The clothing giant H&M accounted for more than half of the entire industry’s annual turnover in 2011, at 110 billion kronor ($16.9 billion).
Sixty percent of Sweden’s fashion turnover came from exports, while the remaining 40 percent was tied to domestic retail revenue.
Trade Minister Ewa Björling said that it was not unusual for big actors to dominate the market.
“This is a general problem in Sweden,” she told the TT news agency. “Our ten biggest companies account for about 40 percent of Sweden’s total exports.”
Björling would like more small and medium-sized Swedish fashion businesses to target the global market.
“I’ve given clear instructions to our export organisations such as the Swedish Institute (Svenska institutet) and Business Sweden to focus on smaller companies and on creative industries,” Björling said.
Swedish fashion now outranks the food industry, according to a new review of the industry’s turnover.
The report was ordered by the Association of Swedish Fashion Brands (ASFB) and shows that smaller fashion actors see the biggest potential for expanding their brands abroad.
“But at the moment it is more or less impossible to raise capital,” ASFB secretary general Christine Sundberg Carendi told TT.
She said more publicly-funded support would be welcome.
“A lot of fashion companies are very good at the creative work, and I think they should keep their focus on that,” she said.
“But they need to be introduced to people who have other competencies, such as how to run a business.”