Industry sectors

Challenges and Opportunities in specific Market Segments of the Fashion and Textile Industry

The fashion and textile industry is characterised by an impressive diversity and fast pace, but specific segments such as lingerie/underwear, footwear and hardgoods/outdoor have very specific requirements. SPH has used its in-depth industry expertise to identify 15 key indicators that allow the uniqueness and challenges of these segments to be precisely analysed. This methodical approach provides a detailed insight into the complexities and specific challenges that go beyond a general understanding of the fashion market.

The variety of items plays a key role. For example, simple rings (hard goods) are usually less complex to produce than high-end lingerie, while price-sensitive bras are often easier to machine than luxury watches, which require intensive manual labour.

Thanks to our experts and in-depth industry knowledge, we are able to develop customised solutions and strategies that are precisely tailored to the needs of these specific market segments. In addition to our experts from and for the fashion and textile industry, our IN:FASHION industry solution covers all the industry’s requirements, largely as standard. 


Developing and manufacturing underwear presents manufacturers with a range of challenges, from the need for a precise fit and high levels of comfort, to handling sensitive materials and adapting to fast fashion cycles. 

Underwear needs to be comfortable and provide a close fit because it is worn next to the skin. The use of fine materials such as lace or silk requires special processing and care methods. Functional requirements, the variety of body shapes and sizes, the need for discretion in presentation and retailing, strict quality controls, the trend towards sustainability, cultural differences and the integration of modern technologies are other important aspects that need to be considered.

Manufacturers are therefore faced with the challenge of meeting a wide range of requirements to meet different consumer needs, while keeping their finger on the pulse of the times.


The design and manufacture of footwear is a complex challenge that takes into account both aesthetic and functional aspects. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, shoes must support the foot optimally and meet specific requirements, whether for sporting performance, formal occasions or weather conditions. Material selection plays a crucial role in durability, breathability and flexibility, while foot anatomy and size require precise measurement and a variety of shapes to ensure comfort and fit.

In addition, shoes that are often used on a daily basis need to be durable and wear resistant. Integrating technology into shoes, such as pedometers or self-lacing mechanisms, requires additional expertise in electronics and software development. Shoe manufacturers also face the challenge of finding environmentally friendly materials and production methods to reduce their ecological footprint. The fast cycles of the fashion industry require agile adaptation to trends, while logistics and warehousing add complexity due to the bulkiness of shoes. Cultural and geographical preferences require a diversified marketing strategy to effectively target global markets.

Hard Goods

The manufacture of hard goods and accessories involves a wide range of materials such as metals, plastics, leather, glass and gemstones that require specialised processing techniques. The production of these products, especially high-quality jewellery and watches, is a time-consuming challenge due to the precise craftsmanship required. Accessories such as watches, jewellery and handbags must not only follow fashion trends, but also be highly durable and functional, which is what consumers expect.

Trademark protection plays a crucial role as high value products are often the target of counterfeiting, which requires the implementation of security features. Meticulous quality control is essential to ensure the value and integrity of the end product. Licensing and collaborations with celebrities or designers also bring additional requirements. Sustainability and ethical concerns, especially when sourcing materials such as leather or precious stones, as well as the need for careful storage and transportation of fragile items, require special attention. Manufacturers need to carefully tailor their products and strategies by price point and market positioning to meet different consumer demands.

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