In spite of using new technologies, the textile and clothing industries remain intensive in workforce and thus sensitive to wage costs. European firms must therefore find other competitive advantages based on product differentiation, quality and design. German and Italian T and C industries are good examples of how quality and design can help 'mature' industries remain successful in the world market. Nevertheless, the cost of production remains a problem. The use of the outwear processing traffic (OPT) allows the European textile industry to maintain the quality patterns of its products thus profiting from a cheap workforce. This more advantageous situation is due both to innovation and to low production costs.