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Used textiles Photo: bvse textile recycling association
20.05.2020

Corona-virus pushes Used Textiles Industry into Struggle for Survival

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The amount of used clothing collected in Germany is declining sharply in many regions along with increasing social distancing, existing or expected curfew and associated closings of collection points and civic amenity sites.

"It looks even bleaker on the sales side. In the meantime, measures ordered worldwide, such as curfews and ban on meetings, prevent the opportunities to even generate any revenue. Due to official orders, second-hand shops have to close everywhere, including in Eastern Europe. This means that the demand for used clothing dries up almost completely.
The African markets are also suffering from the corresponding lack of demand, due to the lack of funds available from local consumers.

The markets necessary for the sale of sorted goods have collapsed globally since mid-March 2020. It is currently not possible to market wearable second-hand clothing, but also products in the recycling and cleaning rag segment. Thus, there are currently no prospects for generating revenue in the end customer area.
Since the transit time of a piece of used textile from the collection to the sorting to the final marketing in one of the global markets can take up to four months, this situation will certainly take just as long because a positive change in the current overall pandemic situation cannot be assumed.

The waste disposal companies active in Germany in the field of used textiles are therefore currently concerned only with maintaining the operational structures in order to find ways at a later time to be able to fulfill the previous agreements.

"What we urgently need now are common, fair and economically sound solutions with all of our contractual partners so that both sides can survive this crisis. The situation in many municipal, charitable and private places currently looks like that we maintain the services of waste collection and recycling at high costs, but currently do not know whether we will be compensated for this due to force majeure,” stated Wittmann.   

As a start, some companies in the industry have therefore already concluded agreements with municipalities. In return for a provisional suspension of payment obligations for the rental of container spaces or collected goods, the private companies want to do everything possible to ensure that the recycling of used clothes and cleaning of the collection points in the interest of the com-mon good, despite their own staff shortages and difficult conditions remains guaranteed.

“At the same time, we would like to appeal to everyone involved that there is understanding for late pick-ups and container empties caused by the crisis. We urge the citizens not to put any collectibles next to the containers. As long as we have enough staff, every container will be emptied,” promised Martin Wittmann, Vice President of the bvse.

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

13.11.2018

TUNISIA'S TEXTILE SECTOR RECOVERS

German suppliers can benefit from production expansions
Tunis (GTAI) - After difficult years, Tunisia's textile sector is recovering. Exports and foreign investment are on the rise again. Production is for export, especially to Europe.

At the end of October 2018, the Swiss auditing group SGS reported its expanded testing capacity for textiles in Tunisia. This was in response to the increased demand from producers producing for the world market in Tunisia. The sector has not been doing well in recent years. Even before the revolution in 2011, competitive pressure from Asian producers had left its mark, especially after the expiry of the multi-fiber agreement in 2005. According to the FTTH (Fédération Tunisienne du textile et de l'habillement), more than 400 companies have left the country since 2011 and 40,000 jobs have been lost.

German suppliers can benefit from production expansions
Tunis (GTAI) - After difficult years, Tunisia's textile sector is recovering. Exports and foreign investment are on the rise again. Production is for export, especially to Europe.

At the end of October 2018, the Swiss auditing group SGS reported its expanded testing capacity for textiles in Tunisia. This was in response to the increased demand from producers producing for the world market in Tunisia. The sector has not been doing well in recent years. Even before the revolution in 2011, competitive pressure from Asian producers had left its mark, especially after the expiry of the multi-fiber agreement in 2005. According to the FTTH (Fédération Tunisienne du textile et de l'habillement), more than 400 companies have left the country since 2011 and 40,000 jobs have been lost.

Now positive news are coming: In 2018, for example, the German Gonser Group opened its fifth production facility in Tunisia. In total, foreign direct investments in the first six months of 2018 amounted to Tunisian Dinar (tD) 24.9 million (approx. EUR 7.5 million), 1 tD = approx. EUR 0.301as of 11. 07.), more than twice as high as in the corresponding period of the previous year. The fact, that the number of new created jobs as a result has risen much less, can be seen as confirmation of the structural change: Away from simple mass production to higher-value production.

A high level of employee training is also decisive for this. The Sartex company shows how this can be ensured. In 2014, the Tunisian company opened a training center, in which some 500 Tunisians have already been trained and most of them were hired by Sartex. The company was supported by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Centre d'Orientation et de Reconversion Professionnelle (CORP) of the AHK Tunisia.

During the visit of Federal Development Minister Müller in October 2018, an agreement was signed on the establishment of a training center in EL Alia in the Bizerte governorate. Among others the German company van Laack is producing in the region. A total of 180,000 Tunisians now work in the textile sector, which accounts with that for about 40 percent of industrial jobs.

Wage increases in two steps
More than one year after its foundation, FTTH has established itself as the interest representative of textile companies. In 2017 the company split from the employers' association UTICA (Union Tunisians de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de l'Artisanat), not least because the envisaged general wage increases for the company's own industrial sector were considered unworkable. But meanwhile, common ground and cooperation have been emphasized again, or FTTH describes itself as part of UTICA, with a high degree of autonomy.

An agreement has now also been reached with the Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT). This provides for wage increases of 6.5 percent as of 1 January 2019 and 2020 respectively. This wage increases are thus likely to be lower than the inflation, provided that the forecasts for the inflation rate of around 7.5 percent for the current year 2018 will be that way. Currently, the minimum wage in Tunisia's textile and clothing industry for unskilled job starters is around EUR 129 (as of 07-11-2018) per 48-hour week.

Of the more than 1,600 textile companies, over 1,400 are producing exclusively for export. The target markets are clearly in Europe. More than 60 percent of exports went to France and Italy in 2016, with Germany in third place with about 11 percent. As the largest non-European customer, the USA was ranked ninth with less than one per cent. By joining the Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa (COMESA), Tunisia aims to develop new markets. According to the Ministry of Commerce, bilateral talks are underway with several African countries to provide duty-free market access for Tunisian textiles.

Are Chinese investors discovering Tunisia as a location?
In addition to the relations with the African continent, relations with China could also change in the medium term. At the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Beijing in September 2018, Chinese textile companies expressed their interest in Tunisia as a production location. As wages have increased in China in the meantime, a relocation of production to certain sectors of the textile industry could prove useful for the European market.

Exports already increased in 2017. The trend seems to continue in 2018. In 2016 exports were USD 2.9 billion, in 2017 USD 3 billion (a significant increase due to the Dinar's decline in exchange rates (7 billion tD against tD 8.4 billion). According to the first announcements, exports to Europe in the first months of 2018 are expected to have increased again by 3.5 percent compared to 2017. Improving transport and customs clearance should be important for the further development of the textile sector. Especially the companies producing purely for export express this again and again. The textile sector in particular is dependent on short delivery times.

Meanwhile, FTTH is also working to improve the competitive position of Tunisian textile companies on their home market. This applies, for example, to the imports of used clothing for which stricter controls are being desired.

Tunisian imports of machinery, apparatus and equipment for the textile and leather industries and parts thereof (SITC 724; in USD million)
Origin 2015 2016 2017
Total 68.8 67.0 67.3
Italy 15.8 13.7 17.9
China 20.5 12.4 10.6
France   6.5   4.0   7.4
Germany   5.0   6.3   7.2

Note: Thailand was the third largest supplier in 2016, but fell behind in 2017. The table shows the four most important suppliers in 2017
Source: UN Comtrade

In addition to production expansions by German companies, German suppliers could also benefit if the recovery and, above all, structural changes will continue. While total imports of textile and leather machinery fell slightly from around USD 70 million to USD 67 million between 2015 and 2017, German deliveries increased from USD 5 million to USD 7.2 million. (JPS)

Further information on the Chinese commitment in Tunisia can be found online (German only): Link

 

More information:
Tunesia GTAI
Source:

Peter Schmitz, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Village www.kappisdesign.de
22.03.2016

IMPORT BAN OF USED CLOTHING TO PROMOTE EAST AFRICAN TEXTILE INDUSTRY

Observers doubt the Success of the planned Measures / Ambitions in the Automotive Industry

Nairobi (gtai) - The countries of the East African Community will prohibit the import of used clothing and used shoes in three years. Long since defunct textile and clothing industries so revived. It is also planned to impede the import of used cars, in order to promote a local car assemblers. In particular, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni dreams of building its own car industry.

The East African Community (EAC), who is also Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi belong alongside Uganda, other countries serve as role models. So to have led to building lively textile industries in Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam, such a ban.

Observers doubt the Success of the planned Measures / Ambitions in the Automotive Industry

Nairobi (gtai) - The countries of the East African Community will prohibit the import of used clothing and used shoes in three years. Long since defunct textile and clothing industries so revived. It is also planned to impede the import of used cars, in order to promote a local car assemblers. In particular, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni dreams of building its own car industry.

The East African Community (EAC), who is also Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi belong alongside Uganda, other countries serve as role models. So to have led to building lively textile industries in Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam, such a ban.

Used clothing is very popular East Africa. With luck, you can get hold of well-preserved Western European branded goods or shoe sizes, as they are locally not available for little money. Many teenagers from expensive villas suburbs of capitals makes a kick out, used T-shirts to buy exotic printing at prices equivalent to 0.45 euros. Thanks to the second-hand imports contribute even male slum dwellers naturally a western suit and girls or young women from a wide array chic western clothes.

German exports of rags of SITC 269 in countries of the East African Community
(in million euros)

Customer Country 2014 2015 *)
Kenya 8.61 7.74
Uganda 4.92 4.48
Tanzania 1.87 4.81
Rwanda 0.12 0.14
Burundi 0.31 0.02
Total 15.83 17.19
German Exports worldwide 390.64 388.55

1) Primarily apparently used clothing, blankets and kitchen linen of textile materials and shoes that are loose presented in bulk or bales. 2) provisionally
Source: Destatis

Politicians promise hundreds of thousands of new jobs
While East African politicians boast of being able to create in this way hundreds of thousands of jobs, incite economists from: "The reasons why people in East Africa are happy to buy used clothes easily enumerated," said Scolastica Odhiambo, an economics professor at the Kenyan Maseno University: "It is less expensive, of good quality and provides diversity." The regional textile industry have meanwhile not have the capacity to meet the demand. In addition, they do not produce quality  in the eyes of the local population. The only local manufacturer of shoes, meanwhile, the company Bata that however mainly produces shoes for students and a local SME. In the upper price segment Bata, however, is dependent on imports.

In a period of three years, it is the opinion of observers simply impossible to expand the local textile industry so that it can meet the demand both quantitatively and qualitatively. This time is also too short to find alternative employment for hundreds of thousands of second-hand clothes dealer who live with their families from the Mitumba business (Mitumba = bales).

Industrial decline since the 1980s
If the East African states really want to try willing to build a powerful textile industry, they would almost from scratch start. The East African cotton production was mid- 1980 even at the height. Tanzania had  then 700,000 bales (à 185 kg) produces cotton, reports the weekly "The East African", Uganda and Kenya 400,000 100,000. Then it was just gone downhill. Kenya had last only 25,000 bales (2014), Uganda 150,000 bales (2015) and Tanzania produced 30,000 bales (2014).

East African textile factories and Entkörnungswerke for cotton (ginneries) have shut down or run down for the most part. The main reasons included industry experts, a lack of organization of the agricultural sector, high production costs, the inadequate use of quality inputs and over-reliance on a rain irrigation. Then in 1991 came yet added the liberalization of the sector: Cheap Used clothes conquered henceforth
the market.

Uniforms instead of fashion chic?
How difficult is the situation, be seen using the example of single Rwandan textile factory L'Usine Textile du Rwanda (UTEXRWA). 1984 began its operation,the 75-million-US $ - Investment. But for an average Rwandans were and are the products simply too expensive. Finally, the utilization was only at 20%, sales fell to an estimated $ 2 million to 3 million US. Almost all substances are already imported: cotton
fabrics from the East African neighbors, polyester materials from South Africa, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia (Rep.).

To prevent the utter collapse of the company, the Rwandan government will soon raise the import tariffs on clothing gradually from 35% to 100%. Rwandan clothing retailers see the highly critical: UTEXRWA could neither quantity nor quality and certainly not fashionable Chic deliver, not now and not in ten years. Over military and school uniforms are not there, they say.

Prohibitions instead of better frame conditions
Foreign observers speak of a typical East African policy Quick shot: Because the governments want to defuse the ticking time bomb of rapidly rising unemployment, they sat on activism without the  consequences to sufficiently discuss. If East Africa wants to strengthen its industry, it must improve the framework. Bureaucracy, corruption, nepotism and monopolies are the ones that prevent the development of competitive industries for decades.

The winner of the new policy is expected to - be the PRC, which is expected to fill along with other low-cost producers, the expected supply vacuum - again. Clothing stores in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to show where we are headed: The cheapest Chinese commodity, wherever you look. The new Ethiopian textile and footwear industry is meanwhile mainly from Chinese companies which produce exclusively for export. to copy this model to other East African countries, however, is likely to fail, say industry insiders. Kenya and Tanzania are far too expensive, not to mention the landlocked countries of Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda throughout.

German exports of machinery for textile, apparel and leather production
in selected East African countries (EGW 847; EUR million).

Abnehmerland 2013 2014 2015 *)
Mauritius 5.44 3.39 4.17
Uganda 0.60 0.56 1.67
Ethiopia 0.48 6.68 1.14
Kenya 0.93 1.72 0.91
Tanzania 0.61 0.47 0.56
Madagascar 0.02 0.05 0.04
Total 8.08 12.87 8.49

*) provisional; Quelle: Destatis

Protectionism to promote motor vehicle industry
Even more questionable than the East African textile policy is rekindled desire to raise its own automotive industry launched. Hopefuls nationalist politicians in Kenya is the "Mobius", an all-terrain vehicle primitive, which is equipped with a small engine from the Nissan NP200 pick-up truck. Students of Uganda Makerere University have meanwhile introduced with the help of the US Massachusetts Institute of
Technology two concept studies, the "Kiira EV Smak Car" and "Kayoola Solar Bus". While the Kenyan "development" is reminiscent of the technical status of the 2nd World War, set the Ugandan vehicles
conscious on renewable energy.

Although these backyard experiments also not likely to have the lowest commercial opportunities, they nevertheless serve currently as an excuse for protectionist import barriers, which resulted in imports are likely to be more difficult in favor of a local assembly of CKD kits.