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18.01.2022

EURATEX: BREXIT has been a “lose-lose” deal for the textile industry

Latest trade data (January-September 2021) show a dramatic drop of imports and exports of textile goods between the EU and UK, with significant losses for companies on both sides. The situation is likely to get worse, as the full customs regime between UK and EU has entered into force on 1 January 2022. EURATEX calls on the European Union and the United Kingdom to effectively cooperate to remove the issues in the EU-UK Trade agreement that prevent smooth trade flows.  

Latest trade data (January-September 2021) show a dramatic drop of imports and exports of textile goods between the EU and UK, with significant losses for companies on both sides. The situation is likely to get worse, as the full customs regime between UK and EU has entered into force on 1 January 2022. EURATEX calls on the European Union and the United Kingdom to effectively cooperate to remove the issues in the EU-UK Trade agreement that prevent smooth trade flows.  

All the sectors have been already suffering a significant loss in the past year and textiles has been no exception. Compared to the same period in 2020, between January and September the EU recorded a dramatic fall in imports (-44%, corresponding to almost € 2 billion) and in exports (-22%, corresponding to € 1.6 billion). The data show that the most impacted EU countries on the export side are Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany while on the import side the most impacted countries are Germany, Ireland and France. Among the T&C sectors, clothing articles are facing the most severe drop in both imports and exports, corresponding to a total trade loss of more than € 3.4 billion over the 9 months period. Despite these alarming figures, the UK continues to be the most important export market for EU textiles and clothing.

Concerning the impact on the UK textiles sector, in May 2021 the UK Fashion and Textile Association’s (UKFT) surveyed 138 businesses, including leading UK fashion brands, UK textile manufacturers, wholesalers, fashion agencies, garment manufacturers and retailers.

The results of the survey showed that:

  • 71% currently rely on imports from the EU
  • 92% are experiencing increased freight costs  
  • 83% are experiencing increased costs and bureaucracy for customs clearance
  • 53% are experiencing cancelled orders as a result of how the EU-UK agreement is being implemented
  • 41% had been hit by double duties  
  • The vast majority of the surveyed companies declared they are looking to pass the increased costs on to consumer in the next  6-12 months

The above situation is expected to get worse. Since 1 January, full customs controls are being implemented. It means that export and import rules have become stricter: products should already have a valid declaration in place and have received customs clearance. Export from Britain to the EU must now have supplier declarations and the commodities codes changed.  

EURATEX calls on the European Union and the United Kingdom to effectively cooperate to address, solve and remove the issues in the EU-UK Trade agreement that currently prevent smooth trade flows between the two sides of the Channel. It is causing considerable losses for textile companies both in the EU as well as in the UK. 

 

More information:
Euratex textile industry Brexit
Source:

EURATEX

10.01.2022

OEKO-TEX® New Regulations 2022

The OEKO-TEX® Association has published its annual update of the applicable test criteria, limit values and guidelines for its certifications. All new regulations will finally come into force on 1 April 2022 after a transition period. In addition, the new Impact Calculator is now available for STeP by OEKO-TEX® customers. The tool, which was developed specifically for textile industry operations, provides data on the CO2 and water footprint necessary to achieve the climate targets.

In mid-2022, the association will introduce RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®, a new certification for brands and retailers committed to international agreements for human rights and environmental protection. OEKO-TEX® aims to support companies in fulfilling due diligence obligations within their own operations and their global supply chains. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX® was developed in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the relevant OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.

The OEKO-TEX® Association has published its annual update of the applicable test criteria, limit values and guidelines for its certifications. All new regulations will finally come into force on 1 April 2022 after a transition period. In addition, the new Impact Calculator is now available for STeP by OEKO-TEX® customers. The tool, which was developed specifically for textile industry operations, provides data on the CO2 and water footprint necessary to achieve the climate targets.

In mid-2022, the association will introduce RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®, a new certification for brands and retailers committed to international agreements for human rights and environmental protection. OEKO-TEX® aims to support companies in fulfilling due diligence obligations within their own operations and their global supply chains. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX® was developed in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the relevant OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct.

New and updated limited values
OEKO-TEX® has added bisphenol B (BPB) in the STANDARD 100, LEATHER STANDARD and ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certifications and to the STeP by OEKO-TEX® MRSL. The same applies to two additional colourants based on Michler’s ketone/base.

New substances under observation
In 2022, OEKO-TEX® will continue to monitor various substances based on the latest scientific findings and conformity with relevant specifications. This primarily concerns some process preservative agents and the bisphenols F, S and AF. The 2022 new regulations are available in detail for all OEKO-TEX® products on the website www.oeko-tex.com/news.

More information:
STeP OekoTex
Source:

Oeko-Tex

Folding / Plating (© 2021, Maag Brothers)
16.12.2021

Swiss Textile Machinery: Changes and opportunities through automation

For most textiles, finishing processes are not actually the last stage. Products often need an extra touch of expertise to make them perfectly ready for the customer. At this point in the value chain, that usually means manual tasks – but now there are technical solutions and intelligent systems which can handle complex operations better, while adding extra value and assured quality.
Automation brings reliability and efficiency, ultimately saving costs to produce the right quality every time. Swiss companies are specialized in many of these disciplines, with machinery for fabric inspection and presentation, labelling and tracking, folding and packaging. They have the technology to inspire a new vision at the post-production segment of the textile manufacturing processes. Optimization of workflows, with bottleneck management, is an obvious potential benefit. And it delivers measurable returns on investment. The wider picture with automation will prepare companies for the IoT and Industry 4.0.

For most textiles, finishing processes are not actually the last stage. Products often need an extra touch of expertise to make them perfectly ready for the customer. At this point in the value chain, that usually means manual tasks – but now there are technical solutions and intelligent systems which can handle complex operations better, while adding extra value and assured quality.
Automation brings reliability and efficiency, ultimately saving costs to produce the right quality every time. Swiss companies are specialized in many of these disciplines, with machinery for fabric inspection and presentation, labelling and tracking, folding and packaging. They have the technology to inspire a new vision at the post-production segment of the textile manufacturing processes. Optimization of workflows, with bottleneck management, is an obvious potential benefit. And it delivers measurable returns on investment. The wider picture with automation will prepare companies for the IoT and Industry 4.0.

New business models
The advantages of automation in mills with high-volume production are obvious: consistent quality, increased efficiency, waste reduction in some cases, as well as significant medium-term cost reductions in every case.
That description focuses on the aims of modern mills in low-cost markets. But producers in Europe and USA could reach out for more. For them, automation could be a game-changer, offering unique new opportunities.
Reshoring is a growing trend now. It shows great potential and is definitely driven by sustainability and changes in consumer mindsets. “We believe that the time is right – the machines and solutions certainly are – to push automation also to the very end of the production line, replacing intensive manual work and take the chance for reshoring. The current situation is kind of a transition time which is expected to last for a couple more years in the textile industry,” says Rueedi. He adds that any investments in these prime markets pay off much faster because of higher labour costs.
Innovation transformed through automation can do much more than simply replacing the nimble fingers of humans. It also enables new business models, guaranteeing prosperous future business, alongside greater job security.

Digital workflow and process control
The Swiss company Maag Brothers is a leading supplier of high-end machines for quality assurance in the final make-up processes, specifically fabric inspection, plating/folding, selvedge printing and packaging. Maag reports on a practical example from a mill in India which recognized the potential of automation.
An analysis at the customer’s mill identified the main goals as modernization of the workflow at quality control and packing processes. Maag’s new system covers tasks from fabric inspection to dispatch, and offers transparent and easily adjustable processes with real-time process control. It’s a digital solution, resulting in a slim organization, paperless, and the basis for further optimization towards Industry 4.0 to exploit its full potential. The customer’s own calculation showed a ROI for the installation at less than three years – along with a reduction in manpower and savings in fabric costs for shade samples.

Perfectly labelled, efficient data...
Smooth processes start with a label. Swiss company Norsel is an expert in grey fabric labelling systems, for piece tracking through all textile processes. High-quality label printing and proper sealing on all kind of fabrics ensure readability and sustainability after dyehouse processes such as mercerizing, high temperature dyeing and even hot calendering. No roll mix-up during dyeing, easy sorting of fabric rolls and rapid delivery make processes in the mill much more efficient. Using RFID codes lifts fabric inventory control to the highest level, with all information readily transferred to a database and integrated through any ERP software.
It’s a foolproof way to avoid the risk of human errors from hand-written notes on grey fabrics and article sheets, by opting for reliable, secure and forward-looking solutions.

Sample collections – the silent salesmen
First impressions count, so fabric producers like to present their collection perfectly – and that’s only possible with automated solutions. Swiss producer Polytex continuously refines its solutions, underlining its leading position in sample making equipment. Fully-automatic high-performance sample production lines are designed to satisfy the highest expectations. Fully-automatic lines or robotic machines set the standards for quality and performance. Even the most demanding clients can achieve their goals with impeccable samples, quickly and efficiently made, for flawless collections that are sure to impress.

Automation drives buying
First impressions are also the trigger for quick purchase decisions. The proof is there on every store shelf. Customers of Espritech are also well aware of it. They trust this Swiss producer of automated folding machinery to provide the final touch of class to home textiles and apparel products before they go on display. The folding systems are generally large mechatronic devices, loaded with latest technologies in mechanics, electronics, sensors and pneumatics. “Textile producers are amazed how folding machines solve the tricky task of reliably handling chaotically behaving materials. They see process optimization potential and the impact. We observe a slow but continuous change of mindset installing sophisticated technology even in the last steps of textile finishing,” says Philipp Rueedi, CFO at Espritech.

13.12.2021

TMAS: Digitalisation demands streamlined solutions

Fully integrated production lines from single source suppliers have increasingly become the norm in the textile industry and make complete sense in meeting today’s complex supply chain needs, according to TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

“Over the past few decades, textile mills have transitioned from consisting of collections of individual machines serviced and maintained largely by in-house mechanics as well as separate supplier companies for each part of the production line,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Those in-house engineering service teams have diminished over the years, while the introduction of electronic drive systems in the 1980s and 90s also put an increased emphasis on the need for third party electrical engineers, operating separately to the machine builders.

“Subsequently, mechanical machines and electronic drive systems became much more integrated, and more recently, with the advent of digitalisation, entire production lines are becoming centrally controlled with remote, instantaneous connections to their suppliers for service and maintenance.

Fully integrated production lines from single source suppliers have increasingly become the norm in the textile industry and make complete sense in meeting today’s complex supply chain needs, according to TMAS – the Swedish Textile Machinery Association.

“Over the past few decades, textile mills have transitioned from consisting of collections of individual machines serviced and maintained largely by in-house mechanics as well as separate supplier companies for each part of the production line,” says TMAS Secretary General Therese Premler-Andersson. “Those in-house engineering service teams have diminished over the years, while the introduction of electronic drive systems in the 1980s and 90s also put an increased emphasis on the need for third party electrical engineers, operating separately to the machine builders.

“Subsequently, mechanical machines and electronic drive systems became much more integrated, and more recently, with the advent of digitalisation, entire production lines are becoming centrally controlled with remote, instantaneous connections to their suppliers for service and maintenance.

“In this context, the integration of machinery and automation specialists as single-source suppliers makes perfect sense, while partnerships between machine builders and their customers have never been more important.”

The recent acquisition of Nowo textile machinery from its previous owner, Brandstones Ab Oy, by TMAS member ACG Kinna, she adds, is a good example of this general trend.

Nowo, headquartered in Turku, Finland, designs, manufactures and exports high-end textile production machinery mainly for the fibre processing industry. At the end of the 1980s it introduced the highly successful Nowo Vac pillow filling system, which has been its best-selling system, alongside the Noworoll ball fibre machine, introduced in the 1990s.

Nowo’s machine range covers the entire production process from bale opening to weighing and filling, and complete production lines are tailored to the specific needs of customers. The company can also deliver individual machines such as bale openers, cards, cross-lappers, pickers, mixing devices, material silos, sucking devices, anti-static units etc. Seven patents cover the company’s technologies.

Founded in 1977, ACG Kinna Automatic, based in Skene in Sweden, specialises in customised and cost-efficient solutions for the production of pillows and quilts. All of its design, manufacturing and final line testing is carried out in Sweden and the reliability and longevity of its machines has earned it the trust of the world’s largest furniture and home decoration retailers and Europe’s largest manufacturer of pillows and duvets, among many customers.

Source:

TMAS / AWOL Media

13.12.2021

NCTO: US Vice President announces new Investments in Northern Central America

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced significant multimillion-dollar investments by Parkdale Mills and six other companies today, as part of the Administration’s Call to Action to the private sector to promote economic opportunity in the region, as her office works to address the root causes of migration.

Vice President Harris, who is overseeing diplomatic efforts with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, announced several private sector commitments to strengthen economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle and made remarks at a White House roundtable, which included Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills. The textile and apparel co-production chain is one of the most essential supply chains for employment and economic development in both the United States and the Northern Triangle region, currently supporting over 1 million jobs in the United States and the Central American region. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and its strong rules of origin are the primary reasons this co-production chain exists, which is seeing significant growth this year.

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced significant multimillion-dollar investments by Parkdale Mills and six other companies today, as part of the Administration’s Call to Action to the private sector to promote economic opportunity in the region, as her office works to address the root causes of migration.

Vice President Harris, who is overseeing diplomatic efforts with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, announced several private sector commitments to strengthen economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle and made remarks at a White House roundtable, which included Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills. The textile and apparel co-production chain is one of the most essential supply chains for employment and economic development in both the United States and the Northern Triangle region, currently supporting over 1 million jobs in the United States and the Central American region. The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and its strong rules of origin are the primary reasons this co-production chain exists, which is seeing significant growth this year.

North Carolina-headquartered Parkdale Mills, one of the largest manufacturers of spun yarn and cotton consumer products in the world, will make a multimillion-dollar investment in a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras and make an additional substantial investment to support existing operations in Hillsville, Virginia. This investment will help customers shift 1 million pounds of yarn per week away from supply chains in Asia and China and enhance U.S. and CAFTA-DR co-production resilience and increase regional product offerings. Parkdale’s announced investment will create hundreds of jobs in Honduras and further support hundreds of employees in Parkdale’s Hillsville operations.  

Recently, administration officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and the Vice President’s office met with the U.S. textile industry to reaffirm the importance of rules of origin in nearshoring production chains, helping address labor and environmental challenges and mitigating supply chain risk.

“I would like to sincerely thank Vice President Harris for making this announcement and leading the effort with private industry to create more economic opportunities in northern Central America and the United States,” said Anderson Warlick, Chairman and CEO of Parkdale Mills. “Parkdale’s investments will support good paying jobs in the United States and in the Central American region and significantly increase our extensive product offering and capacity, including the production of sustainable specialty yarns.

Parkdale sees an enormous opportunity for brands and retailers to re-shore and nearshore production supply chains and double the size of U.S.-CAFTA-DR trade, because of the rules of origin in our trade agreement and a shift in sourcing by brands and retailers mitigating their supply chain sourcing risks.  We are excited about what this opportunity means for jobs in the U.S. and the region for this critical production chain and couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this effort.  We look forward to working with the Vice President and her team on strengthening the textile and apparel production chains in the U.S. and region.”

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas, said, “This is an exciting and important announcement by Parkdale and Vice President Harris. Our industry has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. and in the region as a result of the investment-based rules of origin in the CAFTA-DR agreement, which ensures the job benefits of the agreement are reserved for the parties to the agreement.  Additional substantial announcements on further investment in textile and apparel production are expected soon.

As brands and retailers are seeking more environmentally sustainable, vertically integrated, transparent, and quick turnaround supply chains, our collective industries stand ready to work with companies that are seeking to mitigate sourcing strategies as Asian supply chains have faced enormous production constraints.  Further verticalization in the industry, like Parkdale’s announcement today, allows broader product diversification and grows jobs across the textile and apparel production chain.

We are thrilled with today’s announcement because it is a win-win for American and Central American workers and our environment and a huge opportunity to further recalibrate supply chains out of China and Asia. This valuable co-production chain between the U.S. and the CAFTA-DR region accounts for $12 billion in two-way trade and billions of dollars of investment. Significant growth is occurring in our sector and is expected to continue as supply chains continue to recalibrate.  We are delighted about this today’s announcement and appreciate the Administration’s strong support.”

DNFI: Microplastic pollution is a global challenge Photo: pixabay
10.12.2021

DNFI: Microplastic pollution is a global challenge

Microplastic pollution is a global challenge across many industries and sectors – one of critical importance being textiles.

A 2021 study by the California Ocean Science Trust and a group of interdisciplinary scientists acknowledges that microfibres from textiles are among the most common microplastic materials found in the marine environment. Every time synthetic clothes are manufactured, worn, washed, or disposed of, they release microplastics into terrestrial and marine environments, including human food chains. Synthetic fibres represent over two-thirds (69%) of all materials used in textiles, a proportion that is expected to rise to 73% by 2030. The production of synthetic fibres has fuelled a 40-year trend of increased per capita clothing consumption.

Global textile consumption has become:

Microplastic pollution is a global challenge across many industries and sectors – one of critical importance being textiles.

A 2021 study by the California Ocean Science Trust and a group of interdisciplinary scientists acknowledges that microfibres from textiles are among the most common microplastic materials found in the marine environment. Every time synthetic clothes are manufactured, worn, washed, or disposed of, they release microplastics into terrestrial and marine environments, including human food chains. Synthetic fibres represent over two-thirds (69%) of all materials used in textiles, a proportion that is expected to rise to 73% by 2030. The production of synthetic fibres has fuelled a 40-year trend of increased per capita clothing consumption.

Global textile consumption has become:

  • more reliant on non-renewable resources,
  • less biodegradable, and
  • increasingly prone to releasing microplastics.

The increased consumption is also discretionary, driven by consumer desire and remains unchecked. Thus, the long-term trend in the textile industry parallels the intentional addition of microplastics to products such as cosmetics. The contrast is that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recommended such intentional additions be restricted, whereas the over-consumption of synthetic fibres continues unchecked. One way for the EU to account for and mitigate microplastic pollution is through an EU-backed methodology measuring and reporting microplastic emissions, so that consumers and procurement officers have the information needed to minimise microplastic pollution resulting from their purchasing decisions.

There is a critical opportunity to address microplastic pollution in the fashion textile industry through the EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology. To meet the environmental objectives of the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU is proposing that companies substantiate their products’ environmental credentials using this harmonised methodology. However, microplastic pollution is not accounted for in the PEF methodology. This omission has the effect of assigning a zero score to microplastic pollution and would undermine the efforts of the European Green Deal, which aim “to address the unintentional release of microplastics in the environment.”

The incorporation of microplastic pollution as an indicator would increase the legitimacy of the PEF method as well as better inform consumer purchasing decisions, especially as the European Green Deal seeks to “further develop and harmonise methods for measuring unintentionally released microplastics, especially from tyres and textiles, and delivering harmonised data on microplastics concentrations in seawater.”

Whilst we continue to learn about the damage of microplastics and there is new knowledge emerging on the toxic impacts along the food chain, there is sufficient information on the rate of microplastic leakage into the environment to implement a basic, inventory level indicator in the PEF now. This is consistent with the recommendations of a review of microplastic pollution originating from the life cycle of apparel and home textiles. There are precedents in PEF for basic level (e.g., ‘resource use, fossils’) and largely untested (e.g. land occupation and toxicity indicators) indicators, and therefore an opportunity for the EU to promote research and development in the measurement and modelling of microplastic pollution by including such emissions in the PEF methodology. For such an indicator, the long and complex supply chains of the apparel and footwear industry would be a test case with high-impact and a global reach.

Source:

DNFI / IWTO – 2021

02.12.2021

NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas testified on Supporting U.S. Industry

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas testified at a hearing on “Supporting U.S. Workers, Businesses, and the Environment in the Face of Unfair Chinese Trade Practices” before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas outlines China’s rise to dominance of global textile and apparel production and its adverse impact on the U.S. textile industry, details ways to strengthen onshoring and nearshoring of supply chains, and provides recommendations on the critical policies needed to address these illegal trade practices and rectify inequities.

“China holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading purveyor of illegal trade practices that are designed to unfairly bolster a blatantly export-oriented economy,” NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas says. “These predatory practices take many forms, from macroeconomic policies that grant across-the-board advantages to their manufacturers, to industry specific programs intended to dominate global markets in targeted areas. The U.S. textile industry has been a longstanding victim of China’s predatory export practices.”

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas testified at a hearing on “Supporting U.S. Workers, Businesses, and the Environment in the Face of Unfair Chinese Trade Practices” before the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee.

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas outlines China’s rise to dominance of global textile and apparel production and its adverse impact on the U.S. textile industry, details ways to strengthen onshoring and nearshoring of supply chains, and provides recommendations on the critical policies needed to address these illegal trade practices and rectify inequities.

“China holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading purveyor of illegal trade practices that are designed to unfairly bolster a blatantly export-oriented economy,” NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas says. “These predatory practices take many forms, from macroeconomic policies that grant across-the-board advantages to their manufacturers, to industry specific programs intended to dominate global markets in targeted areas. The U.S. textile industry has been a longstanding victim of China’s predatory export practices.”

“China’s virtually unlimited and unrealistic pricing power coupled with its subsidies and lack of enforceable labor and environmental standards strips benefits and undermines policy objectives throughout the U.S. free trade and preference program structure,” Glas further notes.

“A program of maximum pressure must be developed and fully enforced to reconfigure textile and apparel sourcing patterns that currently place an unhealthy and heavily weighted dependance on China,” Glas adds. “With a strong trade policy holding China accountable, the opportunities are ripe to unlock further domestic and regional investment to bolster this critical textile and apparel production chain because of the important rules of origin for this sector.  We can nearshore more production, help address the migration crisis, and assist in addressing the urgent issue of climate change and create a win-win-win for workers in the United States, workers in the region, and consumers.”

Glas outlines key policy recommendations to the committee, including:

  • Enact tax incentives and other targeted critical investments to strengthen Western Hemisphere trade relationships and re-shore manufacturing
  • Close the Section 321 De Minimis Tariff Loophole
  • Step up enforcement of forced labor of Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)
  • Firmly maintain Section 301 penalty duties on China for finished textiles and apparel products
  • Immediately pass the MTB to help manufacturers with a limited list of critical inputs not made in the U.S. and review/close the mechanism in the MTB renewal which allows for finished products
  • Strengthen buy-American practices for PPE and other essential products
  • Block expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to include textile and apparel products
  • Use trade enforcement in free trade agreements to mitigate transshipment schemes by unscrupulous importers seeking to illegally circumvent duties
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."   

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.

(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

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.

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

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.

11.08.2021

USA: Long-Term Contracts for Domestic PPE Guaranteed

  • The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Welcomes Senate Passage of Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today welcoming Senate 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 personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the Senate for passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide critical resources for our nation’s aging infrastructure and at the same time help incentivize the reshoring of personal protective equipment (PPE) production, an important priority of the U.S. textile industry,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

  • The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) Welcomes Senate Passage of Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON—The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement today welcoming Senate 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 personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We commend the Senate for passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide critical resources for our nation’s aging infrastructure and at the same time help incentivize the reshoring of personal protective equipment (PPE) production, an important priority of the U.S. textile industry,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas.

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; 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.

“We sincerely thank Senator Portman and Senator Peters for working to include their Make PPE in America Act in the infrastructure bill,” Glas said. “This bill will help onshore critical production of personal protective equipment (PPE) by guaranteeing long-term contracts for domestically produced PPE and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are utilized to bolster the federal purchase of American-made PPE.

The U.S. manufacturing industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year, as NCTO members retooled production chains in response to the nation’s needs. We will continue to urge the government to purchase Berry-compliant products containing 100 percent domestic content for PPE to help bolster the full U.S. production chain in the future.”

Source:

NCTO

15.06.2021

EURATEX Statement on the EU-US Summit

The European textile and apparel industry welcomes the organisation of the EU-US Summit in Brussels, and hopes that political leaders will launch a new era of closer cooperation across the Atlantic. Both the Covid19 pandemic and recent geopolitical tensions call for global solutions; the EU and the US should take a leadership role in developing that new global framework.

EU-US trade in textiles and apparel have dropped by nearly 20% in 2020 (just under €6 bln), while imports from other countries, in particular China, have increased spectacularly (+45% into the EU). At the same time, global supply chains came under pressure, and access to certain raw materials for the industry became difficult and costly.

Against this background, EURATEX does not call for protectionism, but a better functioning of global supply chains, with common rules which are applied by all. The EU and US authorities should put their full influence to establish a level playing field for our industry across the globe, promoting environmental and social standards. Sustainable and circular textiles should become the norm, thus contributing to a greener planet and creating high quality jobs.  

The European textile and apparel industry welcomes the organisation of the EU-US Summit in Brussels, and hopes that political leaders will launch a new era of closer cooperation across the Atlantic. Both the Covid19 pandemic and recent geopolitical tensions call for global solutions; the EU and the US should take a leadership role in developing that new global framework.

EU-US trade in textiles and apparel have dropped by nearly 20% in 2020 (just under €6 bln), while imports from other countries, in particular China, have increased spectacularly (+45% into the EU). At the same time, global supply chains came under pressure, and access to certain raw materials for the industry became difficult and costly.

Against this background, EURATEX does not call for protectionism, but a better functioning of global supply chains, with common rules which are applied by all. The EU and US authorities should put their full influence to establish a level playing field for our industry across the globe, promoting environmental and social standards. Sustainable and circular textiles should become the norm, thus contributing to a greener planet and creating high quality jobs.  

At bilateral level, the EU and US should resume their work on mutual recognition of standards and certification procedures, thus saving considerable costs for our companies while maintaining the highest safety standards. Custom procedures can be simplified on both sides, and joint research, e.g. in smart textiles, should be promoted.

EURATEX welcomes the recent progress in provisionally eliminating additional duties on several American and European products due to the Airbus-Boeing trade dispute. It is a very positive sign that EURATEX would like to highlight in a particularly difficult context for the textile and clothing industry at European, American and even global levels. EURATEX calls on both US and EU institutions to eliminate such duties permanently and build on a common positive agenda for the benefit of EU and US companies and consumers.

EURATEX Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: "Both the EU and US are developing a new business model for their industry. We should make sure these models can complement and reinforce each other. If not, we risk losing global leadership, not just in terms of market share but also in terms of values and standards."

09.06.2021

EURATEX calls for an effective EU Industrial strategy

On the occasion of releasing its 2021 Spring Report, EURATEX calls the European Institutions to implement a new Industrial Strategy which will effectively support the European textiles industry. EURATEX welcomes the fact that Textile and Clothing industry is recognised as one of the 14 essential ecosystems of the European economy, but we need to take effective measures to support these sectors, and take into consideration the global dimension.

On the occasion of releasing its 2021 Spring Report, EURATEX calls the European Institutions to implement a new Industrial Strategy which will effectively support the European textiles industry. EURATEX welcomes the fact that Textile and Clothing industry is recognised as one of the 14 essential ecosystems of the European economy, but we need to take effective measures to support these sectors, and take into consideration the global dimension.

Economic data for 2020 in EURATEX Spring Report show preoccupying trends. Figures reflect a dramatic contraction in demand and production: EU turnover contracted by -9.3% in textiles (which is in line with the general manufacturing average) and by -17.7% in clothing, compared with 2019. Furthermore, supply chain disruptions and substantial price increases of some raw materials are putting significant pressure on the T&C industries across Europe. The trade deficit for European textiles and clothing jumped from € -47 bln in 2019 to € -62 bln in 2020, an increase of more than 30%, which is almost entirely due to the import of Chinese face masks and related products. Fortunately, more recent figures from the 1st quarter of 2021 indicate some signs of recovery.

That figure illustrates very well today’s political discussions on the future of the European industry. Many European companies have made considerable efforts to adapt their production to the pandemic, but clearly this was not enough. Whether the production cost in Europe is too high or the EU should adapt its procurement rules, the industry needs have a coherent long-term plan to become more competitive and conquer new markets.

EURATEX General Assembly highlighted the critical role of the new EU Industrial Strategy. The inclusion of textiles and clothing in the fourteen ecosystems is a step in the right direction to consolidate the industrial base but we should look also at the global challenges. European companies should continue investing in innovation, design and quality, in combination with a structural move towards more sustainable textiles. At the same time, the EU should create an environment - both inside the Single Market and globally - where everybody plays by the same rules.

Source:

Euratex

19.05.2021

NCTO testifies on the Medical Supply Chain and Pandemic Response Gaps

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas testifies on “COVID-19 Part II: Evaluating the Medical Supply Chain and Pandemic Response Gaps, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas provides an overview of: the U.S. market prior to the pandemic and the root causes of America’s dependence on offshore sources for medical PPE; the heroic response of the U.S. textile industry; the federal government’s response to the crisis; and a series of policy recommendations to incentivize the establishment of a permanent domestic PPE supply chain.

Glas details key policy recommendations designed to establish a permanent domestic PPE supply chain, including:

NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas testifies on “COVID-19 Part II: Evaluating the Medical Supply Chain and Pandemic Response Gaps, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas provides an overview of: the U.S. market prior to the pandemic and the root causes of America’s dependence on offshore sources for medical PPE; the heroic response of the U.S. textile industry; the federal government’s response to the crisis; and a series of policy recommendations to incentivize the establishment of a permanent domestic PPE supply chain.

Glas details key policy recommendations designed to establish a permanent domestic PPE supply chain, including:

  • Create strong domestic procurement rules for federal PPE purchases and other essential products--substantially similar to the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment which require 100% US content from fiber production forward
  • Implement forward-looking policies to shore up the Strategic National Stockpile and issue long-term contracts to incentivize investment in the domestic PPE manufacturing base
  • Create federal incentives for private sector hospitals and large provider networks to purchase domestically-produced PPE
  • Continue to deploy the Defense Production Act to shore up the textile industrial base from raw materials to end products for all essential products

View the full written testimony here.

29.04.2021

NCTO: Kim Glas testifies on Supply Chain Resiliency

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas is testifying on “Supply Chain Resiliency and the Role of Small Manufacturers” before the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access.
 
In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas provides an overview of the incredible resiliency of the U.S. textile industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the ensuing economic crisis, existing options available to small manufacturers to access capital, and policy recommendations to strengthen the entire industry domestic supply chain.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas is testifying on “Supply Chain Resiliency and the Role of Small Manufacturers” before the Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access.
 
In written testimony submitted to the committee, Glas provides an overview of the incredible resiliency of the U.S. textile industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the ensuing economic crisis, existing options available to small manufacturers to access capital, and policy recommendations to strengthen the entire industry domestic supply chain.

“One silver lining associated with the immense challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis is that it afforded the domestic textile industry an opportunity to demonstrate its enormous resiliency, flexibility, and overall value to the U.S. economy,” Glas says in the testimony. “Despite the fact that there was virtually no [full] U.S. production of textile-based PPE prior to the pandemic, the heroic actions of domestic textile manufacturers resulted in the ability to supply homegrown PPE at the height of the greatest healthcare emergency our country has faced in the past 100 years.”

“As we exit the current crisis, rational federal policies are once again needed to ensure a stable overall environment where small businesses can compete and thrive, and targeted initiatives are required to ensure that domestic supply chains for critical materials, such as PPE, exist in the United States,” Glas notes.

Glas details five key policy recommendations supported by 20 trade associations and labor groups, representing the entire domestic supply chain aimed at strengthening the integrated U.S. textile sector:

  • Strengthen Buy American procurement rules
  • Provide funding assistance for companies to reconstitute domestic supply chains important to U.S. national and healthcare security
  • Key contracting reforms
  • Streamline the SBA loan application process
  • Provide additional funding for workforce training

Please view the full written testimony by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas here.

07.04.2021

NCTO: Importance of the U.S. Textile Industry to Lifesaving PPE & the Economy

National Council of Textiles Organization (NCTO) member Parkdale Mills hosted Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) at the company’s Magnolia Manufacturing plant in Hillsville, Va. today to showcase the critical role the company and the industry has played in producing lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid frontline health-care workers and the country during the pandemic.

Parkdale’s facility in Hillsville, Va. is a key yarn spinning hub contributing to a major face mask initiative bringing together several U.S. companies and more than 5,000 workers as part of the Biden administration’s pledge to provide 25 million reusable face masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic.

National Council of Textiles Organization (NCTO) member Parkdale Mills hosted Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) at the company’s Magnolia Manufacturing plant in Hillsville, Va. today to showcase the critical role the company and the industry has played in producing lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid frontline health-care workers and the country during the pandemic.

Parkdale’s facility in Hillsville, Va. is a key yarn spinning hub contributing to a major face mask initiative bringing together several U.S. companies and more than 5,000 workers as part of the Biden administration’s pledge to provide 25 million reusable face masks to communities hit hard by the pandemic.

“Parkdale Mills thanks Senator Kaine for his leadership on policies that help bolster our company and the entire textile industry. We are proud to be part of an initiative that is bringing together American companies to produce 100% American-made masks for community health centers, soup kitchens and food banks across the country,” said Davis Warlick of Parkdale Mills. “With the support of our government and leaders like Senator Kaine, our industry is demonstrating its ability and capacity to make critical items here for the long term.”

Kim Glas, President and CEO of NCTO said: “We want to sincerely thank Senator Kaine for his leadership in supporting American manufacturers, which have played a vital role in our economy as well as the nationwide effort to produce critical PPE and medical textiles for a nation in crisis. We are grateful to the senator and the Biden administration for prioritizing domestic manufacturers and the U.S. workforce. The U.S. textile industry is a vital contributor to the U.S economy and policies that Senator Kaine supports help bolster the onshoring of PPE and critical items, which in turn spurs employment and investment in the American manufacturing base.”

27.03.2021

NCTO: Biden Administration awards Contracts for American-Made Face Masks

The Biden Administration has awarded two contracts to National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) members Parkdale Mills and Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., following through on the President’s pledge to procure millions of fully Made in America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.  A third contract is expected to be awarded to a small business early next week.

North Carolina headquartered Parkdale Mills, the nation’s largest cotton yarn spinner, has partnered with Ferrara Manufacturing, a tailored clothing company based in New York City’s garment center whose workforce is union represented by Workers United/SEIU, to manufacture over 17 million reusable masks. The government said it could purchase up to a maximum of 22.2 million masks under the two contracts announced today. The masks will be Berry compliant and thus 100% U.S.-made.

The Biden Administration has awarded two contracts to National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) members Parkdale Mills and Ferrara Manufacturing Inc., following through on the President’s pledge to procure millions of fully Made in America face masks for community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens across the country.  A third contract is expected to be awarded to a small business early next week.

North Carolina headquartered Parkdale Mills, the nation’s largest cotton yarn spinner, has partnered with Ferrara Manufacturing, a tailored clothing company based in New York City’s garment center whose workforce is union represented by Workers United/SEIU, to manufacture over 17 million reusable masks. The government said it could purchase up to a maximum of 22.2 million masks under the two contracts announced today. The masks will be Berry compliant and thus 100% U.S.-made.

Ferrara Manufacturing and Parkdale Mills will contract with additional U.S. companies across the manufacturing supply chain, employing nearly 5,000 American workers as a result of these awards.  Parkdale will be utilizing yarn from their facilities in NC, VA, and GA and Ferrara will deploy their cut and sew operations in New York City.

The U.S. textile industry has produced over a billion lifesaving PPE and other medical products over the last year.  Since the spring of 2020, both Ferrara and Parkdale have retooled their production chains to help produce millions of masks and gowns to help workers on the frontlines.