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16.09.2022

Euratex, EuroCoton, Edana, CIRFS and ETSA join forces for the European Textile Industry

The associations published a joint European textiles industry statement on the energy package claiming incisive actions with no further delay.
Here is the statement in full:

Last month, when gas wholesale prices reached the record level of 340€/MWh – triggering also sky-high electricity prices – the European textiles industry called on the European Union to adopt a wholesale price cap for gas, the revision of the merit-order principle in the electricity market, support for SMEs and a single European strategy. On 14 September 2022, on the occasion of the State of the Union address by President Von der Leyen, the Commission announced initiatives aimed at tackling the dramatic energy crisis that the Europe is facing.

We, the European associations representing the whole textiles’ ecosystem,  welcome these proposals by the Commission to change the TTF benchmark parameters and decouple the TTF from the electricity market and the revision of the merit-order principle for the electricity market, which is no longer serving the purpose it was designed for.

The associations published a joint European textiles industry statement on the energy package claiming incisive actions with no further delay.
Here is the statement in full:

Last month, when gas wholesale prices reached the record level of 340€/MWh – triggering also sky-high electricity prices – the European textiles industry called on the European Union to adopt a wholesale price cap for gas, the revision of the merit-order principle in the electricity market, support for SMEs and a single European strategy. On 14 September 2022, on the occasion of the State of the Union address by President Von der Leyen, the Commission announced initiatives aimed at tackling the dramatic energy crisis that the Europe is facing.

We, the European associations representing the whole textiles’ ecosystem,  welcome these proposals by the Commission to change the TTF benchmark parameters and decouple the TTF from the electricity market and the revision of the merit-order principle for the electricity market, which is no longer serving the purpose it was designed for.

We also welcome the proposal to amend the state-aid framework that, in our view, should include the textiles finishing, the textiles services and the nonwoven sectors as well as a simplification of the application requirements. Furthermore, we call for a uniform implementation across the EU.

However, we acknowledge that the Commission proposal lacks in ambition and – if confirmed – it will come at the cost of losing European industrial capacity and European jobs. Ultimately, Europe will remain without its integrated textiles ecosystem, as we know it today, and no mean to translate into reality the EU textiles strategy, for more sustainable and circular textiles products.

An ambitious and meaningful European price cap on the wholesale price of natural gas is absolutely necessary. Europe is running out of time to save its own industry. It is now time to act swiftly, decisively in unity and solidarity at European level. We understand a very high price cap has been so far discussed among Ministries and that is not reassuring for companies across Europe: if any cap is, as expected, above 100/MWh, these businesses will collapse.

Already in March 2022, with EU gas wholesale prices at 200€/MWh, the business case for keeping textiles production was no longer there. To date, natural gas wholesale prices have reached the level of 340€/MWh, more than 15 times higher compared to 2021! Currently, many businesses have suspended their production processes to avoid the loss of tens of thousands of euros every day. We hope this will not become the new normal and – to reduce the likelihood of such a scenario – we call on the Commission, the EU Council and the Parliament to swiftly adopt decisive, impactful and concrete actions to tackle the energy crisis and ensure the survival of the European industry.

Given the dire international competition in which the EU textiles industry operates, it is not possible to just pass on the increased costs to consumers. Yet, with these sky-high prices, our companies cannot afford to absorb those costs. The EU textiles companies are mainly SMEs that do not have the financial structure to absorb such a shock.  In contrast with such reality in Europe, the wholesale price of gas in the US and China is 10€/MWh, whereas in Turkey the price is 25€/MWh. If the EU does not act, our international competitors will easily replace us in the market, resulting in the de-industrialisation of Europe and a worsened reliance on foreign imports of essential products.

Specific segments of the textile industry are particularly vulnerable:

  • The man-made fibres (MMF) industry for instance is an energy intensive sector and a major consumer of natural gas and electricity in the manufacturing of its fibres. Not only is it being affected by higher energy process, it is also experiencing shortages and sharply rising costs of its raw materials.
  • For the nonwovens segment, production processes – which use both fibres and filaments extruded in situ – are also highly dependent on gas and electricity. Polymers melting and extrusion, fibres carding, web-forming, web-bonding and drying are energy-intensive techniques. Nonwoven materials can be found in many applications crucial to citizens like in healthcare (face masks) or automotive (batteries).
  • It also is to be noted that for some segments the use of gas has no technological substitute: for example, the dyeing and finishing production units make very intense use of gas. These production units are mainly composed by boilers and driers, which only work on gas and there is no alternative technology.
  • The textile services sector is also struggling: with the critical nature of the service they provide, they require a considerable amount of energy to keep services, particularly hospitals and care homes stocked with lifesaving material as well as clothing and bed linens for the patients themselves. Losing these businesses would cause a lack of clothing for healthcare professionals, including protective sanitary gowns for surgeons, nurses and doctors, uniforms including other forms of personal protective equipment.
Source:

Euratex

06.09.2021

Textile and apparel industry alliance closer to an international microfibre shedding standard

A sector alliance that was formed to tackle issues relating to microplastics has completed the next phase of its project to develop a harmonised industry standard for the supply chain. The Cross Industry Agreement (CIA) has revealed the results of a fibre fragmentation trial that has been carried out in advance of establishing a CEN Standard (from the European Committee for Standardization). Once confirmed, the standard will also become an ISO standard under the Vienna Agreement, providing apparel manufacturers and policy makers with a vital tool as part of wider work to reduce microfibre shedding into the environment.

A sector alliance that was formed to tackle issues relating to microplastics has completed the next phase of its project to develop a harmonised industry standard for the supply chain. The Cross Industry Agreement (CIA) has revealed the results of a fibre fragmentation trial that has been carried out in advance of establishing a CEN Standard (from the European Committee for Standardization). Once confirmed, the standard will also become an ISO standard under the Vienna Agreement, providing apparel manufacturers and policy makers with a vital tool as part of wider work to reduce microfibre shedding into the environment.

In 2018, five industry organisations agreed to join forces to proactively tackle the issue of microplastics, and signed the Cross Industry Agreement. The initial signatories were European industry associations that represent the European and global value chains of garments and their associated maintenance – the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.), European Man-Made Fibres Association (CIRFS), European Outdoor Group (EOG), EURATEX the European apparel and textile industry confederation, and the Federation of the European Sporting goods Industry (FESI). Together, the five organisations understood that the very first step to enable global action around the topic, was to agree a harmonised test method which would allow the collection and comparison of globally generated data, to aid the identification of solutions.

The microfibre shedding test method was developed thanks to the joint efforts and cooperation of experts from 28 European, American and Asian organisations; the result was handed over to CEN in 2020. Since then, representatives from the CIA have been working with CEN to fine tune details in order to meet the requirements for a CEN Standard. To verify the reproducibility of the method, the partners have carried out a round robin trial (RRT) to determine if the method could be replicated in different laboratories and produce similar results. 10 organisations participated in the RRT, which was co-ordinated by the CIA, sending fabric samples to all of the laboratories involved and then collecting and analysing the data.

The results from the RRT show statistically significant consistency, both within and between participating laboratories, which demonstrates that the method is both repeatable in the same setting and reproducible in other laboratories.

The CIA has submitted the results of the RRT to CEN, with the intention that the CEN Standard is confirmed in the near future. Once that has happened, it will be promoted throughout the apparel industry and will become a key tool for researchers, businesses and governments as they accelerate efforts to reduce microfibre shedding associated with garment production.

Source:

Euratex