Two little Greek towns: Kastoria and Siatista are contributing in their way to help reduce the Greek debt. Located in Greece’s Northwestern Macedonia, they are one of the three world’s centers (Milan and Hong Kong being the other two) for treating, manufacturing and trading fur. Kastoria has the unique advantage of covering all stages of production from the reception of scraps to the delivery of the final product, offering many different types of fur in large quantities. Today, fur manufacturing is the main occupation for the people of Kastoria - 2800 companies employing 5000 workers.
Fur manufacturing has existed in Kastoria for over 700 years, starting around the 13th century, during the Byzantium, to satisfy the needs of the Imperial Court’s wealthy families. Kastoria’s reputation is based on the expertise of its specialized workers – techniques for working with fur have been handed down through generations. Nineteen processes in total are needed to make a fur garment. The ability of Kastoria’s manufacturers to respond to the changes in demand for fur, with the help of advanced techniques (dying, laser cutting, computerized patternmaking programmes, etc) helps as they face the challenge of maintaining it attractive for younger generations.
Lately, Kastoria’s production supplies new markets, notably Eastern European countries. 75% of exports are destined for Russia, not to mention the additional number of tourists who visit this beautiful region every year.