Switzerland’s textiles and clothing industry focuses on the development and manufacture of high-quality products, in both the clothing and home textile segments, as well as in the field of technical textiles. The industry also provides a variety of services. In the past few decades, the world of textiles and clothing has been transformed into a global industry. The Swiss textiles sector comprises numerous small and medium-sized companies that carry out research, development and/or production on site in Switzerland.

In terms of international pricing competition, Switzerland does not stand a chance when it comes to standard products, because of the high costs of Swiss development and production. In the past few decades, Swiss companies have had to find ways to be distinctive and to respond more quickly and be more inventive than their international competitors. Many companies have evolved into globally operating providers of niche products. More than 70 percent of the products are exported: textile exports amount to around 1.3 billion Swiss francs and clothing to approximately 0.8 billion. Alongside Germany, Italy and France, the most important export markets are China and the USA, both of which offer highly promising growth prospects for technical textiles, which now account for half the export volume and have grown by more than 30 percent in the past ten years.

The Swiss textiles and clothing industry has always been internationally oriented. Today, more than three-quarters of its products are exported. The Swiss textiles industry currently provides around 50,000 jobs throughout the world.
Wholesale Companies

Structural changes are leading to a slight drop in the number of companies.

Wholesale Total Sales

Thanks to the textiles segment, wholesale figures rose despite the strong Swiss franc. However, sales in the clothing segment fell by 0.4 percent.

Manufacturing Capacity Utilisation

In the year under review, capacity utilisation stabilised at slightly above the 80 percent level.

Wholesale Employees

In 2015, employment in the wholesale sector followed the negative trend reported in the previous years and fell to 7,652 full-time equivalents. The decline was roughly the same in both segments.

Manufacturing Companies

The number of companies has been slowly falling for several years.

Manufacturing Added Value

In the year under review, added value picked up in the textiles segment. In the clothing segment, however, it is still negative, but the rate is slowing down.

Manufactoring Total Sales

In 2015, the revocation of the minimum exchange rate weighed on sales in both the textiles and the clothing segments, though the decline was greater in the textiles segment.

Manufacturing Employees

The currency crisis already had an impact on employment in 2015, and reduced it from 11,409 to 10,903 full-time equivalents.

Turnover in the wholesale textiles and clothing segments is around 15 billion Swiss francs, while the figure for the processing industry is around 3 billion. Retail business in particular is currently undergoing a period of transition. Online trade is turning the world into a village and end consumers are moving closer to manufacturers. The greater transparency on the Internet will increase pressure on prices, while access to more distant markets will become easier.

Value Of All Exported Textiles
Textiles The Principal Export Destinations
Textiles Exports By Product Group
Value Of All Exported Clothing
Clothing The Principal Export Destinations
Clothing Exports By Product Group