Fashion is officially a bigger export than pork in Denmark

Models in outfits by the Danish-owned label Tiger of Sweden at London earlier this month.
Models in outfits by the Danish-owned label Tiger of Sweden at London earlier this month.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

COPENHAGEN • Bacon is one of Denmark's best known products, but surging demand for Danish fashion means that clothing exports are now worth more to the country than pork, according to a report issued to mark Copenhagen Fashion Week, which ended last Friday.

While lacking the international brand recognition of Italian names such as Benetton or neighbouring Sweden's H&M, Danish fashion sales abroad grew 7 per cent in the first nine months of last year to a record 23.9 billion kroner (S$5 billion).

Exports of pig meat products, including the famous Danish bacon, were 17.9 billion kroner in the same period, textile industry organisation Wear said, figures confirmed by Statistics Denmark.

"Fashion has a huge importance for total Danish exports and the Danish economy," Wear said in its report, aimed to show that apparel was just as economically important as pigs, a sector "usually seen and highlighted as one of the cornerstones of Danish exports".

Many European clothing brands have their products made in developing markets such as China and the Wear report did not say what proportion of "Danish" fashion is manufactured abroad.

The country's fashion labels are not always instantly recognisable as Danish. Brands owned by Denmark's Bestseller group include Vero Moda and menswear producer Jack & Jones. Tiger of Sweden has been Danish-owned since 2003.

"We make uncomplicated clothes that many men and women can relate to. It's neither outre or very expensive and it is meant for people who want fashionable everyday clothes," Copenhagen Fashion Week chief executive officer Eva Kruse said last year.

Designs on the catwalk last Thursday by IC Group designer Malene Birger showed next winter's ranges would favour black lace, burgundy leather and navy blue wool.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'Danish fashion now worth more than its bacon'. Print Edition | Subscribe