development Council, Export Council of Australia and NSW Small Biz Connect - are part of the TFIA’s Fashion Export Cluster Program evolution for 2013.

Since its establishment, the TFIA’s Fashion Export Cluster has been committed to educating Australian designers and brands in fashion export, and has previously worked with several of these key organisations.

However, TFIA’s Export Cluster host Paula Rogers said 2013 will also see the Cluster take a markedly different approach; “hot-housing” well-established and maturing, emerging Australian fashion designers, in delivering real measurable export growth to their businesses.

“NSW Trade & Investment and Austrade were founding members of the Fashion Export Cluster when it was established in 2009. Since then, we have been working with a whole range of organisations including FGI, IMG-Fashion, Hong Kong Trade and Development Council, Export Council of Australia and more recently NSW Small Biz Connect. It seemed like a natural progression to include everyone in developing our new cluster strategy for 2013,” she said.

“In establishing their export market, fashion designers are faced with a whole range of challenges, some unique to their business, while others are more common like how to select an agent or figuring out their supply, logistics, pricing and finances.

“TFIA’s aim is to working together with the selected designers and our partners to deliver a tailor made support program that answers those needs and delivers measurable benefits to their businesses well into the future.”

As part of the program, the TFIA Export Cluster will offer a selection of structured group and individual mentoring, as well as export/funding advice and other potential collaborative opportunities – such as the potential of an overseas trade mission.

The Cluster also aims to create an individual support program where each of the 12-15 businesses selected can pick and choose the support they need.

Applications to participate in the TFIA’s 2013 Fashion Export Cluster Program are now open, and will close on November 16, 2012. Successful applicants should expect to be notified by end November 2012, and the first meeting of 2013 is scheduled for January 31, 2013. To download the application form, click here.

The Fashion Export Cluster is one of 10, led by the TFIA as part of The Textile & Fashion Hub – a collaboration between the Australian Government/AusIndustry, Kangan Institute and the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA). The project recently won the 2012 Industry Collaboration Award as part of the Victorian Training Awards and is now in the running for the national award.

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