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29.11.2021

AVK and SMC BMC Alliance launch SMCCreate 2022 Design Conference

The European Alliance for SMC BMC and the AVK expert task force SMC/BMC are announcing they will organize together SMCCreate 2022, a conference about design in SMC and BMC composite materials. This conference will provide valuable insights in the entire product design process from idea to part manufacturing, targeted both at experienced designers and at designers that are new in applying these versatile materials.

SMC and BMC are composite materials ideal for making light and intricate parts that combine structural performance with a smooth surface finish. For that reason, SMC and BMC are increasingly used in a broad range of end-use applications and markets.

Companies that have been using SMC and BMC solutions have a lot of expertise available, which can help designers to be more successful in bringing products to market. Therefore, the European Alliance for SMC BMC and the AVK expert task force SMC/BMC would like to organize together this design conference, allowing designers to learn from the experts, apply gained insights into their own designs, and broaden their horizon for new part developments.

The European Alliance for SMC BMC and the AVK expert task force SMC/BMC are announcing they will organize together SMCCreate 2022, a conference about design in SMC and BMC composite materials. This conference will provide valuable insights in the entire product design process from idea to part manufacturing, targeted both at experienced designers and at designers that are new in applying these versatile materials.

SMC and BMC are composite materials ideal for making light and intricate parts that combine structural performance with a smooth surface finish. For that reason, SMC and BMC are increasingly used in a broad range of end-use applications and markets.

Companies that have been using SMC and BMC solutions have a lot of expertise available, which can help designers to be more successful in bringing products to market. Therefore, the European Alliance for SMC BMC and the AVK expert task force SMC/BMC would like to organize together this design conference, allowing designers to learn from the experts, apply gained insights into their own designs, and broaden their horizon for new part developments.

Using SMC BMC in your part design
Within the time of only 1.5 day, the SMCCreate 2022 conference will cover a wide range of subjects, all relevant for designers in their selection of materials solutions that provide performance, cost efficiency, manufacturing ability and sustainability. In particular:

  • How can SMC BMC help you to design great parts, bringing a combination of unique shapes and functional performance?
  • How can SMC BMC help you to improve sustainability?
  • What are the key steps in the design process, starting from initial idea to full production series manufacturing?
  • What are the typical design challenges and solutions?
  • How to best design for optimal manufacturing?
  • Which are the tools available for designing in SMC BMC: design software, material data, tooling considerations?
  • Practical examples of designs and components made in SMC BMC
  • What’s new in the world of SMC BMC?

Date and Location
The SMCCreate 2022 Conference will be organized on April 6-7, 2022 in Antwerp (Belgium).

19.11.2021

GOTS appoints Protection Officer North America

Travis Wells, JD, MBA, has been appointed as GOTS Protection Officer North America. In this newly created position, he will be identifying and advising companies that are making unsubstantiated claims regarding GOTS signage.

An increasing number of companies are eager to use GOTS certified materials and want to make claims regarding GOTS content on their finished products. However, the correct use of the trademarked logo is strictly regulated in CUGS 3.1. – The conditions for the use of GOTS signs. A GOTS claim on finished products guarantees the consumer that every single step in the textile processing supply chain was certified. As soon as one stage in the supply chain is not certified, a company may not label or mention GOTS on their final product.

Travis Wells, JD, MBA, has been appointed as GOTS Protection Officer North America. In this newly created position, he will be identifying and advising companies that are making unsubstantiated claims regarding GOTS signage.

An increasing number of companies are eager to use GOTS certified materials and want to make claims regarding GOTS content on their finished products. However, the correct use of the trademarked logo is strictly regulated in CUGS 3.1. – The conditions for the use of GOTS signs. A GOTS claim on finished products guarantees the consumer that every single step in the textile processing supply chain was certified. As soon as one stage in the supply chain is not certified, a company may not label or mention GOTS on their final product.

As a Sustainable Supply Chain Director, Travis has more than 20 years of experience advising fashion and apparel-related businesses on sustainable sourcing, product development and manufacturing in domestic and global markets. He earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Studies from Vassar College, his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in Corporate Law from George Washington University Law School and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Global Sustainability and Finance from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University.  

VDMA: Top young talent with cutting-edge topics  (c) VDMA
The 2021 winners (from top left to right): Dr Martin Hengstermann, Irina Kuznik, Kai-Chieh Kuo.
10.11.2021

VDMA: Top young talent with cutting-edge topics

The Chairman of the Walter Reiners-Stiftung foundation of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association, Peter D. Dornier has awarded prizes to three successful young engineers. The award-winning works provide practical solutions on the topic of circular economy. For example, the recycling of carbon fibres, which are used to produce lightweight components for the automotive industry. Or the environmentally friendly production of yarns from crab shells. Another topic was medical applications: The processing of ultra-fine yarns into stents for aortic repair. The award ceremony took place online on 9 November as part of the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference.  

With a creativity prize, endowed with 3,000 euros, the foundation honoured the diploma thesis of Irina Kuznik, TU Dresden. She used a creative approach to realise solutions for processing chitosan into fibre yarn.

The Chairman of the Walter Reiners-Stiftung foundation of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association, Peter D. Dornier has awarded prizes to three successful young engineers. The award-winning works provide practical solutions on the topic of circular economy. For example, the recycling of carbon fibres, which are used to produce lightweight components for the automotive industry. Or the environmentally friendly production of yarns from crab shells. Another topic was medical applications: The processing of ultra-fine yarns into stents for aortic repair. The award ceremony took place online on 9 November as part of the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference.  

With a creativity prize, endowed with 3,000 euros, the foundation honoured the diploma thesis of Irina Kuznik, TU Dresden. She used a creative approach to realise solutions for processing chitosan into fibre yarn.

Mr Kai-Chieh Kuo was awarded the diploma/master's thesis promotion prize of 3,500 euros. With his master's thesis, which was written at RWTH Aachen University, Mr Kuo contributes to the production of vital components used in medicine. The stents made of ultra-fine yarns are made possible by an innovative modification of the classic tube weaving process.

The Walter Reiners Foundation rewarded the doctoral thesis of Dr. Martin Hengstermann with the promotional prize in the dissertation category, endowed with 5,000 euros. The thesis deals with the production of recycled carbon fibres. These can be used to produce lightweight components for motor vehicle and aircraft construction or the wind energy sector.

New Prize Sustainability / Circular Economy
The environmental conditions of the textile industry and machine construction are changing. Topics such as climate protection and the circular economy are becoming central. From this perspective, the board of the Walter Reiners Foundation has decided to further develop the foundation's prize system.

In 2022, the foundation will for the first time offer a prize with a focus on design / sustainability. Peter D. Dornier, Chairman of the Foundation, explained: "Already in the design phase, one can set the parameters so that a textile product can be reintroduced after use into the economic cycle for a high-quality application. For example, through the appropriate use of materials and finishing. We are looking for solutions for resource-saving design, technology and manufacturing processes."   

(c) TMAS
The new TMAS board members (left to right) Sven Öquist, Jerker Krabbe and Semir Pavlica.
08.11.2021

TMAS has appointed three new members to its board

Jerker Krabbe of Eton Systems, Semir Paclica of Baldwin Technology and Sven Öquist of Coloreel will contribute a wealth of experience from a wide range of industries to the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

Jerker Krabbe joined Eton Systems, one of the leaders in intelligent overhead conveyor systems, as CEO six months ago, and has more than 25 years of commercial, operational and international experience within several well-known companies such as Electrolux, Husqvarna, Gunnebo and Assa Abloy, and most recently as CEO of Sector Alarm AB.

Semir Pavlica has a master’s in finance and started his career at the SEB banking group before joining Baldwin Technology five ago. He is now managing the company’s process improvement and performance.

Sven Öquist joined Coloreel as Vice President of Sales in April this year. He has an international background with previous positions as Managing Director/CEO for a number of Swedish companies. He has also led the global sales team at Polestar, the electrified brand of Volvo Cars.

 

Jerker Krabbe of Eton Systems, Semir Paclica of Baldwin Technology and Sven Öquist of Coloreel will contribute a wealth of experience from a wide range of industries to the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

Jerker Krabbe joined Eton Systems, one of the leaders in intelligent overhead conveyor systems, as CEO six months ago, and has more than 25 years of commercial, operational and international experience within several well-known companies such as Electrolux, Husqvarna, Gunnebo and Assa Abloy, and most recently as CEO of Sector Alarm AB.

Semir Pavlica has a master’s in finance and started his career at the SEB banking group before joining Baldwin Technology five ago. He is now managing the company’s process improvement and performance.

Sven Öquist joined Coloreel as Vice President of Sales in April this year. He has an international background with previous positions as Managing Director/CEO for a number of Swedish companies. He has also led the global sales team at Polestar, the electrified brand of Volvo Cars.

 

05.11.2021

NCTO Commends House Passage of Infrastructure Package

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will provide billions of dollars in new spending to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges and railways and help reconstitute a domestic supply chain for face masks, isolation gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the House for getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill across the finish line today, and we are pleased the legislation will now go to President Biden for his signature. This is the first step in a long-term strategy that is critically needed to permanently onshore PPE production to ensure our nation is prepared for the next health security crisis,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This infrastructure package will help incentivize the reshoring of PPE production by guaranteeing long-term federal contracts and expanding Berry Amendment rules to more federal agencies’ purchases of PPE products, important priorities of the U.S. textile industry.”

NCTO worked with congressional allies to include a version of the Make PPE in America Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), in the infrastructure legislative package. The bill ensures all PPE purchased by the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs are Berry Amendment-compliant (containing 100 percent domestic content); guarantees long-term contracts (a minimum of two years) to U.S. manufacturers; and creates a tiered preference for PPE made in the Western Hemisphere by our free trade partners using U.S. components, after domestic manufacturing capacity has been maximized.

28.10.2021

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) celebrates its first anniversary

After its launch on 20 September 2020, the RCI is proud to celebrate its first anniversary this fall. The balance sheet of the first year is impressive: starting from 11 founding members, that number increased to 30 member companies within 12 months. Numerous webinars, press releases, background information, a glossary and a comic allowed to convey the “Renewable Carbon” concept to the public. The RCI is actively working on labelling and policy analysis, and more activities will follow in the next year.

After its launch on 20 September 2020, the RCI is proud to celebrate its first anniversary this fall. The balance sheet of the first year is impressive: starting from 11 founding members, that number increased to 30 member companies within 12 months. Numerous webinars, press releases, background information, a glossary and a comic allowed to convey the “Renewable Carbon” concept to the public. The RCI is actively working on labelling and policy analysis, and more activities will follow in the next year.

Key for this success: the topic of renewable carbon in chemicals and materials is increasingly becoming a focus of politics and industry. Larger companies will have to report their GHG emissions and also the footprint of their products as part of legislative changes surrounding the European Green Deal. In this context, indirect emissions and the carbon sources of materials will play a much more crucial role. The RCI is actively working on solutions for companies to shift from fossil to renewable carbon, which consists of the use of bio-based feedstock, CO2-based resources and recycling. In the future, reporting on GHG emissions will also include Scope 3 emissions, which are all indirect emissions that occur along the company’s value and supply chain and where the used raw materials account for a large proportion of the footprint. Here is where the carbon source of chemicals and plastics comes into play as an important contributor to the carbon footprint. Without a shift from fossil to renewable carbon feedstocks (combining bio-based, CO2-based and recycled), a sustainable future and the Paris climate targets will be almost impossible to master.

To discuss, promote and realise the shift, 30 innovative companies have already joined forces to support the transition to renewable carbon, considering both technological and economical approaches – and helping to shape the political framework accordingly.

For the second year, RCI plans to focus on a comprehensive understanding of the expected political framework conditions in Europe and across the globe, since they will determine the future of chemistry and materials more than ever. Building on this knowledge, the topic of renewable carbon could then to be systematically integrated into new political directives, which has so far not been effectively managed.

In reality, the political focus lies on the strategy of decarbonising the energy sector, a very central and Herculean task. However, it cannot be applied to the chemical and material world because carbon is usually the central building block that cannot be dispensed with. On the contrary, the demand for carbon in the chemical and materials sectors is expected to more than double by 2050. In order to meet this demand in a sustainable manner, we must move towards quitting fossil carbon. For the first time in industrial history, it is possible to decouple chemistry and materials from petrochemicals and completely cover the demand through the utilisation of biomass, CO2 and recycling.

Source:

Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)

World-renowned marine research institute confirms biodegradability of LENZING™ fibers (c) New York Times/Alexander C. Welsh
Scripps Research Institute
27.10.2021

World-renowned marine research institute confirms biodegradability of LENZING™ fibers

  • Results of experiments conducted by the University of California’s prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego provide further scientific proof that LENZING™ fibers offer an effective substitute to synthetic fibers that are part of the pressing problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Lenzing/San Diego – The Lenzing Group, a world-leading provider of wood-based specialty fibers, has received further scientific proof of the biodegradability of its fibers. In a study published in October 2021 , scientists from the prestigious academic research institute Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego confirmed that wood-based cellulosic fibers biodegrade in the ocean within a short period of time at the end of their life cycle, making them a better alternative to fossil-based fibers. The research was the result of an independent project trying to understand the “end-of-life” scenarios for textiles and nonwovens discarded in the environment.

  • Results of experiments conducted by the University of California’s prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego provide further scientific proof that LENZING™ fibers offer an effective substitute to synthetic fibers that are part of the pressing problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Lenzing/San Diego – The Lenzing Group, a world-leading provider of wood-based specialty fibers, has received further scientific proof of the biodegradability of its fibers. In a study published in October 2021 , scientists from the prestigious academic research institute Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego confirmed that wood-based cellulosic fibers biodegrade in the ocean within a short period of time at the end of their life cycle, making them a better alternative to fossil-based fibers. The research was the result of an independent project trying to understand the “end-of-life” scenarios for textiles and nonwovens discarded in the environment.

SIO has a global reputation for being one of the oldest, largest and most important marine research centers worldwide. In this study, SIO compared the degradation processes of nonwovens made from fossil-based synthetic materials such as polyester with those of cellulosic materials such as Lenzing’s wood-based lyocell, modal and viscose fibers in specific scenarios – under various real oceanic conditions and controlled aquaria conditions. The results of these experiments are striking: while wood-based cellulosic fibers fully biodegraded within 30 days, the fossil-based fibers tested were practically unchanged after more than 200 days.

The biodegradability of LENZING™ fibers was also tested in the laboratory of Organic Waste Systems (OWS) in Belgium – one of the world's leading companies in biodegradability and compostability testing – which showed data confirmed by those found with the real-life measurements at Scripps. The OWS assessment was conducted in accordance with applicable international standards and reflects relevant natural and artificial conditions in which biodegradation can occur. Certificates from the certification organization TÜV Austria show that LENZING™ fibers rapidly biodegrade in all test environments (soil, industrial composting, home composting, fresh water and marine water) within the time frames set by the applicable standards.

Lenzing also welcomes the EU’s targeted measures to combat plastic waste in general, such as those relating to the single-use plastic directive (EU) 2019/9043. In its recently adopted guidelines for implementing the directive, the EU Commission stipulates the specific products that fall under this category, which is a well-needed effort to provide clarity to the EU member states for their joint campaign against environmental pollution from plastic waste. Lenzing’s wood-based, biodegradable cellulosic fibers can be part of a sustainable and innovative solution to this man-made problem that will continue to grow. As of July 2021, the single-use plastic directive sets out standardized labelling requirements for certain products, either on packaging or on the products themselves, which include plastic-based feminine hygiene products and wet wipes for body care or household use. This is a start to tackle the problem: educate the consumer and offer alternative materials with better circularity.

(c) INDA
25.10.2021

INDA: Innovations in Hygiene & Personal Care at Hygienix™ 2021

With enthusiastic participant registration and continued strong growth projected in absorbent hygiene & personal care markets, excitement is building for the seventh edition of Hygienix as it returns as an in-person event just weeks away, Nov. 15-18, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

INDA reports that more than 300 participants have signed up to attend the conference with participation expected to approach pre-pandemic levels in the 500 range.

The Hygienix conference program will focus on compelling topics including New Options for a Responsible End-of-Life; Product and Process Innovation in Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs); Haptics: Four Approaches to Assessing Feel, and E-Hygiene Advancements; Absorbent Hygiene Products Market Stats, Trends and Policy Insights; Feminine Care: Challenges to the Status Quo; and New Approaches and Unmet Needs in Baby and Incontinence AHPs.

The conference will also feature two nonwovens workshops, a welcome reception and opportunities for 60 tabletop displays with receptions.

With enthusiastic participant registration and continued strong growth projected in absorbent hygiene & personal care markets, excitement is building for the seventh edition of Hygienix as it returns as an in-person event just weeks away, Nov. 15-18, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

INDA reports that more than 300 participants have signed up to attend the conference with participation expected to approach pre-pandemic levels in the 500 range.

The Hygienix conference program will focus on compelling topics including New Options for a Responsible End-of-Life; Product and Process Innovation in Absorbent Hygiene Products (AHPs); Haptics: Four Approaches to Assessing Feel, and E-Hygiene Advancements; Absorbent Hygiene Products Market Stats, Trends and Policy Insights; Feminine Care: Challenges to the Status Quo; and New Approaches and Unmet Needs in Baby and Incontinence AHPs.

The conference will also feature two nonwovens workshops, a welcome reception and opportunities for 60 tabletop displays with receptions.

Hygienix Innovation Award Finalists
Among the conference highlights will be the selection of the Hygienix Innovation Award™. The three finalists are all tapping into key trends that are driving growth in this segment – innovation and sustainability – with products that promote health and a healthy environment.

Award finalists making presentations include:

  • Expandable Core Wrap from Curt G. Joa, Inc. – Chris Nelson, Business Development Manager, will provide an overview of this new patent-pending expandable core wrap design that allows the core to expand within the containment wrap as the product is insulted, regardless of the blended fluff and Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) ratio.    
  • GlatPure™ Back Sheet from Glatfelter – Vishal Bansal, Ph.D., Vice President, Innovation, will share how this product differs from most back sheets in today’s market that are made from plastic film and nonwovens such as Polyethylene (PE).
  • Kudos Diapers from Kudos – According to Kudos Founder & CEO Amrita Saigal, a typical baby spends over 22,000 hours in diapers before potty training, making the material that touches their skin matter. Kudos is the first and only disposable diaper where baby’s bottom touches 100 percent doctor-recommended, carbon-negative, sensitive-skin-friendly cotton all day versus fossil-fuel-derived plastic
22.10.2021

VDMA Textile Machinery publishes position paper

In a position paper published on 22 October 2021, the companies organised in the VDMA Textile Machinery Association welcome the ambitions of the EU to promote climate protection, in particular the approach of combining the goals for the EU textile and clothing industry into a sector-specific strategy.

Up to now, the increasing textile consumption around the world, due to growing population and purchasing power has been accompanied by a rising use of resources. “The textile machinery companies organised in the VDMA are geared towards a functioning circular economy. With our highly efficient technologies we are an indispensable partner in this transition process”, explained Regina Brückner, Chairwoman of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association and Managing Associate of Brückner Trockentechnik.  

In a position paper published on 22 October 2021, the companies organised in the VDMA Textile Machinery Association welcome the ambitions of the EU to promote climate protection, in particular the approach of combining the goals for the EU textile and clothing industry into a sector-specific strategy.

Up to now, the increasing textile consumption around the world, due to growing population and purchasing power has been accompanied by a rising use of resources. “The textile machinery companies organised in the VDMA are geared towards a functioning circular economy. With our highly efficient technologies we are an indispensable partner in this transition process”, explained Regina Brückner, Chairwoman of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association and Managing Associate of Brückner Trockentechnik.  

In the new position paper, the executive board of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association emphasises that the new framework must be practicable. Ms Brückner said: “The EU must strike the right balance between necessary, yet also minimal, legislative regulation. A successful transition requires a level playing field which sets out fair rules for sustainability, thereby enabling European companies to nonetheless increase their international competitiveness.”

You can find the complete position paper in the attachment.

Source:

VDMA e. V

14.10.2021

NCTO's Statement on Global Supply Chain Crisis

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement following President Biden’s remarks on the global supply chain crisis and stressed the importance of investing onshoring and nearshoring:

"We appreciate President Biden’s call to ensure we are building more resilient and reliable supply chains and to invest in our manufacturing industries here at home, in his address earlier today.

There is a reason we got into this mess and there is a reason we have a global supply chain crisis. Years of offshoring production in a race to the bottom –exacerbated by predatory trade practices that have undermined so many manufacturing industries--has led to a tipping point. In fact, it was not too long ago that nurses in New York City and beyond were wearing garbage bags as gowns as our overreliance on Chinese production chains exposed severe fragilities in keeping our health care workers safe during the height of the pandemic.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement following President Biden’s remarks on the global supply chain crisis and stressed the importance of investing onshoring and nearshoring:

"We appreciate President Biden’s call to ensure we are building more resilient and reliable supply chains and to invest in our manufacturing industries here at home, in his address earlier today.

There is a reason we got into this mess and there is a reason we have a global supply chain crisis. Years of offshoring production in a race to the bottom –exacerbated by predatory trade practices that have undermined so many manufacturing industries--has led to a tipping point. In fact, it was not too long ago that nurses in New York City and beyond were wearing garbage bags as gowns as our overreliance on Chinese production chains exposed severe fragilities in keeping our health care workers safe during the height of the pandemic.

China’s virtually unlimited and unrealistic pricing power coupled with its subsidies and lack of enforceable environmental standards strips benefits and undermines policy objectives, and leaves us in an untenable situation of overreliance on a foreign supply chain for critical products and raw materials. This must change.

We must hold China accountable for predatory trade practices that have offshored our industries and our jobs. We must onshore and nearshore more textile and apparel production chains out of Asia to the U.S. and also to Western Hemisphere trade partners. This has a multitude of benefits to ensure more reliability in production and also has remarkable job benefits to U.S. manufacturers and our allied trading partners who adhere to higher labor and environmental standards. Further, it will help address the migration crisis and grow better paying jobs.

Now is the time to we need to unlock long-term commitments to source product from the USA and from our Hemispheric partners.  If we moved another 10 percent of global production to the U.S. and the Hemisphere, imagine the benefits that could be achieved.  Ensuring further verticalization and investment in all aspects of the industry, from raw materials to finished products, is good for the American economy and workers in the U.S. and in the region.

Our industry stands ready to help and provide the solutions to onshore and nearshore these production chains that benefit manufacturing workers, the U.S. economy, our Western Hemisphere allies, and consumers.   Further, onshoring and nearshoring these critical production chains has remarkable benefits for the environment and addresses the growing, systemic and alarming issues associated with climate change.  

It is critical that supply chains mitigate risks so that we are never in this situation again.  We appreciate President Biden recognizing the value of onshoring these critical production chains and stand ready to work with the administration in these efforts."

More information:
NCTO
Source:

NCTO

(c) Euratex
EU-27 Textile & Clothing Turnover
12.10.2021

EURATEX: Latest economic data confirm further recovery of the textile and clothing industry

European Textiles and Clothing (T&C) industry coming out of the Covid19-crisis, but facing new challenges ahead. This recovery may however be disrupted by the current supply chain and energy problems. Latest economic data on the European T&C industry confirm further recovery from the corona pandemic. The textile activity has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level from Q4 2019 (+3.6%); the clothing sector still remains 11.5% below, but continues to improve.

European Textiles and Clothing (T&C) industry coming out of the Covid19-crisis, but facing new challenges ahead. This recovery may however be disrupted by the current supply chain and energy problems. Latest economic data on the European T&C industry confirm further recovery from the corona pandemic. The textile activity has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level from Q4 2019 (+3.6%); the clothing sector still remains 11.5% below, but continues to improve.

In quarter-on-quarter terms, the EU turnover showed signs of improvements across the sector. The textile turnover increased by +3.3% in Q2 2021, after slightly contracting in Q1 2021. Similarly, the business activity in the clothing sector expanded by +7% in Q2 2021, after increasing by +1% in the previous quarter.
 
In the 2nd quarter 2021, the EU-27 trade balance for T&C improved, resulting mostly from an increase of export sales across third markets and a drop of textile imports. T&C Extra-EU exports boomed by +49% as compared with the same quarter of the previous year. T&C Extra-EU imports went down by -26% as compared with the same quarter of the previous year, following a decrease of imports from some main supplier countries. EU imports from China and the UK collapsed due to a combination of Brexit and weaker demand in Europe.
 
During the second quarter of 2021, job creation was slowly stabilising in the textile industry (-0.2% q-o-q), while employment in the clothing sector continued to be affected by lower levels of production activity in industry during the first part of the year (-1.2%). When compared to its pre-pandemic level in Q4 2019, EU employment in Q2 2021 was still 4.4% down in textiles and 11.8% down in clothing.

However, this fragile recovery is hampered by higher shipping costs and prices’ increase in raw materials and energy. The cost of energy, in particular gas, has increased more than 3 times since the beginning of this year. Since the announcement of the EU’s “Fit for 55” package, we have seen CO2 prices rising above €60. This inevitably has an impact on the industry’s competitiveness, especially in a global context. The future recovery is also threatened by some factors limiting production, such as shortage of labour force and equipment, which are putting additional pressure on T&C industries.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on these latest figures: “Our companies have shown great resilience during the pandemic, and their latest export performance is an encouraging sign of recovery. This recovery may however be disrupted by the current supply chain and energy problems. Once again, recent developments show that this transition towards more sustainable production can only work if organised in a global context, avoiding carbon leakage and with an effective level playing field. This must be considered in the upcoming EU Textiles Strategy.”

More information:
Euratex
Source:

Euratex

Virtual RISE Conference Highlights (c) INDA
RISE 2021 Award Winner Canopy
06.10.2021

Virtual RISE Conference Highlights

  • Next-Gen Technologies for Nonwovens/Engineered Materials
  • Canopy Respirator from Canopy Wins Innovation Award

145 professionals in product development, material science, and new technologies convened for the 11th conference edition of RISE®—Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, held virtually, Sept. 28-30. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on Nonwoven Material Science Developments, Sustainability, Increasing Circularity, Promising Innovations, Process Innovations, Material Innovations, Government/NGO Challenges to Single-Use Plastics, Machine-Assisted-Learning Development of Biopolymers, and Market Intelligence and Economic Insights.

Participants praised the high-quality program content, in-depth round table discussions, networking and Q&A’s where participants ask expert speakers questions pertaining to their focused presentations.

Highlights among the 26 presentations included

  • Next-Gen Technologies for Nonwovens/Engineered Materials
  • Canopy Respirator from Canopy Wins Innovation Award

145 professionals in product development, material science, and new technologies convened for the 11th conference edition of RISE®—Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, held virtually, Sept. 28-30. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University.

The program focused on Nonwoven Material Science Developments, Sustainability, Increasing Circularity, Promising Innovations, Process Innovations, Material Innovations, Government/NGO Challenges to Single-Use Plastics, Machine-Assisted-Learning Development of Biopolymers, and Market Intelligence and Economic Insights.

Participants praised the high-quality program content, in-depth round table discussions, networking and Q&A’s where participants ask expert speakers questions pertaining to their focused presentations.

Highlights among the 26 presentations included

  • Sustainable Solutions for our Plastic Planet Predicament, by Marc A. Hillmyer, Ph.D., McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair, University of Minnesota;
  • Closed-Loop Recycling Pilot of Single-Use Face Masks by Peter Dziezok, Ph.D., Director of Open Innovation, Proctor & Gamble;
  • Innovating a Sustainable Future for Nonwovens: A European Perspective, by Matt Tipper, Ph.D., CEO, Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI);
  • Phantom Platform: The Polyolefin-cellulose Coformed Substrates Technology, by Fabio Zampollo, CEO and Founder of Teknoweb Materials; 
  • Guiding Environmentally Sustainable Innovations – From Reactive to Proactive Life Cycle Management, by Valentina Prado, Ph.D., Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global LLC;  
  • High-Loft, Ultra-Soft Hygiene Solutions, Paul E. Rollin, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist – Global Hygiene, Propylene-Vistamaxx-Adhesion (PVA) Global Technology, ExxonMobil Chemical Company;
  • Canadian Plastic Policy Update, by Karyn M. Schmidt, Senior Director, Regulatory & Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Other highlights included the announcement of Canopy Respirator as the winner of this year’s RISE® Innovation Award winner. The annual award recognizes innovation in areas within and on the periphery of the nonwovens industry which use advanced science and engineering principles to develop unique or intricate solutions to problems and advance the usage of nonwovens.

RISE® Innovation Award Winner
The RISE® Innovation Award was presented to Canopy for their Canopy Respirator. The productis an innovative respirator that is fully mechanical, non-electrostatic, with a filter designed for superior breathability while offering the wearer facial transparency. The breakthrough respirator features 5.5mm water column resistance at 85 liters (3 cubic feet) per minute, 2-way filtration, and a pleated filter that contains over 500 square centimeters of surface area. The patented Canopy respirator resists fluids, and eliminates fogging of eyeglasses.

Source:

INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry

(c) Euratex
24.09.2021

Energy supplies crisis: EURATEX calls for immediate support

On the occasion of EURATEX Board of Directors meeting, held in Brussels September 24, President Alberto Paccanelli issued an urgent appeal to European and national authorities to support the European textiles and clothing companies who face a massive increase in their energy costs.

“The cost of energy, in particular gas, has increased more than 3 times since the beginning of this year. Since the announcement of the EU’s “Fit for 55” package, we have seen CO² prices rising above €60. This inevitably has an impact on our competitiveness, especially in a global context.”.

EURATEX asks for immediate measures which can alleviate the burden of these energy cost, e.g. by reducing VAT on the energy bills. In the longer run, the EU should develop a smart strategy towards ensuring long term sustainable energy supply, at reasonable cost for the industry. If this is not considered, any attempt towards developing a new EU Industrial strategy will be meaningless, since competition with third countries will be devastating.

On the occasion of EURATEX Board of Directors meeting, held in Brussels September 24, President Alberto Paccanelli issued an urgent appeal to European and national authorities to support the European textiles and clothing companies who face a massive increase in their energy costs.

“The cost of energy, in particular gas, has increased more than 3 times since the beginning of this year. Since the announcement of the EU’s “Fit for 55” package, we have seen CO² prices rising above €60. This inevitably has an impact on our competitiveness, especially in a global context.”.

EURATEX asks for immediate measures which can alleviate the burden of these energy cost, e.g. by reducing VAT on the energy bills. In the longer run, the EU should develop a smart strategy towards ensuring long term sustainable energy supply, at reasonable cost for the industry. If this is not considered, any attempt towards developing a new EU Industrial strategy will be meaningless, since competition with third countries will be devastating.

“The upcoming EU Textiles strategy is an excellent opportunity for the European Commission to demonstrate its vision to develop a sustainable and competitive textiles industry in Europe. Access to affordable energy supplies must be an integral part of it.”, concluded Alberto Paccanelli.

More information:
Euratex energy supplies crisis
Source:

Euratex

23.09.2021

NCTO: U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai highlights U.S. Textile Industry

Milliken & Company and American & Efird (A&E) hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in two separate visits to the companies’ state-of-the-art textile manufacturing facilities, marking an unprecedented visit to the heart of the U.S. textile industry in the Carolinas by the nation’s top trade chief.

Ambassador Tai’s visit comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $64 billion in output in 2020 and employed nearly 530,000 workers. The industry has been at the forefront of a domestic production chain manufacturing over a billion personal protective equipment (PPE) items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milliken & Company and American & Efird (A&E) hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in two separate visits to the companies’ state-of-the-art textile manufacturing facilities, marking an unprecedented visit to the heart of the U.S. textile industry in the Carolinas by the nation’s top trade chief.

Ambassador Tai’s visit comes at a pivotal time for the U.S. textile supply chain, which produced $64 billion in output in 2020 and employed nearly 530,000 workers. The industry has been at the forefront of a domestic production chain manufacturing over a billion personal protective equipment (PPE) items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ambassador’s visit to Milliken included a tour of the company’s Magnolia plant in Blacksburg, S.C., and a roundtable discussion highlighting the important role women contribute to textiles, the critical need for policies supporting a domestic supply chain, and the significant impact of the sector to the U.S. economy. Milliken is one of the largest textile companies in the U.S., employing more than 6,000 associates domestically and an additional 1,350 associates globally. Milliken’s Textile Business alone employs 2,500 people across eight counties in South Carolina and is the fourth largest manufacturing employer in the Upstate.

On the second leg of her trip, Ambassador Tai visited American & Efird’s manufacturing facility in Mount Holly, N.C. American & Efird operates as part of Elevate Textiles and its global portfolio of advanced products and distinguished textile brands, including A&E, Burlington, Cone Denim, Gütermann and Safety Components, and representing more than 500 years of textile manufacturing knowledge.

During the visit, U.S. textile executives spanning the fiber, yarn, fabric, and finished product textile and apparel industry participated in a roundtable with the Ambassador at which they discussed the competitiveness of the domestic industry, outlined priority issues in Washington, such as the importance of the Western Hemisphere co-production chain and ways to jointly support domestic supply chains through Buy American and Berry Amendment policies that help onshore production, spur investment, maintain the safety and security of our armed forces and generate new jobs.

15.09.2021

DNFI Award Jury 2021 started its work

The Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI) will announce the winner of the Innovation in Natural Fibre Research Award soon. The aim of the award is to raise awareness of the achievements of the natural fibers sector by recognizing innovative and progressive work by people and institutions at the level of production and use of natural fibers. The closing date for applications was September 10.

Interest in the award was high again in 2021, indicating that research in fields involving natural fibres is robust. The applications that were received reveal a fascinating array of projects, new topics, and both private and public sector funding for natural fibre research.

There are seven finalists, and final judging is underway. The winner of the 2021 Award will be announced in early October.

The Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI) will announce the winner of the Innovation in Natural Fibre Research Award soon. The aim of the award is to raise awareness of the achievements of the natural fibers sector by recognizing innovative and progressive work by people and institutions at the level of production and use of natural fibers. The closing date for applications was September 10.

Interest in the award was high again in 2021, indicating that research in fields involving natural fibres is robust. The applications that were received reveal a fascinating array of projects, new topics, and both private and public sector funding for natural fibre research.

There are seven finalists, and final judging is underway. The winner of the 2021 Award will be announced in early October.

The seven finalists for the 2021 Award fall into several broad categories, including traceability and the measurement of environmental impacts of natural fibres, the use of natural fibres in manufacturing biodegradable composites, and new or expanded uses for natural fibre materials. Researchers and institutions located in Australia, India, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland are among the finalists for the 2021 award.

More information:
DNFI DNFI award
Source:

DNFI

14.09.2021

JEC Forum DACH - Conference schedule

  • JEC Forum DACH: a primising agenda highlighting composites innovatioon in the region

September 7, 2021 - JEC Forum DACH's primary goal is to promote the region DACH area's dynamic composites ecosystem through a promising program that includes conferences, startup competition, and awards. The first edition of the JEC DACH Forum, unique in its format and content, will occur in the Forum of Messe Frankfurt from November 23 to 24, 2021.

For two days, the JEC Forum DACH program will offer the opportunity to exchange and learn about the current and future developments of Composites in the DACH region through a rich program of conferences, the JEC Composites Startup Booster, and the JEC-AVK Awards. JEC Forum DACH will include pre-arranged Business Meetings between sponsors and attendees as well as sponsors' workshops. Advance registration is required to attend this forum that expects to gather 500 participants.

Conferences, keynotes and market overview

  • JEC Forum DACH: a primising agenda highlighting composites innovatioon in the region

September 7, 2021 - JEC Forum DACH's primary goal is to promote the region DACH area's dynamic composites ecosystem through a promising program that includes conferences, startup competition, and awards. The first edition of the JEC DACH Forum, unique in its format and content, will occur in the Forum of Messe Frankfurt from November 23 to 24, 2021.

For two days, the JEC Forum DACH program will offer the opportunity to exchange and learn about the current and future developments of Composites in the DACH region through a rich program of conferences, the JEC Composites Startup Booster, and the JEC-AVK Awards. JEC Forum DACH will include pre-arranged Business Meetings between sponsors and attendees as well as sponsors' workshops. Advance registration is required to attend this forum that expects to gather 500 participants.

Conferences, keynotes and market overview

JEC Forum DACH will feature cutting-edge live conferences with exclusive keynotes organized by the AVK.
The composites industry provides a significant impetus, e.g. in its process technologies for hybrid structures or integrated manufacturing and modern mobility or new materials in the booming construction sector. There's been an increasing number of marketable ideas for recycling and sustainability solutions. Furthermore, an exclusive report on current market developments in the European composites market will be delivered.

JEC Forum DACH will also feature a fulfilling conference program with experts from the industry giving insights on the latest developments in high-performance composite technologies and applications.

Each day of the forum will be broken down as-is:
•    Two keynote speeches led by one or two high profile experts
•    Conferences/technical presentations
•    Workshops and Business Meetings

Please find the program of the conference attached.

Source:

AVK - Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e. V.

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

30.08.2021

The Renewable Carbon Initiative RCI is joining forces

  • From fossil to renewable materials: Members advocate policy analysis and focused implementation of the renewable carbon strategy

The members of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) (www.renewable-carbon-initiative.com), founded in September 2020, have joined forces to shape the transition from the fossil to the renewable age for the chemical and materials industry. This means spreading the concept of renewable carbon and developing new value chains based on renewable carbon as a feedstock.

In the meantime, several activities have started from which future members can benefit as well. First and foremost is the kick-off to comprehensive policy analysis. What influence will forthcoming regulation have on chemicals, plastics, and other materials? When and where should the renewable carbon idea be emphasized and referred to?

The policy analysis will examine pending policies in the European Union – and a later expansion to America and Asia is planned as well.

  • From fossil to renewable materials: Members advocate policy analysis and focused implementation of the renewable carbon strategy

The members of the Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) (www.renewable-carbon-initiative.com), founded in September 2020, have joined forces to shape the transition from the fossil to the renewable age for the chemical and materials industry. This means spreading the concept of renewable carbon and developing new value chains based on renewable carbon as a feedstock.

In the meantime, several activities have started from which future members can benefit as well. First and foremost is the kick-off to comprehensive policy analysis. What influence will forthcoming regulation have on chemicals, plastics, and other materials? When and where should the renewable carbon idea be emphasized and referred to?

The policy analysis will examine pending policies in the European Union – and a later expansion to America and Asia is planned as well.

A particular focus will be placed on upcoming policies and regulations and how they impact renewable carbon. The members are currently deciding on where to start specifically, but questions that may be considered are: What does the new climate law and the “Fit for 55-Package” mean for chemicals and materials? What can be expected from REACH and microplastics restrictions? How relevant is the “Sustainable Products Initiative” and the coming restrictions for Green Claims? Circular Economy, Zero Pollution and Sustainable Financing are keywords of the future European landscapes, which might become very concrete for chemistry and materials in the next few years. To what extent the concept of renewable carbon for materials is considered in policy already and how it could be further introduced in future legislation are two of the main questions investigated in the working group “Policy”.

This working group is open to all members of RCI. Policy experts provide the respective analysis as a foundation, organising discussions between members of the policy group and plan meetings with policymakers to introduce the Renewable Carbon concept.

Additional working groups have been created, one with a focus on communication, the other looking at the development of a renewable carbon label. In early September, a renewable carbon community will be launched as a starting point for even more interaction between the members, to discuss strategies, create new value chains and start project consortia.

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) is a dynamic and ambitious group of interested parties. Membership numbers have now more than doubled since the launch almost a year ago, with RCI now boasting 25 members, 6 partners and over 200 supporters. It welcomes all companies that are on the way to transform their resource base from fossil to renewable.

More information:
Renewable Carbon Initiative
Source:

nova-Institut für politische und ökologische Innovation GmbH für RCI

Jason Kent, BTMA
26.08.2021

New CEO at British Textile Machinery Association (BTMA)

Jason Kent has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the BTMA Group, which also includes subsidiaries nw texnet and The Textile Recorder (Machinery & Accessories) Exhibitions Ltd (TREX), effective from Monday 23rd August 2021.

Jason has been a non-executive member of the BTMA board for over eight years and brings a wealth of experience with him, having spent 35 years working in the carpet tufting machinery industry.

As a time-served mechanical technician engineer, he ascended through a series of positions of greater responsibility with Cobble Blackburn until its acquisition in 2013 by the Vandewiele Group, where he undertook the role of Managing Director for the tufting machinery business.

He also studied part-time for his MBA back in 2011 and is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

“I am very privileged to be joining the BTMA,” said Jason Kent. “I believe there are many generational changes ahead that our members must face and the BTMA needs to be ready and capable of supporting such challenges.”

Jason Kent has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the BTMA Group, which also includes subsidiaries nw texnet and The Textile Recorder (Machinery & Accessories) Exhibitions Ltd (TREX), effective from Monday 23rd August 2021.

Jason has been a non-executive member of the BTMA board for over eight years and brings a wealth of experience with him, having spent 35 years working in the carpet tufting machinery industry.

As a time-served mechanical technician engineer, he ascended through a series of positions of greater responsibility with Cobble Blackburn until its acquisition in 2013 by the Vandewiele Group, where he undertook the role of Managing Director for the tufting machinery business.

He also studied part-time for his MBA back in 2011 and is also a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

“I am very privileged to be joining the BTMA,” said Jason Kent. “I believe there are many generational changes ahead that our members must face and the BTMA needs to be ready and capable of supporting such challenges.”

 “As I see it, we have three initial goals in providing better business outcomes for our members through active engagement in addressing industry skills deficits, ensuring we are at the forefront of the industrial digitalisation revolution, and leveraging opportunities brought about through innovation and the associated global focus on sustainability.”
Founded in 1940, the British Textile Machinery Association actively promotes British textile machinery manufacturers and their products to the world. The non-profit organisation acts as a bridge between its members and the increasingly diverse industries within the textile manufacturing sector.

More information:
BTMA
Source:

AWOL Media for BTMA

TMAS: Swedish Group ACG turns 100 (c) Ismail Abdelkareem, ACG Goup
ACG’s Reimar Westerlind and Thomas Arvidsson at the company’s head office in Borås, Sweden
16.08.2021

TMAS: Swedish Group ACG turns 100

It is exactly 100 years ago on August 17th this year that Carl Axel Gustafsson returned from the USA to Sweden with a significant agency agreement from the Boston-based sewing machine leader Reece.

Back in 1921, Reece, along with its competitor Singer, entirely dominated the buttonhole machine market and were the world’s only manufacturers of these machines for jackets, trousers and coats.

Gustafsson’s license enabled his new company A C Gustafsson to become one of Europe’s first leasing organisations, hiring out Reece buttonhole machines and receiving payment per sewn buttonhole stitch.

This business thrived for many decades and formed the basis for the entire ACG Group as it exists today.

Forty years later, on September 2nd 1961 to be precise, Reimar Westerlind walked out of a restaurant after a long and enjoyable lunch with someone he’d never met before, having signed his intention to buy a company he knew nothing about on an improvised contract written on the back of a menu.

It is exactly 100 years ago on August 17th this year that Carl Axel Gustafsson returned from the USA to Sweden with a significant agency agreement from the Boston-based sewing machine leader Reece.

Back in 1921, Reece, along with its competitor Singer, entirely dominated the buttonhole machine market and were the world’s only manufacturers of these machines for jackets, trousers and coats.

Gustafsson’s license enabled his new company A C Gustafsson to become one of Europe’s first leasing organisations, hiring out Reece buttonhole machines and receiving payment per sewn buttonhole stitch.

This business thrived for many decades and formed the basis for the entire ACG Group as it exists today.

Forty years later, on September 2nd 1961 to be precise, Reimar Westerlind walked out of a restaurant after a long and enjoyable lunch with someone he’d never met before, having signed his intention to buy a company he knew nothing about on an improvised contract written on the back of a menu.

“What I didn’t know then was that my dining partner was the family lawyer of Carl Axel Gustafsson,” Reimar explains. “I had no money and knew nothing about the textile industry and I also quickly discovered the business was not doing so well at that time and tried to get out of the agreement, but he insisted I honour it. He told me he had money and would back me, but I’d have to work hard and pay him back in full.”

Reimar certainly took that advice, and at the age of 92 still travels to his office every day to oversee the operations of the diverse companies now operating under the ACG umbrella.

Although textiles remain the bedrock of the business, under Reimar Westerlind’s management, ACG Group has branched out into many other fields of activity over the past 60 years, and its diversity has also led to some highly unexpected developments.

Like many other European manufacturers, ACG also began to expand beyond its traditional borders from the 1970s onwards – initially into the former Soviet Union and subsequently establishing subsidiaries in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, the Ukraine and Denmark.