Textile Technology section
Euratex: new strategy for new circular economy action plan for textiles
Committing to an action plan for a new circular economy, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has reacted to the anticipated policy guidelines on climate preservation by the European Commission.
The strategy is the result of an extensive, bottom-up consultation with EURATEX members, national and sector associations and more than 100 European companies and other stakeholders. Consisting of 12 key points, 6 conditions and 38 specific proposals in from of 9 actions, the proposed plan is meant to ensure sustainable resource use and tackle urgent environment, social and economic challenges.
Furthermore, Euratex anticipates voluntary commitments subscribed by 41 companies’ CEOs who welcome the ambitious goals of the EU Institutions to tackle urgent challenges, show insights of actions already undertaken to bring circularity in textiles, commit to keep pursuing sustainable resource use, and collaborate.
Euratex will share further information on this action plan as of 2020.
Euratex: EU-Mercosur trade deal opens opportunity for textiles and apparel
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has welcomed the conclusion of negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).
Euratex has been actively engaged in the negotiation process to ensure an agreement fit for textile and apparel companies, also preserving social and environmental standards in the manufacturing of high-quality products.
The EU-Mercosur FTA is the largest trade agreement ever concluded by the European Union, covering a population of 780 million. According to the EU, this agreement will save European companies over €4 billion in duties. For the textile and apparel industry in particular tariffs have been very high, reaching 35% in Brazil.
In 2018 EU exports of textile and apparel products to Mercosur were €460 million and the elimination of tariffs will open further business opportunities for the sector.
Euratex: attracting young and skilled workforce
At the General Assembly of the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, on June 13, 2018 in Brussels/Belgium, international experts presented the challenges and possible solutions to tackle the issue of attracting young and skilled workforce in the textile and clothing sector. Over 120 participants attended the event.
Although the industry is witnessing a period of positive evolution – since 2012 turnover has grown by 10% to € 178 billion, extra-EU exports are up by 23% and have reached € 50 billion for the first time, and labor productivity has grown an impressive 22% – it still faces significant challenges, the biggest one being the difficulty of recruiting and retaining skilled workforce.
In the opening session of the event, newly-elected Euratex President Alberto Paccanelli stressed that “companies hiring today not only look for young people with the same skill sets as the retiring workforce, but also new talent with creative, highly technical and digital skills for high added value jobs in design, product development, technical textile production, digitalization, sustainability and circular economy.”
Euratex: new President and Director General
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has announced Alberto Paccanelli as new President and Dirk Vantyghem as new Director General.
Paccanelli, who succeeds Klaus Huneke, takes office for a two-year term. Under his leadership, Euratex will continue to work together with EU institutions, European and international stakeholders. Euratex will also continue to focus on its key pillars – an ambitious industrial policy, effective research, innovation and skills development, free and fair trade, and sustainability.
With international experience both in the textile industry and management consulting, since 2007 Alberto Paccanelli has been CEO and shareholder of the Martinelli Ginetto Group, Bergamo/Italy, specialized in high-end home textile products. For many years he has been actively involved in representing the industry at both European and national level, as President (2011-2014) and Vice President Treasurer (2014-2019) of Euratex.
Euratex: steady growth in technical textiles
The European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has presented new figures on the development of the European market. The EU textile and clothing industry finished the year 2018 with a consolidation of the positive key figures achieved over the last 5 years. First data published by Eurostat, enhanced by Euratex’s own calculations and estimates, show a total industry turnover of € 178 billion, a minimal increase to last year’s € 177.6 billion, but significantly above the 2013 figure of € 163.8 billion. Investments of € 5.0 billion again increased slightly, as they have done every year since 2013.
The brightest spot again is the export figure, which grew by 7% compared to 2017 and for the first time reached € 50 billion. The industry’s extra-EU exports, which now stand at 28% of annual turnover, up from less than 20% 10 years ago, is the clearest proof of the increasing global competitiveness of Europe’s textile and clothing companies.
Exact figures for technical textiles are difficult to compute due to the dual use of many yarns and fabrics for both technical and conventional applications. National statistics become available only with a significant time lag or remain unpublished for smaller EU countries. For 2016, Euratex estimates that EU industry turnover of technical textiles (including yarn-type, fabric-type and nonwovens materials, but excluding any made-up articles) reached about € 24 billion or 27% of total textile industry turnover. Over the years this percentage has steadily grown and is expected to continue to do so in the future. Italy and Germany are Europe’s biggest producers of technical textiles, each producing over € 4.5 billion worth of technical textiles per year. The highest share for technical textiles in national textile turnover is registered in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Finland and central European countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic or Slovenia. The fastest growth of technical textiles over the last 10 years has been achieved by Poland, followed by Belgium, Austria and Portugal.