The City of Prato is with more than 190,000 inhabitants Tuscany's second largest city, and the third largest in Central Italy, after Rome and Florence. Prato is famous worldwide for its textile district, which represents about 3% of European textile production. 3,500 textile enterprises, and more than 4,000 clothing enterprises employ about 33,000 workers in what is considered an industry at the service of the big fashion brands but also the production of fast fashion, a sector in which Prato is the European leader and reference big organised distribution.
Prato is a city where many cultures live together and which, with contradictions and problems, integrates knowledge and lifestyles, forming a melting pot that has always characterised it. In recent decades, fashion changes, the rise of new manufacturing centres, technological transformations and international competition have led companies to step up their research and development activities. The objective is that of addressing the market of textiles and fast-moving fashion with low technical-quality content, moving towards aesthetic and technological productions with high value-added.
Highly specialised fashion and new sectors Manufacturing specialisation, a characteristic feature of this district, has intensified: while companies dedicated to clothing concentrate on the use of new fibres, yarns, machining and finishing, others have decided to apply the knowledge acquired in the fashion sector to new areas, such as security and protection, sports and functional clothing, engineering, architecture, and medicine.