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Cotton (c) pixabay
10.11.2020

Fashion and textiles industry keen to go green despite COVID-19 pandemic

  • New research shows business leaders at top fashion, retail and textile businesses are putting sustaina-bility drive first, despite COVID-19 pandemic
  • The power of data in the effort to ‘go green’ is well recognized, but patchy performance suggests more access to better quality data needed to help turbocharge change
  • Despite Covid-19, fashion leaders are confident that fast, affordable and sustainable fashion is realistic, with crisis seen as opportunity to recharge sustainability efforts 

New research reveals the extent of the global fashion industry's commitment to sustainability, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with sustainability ranked as the second most important strategic objective for businesses in the sector .

  • New research shows business leaders at top fashion, retail and textile businesses are putting sustaina-bility drive first, despite COVID-19 pandemic
  • The power of data in the effort to ‘go green’ is well recognized, but patchy performance suggests more access to better quality data needed to help turbocharge change
  • Despite Covid-19, fashion leaders are confident that fast, affordable and sustainable fashion is realistic, with crisis seen as opportunity to recharge sustainability efforts 

New research reveals the extent of the global fashion industry's commitment to sustainability, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with sustainability ranked as the second most important strategic objective for businesses in the sector .

The new research, from the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), is like Puma, H&M and Adidas. Explored in a new report, ‘Is Sustainability in Fashion?’ the research comes at a time when the industry finds itself at a crossroads: whether to continue to invest in sustainability, or row back in light of the pandemic.

Sustainability is business critical, say fashion, retail and textile leaders  
In defiance of the pandemic, the new data shows that for many of the world's biggest brands, sustaina-bility is now business critical. The majority of fashion, retail and textile leaders surveyed (60%), named implementing sustainability measures as a top two strategic objective for their business, second only to improving customers’ experience (ranked first by 64%). This contrasts starkly with the fewer than one in six (14%) that listed 'rewarding shareholders' as a top objective.

Leaders report they’re introducing sustainability measures throughout the supply chain, from sourcing sustainably produced raw materials (65%), introducing a circular economy approach to their business and cutting greenhouse gasses (51% apiece) and investing in new technologies like 3D printing and blockchain (41%).  Overall, the majority (73%) were optimistic that sustainable, fast and affordable fash-ion is achievable.

Data matters
A key finding of the research is that data matters for sustainability. When asked what measures they were implementing today to be more sustainable, collecting data from across the business and in the supply chain to measure performance was listed at the very top of business leaders’ list of priorities by 53%, second only to developing and implementing an environmental sustainability strategy with meas-urable targets, favoured by almost six in ten (58%).

And data is not important for the immediate term only –  three in ten (29%) said the availability of relia-ble data holds the key to greater sustainability over the next decade, while almost three-quarters of industry leaders (73%) stated their support for global benchmarks and thresholds as an effective means of measuring sustainability performance and driving progress in the industry.

But data collection is patchy
However, although brands clearly recognize the importance of data, the research’s findings on data collection indicates that top fashion brands, retailers and textile businesses may find sourcing good quality data a challenge.

While business leaders report relatively high rates of data collection on supplier sustainability practices based on a survey of 150 leading executives from top fashion, retail and textile business across Europe and the US and interviews with leading brands (65%) and worker rights and workplace health and safety in the supply chain (62%), a significant proportion (45%) of businesses do not track greenhouse gas emissions across production, manufacturing and distribution of the products they sell, while 41% don’t track the amount of water and energy being used to produce the raw materials they source.

Looking to the future, over a quarter (26%) of respondents saw a lack of available, easily-accessible data as hampering collaboration on sustainability across the industry. As some respondents in interview pointed out, while collecting data could be hard it is important.  

Commenting on the findings, Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, said: "It is clear that brands are faced with a challenge on driving forward their sustainability efforts. At the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol we know that accurate, reliable data supports businesses in this work - providing not only the evidence to show hard work and progress, but the insight to drive further improvements. We pro-vide one of the most robust data collection mechanisms available for an essential material – cotton – for unparalleled transparency.”  

Partnership offers path to further progress
An additional key finding is that fashion, retail and textile business clearly cannot drive change in isola-tion: collaboration is needed. According to one respondent, from Reformation, this is already happen-ing. “We’re energized to see collaboration and cooperation across the industry and believe that will only increase over time.”

However, when it comes to external support to help guide that progress, business leaders do not nec-essarily perceive further regulation as the answer.  The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and government regulation were each given equal weight in driving sustainability change, both cited by a quarter of respondents (24% apiece). Regulatory requirements were also ranked by only a third (33%) of the business leaders surveyed as being within the top three factors that will drive sustainability pro-gress over the next decade.  

Jonathan Birdwell, Regional Head of Public Policy and Thought Leadership, The Economist Intelligence Unit: “It’s clear from the survey results and our interviews with business leaders that the industry is committed to driving progress on its sustainability performance. We were particularly struck by the fact that sustainability is largely considered as pre-competitive – behind the scenes brands are sharing re-sources and lessons learned.”

The impact of Covid-19  
This determination on sustainability flies in the face of COVID-19 uncertainty, although when asked their view on the pandemic, just over half (54%) of respondents said they thought it would make sustainabil-ity less of a priority within the industry.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a new initiative that sets a new standard in sustainably grown cotton. By working closely with growers, the U.S. Trust Protocol provides clear, consistent data on six key sus-tainability metrics, including GHG emissions, water use, soil carbon, soil loss, independently audited through Control Union Certification. For the first time, brands can access annualized farm level data and trace their cotton from field to 'laydown'.

Research based on quantitative survey of 150 executives in the fashion, retail and textile industry based in Europe and the United States undertaken by the Economist Intelligence Unit between 9th July and 28th July 2020. The survey was complemented by qualitative insight from interviews with ten professionals in the fashion and sustainability space.

Foto: Pixabay
18.08.2020

Sustainable Fashion: How are the Leaders in Fast Fashion doing?

  • 10% of their offer is eco-responsible.
  • Sustainable cotton is a priority for retailers for the coming years.
  • Sustainable garments cheaper than standard garments.

Brands are prepared for the new health protection rules and have reopened their stores. But aside from the direct impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, is the fashion market ready to respond to customers’ desire to act by changing their spending habits?
Based on analyses by Retviews, a recently acquired startup, Lectra has produced a survey of sustainable fashion among the leading fast fashion brands. The main findings are explained here.

  • 10% of their offer is eco-responsible.
  • Sustainable cotton is a priority for retailers for the coming years.
  • Sustainable garments cheaper than standard garments.

Brands are prepared for the new health protection rules and have reopened their stores. But aside from the direct impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, is the fashion market ready to respond to customers’ desire to act by changing their spending habits?
Based on analyses by Retviews, a recently acquired startup, Lectra has produced a survey of sustainable fashion among the leading fast fashion brands. The main findings are explained here.

The COVID-19 crisis has given many people the desire to live more meaningfully and to act more responsibly.     
The crisis period could be seen as the catalyst that forces the fashion industry to change the way it designs, produces and distributes its products. Since, for consumers, buying is a way of expressing a commitment and affirming their values, brands have an incentive to change their offer in preparation for the future, by taking a more eco-responsible, authentic and transparent approach.
While these factors were apparent before the pandemic, they have now become the key to interacting with consumers wanting a more responsible offer. The era of the consumer activist, long heralded without actually becoming a reality, is now here, and brands must adapt in response.

Sustainable collections still a very small minority
The proportion of sustainable fashion in collections varies considerably from one retailer to the next. For example, eco-friendly collections constitute only a small portion of the ranges offered by leading retailers Zara and H&M, which signed the Fashion Pact during the G7 Summit in Biarritz.

Zara’s Join Life collection represents 14% of its range, whereas C&A’s #Wearthechange represents nearly 30% of its total collection. The Conscious collection at H&M, which tops the Fashion Transparency Index, created by Fashion Revolution, accounts for less than 10% of its total range.

Composition of products in eco-friendly collections
C&A, H&M and Inditex (Zara) are among the top four users of organic cotton. All the brands analyzed in the Retviews survey present their cotton as sustainable and consider it a priority for 2020 and beyond.
There is little difference between the fabrics most commonly used in the mass and premium markets. The same is true for eco-friendly compared to standard collections. Cotton, synthetic fabrics such as polyester, elastane and also viscose are the most widely offered and used fabrics.
 
Are sustainable fabrics more expensive?
The assumption that sustainable and/or organic garments are more expensive is a misconception, according to the results of the survey. H&M’s exclusive sustainable collection, Conscious, is a good example. The average price of a dress in the standard collection is €39.90, whereas in the Join Life collection it is €31.70.    

“The opportunities offered by sustainability are significant. It’s an issue attracting much greater interest from Generation Z, and retailers have listened to and taken on board these concerns. 90% of consumers say they are aware of the situation and are prepared to change their behavior to combat climate change*. This shows their real inclination to invest in eco-responsible products. In view of this change, brands have a social responsibility to inform their customers, to be transparent about their progress in this area, and to share some of the challenges they face, in order to educate their communities. There are currently no international regulations for apparel defining what can be described as sustainable. This means that there is still a long way to go before the standardization of sustainable fashion is achieved.” explains Quentin Richelle, Chief Marketing Officer, Retviews.

More information:
Sustainability) Fast Fashion
Source:

Lectra

Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG (c) Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG
14.07.2020

Interview with Andreas Merkel, Managing Director Gebr. Otto GmbH & Co. KG

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Andreas Merkel, Managing Director of Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG, takes over the second part of our series of interviews and succeeds Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at the textile machinery company Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG. The spinning mill, which was founded in Dietenheim in 1901, is now considered as one of the most modern ones in Europe. The management decided against relocating production abroad and relies on premium yarns made from natural fibers as well as tailor-made customer solutions.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

The lockdown period was something surreal to me. It was difficult to understand what was real and what was virtual. I found it positive that the crisis brought people closer together and that they gave more appreciation to things people had taken for granted, such as their own workplace.
Overall, I have remembered the past few months as not being such a negative time. Of course, this is also because we as a company have got off lightly so far. We have no external obligations such as rents, leasing contracts and so on to serve. We also see a clear upward trend again.    
          
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
The enterprise Gebrüder Otto has existed since 1901, we have already weathered a pandemic - the Spanish flu in 1918 - and we will survive this too. Of course, many orders suddenly broke off, and we had to cope with parts of the company in short-time work. Incidentally, an extremely sensible government offer that helped us to react quickly.
But I have the impression that the crisis is going to get off to a good start and I don't think we will stay at the current low level for a long time. As it looks now, we no longer need to take advantage of the short-time work in the spinning mill we had requested for July.
I am worried about the companies that will be hit hard by this crisis, especially in our industry, of course. We are already noticing insolvencies of long-established companies. The textile value chain in Germany is already very limited; let’s hope that this pandemic doesn’t shrink it any further.
 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
We saw a positive development even before the pandemic: More and more customers are asking about sustainable products, which we offer in a wide range.
Last year we started building up the brand "Cotton since 1901 - made in Germany" and launched it in April this year. We want to make the fact even clearer that we offer a regional, transparent and sustainable product with our cotton yarns made in Dietenheim. We have been based in Germany for almost 120 years and are part of our cityscape and local life. We - and our product - stand for consistency, responsibility and the highest quality standards.
Our yarns are the DNA of a high quality garment. Products that are made from "Cotton since 1901" are provided with a corresponding hang tag in the shops.
We are happy that we were able to launch this brand despite the difficulties that the corona measures implicated. Because now the topic is more important than ever. I recently had a conversation with a customer: Nothing works except in the sustainable segment. In short: high-quality products remain in demand, while it is becoming more and more difficult on the average market.

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
In Germany, we have a high degree of company-internal value-add, we spin, twist and dye. Our cotton is extra-long-staple and we source it from Spain and Israel, from long-term suppliers. Because of Corona, there was no reason for our procurement to take consequences.
However, the crisis will have made it clear to many people that mass products used in daily life are no longer so easy to manufacture on their doorstep. But we need a reliable and high availability in Germany. That is why we should strengthen regional production, also in the long term. Sure, this is only possible in cooperation with customers and partners who appreciate these values. That doesn't work if everyone just looks at the price. Pricing is not everything. From this perspective, the pandemic was certainly an important catalyst.
 
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future?
Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?

Vertical partnerships are becoming increasingly important. Well, the shrinkage of the industry implicates this anyway. But we have to work together even more and the quality of the partnerships needs to become closer.
If one of the remaining specialists fails - let's assume that the companies that are now going bankrupt would have to close completely - then everyone else will be affected. There are no such specialists ten a penny, if they fall away, then some products cannot be manufactured locally anymore. You can build a fantastic car, no matter how good, if you don't have someone who can provide you with the steering wheel, you don't have a finished car.

What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
Regional products should be given a parent brand so that consumers can recognize a regionally manufactured product as such. There was something like this in Switzerland with Swisscotton. I have suggested this several times in the association of the textile industry. It would be best for the industry if all manufacturers jointly build up such a regional label. After all, consumers are ready to spend money if they know where a product comes from and that it was manufactured fairly and sustainably. Everyone would benefit from such transparent added value. And digitization offers the ideal platform for this.

What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry?
Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?

As far as public procurement is concerned, I cannot answer this question because it does not really affect us.
But of course the pandemic has shown how fatal it can be if products are no longer manufactured in Germany, for example if antibiotics are market under the name of German companies but are actually manufactured on the other side of the world.
At the end of the day, the question arises: being a part of the textile industry – are we systemically relevant? Partly yes, I think, because if tomorrow
nobody produces yarns in Germany or Europe anymore, this will have consequences for systemically relevant products. And, as you know, you only realise that things can get tight when there is a bang. That is why I think that in a country like Germany there must be a basic supply of products and technology. After all, it's also about further development, about innovations. If I want to make a virus-free mask, I need local partners.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on.
Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?

For us at Otto, sustainability and environmental protection have been a long-standing central corporate value. We produce our electricity partly independently, from hydropower. Our products and processes have been certified according to the highest standards. In my lectures, I often show how much water is needed to produce cotton, and how precious this raw material is in itself.
Together with the valuable regional added value, this gave rise to our new brand "Cotton since 1901". There will be a QR code on the hang tags on the finished garments, so that the buyer can check what is inside the product.
Such approaches, which are sustainable and regional, are a mega opportunity that we have to use. The corona crisis had demonstrated this very clearly.
 
What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
I'm afraid things will go on as before in many areas. But still: We looked at the medical manufacturers who suddenly could no longer deliver everyday medicines. And we have seen the conditions under which meat products are produced.
Do we want that? No. In the end, consumers value flawless products - and we should deliver them.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

(c) SANITIZED AG
16.06.2020

‘WHAT SMELLS LESS HAS TO BE WASHED LESS OFTEN’

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Founded in 1935, the majority ownership of the public company SANITIZED still lies with the founding families. You are the market leader in Europe in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What influenced you in particular in the development of the company and what made it unique?
Preventing odor in shoes, that's how it started in 1935. This is where our business model came from: the antimicrobial protection of plastics and textiles.
SANITIZED develops ready-to-use additives that are individually tailored to the protection goals of the end products and that work, for example, against the development of odors in work clothing, against permastink (resilient odors) in synthetic textiles or against mold growth.
The 360-degree service is unique: This includes backing in product development, support for all regulatory questions and assistance with marketing topics.
SANITIZED AG is globally active and yet committed to Swiss quality principles. More than 400 brands worldwide use the ingredient brand Sanitized® on their end products.

Think global – act local? You have sister companies in France, the United States and Asia. Your roots and headquarters are based in Switzerland. The pandemic is currently increasing the question of intact supply chains. What does this mean for your company in the future?
Indeed, the broad global positioning enables us to do business locally. The local anchoring results in synergies, also in sourcing. That will be even more important for us in the future. And, of course, the issues of speed and customer proximity are also positive aspects of this approach.

From textiles to plastic surfaces to cans: SANITIZED Preservation AG was founded in 2018 to take care of colors and coatings. SANITIZED is thus opening up another market. Which markets are you particularly interested in and which product areas do you feel particularly challenged by?
Customers want paints and varnishes without solvents, which is better for people and the environment. But with the alternative water-based products, there is a high risk of contamination by microbes. This starts with the production, continues with the storage in the can and also in the application. The result is mold formation.
Antimicrobial protection for paints or coatings is particularly relevant in hygiene-sensitive areas of industrial production and, of course, in the medical environment. The risk of contamination and mold multiplies in regions with high air humidity. This is another reason why India is a growth market for this business area.   

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect - about which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made it?
Let me mention just three decisions that are important for corporate development: This is definitely the foundation of the SANITIZED Preservation division. This is about the antimicrobial protection of paints and varnishes. This also includes setting up our in-house TecCenter, in which we can perform laboratory services even faster. It was recently accredited by the International Antimicrobial Council. And right now it is the sales cooperation with Consolidates Pathway on the US market for our textile hygiene function solutions.

You state that innovation is embedded in the company's DNA. How do you live your inno-vation management and which role do the requirements of end consumers and your indus-trial customers play in this setting?
We ourselves as well as our global sales partners are in close contact with the manufacturers of textile products. This is also why we know the requirements and needs of the market. Sustainability is emerging from the niche in the mass market.
This is exactly what our product Sanitized® Odoractiv 10 has been developed for and awarded by the Swiss Innovation Award.
It is a dual-acting, biocide-free, patented technology against odor development and odor adsorption in textiles. Many customers appreciate our expertise and use it in the development of new products to create innovative textiles with additional benefits for the requirements of the market.

Tailor-made or solutions only for major customers? The topic of individualization up to lot size 1 takes up a lot of space today. What do you think about individual product solutions - or can you cover everything with the SANITIZED portfolio comprising 40 products?
We have a very versatile technology “kit” at our disposal. It is part of our daily business to respond individually to the special customer needs and the respective product requirements. We offer tailor-made recipes for this and our extensive application know-how flows into the advice for the individual application situation at the customer.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the ex-clusion of child labor, etc. Textile finishing does not always sound unproblematic. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for SANITIZED and what do you do to bring the concept of sustainability to life for your company, and which activities and certifications do you focus on?
Resource conservation is a key issue for us. Since we “think” about the topic of sustainability along the entire production chain, including in research and development, resource-saving application techniques for the textile industry are important to us. Sanitized® additives can be integrated into standard production processes, so that additional energy is not required for complementary finishing processes.
Our portfolio also includes biocide-free products. Sanitized® Odoractiv10 prevents odors from sticking to textiles. Sanitized® Mintactiv uses the natural antibacterial effect of mint and was specially developed for cotton textiles.
And what smells less has to be washed less often. This saves water and electricity and extends the useful life of textiles.
          
SANITIZED supports its customers with a so-called 360° service. What do you mean by that and why don't you concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of the products?
The SANITIZED brand wants to create real added value for its customers. That is why we have expanded our core competence as a developer and provider of innovative antimicrobial additives with an all-round service. The obvious thing to do is to support the production process, of course that is part of it. Furthermore; we also provide the latest knowledge on regulatory issues - world-wide. And we offer comprehensive marketing assistance for our license partners who use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. Making correct advertising statements is important not only in times of Corona. Because it's always about transparency and security for people. Warning letters or delivery stops due to incorrect claims can be prevented.
Cooperation with the institutes is absolutely sensible; after all, it is their job to do research for com-panies that they cannot shoulder on their own. This includes testing facilities, as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore have different objectives per se than a company: We have to bring a promising idea to the market as quickly as possible to show a profit. A research institute does not have this pressure.

Which goal do you pursue with the website https://www.sanitized.house for example?
Yes, it may seem unusual when SANITIZED as a B2B company designs a platform for end customers. But more than 400 brands use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. So, we are connected to the end customer in this way.
In the virtual house - Sanitized® the house -, visitors can playfully experience in which areas of life hygiene and material protection contribute to the quality of life. A click in the wardrobe links to products - including brand names - that have been equipped with Sanitized®: clothing in the wardrobe, the carpet in the living room or the towel in the bathroom. The best thing to do is try it yourself.

The company is working consistently on implementing Sanitized® as a brand. The hygiene function for textiles and plastics shall be documented and thus offer added value to customers and consumers. Co-branding is not always welcome, especially in the clothing, sports and outdoor sector. How rocky was the road until Sanitized® was advertised as an ingredient brand by 400 license partners on the product?
Of course, there are brands that do not want a second brand on their end product. But a trend is causing more and more manufacturers to rethink: Customers are increasingly asking questions about ingredients and their origins. Elucidation and transparency are growing needs. And that's exactly what we contribute to. In addition, this is an opportunity for a textile brand to stand out positively in the flood of suppliers. Differentiation through added value - donated by Swiss technology from SANITIZED. Those arguments work worldwide.

You have a diversified network. Just to mention to two of them - you have been a system partner since the foundation of bluesign® and you work closely with Archroma in sales matters. In which aspects do you see the special value of partnerships? Are there segments existing where you can imagine new partners and collaborations?
Partnerships are important and work if all pursue common goals and can mutually fertilize each other. For example, the partnership with the company Consolidates Pathway in the United States is brand new one.

For which socially relevant topics do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action in the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?
Nobody can predict what the corona pandemic will change in the long term. Environmental protection and thus the conservation of our resources is and remains an important issue.
The fact that the textile industry can make a big contribution to this is slowly gaining awareness among the masses. Keywords are cheap production or water consumption for jeans production. People are becoming more sensitive to what companies and brands are doing. It will be all the more important to act and communicate openly and transparently.
For SANITIZED, it is a mission and a matter of course that only products with official approvals are used and that we work ac-cording to the bluesign principle. This is where traceability and transparency begin.


This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T © I.S.T Corporation
03.03.2020

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

The CEO and president, Ms. Toshiko “Toko” Sakane, answered Textination's questions. She has been running the company - founded by her father - since November 2016. After completing her bachelor's degree in sociology / human sciences, she worked in the office of the House of Representatives of the Japanese Parliament and the former Japanese Minister of Health and Social Affairs. Later she was managing director of the I.S.T Corporation in Parlin, New Jersey, USA, founded in 2000 - a manufacturer of unique, high-temperature resistant resin materials.

I.S.T is a Japanese company with a comparatively young history. Originally founded in 1983 as an R&D company, you are now also based in the United States and in China. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
I.S.T Corporation is an R&D-oriented Japanese material company with the claim to "invent technologies that no one can imitate". What makes us uniquely competent is our integrated process of material development, innovating our own in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. Through this end-to-end cycle, we can achieve various advantages including developing complete original products, securing best quality assurance, and, most importantly, letting us discover new innovations. I.S.T is committed to keep innovating new technologies so they can contribute to enriching people’s lives more.   

Your slogan is: make the impossible possible. In which markets and from which industries do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations for the textile industry do you think you can move the most?
I.S.T’s focus is sporting goods and apparel industry because materials used in this industry demand a wide variety of functionalities and are likely used in extreme conditions. We find it challenging and exciting to offer our advanced innovations. As for the textile industry, we believe our KARL KARL™ spinning technology offers a new great solution for winter active inner wears because it offers all the functions they want, such as warmness, being light-weighted, and easy-care.

A central guideline of the company is the motto "Inventing technologies no-one can copy". Patent protection and a consistent brand policy characterize your activities in the market. But patents can expire and brands can be copied, what makes you uncopiable?
A patent or brand can be copied. However, what makes it impossible to copy us is that our core technologies are embedded throughout our integrated process of material development, in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. For example, our KARL KARL™ technology is spinning technology that offers multiple functionalities in one yarn and also can be applied to all different types of and hybrid yarns.
There are some other companies that claim their yarns having a similar function with ours, but those are single function and in a particular type of yarn. This is the most fundamental and significant difference between technologies and competitors. Other companies may be able to copy a single function from us, but it will never be the same as our products that are the results of layers and layers of our integrated innovations.
          
Initially focused on selling technology, you are now a major fiber producer yourself. In addition, you have expanded your portfolio in the past 15 years - for example in the wool market - through acquisitions in Japan and China. Where do you see I.S.T as a player in the textile sector in 2030?
Just as you see a GORE-TEX tag on any outerwear, I would like to see brand names produced by I.S.T on every sports and fashion apparel and people instantly recognize it as the sign of most advanced functional materials.

For the first time you attended ISPO Munich 2020 in January as an exhibitor to present the high-tech fiber IMIDETEX® and new KARL KARL™ yarns to the sporting goods and outdoor industry. What is so special about these two products and what makes them so suitable for use in these markets?  
IMIDETEX®, made of 100% polyimide resin and commonly used in outer space, has possess various advantageous characteristics that other existing super fibers couldn’t overcome, including it being high UV resistant, heat resistant, low water absorption, and has a high tensile strength.
Examples of possible applications for the outdoor market as in composites, would include highly resistive but also durable golf shafts or tennis rackets that can minimize the impact sent to players, and a bicycle that can absorb the shock from the ground throughout a long and competitive race. As for textile, it makes an incredibly durable sail that endures an unforgiving sun. Finally, as yarns IMIDETEX® makes a light-weighted but super strong ropes that people can trust their lives with. IMIDETEX® can provide great performances in extreme natural conditions.
KARL KARL™ is the patented spinning technology that multiplies one core thread with another thread. By expanding the yarn structure itself, it achieves lightness and warmness, which are two seemingly opposite characters to coexist. This technology can be applied to wool, cotton, silk, polyester, nylon … plus there are endless possibilities of developing new yarns by combining different characteristic yarns.
These materials by I.S.T are unrivaled and present infinite possibilities for richer designs in sports fashion scenes.

In a world in which great value is placed on nature and natural materials, man-made fibers are not always welcome. On your website you postulate, I.S.T contributes to the people around the world through chemistry for a better life style. Which aspects make a good case for that?
Our brand-new product, faux-fur, made with KARL KARL™ technology is a good example of our contribution to keep the good balance of natural and synthetic.
The real fur is fashionable but it’s a symbol of animal abuse nowadays. To conserve the nature, our KARL KARL™ faux-fur offers an alternative to fashion, while preventing polluting the ocean from using micro fibers.    

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
We believe that light-weight is a major key factor for better lives and the planet because it allows to save energies and expand the performances.
As the first step, we are bringing in our light-weight technologies, such as IMIDETEX® composites and KARL KARL™ technology, to sporting gears and apparels to support our active lifestyle before extending those technologies to all other markets that can benefit from them.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what activities or certifications do you rely on?
I.S.T's taking this subject seriously in any aspects. We aggressively approach to research and develop technologies and materials that can support human lives and planet, as well as bringing in sustainable methods and materials to our operations. For instance, we are developing a yarn making from cellulose taken out of used papers without using any harmful chemicals to humans. Also, we invested in a state-of-the-art low emission production facility to make Polyimide materials.
We are RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified yarn spinner as far as wool is concerned and we are using RWS certified wool fiber. As for polyester, we are using GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified recycled polyester and as for cotton, we are using organic cotton fiber. Moreover, our company values producing materials that last forever and not to produce any wastes and/or one-time use materials.
          
Where do you get your inspiration from to research certain technologies or products? Which orders or inquiries from the textile supply chain play a decisive role?
You may think that our life is already filled with things and there isn’t a thing that we cannot get in this world. And yes, we have everything. Yet there are some functions you wish you had in addition to full of those things.
The original idea of developing KARL KARL™ technology was that we wanted to adapt functions like lightness, warmness, quick-drying and easy-care that synthetic fibers have, into natural fibers such as wool and cotton because, obviously natural fibers are much friendlier to human and the earth than petroleum-based fibers.
We believe in and keep our corporate missions: “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Handle high-value added products”. Our inspirations for R&D come from our belief, “bringing a wish into a reality”. We do not get an inspiration from others. Our innovations inspire customers and the market.

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Actually, for us, there is no such thing as failed projects because we never give up until each and every project becomes successful.
By carrying on our original corporate missions of “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Confront difficulties” that my father, the founder of I.S.T, established almost forty years ago, I.S.T members including myself have learned the joy of overcoming problems and of feeling the victory.
When I took over the business, I have set my goal to “move forward to the global market to inspire the world with our technologies”.
Most recently, by making the decision to enter the sporting gears and apparel market and receiving very positive responses at the ISPO Munich 2020, I’m very pleased that we have made one step forward toward my goal.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG (c) Weitblick, Gottfried Schmidt OHG
18.02.2020

WE HAVE OUR PRINCIPLES ... WEITBLICK | GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

Gottfried Schmidt OHG, a family company that will celebrate its 90th birthday next year, is considered as a professional when it comes to premium workwear. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We are a long-established family company that has reinvented itself again and again over the course of history. In the field of workwear, we stand for the highest quality across a wide range of industry segments and attach great importance to sustainability - this is also shown by our long-standing partners who produce our clothing in Europe. With our state-of-the-art logistics center, we prove that digitization and Industry 4.0 are not just buzzwords for us.   

In which markets and by which partners do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations in the workwear sector do you think you can move the most?
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Markets are changing faster and faster and that is a challenge per se. We want to continue to be reliable today and, in the future, that also means continuity for our partners. But how do we deal with ever new requirements from ever faster moving markets?
Focusing on the customer, we cannot remain in rigid structures. We at WEITBLICK achieve this through our corporate culture and our guidelines: courage, strength and confidence.
This culture holds our team together and this enables us to adapt structures more quickly. Due to our personal contact to our partners and our experience as a fourth-generation family business, we enjoy great trust in all markets and this assists us to make quick adjustments and changes without questioning our DNA.
The basis of our products is the quality of the materials used, the processing by a very well-trained staff in our own European production sites and, first and foremost, a team of experts who controls everything in-house from the fiber and the design idea to production and logistics and bring it all together under one roof. So, if you ask me whether all products will be flashing in the near future, the answer is: no. Our strength is the implementation of our customers' wishes and above all we put the brand, the CI of our customers, in the foreground on the product. Because a satisfied employee in the right workwear is the best business card for a company. So, if it should flash in the clothing in the near future, this is not a problem, but we realize ourselves much more concerned with our customer requirements around the products. Based on quality and sustainability we have been driving very well for a long time.

However, services, speed in logistics, controlling, order configurators and budget management as well as interface management are the actual innovations with which we convince our customers and partners today. For some time now, we have been relying on a team of employees who implements precisely these customer requirements across departments. For example, in addition to our own CI Workwear collection, a customer can also receive a protected customer shop from us, where employees can configure the coordinated collection and order according to a defined budget. The customer's purchasing and controlling departments have live insight into costs and inventories. The dispatch including personalization is RFID-controlled in Germany, picked on the carrier and sent all over the world. Does that sound innovative?

Tailor-made or solution for the major customer? The topic of individualization down to batch size 1 is gaining in importance today. How do you manage the balancing act between major customers and individual production - what does this mean for the processes of Gottfried Schmidt OHG? 
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Why not the tailor-made solution for major and small customers? Until a few years ago, and even today in some cases, a customer’s logo in the colors red, green, blue and white was of course displayed by fabrics of the same color combined in a four-colored scheme. This is more or less a thing of the past. Nowadays, requests for different colors are additionally solved by the possibility of combining many articles. In doing so, we fall back on thousands of active articles of our own developments and a large selection of ingredients, fabrics and finishing options. CI collections can be produced very quickly in small quantities in our state-of-the-art production facilities. In one of our six European production plants, for example, we only manufacture made-to-measure orders from piece 1. This happens within very lean processes and just takes a few weeks.

At the same time, we have large capacities for the storage of our raw materials and a warehouse for prefabricated parts, which enables us to place them into stock for the customer. Companies are aware of the great importance of workwear and the partly missing transparency in processes or costs. Therefore, it is desirable to be able to order small quantities. We have access to dozens of wearer profiles and millions of wearers from almost all sectors and are able to combine this experience with today's requirements. I don't prefer the word "standard", but the fact is that we already offer our customers a wide range of articles and colors to choose from, as we are constantly releasing new collections for various industries. The processes, scrutinized with the possibilities of new tools and systems, are consistently adapted - the other way around. This enables us to work very automatically from small to large orders and thus process orders via our customer online shops or via interfaces with our customers' order portals. Order picking and logistics from piece 1 with the shipping method of your choice are no problem for us, because we have been operating the most modern logistics center in the industry since 2018.

With WEITBLICK you have chosen the look-and-feel of a German-language brand. What prompted you to take this step and what are the consequences for your international sales?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
The decision was made for WEITBLICK (Engl.: vision, foresightedness) because we always possessed it as a company. Not only the founder Gottfried Schmidt himself had shown vision or foresightedness. Each generation that followed also had and still has visions, that developed the company to what it is today. A company with thought leaders, doers, inventors, critics and perfectionists.
Also, in the future, we will meet the challenge of developing our products and our actions with foresightedness - for the continued existence of the company and for the benefit of our customers.

Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
We serve a wide range of customers, from craft businesses to large global corporations. So, we have already been internationally active in previous generations. And the name has never been a limitation. Our employees in sales and customer service are trained accordingly, our documents and systems are multilingually available and maintained.

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director

We see a further growing importance of the topic of “sharing”. With our strong partners in professional service, we have been living this idea for many decades and see increasing importance in society. Clothing remains available in a cycle of the highest quality for many years - for us this is the sustainable counter trend to "fast fashion". In this context we offer digital solutions that satisfy our customers and our wearers and convince them, that WEITBLICK is the right choice.

We will act on these fields and consciously set the right accents – that’s how we understand corporate responsibility towards our employees and our customers.

For decades, the textile and clothing industry has been growing steadily worldwide. In terms of sustainability, to put it mildly, there is a rather mixed feedback for our industry. What is the Gottfried Schmidt OHG focusing on in order to meet its social responsibility?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have long anchored sustainability in our company as one of the most important priorities in our strategy. This becomes apparent e.g. by the use of Fair-Trade cotton, which we bring to the market in large quantities together with other companies and suppliers in the industry. We think sustainability comprehensively. Each area of our company contributes to the fulfillment of corporate responsibility - towards our customers and our own employees.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what seals or certifications do you rely on?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have the highest standards in the entire supply chain, which we implement together with our partners and monitor closely. This includes fair production conditions in Europe with comparatively short distances, which are guaranteed by the internationally recognized SA 8000 seal. The avoidance of unnecessary packaging material, climate-neutral shipping and the reduction of plastic are also a matter of course for us. For example, we are currently working on using recycled polyester in the future. We are looking forward to the Green Button and want to qualify for this state seal of quality.

At WEITBLICK, you have chosen a consciously young form of communication. Whether Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest or relevant business platforms - social media clearly take a central position in your media mix. This is not necessarily standard in the textile rental service. Why did you choose this form of addressing?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
For us, WEITBLICK - far-sightedness - also means “venturing something new”!
From my point of view, in the digital age, the question for companies is no longer whether social networks should be used or not, but only how and to what extent. With more than 3 billion people who are now represented in social media networks worldwide, we no longer speak of zeitgeist, but of a must-have in the marketing mix. Our communication follows the guiding principle: "We do not conduct a monologue, but an open dialogue at eye level." Social media achieve exactly that! 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
The transformation of our company. With courage, strength and confidence, we managed to reposition our company almost completely within a very short period of time. This includes the modern umbrella brand WEITBLICK, which for us is also an obligation to our actions. But also, the growth that we have achieved in the past four years with around 40 new employees. We have built a new logistics center - with highly modern processes that are largely automated, e.g. with intelligent RFID technology. In doing so, we are trying to take all employees with us on this journey, which is not always easy but the right track. The positive thing about it is that our long-standing as well as our new employees work for us on their own responsibility and with enthusiasm.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Copyright photos: MEX Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. / Messe Frankfurt
06.08.2019

DIGITEX SHOW 2019 GEARS UP FOR ANOTHER MILESTONE

Digital textile printing technologies to take Centre Stage at Gartex Texprocess India 2019 – the 3-day comprehensive exhibition on complete supply-chain of garmenting & textile manufacturing solutions

India’s leading trade show, dedicated completely to garmenting and textile manufacturing solutions and technologies, Gartex Texprocess India is scheduled from 10-12 August 2019. Spread over 1,50,000 sq. ft. exhibit area, the show will be held across six halls in Pragati Maidan, wherein more than 200 companies will display over 400 brands. A hub dedicated completely for showcasing and highlighting latest developments in machinery, inks, software and services in digital textile printing, the Show is designed to take the country’s fabric printing & apparel industry to the next level.

Digital textile printing technologies to take Centre Stage at Gartex Texprocess India 2019 – the 3-day comprehensive exhibition on complete supply-chain of garmenting & textile manufacturing solutions

India’s leading trade show, dedicated completely to garmenting and textile manufacturing solutions and technologies, Gartex Texprocess India is scheduled from 10-12 August 2019. Spread over 1,50,000 sq. ft. exhibit area, the show will be held across six halls in Pragati Maidan, wherein more than 200 companies will display over 400 brands. A hub dedicated completely for showcasing and highlighting latest developments in machinery, inks, software and services in digital textile printing, the Show is designed to take the country’s fabric printing & apparel industry to the next level.

The 4th edition of the Show is gearing up incorporating DIGITEX Show highlighting the developments and innovations taking place in the digital textile printing technology, which is eventually picking up fast in the apparel manufacturing industry across the country. More than 20,000 enthusiastic visitors are expected to witness the latest developments during the three days of extreme business activities. They would not only take a glimpse of what new has hit the turf in the digital textile printing, but will also experience the newest technologies through various live demonstrations that the leading brands catering to the solution for soft signage and sublimation printing would put on the display.

The transformation in digital technologies over the past few years has been tremendous, which the organisers found important to bring forth under the DIGITEX @ Gartex Texprocess 2019. The advancement in technologies and rapidly increasing awareness has brought it at a revolution of sorts. Digitex hopes to become a one-stop solution hub for the latest machinery, inks, software and services to serious buyers and decision makers of the digital textile printing industry. The Show would also witness renowned brands offering live demo of their respective machines to let the visitors feel and appreciate the development taking place in the fabric digital printing arena which is slowly but steadily picking up.

Ever since direct to garment (DTG) printing has been introduced, textile printing industry has started finding new horizons with a fast and flexible production solution that delivers exceptional image quality, which in turn is opening up new doors of opportunities for those who are willing to enter into the apparel industry or are eager to expand their garmenting & textile business. Digitex @ Gartex Texprocess India is an important event for the digital printing technology leaders as it offers them the perfect Launchpad as far as Indian market is concerned.

Moreover, experts feel that increasing thrust and resultant R&D investment in progression of digital textile printing technology will further boost the growth avenues for the digital textile industry in near future. Meanwhile, increasing popularity of polyester as an alternative to cotton as a textile fabric further creates opportunities for digital textile printing equipment providers to expand their business. Attributing to such significant demand for digital textile printing technology, there is scope for manufacturers to enhance their business in time to come.

Many leading names like ColorJet India, Fortuna Colours & Prints Llp, Apsom Technologies, Kornit Digital, True Colors Group, Epson India, Jaysynth Dyestuff (India) Ltd., etc. are lined up with their new arrivals and eagerly awaiting the Show dates to launch their latest printers. Featuring continuous production and a wide range of printing capabilities, most of these new age digital textile printers work on minimal maintenance and come with easy cleaning options for smooth operation. All these activities clearly evince that overall textile printing technology market has positive growth prospects, riding on the back of the country’s burgeoning textile industry.

Companies like Arrow Digital, AT Inks, Britomatics, Cosmic Trends, DCC Print Vision Llp, E.I.DuPont India Pvt. Ltd. Electronics For Imaging India Pvt. Ltd. (Efi Optitex), Epson India, Fortuna Colours & Prints Llp, Ganpati Graphics, Grafica Flextronica, Green Printing Solution, Green Tech, Hi Tech Marketing, HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd., Jay Chemicals Industries Ltd., JN Arora & Co., Kamal Sales Corp., KNR Technology Company, Mac Printing Solutions, Mouvent, Negi Sign Systems & Supplies Co., Orange O Technology Pvt. Ltd., Somya Digital Technologies, Spintex Pvt. Ltd./Aura, Tanya Enterprises, Texzium International Pvt. Ltd./Wenli, Veekay Enterprises, & many more are coming up with their technological innovations to showcase their latest product range under the DIGITEX.
 
The extensive exhibit profile ranging from new printers and inks to upcoming techniques will explore new and exciting opportunities offered by digital printing for home furnishing & interior decoration, apparel & fashion and corporate interiors. On the display will be digital textile machinery, digital textile printing machines, dye sublimation process, screen printing machines, t-shirt printing machines, transfer printing process, digital textile printing chemicals, digital textile printing inks (disperse, reactive and pigment inks), heat transfer machines, sublimation paper, software & many more.

Moreover, it’s a great opportunity for digital printing companies, signage industry stakeholders, screen printing industry people from graphic arts industry, merchandisers and other industry players to interact with the leading digital printing technology suppliers and to witness the latest range and innovations in the sector. This is because following the advent of digital printing solution, the applications of fabric or textile is not limited only to the clothing and home furnishing, but has gone far beyond to include signage, flags, posters, back-lit, front-lit, etc. to bring forth a wholesome idea that where all digital textile printing technology can be used.

Points to be noted are numerous benefits of soft signage. Textile or soft signage presses are very eco-friendly, run over water-based inks with little to no odour and low power consumption. Soft signage facilitates customers save on shipping because of being much lighter in weight than other materials used in the signage and graphics industry. Also, fabric-printed signs fold up to create smaller packages, again decreasing shipping costs. But overall, the Show would be a win-win for business visitors as it has much more than focusing on digital printing technology, bringing entire value chain of garmenting and textile printing manufacturing solution under one roof.

Organised by the MEX Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. in association with Messe Frankfurt India, Gartex Texprocess, this year, will have three more shows apart from the Digitex. These are namely, FABRIC & TRIMS SHOW: A focused area to source all embellishments & fabrics, DENIM SHOW: A zone that aims to bring together the denim supply chain under one roof, and INDIA LAUNDRY SHOW: An ideal platform offering a wide range of business and networking opportunities to manufacturers, suppliers and service providers in the laundry and dry-cleaning industries.

Additionally, there are a couple of focus areas i.e., EMBROIDERY ZONE highlighting the significant evolution that has been taking place in the invention of new technologies and machinery for embroidery. The top variants of embroidery machines, software & allied products will be highlighted in this dedicated segment. Another focus area is GARMENTING & APPAREL MACHINERY that would showcase technological developments in the Garment & Apparel Manufacturing Sector.

Broad exhibit categories at Gartex Texprocess 2019 include embroidery machines, cutting and sewing machines, fabrics & accessories, needles & threads, laundry & washing equipment, finishing equipment, laser cutting machines, digital textile printing machines, automation and software.

Source:

MEX Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd. / Messe Frankfurt

Fotos: (c) ITMA
25.06.2019

A MORE INTERNATIONAL ITMA 2019 SETS NEW RECORD WITH BIGGEST NUMBER OF EXHIBITORS

Since its launch in 1951, ITMA has enjoyed wide industry recognition as the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition. This year’s exhibition in Barcelona sees its reputation solidify further with the largest gathering of exhibitors in its history. The record number of exhibitors totaling 1,717 from 45 countries has set a new milestone.

Speaking at the press conference on the opening day of the 18th edition of the exhibition, Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX), said: “The global economy is still facing challenges, accentuated by trade tensions and disruption. However, textile being the world’s oldest manufacturing industry has demonstrated its resilience over the years. 

Since its launch in 1951, ITMA has enjoyed wide industry recognition as the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition. This year’s exhibition in Barcelona sees its reputation solidify further with the largest gathering of exhibitors in its history. The record number of exhibitors totaling 1,717 from 45 countries has set a new milestone.

Speaking at the press conference on the opening day of the 18th edition of the exhibition, Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX), said: “The global economy is still facing challenges, accentuated by trade tensions and disruption. However, textile being the world’s oldest manufacturing industry has demonstrated its resilience over the years. 

“This is also the spirit of our exhibitors who continually innovate and launch new technologies and solutions. We are glad that ITMA has been providing a reputable platform for textile machinery manufacturers to market their innovations. This has enabled us to record the largest number of exhibitors in ITMA’s history.”

The exhibits are showcased over 114,500 square metres of net exhibit space, a 9 per cent increase over the previous edition in 2015. The exhibition occupies all nine halls of the Gran Via venue, including the space under the linkway. To allow more companies to participate, many exhibitors were allocated lesser stand space than what they had originally applied for.  

Mr Charles Beauduin, Chairman of ITMA Services, organiser of ITMA 2019 enthused: “The exhibition would have been larger if we had not turned away applicants due to a lack of space. Unfortunately, we could not accommodate a wait-list of about 250 applicants who booked some 8,200 square metres.”

He added: “ITMA has also evolved into a more international exhibition with a rich diversity of technology offerings from both East and West. Almost half of the total number of exhibitors are from non CEMATEX countries. This augurs well for the development of ITMA into a definitive textile and garment platform for the industry.”

International participation
Of the total number of exhibitors, over half are from CEMATEX countries; the balance comprising companies from other parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Reflecting the international composition of the participants, the largest number of exhibitors are from Italy (364 exhibitors), China (276 exhibitors), Germany (222 exhibitors), India (169 exhibitors) and Turkey (164 exhibitors).

CEMATEX countries continue to occupy the largest exhibit space, taking up 65% of the total net exhibit space. Italy booked 26% of the space, followed by Germany which booked 18%. The top non-CEMATEX countries are: Turkey with 9%, China with 8%, and India with 5% of the space booked.

Product sectors
Visitors can expect to source a wide range of integrated solutions across the entire value chain in 19 exhibit sectors. Printing, which has seen many advances being made in the last few years, is an exciting growth sector. Chalking up a 38 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors compared with the previous exhibition, it is one of the top five sectors at ITMA 2019:

  • Finishing - 325 exhibitors
  • Spinning - 281 exhibitors
  • Weaving - 182 exhibitors
  • Printing - 157 exhibitors
  • Knitting - 136 exhibitors

Nonwoven and technical textiles due to their wide range of applications continue to be an important sector at ITMA 2019. Garment making, which has been impacted by digitalisation and fast fashion, is also making a bigger impact at ITMA.

Mr Mayer said, “We are extremely pleased to bring garment technology back in focus at ITMA. While ITMA has been traditionally strong in textile making technologies, we are glad that we are able to present garment making solutions from some of the world’s most renowned technology providers. There is an increase of 27 per cent in number of exhibitors as compared with ITMA 2015." Completing the entire value chain is the showcase on fibres, yarn and fabrics. The addition of innovative fabrics in the fibre and yarn chapter at ITMA further completes the sourcing experience for buyers.
 
Focus on innovation
The theme of ITMA 2019 is ‘Innovating the World of Textiles’. To support the innovation drive, CEMATEX has introduced the ITMA Innovation Lab. A new umbrella branding of a series of activities, the Lab includes the Research and Innovation Pavilion, ITMA Speakers Platform, ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award and Innovation Video Showcase. Speakers from the industry have been invited to share their perspectives and experiences at the Speakers Platform which will be held from 21 to 25 June. A finance forum was also held on 21 June.

Co-located events and industry engagement
To encourage the exchange of knowledge, collaboration and networking, several events are staged alongside ITMA 2019. The ITMA-EDANA Nonwovens Forum and Textile Colourant and Chemical Leaders Forum have met with overwhelming response and seats have been added. Similar strong response has also been received by partner events, including the Better Cotton Initiative Seminar, European Digital Textile Conference, TexSummit Global, Planet Textiles, SAC & ZDHC Manufacturer Forum and Texmeeting by TEXFOR.

“The series of co-located events is part of ITMA’s outreach programme to engage industry partners and to create an inclusive platform for the global textile and garment community. We have over 190 international, regional and local organisations lending their support to our exhibition,” Mr Mayer said. ITMA 2019 is held at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue till 26 June. The opening hours are from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily, except 26 June when the exhibition will end at 4.00pm.

About CEMATEX & ITMA
The European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) comprises national textile machinery associations from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It is the owner of ITMA and ITMA ASIA. Considered the ‘Olympics’ of textile machinery exhibitions, ITMA has a 68-year history of displaying the latest technology for every single work process of textile and garment making. It is held every four years in Europe.

 

More information:
ITMA 2019
Source:

CEMATEX & ITMA Services

Photo by pexels.com
11.06.2019

From PET Bottles to Textile Recycling: Where Does the Sports Industry Stand?

  • Recycling: The System in the Sports and Outdoor Industry needs Solutions

Old PET bottles are nowadays used to make polyester clothing, and there are also sports jerseys, outdoor jackets, shirts, trousers and bikinis made of plastic waste. But can textiles and shoes also be recycled? The good news is that some solutions have already been found. However, textiles and shoes can only be recycled with a massive reduction in quality.
 
Recycling of Shoes Possible Since 2018
The world's first industrial recycling plant for all types of footwear has been in operation in Germany since June 2018. It was established by Soex Recycling Germany GmbH from Bitterfeld, which in cooperation with European companies has developed a shoe recycling plant within five years.

More information:
Recycling recycling fibers
Source:

Messe München GmbH

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
30.04.2019

SUSTAINABILITY A MAJOR TOPIC AT TECHTEXTIL AND TEXPROCESS

"Sustainability at Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" are the two topics by which these leading international trade fairs for technical textiles and non-wovens, and for the processing of textile and flexible materials, will be explicitly turning their focus for the first time onto their exhibitors' approaches to sustainability. To this will be added a broad complementary programme on this topic. Among those contributing will be major players in the industry, such as Kering, Lenzing and Zalando.

"Sustainability at Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" are the two topics by which these leading international trade fairs for technical textiles and non-wovens, and for the processing of textile and flexible materials, will be explicitly turning their focus for the first time onto their exhibitors' approaches to sustainability. To this will be added a broad complementary programme on this topic. Among those contributing will be major players in the industry, such as Kering, Lenzing and Zalando.

Fibres made of recycled polyester, bio-based high-tech textiles, waterconserving dyeing and finishing processes, functional and work clothing, using little or no solvents and adhesives: in the field of technical textiles, and when processing textile and flexible materials, more and more firms are adopting approaches to greater sustainability. Through "Sustainability and Techtextil" and "Sustainability at Texprocess" the leading international trade fairs, from 14 to 17 May, will be demonstrating exactly these approaches taken by their exhibitors. In addition, numerous event formats will be taking up the topic of sustainability at both fairs.

Fair guide for selected exhibitors
In the run-up to Techtextil and Texprocess exhibitors at both fairs were able to submit their approaches and evidence of their work on every aspect of sustainability to the fairs' organisers. An independent, international jury of experts on sustainability assessed the submissions, in accordance with the relevance and validity of current national and international product-sustainability labels, such as currently mainly Bluesign, Cradle-to-Cradle, EU Eco Label, ISO 14001, GOTS, GRS as well as SteP by Oeko-Tex.

Overall, 47 firms were selected, including 44 exhibitors at Techtextil and three at Texprocess. Visitors who are interested will find the selected firms in their own Fair Guide, which will be available at the Fair, via filter function under "Sustainability" in the online visitor search facility, and on both fairs' apps. In addition, the exhibitors so selected will be publicizing their participation at their exhibition stands.

Members of the international jury of experts: Chairman: Max Gilgenmann, Consulting Service International Ltd. (Germany and China); Claudia Som, Empa (Switzerland); Jan Laperre, Centexbel (Belgium); Heike Illing-Günther, Textile Institute of Saxony (Sächsisches Textilinstitut e.V., Germany); Karla Magruder, Fabrikology (USA); Lauren Zahringer, SAC Social Apparel Coalition (Netherlands).

Techtextil Forum featuring theme of sustainability
Taking "Towards sustainability" as its motto, the Techtextil Forum on 14 May between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be providing a series of contributions devoted exclusively to sustainable textile innovations. Chaired by Braz Costa, managing director of the Portuguese technology centre CITEVE, among the topics on the programme will be: textile recycling (TWD Fibres, Velener Textil), sustainable construction with wool (Minet S.A., Romania), sustainable textile coatings (Centexbel), biopolymers (RWTH Aachen University), traceability of GMO-free cotton (Hohenstein Institute) and low-cost, bio-based carbon fibres (Jules Verne Research Institute, France).

Techtextil Innovation Award
For the first time the Techtextil Innovation Award will be presented to two firms in the category of sustainability. The winners will be announced and the awards presented on the first day of the fair during the opening ceremony. During the whole time of the fair visitors will also be able to find out about the prize-winners and their award-winning projects at the Techtextil Innovation Award Exhibition Area in Hall 4.2.

Texprocess Forum with branch of Fashionsustain Conference
Through a branch of Fashionsustain Berlin, Messe Frankfurt's conference on every aspect of sustainable textile innovations, the Texprocess Forum on the morning of the 14 May will be devoted exclusively to the theme of sustainability in the textile and fashion industries in all its aspects. The first keynote, "Sustainable innovation – a matter of survival", will come from Micke Magnusson, co-founder of the Swedish start-up We are Spindye. Next, posing the question "Is Sustainability the Key to Textile Innovations?", will come a discussion by leaders in the industry such as Clariant Plastics and Coatings, Indorama, Lenzing, Perpetual Global, Procalçado S.A., Kering und Zalando. Fashionsustain will be chaired among others by Karla Magruder, founder of Fabrikology International.

Innovation Roadshow features sustainable footwear production
Next at the Fashionsustain Conference fibre manufacturer Lenzing, knitting-machinery producer Santoni and shoe-component manufacturer Procalçado S.A. will be presenting the Innovation Roadshow, entitled "The Future of Eco-Conscious Footwear Manufacturing." The roadshow will be supported by the Messe Frankfurt Texpertise Network. It will feature examples of the sustainable production process of a shoe, thus demonstrating how a fundamental change to sustainability can already be a reality in the fashion and textile industries today. The panel will be chaired by Marte Hentschel, founder of Sourcebook, the B2B network for the fashion industry.

TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE Photo: OpenClipart-Vectors at Pixabay
26.03.2019

TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

However, the international competitiveness of the sector is currently declining. This trend should turn around. Prime Minister Imran Khan met with representatives of the textile industry at the end of January 2019. Economic policy aims to expand and modernize the textile industry. Production costs are to be reduced and productivity increased. In addition, quality improvements, production expansions and higher added value are necessary.

The textile industry's value chain begins with around 1,300 companies that are ginning, process and bale raw cotton. In addition to the demand for cotton, the demand for synthetic fibers is also increasing, although there are only three manufacturers of polyester fibers in Pakistan to date.

The number of spinning mills is estimated at 517 in 2017 and the number of weaving mills at 124 large and 425 medium-sized and small mills. Ten large and 625 medium-sized and small companies process fabrics. Towels were produced by about 400 companies, knitted fabrics by 2,500 companies. Clothing made of woven fabrics was supplied by 50 large factories and 2,500 medium-sized and small factories.

Export transactions stagnate
Pakistan's textile exports grew by 8.7 percent to USD 13.5 billion in 2017/18. This level was already reached in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Textile exports in the first seven months of fiscal year 2018/19 (July 18th to January 19th) increased slightly by 1.2 percent year-on-year to US$ 7.8 billion.

Pakistan: exports of yarn, fabrics and clothing (USD million) *)
Products 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Total 13,733 13,471 12,447 12,452 13,530
.Cotton yarn 1,997 1,849 1,265 1,244 1,372
.Cotton fabrics 2,770 2,453 2,214 2,136 2,204
.Towels 767 797 803 801 797
.Bed linen 2,138 2,103 2,020 2,136 2,261
.Clothing 1,906 2,095 2,195 2,319 2,579
.Knitted goods 2,294 2,406 2,364 2,361 2,720
.Other products 1,858 1,767 1,586 1,452 1,597

*) Fiscal years (July to June)

Sources: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA); Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; Textile Commissioner's Organization

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) aims to increase exports to USD 28 billion by 2023/24. This requires consistent state support and long-term export promotion, according to the association.

The leading foreign customer is the USA. Other important customers include the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. In 2017 and 2018, Germany imported textile materials and goods worth EUR 1 billion from Pakistan.

Machine imports still declining
Imports of textile machinery in 2013/14 amounted still to USD 599 million. In the following three years it was USD 449 million (2014/15), USD 462 million (2015/16) and USD 557 million (2016/17). Imports are not currently showing an upward trend despite the need for modernization. According to the statistics authority, they fell by 42 per cent to USD 325 million in 2017/18. There are still no signs of a recovery in 2018/19 either.

Pakistan: Imports of selected textile machinery (USD million)
HS-Positions 2014 2015 2016 2017
84.45 Spinning machines etc. 230 162 162 246
84.46 Looms 84 73 107 90
84.47 Knitting machines etc. 70 84 65 75
84.48 Auxiliary machinery for
HS headings 84.44 to 84.47
85 70 77 82

Sources: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, UN Comtrade

Business trip to the fifth largest customer of German spinning technology
According to calculations by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), German textile machinery exports to Pakistan increased to EUR 53 million in 2017. The previous year's figure was EUR 48 million, EUR 39 million of which was attributable to spinning machines.

A business trip of German companies from the textile machinery and accessories sectors will take place to Karachi and Lahore from November 11th to 15th 2019. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy will promote and the company SBS Systems for Business Solution will organize the trip (contact: Thomas Nytsch, e-mail: thomasnytsch@sbs-business.com).

Cotton production to be strongly increased
The local cotton production is the base of the textile industry. After India, China and the USA, Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producer, followed by Brazil and Uzbekistan. Without an increase in local crop yields, the growth of the textile industry is limited. Increased imports of cotton would further reduce the industry's struggling international competitiveness.

In an international comparison, the country is one of the cotton producers with the lowest yields per hectare. Australia, Turkey, China and Brazil form the leading group with about 1,600 to 1,700 kilograms per hectare. Pakistan only reaches 600 to 800 kilograms.

Pakistan: Cotton production
Year Cultivation area
(in hectares)
Production
(in 1,000 bales) 1)
Yield per hectare
(in kilograms)
2013/14 2,086 12,769 774
2014/15 2,961 13,960 802
2015/16 2,902 9,917 582
2016/17 2,489 10,671 730
2017/18 2,699 11,935 752
2018/19 2) 2,500 11,000 748

1) one bale = 170 kilograms, 2) Forecast
Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; research by Germany Trade & Invest

The government has set a production target of around 15 million bales for 2019/20. APTMA believes an increase to 20 million bales is possible by 2023/24. The association assumes that there will be about 2,800 hectares of cultivated land and an increase in yields per hectare to 1,200 kilograms.

Problems with the supply of cotton

Baumwolle wird vor allem in den Provinzen Punjab und Sindh angebaut. Die Baumwollproduktion erreichte 2014/15 noch rund 14 Millionen Ballen. Die Ernte fiel 2015/16 auf unter 10 Millionen und lag 2017/18 bei 12 Millionen Ballen. Die Produktion ist 2018/19 wieder gesunken, ein Wert von etwa 11 Millionen Ballen wird prognostiziert. Als Gründe werden unter anderem Wassermangel, eine schlechte Qualität der Pflanzenschutzmittel und minderwertiges Saatgut genannt. Zudem sei die finanzielle und regulatorische Unterstützung der Regierung unzureichend, so Branchenvertreter.

The local supply could therefore no longer cover the annual cotton demand of the textile industry of 15 to 16 million bales in recent years. Textile manufacturers therefore imported cotton mainly from India and China, about 3 million to 4 million bales a year. However, imports from India have been stopped since February 2019. The background to this is the political tensions and recent military conflicts between the two states.

More information:
Pakistan Pakistan
Source:

Robert Espey, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Foto: PIXABAY
19.02.2019

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REMAINS DIFFICULT MARKET FOR GERMAN TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Deliveries have risen sharply recently

Cheap and used technology dominates at the Dominican market for textile machinery. It is some of the country's problems that give German suppliers some hope.

The good news is that in the first eleven months of 2018 German exports of textile and clothing machinery to the Dominican Republic rose by 580 percent year-on-year, and, according to Eurostat, by 2017 German deliveries had tripled. The bad news: German sector exports reached only EUR 1.7 million in absolute terms. This is considerably less than, for example, in Guatemala with its not much larger technology market.

  • Deliveries have risen sharply recently

Cheap and used technology dominates at the Dominican market for textile machinery. It is some of the country's problems that give German suppliers some hope.

The good news is that in the first eleven months of 2018 German exports of textile and clothing machinery to the Dominican Republic rose by 580 percent year-on-year, and, according to Eurostat, by 2017 German deliveries had tripled. The bad news: German sector exports reached only EUR 1.7 million in absolute terms. This is considerably less than, for example, in Guatemala with its not much larger technology market.

Representatives of German providers are not surprised about the figures. Cheap equipment from China and other Asian countries are in demand, but above all mainly used machines. Hugo Clavijo of Texquim, who represents the German suppliers Mayer & Cie. (circular knitting machines) and Groz-Beckert (needles), among others in the Dominican Republic, estimates, that just five out of every hundred machines sold are new. Around the turn of the millennium, the market thus became the residual ramp for the declining US textile industry. According to UN Comtrade, around 60 percent of the value of technology deliveries in recent years came from the USA.

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation also registered hardly any shipments of new machines: for 2010 to 2017, the ITMF shows just ten flat knitting machines and eleven (all in 2017) circular knitting machines. Also, for this period 720 Double Heaters for texturing synthetic filaments for yarn production were listed. The ITMF counts the deliveries of 200 textile machinery manufacturers worldwide and thus a large part of the market, albeit not the entire one.

Electricity and water bottlenecks as arguments for expensive machines
Hugo Clavijo currently sees no great chance of a rapid improvement in the sale of expensive German technology. But ironically, it is some of the country's problems that may transform the potential customer interest into concrete procurements: The energy supply for the textile companies is expensive and unreliable, and the companies have to treat their process water themselves. Economical and less repair-prone machines would come into a closer consideration even if the purchase prices were significantly higher. It would also be helpful to enforce environmental standards, which today are largely on paper only.

There is also a need for technology if the Dominican textile and clothing manufacturers expand their capacities due to possible changes in international trade policy, i.e. if clothing customers in the USA would place orders in the Caribbean country instead of Asia. At the moment, however, the Dominican export industry is not using its factories to capacity.

Installed capacity of the Dominican textile industry in comparison (2016, in units) 1)

Machinery / technology Dominican Republic Guatemala Ethiopia Turkey
Rotor Spinning 2) 1,400 21,000 19,000 800,000
Short Staple Spinning 2) 20,000 150,000 293,852 7,900,000
Shuttle Looms 3) 500 3,000 167 20,000
Shuttleless Looms 3) 150 890 2,200 49,500

1) no data on other machines; 2) spinning machines; 3) weaving machines

Source: International Textile Manufacturers Federation

The Dominican textile and clothing industry, which, according to the central bank, generated 11 percent of the country's total export revenues with clothing from free zones in 2017, is not fully vertically integrated: it mainly imports yarns, which then is mainly being knitted but also woven or otherwise processed and then assembled into finished clothing. It often produces T-shirts and other knitwear with a high cotton content. And this is "the cheap stuff," as Clavijo says.

There is a limited production of synthetic yarn in the Dominican Republic which, according to Hugo Clavijo, is limited to two companies: The Korean company Youm Kwang textures filaments in the country, while the US company A&E (American & Efird) produces sewing thread from imported filaments.

Four export producers as important technology customers
The Dominican textile sector is said to consist of about two equal segments. A dozen medium-sized companies and a large number of garage companies supply the domestic market. In addition, four companies produce for export in the country's free zones: Gildan (Canada), Hanes (USA), Willbes (Korea) and the local Grupo M, which has been working in a 50/50 joint venture with Brandix from Sri Lanka since the beginning of 2017. The procurement of machines in foreign companies is not decided by the local management, but by the corporate headquarters, according to representatives.

The four export producers are said to be vertically integrated from yarn processing onwards. Grupo M supplies about one fifth of its fabrics, knitwear, etc. to processors, while the other three industry giants manufacture these preliminary products completely by themselves. According to Comtrade (SITC chapter 84), three quarters of the clothing exports go to the USA, the remainder predominantly to the neighboring Haiti.

For US clothing customers, the nearby Dominican Republic offers fast and cheap transport routes as well as the advantageous customs regime of the DR-CAFTA trade agreement. According to Hugo Clavijo, however, Dominican clothing exporters must obtain their intermediate products from the USA in order to benefit from all customs relief. Producers for the Dominican domestic market, on the other hand, are using yarns and fabrics from China, Pakistan or other third countries that offer lower production costs.

USA dominate machine deliveries
The Dominican market for textile and clothing machinery has stagnated in recent years: For 2017, UN Comtrade estimated imports - there is no significant domestic production - at USD 36 million. That was as much as 2014 and around USD 10 million more than around 2010.

According to Comtrade, Germany was ranked sixth in the import ranking with an average share of 2.0 percent between 2015 and 2017. Eurostat, whose (export) data deviate considerably in some cases, noted stagnating industry deliveries from the European Union to the Dominican Republic for the first eleven months of 2018 in addition to the high growth for Made in Germany.

Dominican imports of textile machinery (USD thousand *)
ITC-Pos. Supplying country/ Goods Group 2015 2016 2017
  total 33,398 30,817 36,257
724.35, .39 Sewing machines (excluding domestic sewing machines) 12,131 10,350 12,784
7244 Spinn- and texturing machines 2,852 2,102 4,585
7245 Knitting and weaving machines 3,362 2,683 1,543
7246 Auxiliary machines 6,068 5,215 5,384
724.73, .74 Washing machines, stenter frames, etc. (except for housholds and landries), large-dryers 5,135 5,615 7,652
724.92 Parts for items 724.73 and .74 and for dry-cleaning machines (724.72) and domestic tumble dryers 3,850 4,852 4,309
  Supplying countries      
  USA 22,000 17,320 20,743
  China 3,424 3,058 2,380
  Spain 2,176 2,567 2,614
  Japan 973 1,894 2,688
  Italy 923 1,194 496
  Germany 397 724 873

*) SITC 724 without household sewing machines (724,33), household washing machines (724,.71), machines for dry cleaning (724.72), leather processing (7248), parts of household washing machines (724.91).
Source: UN Comtrade.

 

More information:
GTAI
Source:

Ulrich Binkert, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

© Reed Exhibitions/David Faber © Reed Exhibitions/David Faber
05.02.2019

LIVING & INTERIORS 2019: LIVING AS AN EXPRESSION OF PERSONALITY

Austria's most important public exhibition in the high-quality furniture and furnishing sector, "Wohnen & Interieur" at Messe Wien, is in the starting blocks for the coming spring. From 9 to 17 March 2019, organizer Reed Exhibitions will once again open the four exhibition halls, A to D, for the 18th edition of the fair. Structured subject areas and a focus on design worlds refresh the established exhibition format.

It is said that the personality of the people is reflected in their own four walls. One is aware spending the majority of the time indoors. And here we should feel comfortable, quasi "native", relaxed - and some even speak of a "therapeutic" effect of the living environment on the individual. Inspira tions and trends for your own four walls can be seen in a wide range at Austria's largest interior design trade fair, Wohnen & Interieur, including advice, trade fair offers and immediate purchase.

Austria's most important public exhibition in the high-quality furniture and furnishing sector, "Wohnen & Interieur" at Messe Wien, is in the starting blocks for the coming spring. From 9 to 17 March 2019, organizer Reed Exhibitions will once again open the four exhibition halls, A to D, for the 18th edition of the fair. Structured subject areas and a focus on design worlds refresh the established exhibition format.

It is said that the personality of the people is reflected in their own four walls. One is aware spending the majority of the time indoors. And here we should feel comfortable, quasi "native", relaxed - and some even speak of a "therapeutic" effect of the living environment on the individual. Inspira tions and trends for your own four walls can be seen in a wide range at Austria's largest interior design trade fair, Wohnen & Interieur, including advice, trade fair offers and immediate purchase.

At home connected with nature
The more hectic the world appears out there, the more important becomes an oasis of peace in your own four walls. And as people become more and more aware of themselves, concepts such as sustainability and environment gain in importance.
Everyone is talking about "Natural Living" this year - natural materials are very much in vogue, wood dominates the popularity scale. Pollutant-free tanned leather, cork, natural fibers from coconut and sisal to cotton and linen are in demand. Also, in the spirit of a "green stamp", preference is given to local products, a topic in which Austrian manufacturers with top-quality and likeable products are on top and present themselves accordingly at the W & I.    

Trend colors convey a sense of life
Life-affirming, happy coral red - Living Coral - radiates warmth and brings energy, comfort and security. Also important are delicate Ice Cream Colors, which can be ideally combined with each other and especially with natural wood tones. But also, exciting wall colors as well as striking statement wallpapers and wall tattoos are new favorites. Alternatively: wallpapers with a touch of vintage. Fabrics in gold, honey and brown tones correspond to blue nuances of turquoise, royal and petrol as well as pink and red shades.

Little space - plenty of room for ideas  
"Mindful architecture" addresses mindful design that harmonizes body and mind. And "Slow Living" brings peace to mind, this is based on clear forms, preferably universities and dispenses with unnecessary frills. Flows from the fields of design, fashion, society, politics and anthropology are expressed in the living environment - practical furniture increasingly plays a role: intelligent furniture solutions, foldable furniture, from the dining table to the bar table, from the stool to the side table and stackable shelf variants are used in urban scenes, Where living space is becoming more and more precious and therefore more limited, the challenge for planning professionals and interior design professionals. Furniture becomes multifunctional applicable and versatile, without much effort, of course.

Upcycling to „Smart Living“
And again, the topic of sustainability emerges, a consciousness without a warning finger: Recycled materials come to life or old furnishings are "revamped" and shines in new splendor.
"Smart Living", the digitization in your own household, from safety and comfort through to energy management, is entering all generations - this market is rapidly expanding worldwide.

Photo: PIXABAY
11.12.2018

AZERBAIJAN'S TEXTILE AND SILK PRODUCTION IS ABOUT TO RESTART

  • Industrial park under construction

Baku (GTAI) - The Azerbaijani textile and silk industry is going to have a future again after a dramatic slump. Several initiatives are helping the traditional industry to make a fresh start.

Azerbaijan wants to revive its once strong textile, silk and clothing industry. In 1990, the sector still accounted for just under 18 percent of the total industrial production – in 2017 it was just 0.5 percent. Future investment activities will be determined by several initiatives. These include the implementation of programs for the production and processing of cotton and silk cocoons for semi-finished and finished goods, the establishment of an industrial park for light industry in Mingatchevir and the establishment of branches of the Azerkhalcha company for hand-woven carpets.

  • Industrial park under construction

Baku (GTAI) - The Azerbaijani textile and silk industry is going to have a future again after a dramatic slump. Several initiatives are helping the traditional industry to make a fresh start.

Azerbaijan wants to revive its once strong textile, silk and clothing industry. In 1990, the sector still accounted for just under 18 percent of the total industrial production – in 2017 it was just 0.5 percent. Future investment activities will be determined by several initiatives. These include the implementation of programs for the production and processing of cotton and silk cocoons for semi-finished and finished goods, the establishment of an industrial park for light industry in Mingatchevir and the establishment of branches of the Azerkhalcha company for hand-woven carpets.

New projects in cotton processing on the horizon
At the beginning of the 1980s, cotton cultivation boomed in the country with an annual harvest of more than 1 million tons of raw cotton. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the transformation crisis in the 1990s and general neglect almost brought the industry to a standstill. In 2015, the harvest reached a historic low of 35,000 tons of raw cotton.

But the turnaround has begun. In 2017, 207,000 tons of raw cotton were harvested (forecast for 2018: 250,000 to 260,000 tons). A downer is the low average yield of 1.52 tons per hectare (2017). The government announced increased support for soil irrigation and technical equipment for manufacturers. By 2022 the harvest is expected to rise up to 500,000 tons per year.

The "State Program for the Development of Cotton Growing in the period 2017 to 2022" adopted on July 13th 2017 is a guideline for the further development. Projects are planned for the renewal of existing and the construction of new cotton ginning mills and processing of cotton fibers into yarns, fabrics and finished products. By mid-2018 there were eight spinning mills in the country with a total annual capacity of 44,600 tons of yarn. Above all among the yarn producers in Uzbekistan are the companies Mingatschewir Textil, MKT Istehsalat Kommersiya, ASK Textil Sumgait and Azeripek (better known as Ipek Scheki).

Silk industry to be expanded
Since 2016 the silk industry, which came almost to a standstill, has now been on the move again. On November 27th 2017 the "State Program for the Development of Silkworm Breeding and Processing of Mulberry Silkworm Cocoons for the period 2017 to 2025" was adopted. The program defines projects to revitalize the sector. The annual production of cocoons is expected to rise to 6,000 tons by 2025, ensuring an annual production of up to 600 tons of raw silk. In 2017 244 tons of cocoons were produced after 71 tons in 2016 (forecasts for 2018 and 2019: about 500 and 1,000 tons respectively).

The modernization of the silk combinate Azeripek in Scheki is at the top of the project list. The contact organization is the Azerbaijan State Industrial Association, to which Azeripek and other companies are reporting (http://www.ask.gov.az). The construction of a new silk spinning mill with an annual capacity of 3,000 tons of yarn is planned.

Established in 1931 and later expanded the Silk Combine in Scheki was the flagship of the silk industry in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s with some 7,000 permanent employees. It produced up to 400 tons of raw silk per year and supplied over 100 factories with silk yarn and twist. Inefficient privatization, financial problems, lack of raw materials and sales difficulties repeatedly led to production stoppages. Today's capacities allow an annual production of up to 135 tons of raw silk only. As a result of technical problems, the factory is unable to produce finished fabrics.

Industrial park for light industry under construction
In the in 2016 established Industrial Park for Light Industry in Mingatchevir, nine factories for the production of textile and clothing products (cotton, acrylic and wool yarn, hosiery and apparel) and other light industry products (leather footwear and cosmetics) are to be built. The construction of more production facilities is planned. In February 2018 the company Textile Mingatchevir opened the first two factories in the industrial park. It intends to produce up to 20,000 tons of cotton and blended yarn annually. Capital expenditures were USD 46 million.

Azerkhalcha revives traditional carpet art
Azerkhalcha, the company for the production of hand-woven carpets, has an ambitious goal: 30 regional carpet weaving mills are to be established by 2020. By the end of 2017 ten branches have already been opened. A further 20 will be added in 2018 and 2019. Azerkhalcha was founded in 2016 on the initiative of the government. In 2018 and 2019, the state will invest around USD 22 million in the construction of new branches and a wool processing factory.

From 2020, approximately 5,000 employees will produce hand-woven carpets under the Azerbaijan Carpet label for domestic and foreign markets. The expansion plans for the production of hand-woven carpets result from the in 2018 adopted state program for the development of carpet art in Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic for the years 2018 till 2022.

Azerbaijan offers opportunities as a production location
Azerbaijan can score with some advantages as a production location for the textile and silk industry as well as for the clothing industry. These include a sufficiently available and quickly trained labor force, low wage costs, tax and other preferences in industrial areas and good conditions for the sale of the goods.

Good sales opportunities result from the free trade agreements with the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the export opportunities to Turkey. No import duties have to be paid for exports to these countries. Clothing manufacturers from EU countries with the intention of exporting to these countries can benefit from this. Several companies, especially from the Baltic States, are currently exploring their opportunities for a market entry.

The Azerbaijan Textile Industry Association sees a need for action on the part of the government with regard to the framework conditions for the domestic clothing manufacturers. For example, the tariff burden on imports of accessories such as adhesives, buttons and snap fasteners and zippers should significantly be reduced.

Leading manufacturers of apparel and other finished textile products include Baku Textile Factory (Baki Tekstil Fabriki), Accord Textil (Agstafa, part of the Accord Industrial Holding), Alyans Tekstil (Sumqayit), the apparel factory in the Gilan-Textile Park (Sumqayit), and Debet Uniform (Baku). The factories mainly produce workwear and outerwear.

More information:
GTAI Aserbaidschan Carpets
Source:

Uwe Stohbach, Germany Trade & Invest

www.gtai.de

PIXABAY
27.11.2018

EGYPT'S TEXTILE AND CLOTHING SECTOR FACING MODERNIZATION

  • State enterprises get better equipment

Cairo (GTAI) - The Egyptian government plans to modernize the textile sector and private companies are investing in new locations. Increasing machine imports and clothing exports are expected.

In the Egyptian textile and clothing industry, the signs are pointing to expansion and modernization. Local media reported on a number of private and public investment projects. According to the newspaper Al Gomhouria, a Chinese producer in the Suez Canal economic zone is planning the world's largest textile factory for USD 6 billion. The Chinese companies TIDA and Shoon Dong Roy want to build a clothing factory for 800 million USD. Sino-Egypt Minkai is planning to build a textile industry complex for around USD 750 million.

  • State enterprises get better equipment

Cairo (GTAI) - The Egyptian government plans to modernize the textile sector and private companies are investing in new locations. Increasing machine imports and clothing exports are expected.

In the Egyptian textile and clothing industry, the signs are pointing to expansion and modernization. Local media reported on a number of private and public investment projects. According to the newspaper Al Gomhouria, a Chinese producer in the Suez Canal economic zone is planning the world's largest textile factory for USD 6 billion. The Chinese companies TIDA and Shoon Dong Roy want to build a clothing factory for 800 million USD. Sino-Egypt Minkai is planning to build a textile industry complex for around USD 750 million.

The Egyptian state also wants to strengthen the textile and clothing production. In November 2018, the Minister of State Enterprise Hisham Tawfiq negotiated an extensive restructuring of the Cotton & Textile Holding Company with Werner International of the USA. According to press reports, the properties of 14 of the 25 cotton ginning plants should be sold. The ministry estimates the value at USD 1.5 billion. This appropriation is intended to cover the repair of machinery and the import of new equipment for the eleven remaining companies.

A free zone for textile production will also be created in Minya on the initiative of the state. This industrial zone is to be built on an area of 2.2 million square metres: The General Authority for Free Zones and Investment intends to launch the project before the end of 2018.

In autumn 2018, the Cotton & Textiles Industries Holding Company and Marubeni of Japan signed a letter of intent. This relates to the construction of a new textile factory in Kafr El Sheikh. A reduced loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation secures the financing of the project.

Import demand for textile and clothing machinery expected to increase
The planned projects are expected to lead to a further increase of a demand of imports. Like other types of equipment, the vast majority of textile and clothing machinery is imported into Egypt. In 2017 the German share of deliveries fell by 8.4 percentage points to an year-on-year comparison to 12 percent. However, this reduction is put into a perspective by the fact that the reference year 2016 was a positive outlier. In 2015, the German share was still 15.8 percent.

Imports of textile and clothing machinery to Egypt (in USD 1,000)
HS-Category 2016 Therof from Germany 2017 Therof from Germany
8444 4,481 2,025 5,554 n.v.
8445 26,105 5,429 32,660 4,807
8446 23,591 13,346 26,170 4,493
8447 15,713 3,052 22,032 4,493
8448 20.574 3,365 18,013 2,698
8449 299 0 1,725 0.4
8451 36,512 2,334 37,887 3,511
8452 23,186 1,698 29,633 1,309
8453 3,678 137 9,892 155
Total 154,139 31,386 183,566 22,028.4

n.a. = not available
Source: Comtrade

Egyptian textile and clothing companies often produce with a lot of manual work and partly with very outdated machines. The government's aim is to create as many jobs as possible due to the continued population growth. On the other hand, a more automated and modern production would allow more complex products. These could be sold at a higher profit, but would also require less human labor.

Important role of the sector companies for the Egyptian economy
The textile and clothing companies in Egypt represent a significant and labor-intensive industry. Local and imported fibers are being processed in the country and there is a broad base of spinning mills, weaving mills, dyeing houses and manufacturers of clothing and home textiles. It is estimated that the companies employ between 1 million and 1.2 million people. A regional focus is Mahala El Kubra. State enterprises are strongly represented in the textile sector, while the private sector plays a greater role in the clothing sector. About 90 percent of the spinning and weaving mills are state-owned.

According to the Readymade Garments Export Council (RMGEC), the garment industry accounts for 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product, 15 percent of exports (excluding oil), and one of three industrial jobs in the country. From January to the end of August 2018, clothing exports to the RMGEC totaled USD 1,040 million. In the same period of 2017, exports amounted to only US$ 980 million.

Egyptian exports of textiles and clothing (selection; in USD million;
change in %)
HS-Category 2016 2017 Change 2017 / 2016
57 303.5 313.9 3.4
60 35.7 44.3 24.1
61 388.0 466.0 20.1
62 756.6 910.7 20.4
63 227.2 231.1 1.7
Total 1,711.0 1,966.0 14.9

Source: UN Comtrade

The Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) play a special role. These are special zones with Israeli added value, which are fixed during production, and the products enjoy customs advantages when exported to the USA. Since 2005, the QIZ system has provided more private investments in the garment sector. Jeans and other clothing for well-known brands are delivered to the USA from the 25 zones.
Egyptian manufacturers are also generally not always recognizable as such, as they often manufacture for major international brands. Middle East Eye names Calvin Klein, Decathlon, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara as examples. In November 2017 Dice Sport and Casual Wear agreed to supply Levi Strauss & Co. with children's clothing.

The US company Disney even purchases 33 types of products from Egypt. Since 2017, Egypt has been cooperating with the International Labor Organization ILO as part of the Better Work Program. Working conditions are to be improved in 30 clothing factories. According to media reports, for Disney these measures were a reason to extend the licenses of the Egyptian suppliers until December 2019.

Currency effect improves competitiveness
The labor-intensive production benefited from the currency devaluation in 2016. According to a report by the news portal Middle East Eye, Egypt has at least 100 USD monthly salary for workers and is about at the same level as India or Bangladesh and at about 50 of percent Chinese salaries. In addition, prompt and fast deliveries to Europe and the USA are possible.

On the other hand, the companies are dependent on foreign supplies, which became more expensive. In Egypt especially soft and high-quality long staple cotton is cultivated and exported. Domestic producers, on the other hand, mainly use short-staple cotton and other foreign fibers as raw materials. The RMGEC complained about rising production costs in October 2018. Wages, electricity, water, natural gas, transports and more expensive imports of raw materials contributed to this development.


Further information on Egypt can be found at http://www.gtai.de

 

More information:
GTAI Ägypten
Source:

Oliver Idem, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Indien fördert die Textilverarbeitung Photo: Pixabay
23.10.2018

INDIA PROMOTES TEXTILE PROCESSING

  • Integrated industrial parks necessary

New Delhi (GTAI) – The Indian textile sector is not only important for bringing foreign currency into the country, but also because of its role as an employer. The formation of new clusters is now getting supported by the government.

India, as one of the leading global producers not only of cotton, but also of wool, jute and silk, has a historic tradition in converting raw materials. Accordingly, India’s industry concerning spinning and weaving of fabric is broadly positioned, while contributing 14% of India's gross domestic product.

  • Integrated industrial parks necessary

New Delhi (GTAI) – The Indian textile sector is not only important for bringing foreign currency into the country, but also because of its role as an employer. The formation of new clusters is now getting supported by the government.

India, as one of the leading global producers not only of cotton, but also of wool, jute and silk, has a historic tradition in converting raw materials. Accordingly, India’s industry concerning spinning and weaving of fabric is broadly positioned, while contributing 14% of India's gross domestic product.

Even though the sector mostly consists of small enterprises, some clusters emerged. The textile industry can mainly be found in the federal states of Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nudo.     
A more detailed structure is drawn by Sanjay K Jain, chairman of the textile Association “Confederation of Indian Textile Industry in an interview with Germany Trade & Invest: Knitwear clusters are found in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, West Bengal, Ludhiana, and Kanpur. There are weaving centers in Ichankaranji and Bhiwandi (both Maharashtra), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Surat (Gujarat), and Bhilwara (Rajasthan). For ready-to-wear a cluster in Panipat (Haryana) and for the production of shirts and trousers has formed a cluster in Bangalore (Karnataka).
 
The state subsidy agency India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) recognizes four industrial centers – also according to the regional availability of raw materials. In the north (Kashmir, Ludhiana and Panipat) about 80 percent the production of woolen goods are concentrated. In the west (Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat, Raijkot, Indore and Vadodara) is the focus of the cotton industry. Hosiery (Tirupur, Coimbatore and Madurai) and silk products (Bengaluru, Mysore and Chennai) have their strengths in the South. The east of the country is focused on jute goods (Bihar and West Bengal). But also wool (Uttar Pradesh) and cotton goods (West Bengal) are represented. In addition, ac-cording to the IBEF, India has seven export-oriented Special Economic Zones for Textiles and Clothing in mid-2018.

A handicap for the textile industry is the missing size. For example, most low-capacity sites are scattered across the country. The construction of large integrated industrial parks is necessary. The various states and state institutions are also trying to promote new textile clusters.

The central government budget will provide ap-proximately US $ 4 million for the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) program in the fiscal year 2018/19 (April 1 to March 31). There are currently 47 projects in this field. The pro-gram intends the further development of such settlements with a common infrastructure.

More information:
Indien
Source:

Rainer Jaensch, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY Photo: Pixabay
11.09.2018

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

In the 2016/17 fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st), India's government initiated a number of fundamental reforms such as the introduction of the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a partial currency devaluation. These measures are intended to advance the economy as a whole in the medium to long term, but have led to uncertainty and difficulties in individual sectors, including the textile industry. Added to this are high cotton prices. The government is now trying to help the industry with individual measures. It remains to be seen whether these will be sufficient and lead to a sustained improvement. Finally, there are structural weaknesses which are also slowing down the growth of the Industry.

"The by the introduction of GST caused dent and monetary depreciation has now been overcome. However, the structural problems remain, so that no fundamental changes in the textile industry are to be expected", according to the assessment of a German supplier with many years of experience in India in talks with Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

Government launches aid measures
However, some government measures should provide relief. At the beginning of August 2018, import duties on 328 textile products, especially fabrics and nonwovens, were increased from around 5 to 10 percent to up to 20 percent. Also, at the beginning of the month, the Executive Board introduced four bills to amend the general VAT Act introduced on July 1st 2017. This should make refunds, for example of taxes on intermediate products, easier and faster. The introduction of GST and the delays in reimbursement have put particular pressure on the liquidity of small and medium-sized companies, which make up the bulk of textile companies. For example, the denim industry temporarily had to take 25 to 30 percent of its capacity out of production after the tax introduction.

 Also, the Ministry of Textiles wants to strengthen the to it entrusted weakening industry. At the beginning of August 2018, for example, it added changes to the Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (TUFS), which has been in existence since 1999. This now expanded technology promotion program allows cooperative banks to provide financing to textile companies for technological improvements. They also become accessible for liability partnerships. Of the approximately USD 1.1 billion, that the central government budget is holding for the textile industry in the fiscal year 2018/19, one third, 14 percent more than in the previous year, are intended for the TUFS. Manufacturers of synthetic fibers and the clothing industry in particular are likely to benefit from this, according to industry sources.

The existence of an own Ministry of Textiles shows how important this industry is for India, not only as a source of foreign exchange, but also as an employer. The entire sector, from spinning mills, weaving mills to clothing and other finished goods, contributed around 14 percent to value creation in the manufacturing industry and 13 percent to foreign exchange revenues in 2017, and employs directly 40 million and indirectly 60 million workers.

As one of the world's leading producers of cotton, jute and silk, India has comparative advantages in the textile sector and can look back on a long tradition in processing. Accordingly, cotton is the main raw material in yarn and fabric production. After all, 5.7 billion tons of yarn were spun in 2016/17, achieving an annual average increase of 3.1 percent between 2011 and 2017. The weaving mills processed 63.5 billion square meters of fabric in 2016/17, after 61.7 billion in 2011. The proportion of cotton fabrics rose from 51 to 61 percent in 2011 to 2017. The remaining part is accounted for approximately equally by synthetic and blended fabrics.

 
Production and export growth come to a halt Based on the previously strong growth the government is optimistic. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Textile, India's textile and clothing industry is expected to more than double its sales between 2015 and 2021. Exports are expected to increase from USD 35 billion to USD 82 billion, after doubling in the period from 2006 to 2014 from USD 17.6 billion to USD 37.6 billion. After that, however, they stagnated and, at USD 35 billion in 2017/18 and missed the by the government set target by USD 10 billion. The production of textiles and clothing declined from 2015 to 2017. It is unlikely to improve in 2018.

Textile and clothing industry in India 1)
  2015/16
 
2016/17 2)  2017/18 2)
Export of textiles and textiles products USD in USD billion 18.1 18.2 18.7
Export of clothing 17.0 17.4 16.7
Import of yarn, fabrics, made-ups in USD billion 1.7 1.5 n.a.
Change of production of textiles in % -0.2 -3.2 n.a.
Change of production of non-knitted clothing in % -3.6 -3.3 n.a.


1) Financial years from 1 April to 31 March; 2) Provisional data for 2016/17 and 2017/18
Source: Statistical Office India
     

Clothing industry needs to modernize 
India's textile industry has cost advantages over industrialized countries and advanced emerging countries such as China. Smaller developing countries, however, have become well-known competitors in the meantime and have partly surpassed India in terms of clothing. So Bangladesh and Vietnam exported more clothing than India. In addition there is growing competition from other low-wage countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Some of these countries have free trade agreements with the EU, while India has difficulties in negotiating them. The smaller competitors have also geared their clothing industry to exports and modernized it accordingly. After all, they do not have significant local markets. The Indian textile manufacturers are different: If there is not enough quality for export, the domestic market, which has a population of 1.3 billion inhabitants and is growing strongly, is still there, industry representatives explain to GTAI.

India's apparel industry therefore still has a considerable potential for modernization and requires new production technologies, particularly to improve operating efficiency. Other structural weaknesses include strong wage increases with insufficient productivity growth and a shortage of well-trained skilled workers. Other disadvantages are the fragmentation of the clothing industry - many companies lack size - and the lack of adaptation to global fashion trends. While the fashion world is more prone to fiber mixed fabrics, the Indian clothing is not yet following this trend. There is a lack of product diversification.

The spinning and weaving sector looks more modern. Industry experts attest to it a leading international position in terms of size, technology, productivity, quality and price. This is also evident when importing machines. India was the most important export market for German spinning machines to China in 2017 and the fifth largest market for weaving machines, according to the Textile Machinery Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). In textile finishing machinery, India does not rank among the top six export markets, but its competitor Bangladesh does.

Double-digit growth in foreign direct Investment 
Foreign investments in the Indian textile industry are welcome and 100 percent foundations by foreign companies are welcome. On promotional trips to countries such as Japan, Germany, Italy and France, India is actively attracting investors and has not been unsuccessful. The inflow of foreign direct investment into the textile sector, including dyed and printed textiles, amounted to USD 2.7 billion between April 2000 and September 2017. Cumulative investments increased by an annual average of 17.3 percent between 2010 and 2017. However, the bulk of the investment is being stemmed by national Indians. Total investments in India's textile sector from June 2017 to May 2018 amounted to USD 4.2 Billion.

Contact Details
Name Internet Remark
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/indien Foreign information for the German Export Business
AHK Indien http://www.indien.ahk.de Contact for German companies
Ministry of Textiles http://www.texmin.nic.in Ministry
Office of Textile Commissioner http://www.txcindia.gov.in Government 
Confederation of Indian Textile Industry http://www.citiindia.com Textile Association
Textile Association India http://www.textileassociationindia.org Textile Association India
The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India http://www.cmai.in Clothing Association


    

More information:
India Bangladesh(7621)
Source:

Rainer Jaensch, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Industry Check in Asia Photo: Pixabay
19.06.2018

TEXTILE AND CLOTHING INDUSTRY IN ASIA: GTAI CHECKING THE SECTOR

Every day, GTAI experts observe and analyze the development of the most important German export industries on the world markets. Here you will find summarized information on the textile and clothing industry in Asian markets.
 
GTAI Industry Check - Vietnam
Textile and clothing industry: Vietnam needs more than sewing

Every day, GTAI experts observe and analyze the development of the most important German export industries on the world markets. Here you will find summarized information on the textile and clothing industry in Asian markets.
 
GTAI Industry Check - Vietnam
Textile and clothing industry: Vietnam needs more than sewing
The textile and clothing industry is one of the most important pillars of the Vietnamese industry and accounted for around 6 percent of total exports in 2017 with exports amounting to USD 26 billion. For 2018, the industry is aiming for growth of 7 to 8 percent and exports are expected to rise to over USD 33 billion. In order to comply with the rules of origin of the free trade agreements concluded by Vietnam, the country must achieve a higher added value. Domestic companies such as the Vinatex Group or Garco10, but also foreign companies are increasingly investing in technical innovations and expanding processes such as spinning, weaving and dyeing upstream of pure sewing. In addition, the first companies are beginning to automate their production processes.

GTAI Industry Check - Uzbekistan
Textile and clothing industry: Investments of more than USD 2 billion planned
The industry program for 2017 to 2020 lists around 130 projects with a total value of USD 2 billion. About half of the planned investments are to be
accounted for foreign commitments. The aim is to double the annual output of finished textile products during this period. With an annual production of more than 3 million tons of raw cotton, Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest producers of the white gold. A second industry programme foresees the implementation of five projects for the production of raw silk, silk wadding and silk fabrics and finished silk products between 2018 and 2021. The minimum investments required are estimated at USD 26 million.
 
GTAI Industry Check – Myanmar
Textile and clothing industry: Export strength through low wages
The lifting of sanctions by the EU and the US has noticeably revived the investment climate in the sector, especially as this was linked to the reactivation of the EU's GSP import status (Generalized System of Preferences). Most investors came from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or South Korea, and Western brands such as GAP, H & M, Primark or Marks & Spencer were also included. Currently, about 400,000 workers are employed in almost 400 factories, mostly geared to CMP (cut-make-pack), including 171 foreign investors and 22 joint ventures. According to the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association, exports are expected to have increased by 40 percent to over USD 3 billion by 2017. For the first time the largest customer was the European Union, primarily Germany, ahead of Japan and South Korea.

GTAI Industry Check – Georgian Republic
Textile and clothing industry: Several expansion projects planned
The apparel industry produces garments for up to USD 70 million annually. The main products manufactured are international brands for export. Several new projects in the industry are in preparation. For example, the Turkish jeans manufacturer Baykanlar Textil plans to build a factory for the production of brand jeans in Ozurgeti by the end of 2018. A total of USD 15 million will be invested in the project. The Romanian company MGMtex, a subsidiary of the Swiss company Ottorose, is planning to start production of branded clothing in Kutaisi in cooperation with a local partner. The investments for the first and second project phases amount to more than USD 1.5 million. For the procurement of equipment, the company benefits from subsidies from the state program Produce in Georgia.

GTAI Industry Check - Turkmenistan
Textile and Clothing Industry: Investments of around 300 million US dollars planned
The textile and clothing industry represents 20 percent of Turkmenistan's industrial production and 30 percent of its manufacturing industry. A good USD 300 million will be invested in 2018 to 2020/21. The project list includes the construction of a large textile complex for the annual processing of up to 5,000 tons of fine-fibred cotton into semi-finished and finished products. Start March 2021; contractor: Cotam Enterprises Ltd, British Virgin Islands/Turkey) and a factory for the annual production of 6,000 tons of cotton yarn (2019/20, Hilli yol), the modernization of a textile factory (Daschogus), a cotton spinning mill (Tachtabasar) and a factory for medical wadding and cosmetic cotton (Ashgabat; 2018/2019 each). The potential of medical textiles, cotton fabrics, man-made fibers and the processing of wool and cocoons is still little used.
 
GTAI Industry Check – Azerbaijan
Textile and clothing industry: Light industry business park attracts investors
Azerbaijan launched several projects to revive the industry (output in 2017: USD 100 million). An industrial park for light industry has been under construction in Mingachevir since autumn 2016. Nine new factories are planned for cotton, acrylic and woolen yarn, clothing, hosiery and leather shoes. The project is worth up to USD 150 million. The first factory for the annual production of 20,000 tons of yarn is under construction. Under the umbrella organization for the Azerkhalcha carpet weaving mill founded in 2016, ten further smaller factories will be put into operation in 2018. Gilan Textil Park, Sumqayit, wants to expand its exports of home textiles. In the medium term, the construction of a silk spinning mill with an annual capacity of 3,000 tons of yarn is also planned.
 
GTAI Industry Check - Armenia
Textile and clothing industry: interest from abroad increases
Rising exports of clothing to Russia and western markets lead to expect further investments in the textile and clothing industry in 2018. Italian investors are planning to build a large jersey factory in Kapan (Sjunik region). The company SASSTEX in Artik (Schirak region) invests in two factories for the production of fashion (ZARA brand) and workwear. The Egyptian Wassef Group is considering the production of cotton fabrics and products therefrom. Yerevan-based hosiery and children's apparel manufacturer Alex Textile will continue its USD 28 million investment program in 2018 to expand apparel and hosiery production at several sites in Armenia.

More information:
Asia Export
Source:

Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Lifestyle Collection Area: Outdoor as a way of life (c) Messe Friedrichshafen | OutDoor Show | www.outdoor-show.de
12.06.2018

LIFESTYLE COLLECTION AREA: OUTDOOR AS A WAY OF LIFE

  • Lifestyle trend area for apparel, footwear and accessories brings like-minded brands together

Outdoor, everyday use and lifestyle - athleisure wear and urban fashion are a permanent fixture on both urban streets and the outdoor market. Urban lifestyle is also a growing trend topic on display at the OutDoor show from 17 to 20 June, 2018. At the Lifestyle Collection Area, exhibitors are showing that there is more to outdoors than being out in nature. Lifestyle collections reflect a way of life and mindset that blends responsibility for the natural world with an international approach and worthwhile fashion. In addition to the full spectrum of outdoor goods, OutDoor 2018 will be showcasing all facets of lifestyle trends from apparel, footwear and accessories for trade visitors. Start-ups and new brands will also be exhibiting at the area.

  • Lifestyle trend area for apparel, footwear and accessories brings like-minded brands together

Outdoor, everyday use and lifestyle - athleisure wear and urban fashion are a permanent fixture on both urban streets and the outdoor market. Urban lifestyle is also a growing trend topic on display at the OutDoor show from 17 to 20 June, 2018. At the Lifestyle Collection Area, exhibitors are showing that there is more to outdoors than being out in nature. Lifestyle collections reflect a way of life and mindset that blends responsibility for the natural world with an international approach and worthwhile fashion. In addition to the full spectrum of outdoor goods, OutDoor 2018 will be showcasing all facets of lifestyle trends from apparel, footwear and accessories for trade visitors. Start-ups and new brands will also be exhibiting at the area.

Cheeki, the Australian manufacturer of high-quality stainless steel drink bottles and flasks, is entering Europe. The company is presenting its products at OutDoor in the Lifestyle Area for the first time. "It suits us down to the ground, because our products are not just for work, school, picnics, sport or just for hiking and camping - instead they represent a lifestyle,” explains Simon Karlik, Cheeki’s director. Simon Karlik feels that Cheeks water bottles reflect an attitude towards life. This is also clear to see in the company’s product catalogue, which shows how Cheeki bottles help reduce mountains of plastic rubbish. They are also a personal statement against pollution of the seas. Cheeki is a mindset - an attitude and a way of life.

Swedish manufacturer Icebug has been exhibiting at OutDoor for a number of years, and has chosen deliberately to present at the Lifestyle Area in 2018. Country Manager for Germany, Mathias Basedow sees the traditional outdoor look as past its zenith: "Running, camping, climbing - they are all lifestyles, but you don’t always want to look like you are on an expedition. We need pioneers from retailers and brands, who are bold enough to break away from the design status quo, without sacrificing performance.” The shoe manufacturer wants to take up the challenge with the clean, stylish, Scandinavian design of its new performance sneakers.

Both products and functionality are important for urban environments, but there is more to it than that. There is the mindset and mentality behind them. Sustainability is also an issue here. Take, for example the manufacturer Steinkauz, who make products from natural functional materials: Loden, felted wool and waxed cotton. "Loden is a thick waterproof woollen cloth with excellent breathability and is also a biologically degradable natural fabric,” argues Markus Holthausen, Managing Director Waldkauz/Steinkauz. He sees it as decisive that: "Loden strikes a chord with contemporary environmentally-friendly attitudes and looks at home both when trekking and in other environments. This is why we belong in the lifestyle segment.”

Outdoor attitudes always involve crossover to some extent. No one expects to have a separate product for each activity, or specialist clothing for each social appearance. Cavida are presenting their distinctive Wave Hawaii Ponchos at OutDoor. "They were designed especially for outdoor use, but are also ideal for home, swimming pool or sauna.” Our stylish designs capture the contemporary zeitgeist,” says managing director Carsten Raphael. Outdoor, everyday use and lifestyle apply to sunglasses from Slastik, who also belong to Cavida. Raphael describes them as "exceptionally stylish” and "trendsetting”. "We are going to attract a lot of interest here too.”

The OutDoor Lifestyle Area has consciously decided not to include any large booths. "This would run contrary to the whole idea of the Lifestyle Area,” explains project manager Dirk Heidrich. "Small stands, independent stand designs and opportunities for new brands and start-ups as well as long-standing OutDoor exhibitors to mix it up and experiment, while enjoying maximum exposure.” As such, the Lifestyle Area functions as an exhibition inside the OutDoor show. There will be everything from high-quality functional apparel and backpacks, tents and sleeping bags to a diverse range of accessories - all with an emphasis on style and responsibility. This is outdoor as a lifestyle.

The 25th OutDoor jubilee edition show takes place from Sunday 17 to Wednesday 20 June 2018 and is open to trade visitors only. For more information, please visit:
: www.outdoor-show.de and www.facebook.com/OutDoor.Show/.

ETHOPIA CAN SET UP FURTHER TEXTILE FACTORIES Photo: Pixabay
15.05.2018

ETHOPIA CAN SET UP FURTHER TEXTILE FACTORIES

  • Sudanese and Chinese investors want to secure raw material supplies

Nairobi (GTAI) - Ethiopia has further successes in attracting textile companies: One British company is planning to invest USD 100 million, one Chinese company even plans to invest USD 220 million. This means that the textile sector is increasingly becoming a self-starter, as donors increasingly want to supply domestic industry with pre-products. Meanwhile, those who invest should not only raise the financial means, but also the raw material cotton, according to market experts.

  • Sudanese and Chinese investors want to secure raw material supplies

Nairobi (GTAI) - Ethiopia has further successes in attracting textile companies: One British company is planning to invest USD 100 million, one Chinese company even plans to invest USD 220 million. This means that the textile sector is increasingly becoming a self-starter, as donors increasingly want to supply domestic industry with pre-products. Meanwhile, those who invest should not only raise the financial means, but also the raw material cotton, according to market experts.

The Ethiopian textile and clothing market has two new entrants: the British Intrade Co. UK Ltd. and the Chinese Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment Co. Ltd, Intrade intends to build a textile and clothing factory in the Mekelle Industrial Park (Tigray Regional State), which was opened in July 2017. Initial cost estimates are around USD 100 million. Intrade is an offshore company of the Sudanese Mahgoub-Sons Group. The company has reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Investment Commission to invest USD 200 million in three projects. The textile project is to be completed in 16 months.

Security of supply for cotton is becoming an issue
The Sudanese group is not only interested in textile production, but also with lucrative supply transactions for its own cotton. They have the capacity to supply 500,000 tons of long staple quality cotton annually, Wagdi Mirghani Mahgoub, Managing Director of Intrade says. The supply of raw cotton has become an increasing problem for the emerging Ethiopian textile industry since some Asian countries ordered export stops for the raw material, including the PR China and India. The African Plantation, which cultivates 33,000 hectares of agricultural land in Sudan, also belongs to the Mahgoub-Sons Group.

However, Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment has announced the second and larger textile investment of 2018: a textile factory will be opened shortly in the Dire Dawa Industrial Park. In a first phase, USD 80 million are planned, followed by further investments totaling USD 140 million. The company intends to install state-of-the-art textile machines to produce and supply goods for the demanding markets in Europe, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. According to their own statements, partners are leading world machinery brands. Wuxi is already pursuing a project in the Ethiopian city of Adama and also has plans to grow cotton in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is considered the first textile address in Africa
"Clothing companies are nomads," an industry consultant knows, "they go where it is cheapest for them. If wages and ancillary costs rise too much in countries like Bangladesh or the PR China, the caravan moves on." South of the Sahara, only Mauritius has made a name for itself as a producer of high-quality clothing. Attempts to establish larger-scale textile and clothing companies in Namibia and Lesotho have so far been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Kenya and Ghana have production conditions that are far too expensive.

Ethiopia offers several advantages at the same time: Wages and ancillary costs are extremely low and far below those in China. The US Centre for Global Development found out that a worker in Ethiopian sweatshops earns an average of USD 909 a year. In Bangladesh, however, it is US$ 835 and in Tanzania and Kenya even US$ 1,776 and US$ 2,118 respectively. Another advantage: Ethiopian seamstresses are considered to be extremely hardworking and reliable. In addition, there is a tradition in textile and clothing production as well as in leather processing and thus there is a basic pool of trained specialists.

Infrastructure is making huge progress
Meanwhile, the supply of domestic cotton and leather needs to be expanded, because in the drought years 2016 and partly 2017 the supply of cotton was insufficient. The government is cooperating and is increasingly listening to the needs of producers. The infrastructure is currently undergoing sustained improvement, in particular the transport routes to the neighboring seaport of Djibouti, from where Europe can be reached more quickly than from the Far East. And, last but not least, the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has a capable air traffic hub with a dozen direct flights to the EU, including Frankfurt and Vienna. In addition, there is a modern air freight center.

Just as important as the delivery routes are the comparatively modern production conditions in the newly emerging industrial centers throughout the country. Everything here is "Made in China": fences, access controls, roads, electricity and water supply, waste and sewage disposal, workers' settlements. From a European perspective, this may look like Chinese dominance, but from an Ethiopian perspective it creates jobs, feeds families and earns foreign exchange. Under better working conditions than in Bangladesh, experts mean.

According to the ideas of the Ethiopian government, the country is undergoing a transformation process: away from an agrarian-based economy and towards an industrial state. By 2025, the country is expected to reach middle-income status and to become Africa's largest industrial production hub. To achieve this, Ethiopia is investing heavily in roads, railways and power generation, health and education, urban and rural development and the creation of industrial clusters.

Customs advantages in the USA and Europe
Ethiopia has so far benefited from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the USA, which, for example, allows savings of 16.8 percent in import duties on cotton trousers and 30 percent on synthetic shirts. Ethiopia also has duty-free access to the EU market under the Everything but Arms initiative. Fears that US President Donald Trump might stop AGOA have not yet come true.

Ethiopian exports of textiles, clothing and leather products
(including footwear; in US$ millions)

SITC-Commodity Group
 2014 2015 2016
61 Leather and leather goods    97.51    98.20
78.63  
65 Yarn, fabrics, finished textile products and related articles  39.34  39.12 29.61
84 Clothing and apparel accessories  55.53  77.94  68.25
85 Shoes         
 33.88
 37.69  43.80
Total 226,26 252,95  220,2

Source: Comtrade

German exports can be expanded
German sales representatives of technology for the textile, clothing and leather industry are not yet well positioned in Ethiopia. According to preliminary figures from the Federal Statistical Office (SITC 724), only EUR 2.84 million of relevant technology where sent to Ethiopia in 2017, though 169 percent more than in the previous year.

Ethiopian imports of machinery, equipment and parts for the textile and leather industries
(SITC 724; in USD millions)

Supplying Country 2014    2015 2016
Total 131.30 170.51 111.10
.. PR China  43.87  42.40 62.07
..Italy 6.38 11.75 11.72
..Japan 4.40 10.11 6.89
..Turkey   4.86 19.14 4.92
..Other Asian countries, not specified 1.85 1.87 4.11
..India  6.07 6.49 3.06
..Germany 9.22 9.08 2.44

Source: Comtrade

 

Source:

Martin Böll, Nairobi (GTAI)