The use of information technology in the European apparel market and how the sector can increase its competitiveness through high value-added activities will be theme of a special one-day conference in Brussels next month.

Organised by the European Commission in conjunction with industry group Euratex, the October 15 event will also showcase the results of a number of research projects co-funded by the European Union.

They include the 3-D body scanning and automatic body measurement; on-screen visualisation of clothes and virtual try-ons; "wearable technology" and multi-functional clothing.

Other projects include industrial made-to-measure and mass customisation; multi-media applications for fashion retailers; and on-line retailing and other e-commerce solutions for the sector.

The conference will bring together representatives from the Commission, member states and candidate countries, members of the European Parliament's "Forum for Textiles, Clothing and Leather", participants from European trade associations, unions and textile research institutes and consumer representatives.