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IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry (c) Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)
TIM and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe
05.02.2024

IHKIB: Green Transformation Journey of the Turkish Apparel Industry

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

The fashion industry, which has strategic importance for the Turkish economy with its value-added production, employment, and exports, came together with representatives of global brands and Laison offices at the 'Green transformation' summit. At the meeting hosted by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB), the studies carried out in the process of adaptation to the Green Deal were put under the spotlight, and the expectations of the Turkish fashion industry from the stakeholders were also expressed.

The opening of the meeting, attended by representatives of relevant ministries and foreign representations, national and international fund providers, as well as brands and buying groups were brought together, was made by Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and IHKIB President Mustafa Gültepe. In his speech, Gültepe underlined Türkiye's importance in the global apparel industry, by realizing approximately 3.5 percent of world apparel exports. Gültepe continued as follows:

"As IHKIB, we aim to increase our current annual exports, which are around $20 billion, to $40 billion. The road to the goal goes through Europe and America because the European Union is our largest market in apparel. We export 60 percent of our total apparel exports to EU countries. When we add other European countries and the USA, the ratio approaches 75 percent. While working on alternatives for the $40 billion in exports, we need to focus more on the European and U.S. markets because, as the data shows, the path to $40 billion in apparel exports goes through Europe and the U.S. We already have long-standing collaborations with brands centered in Europe and America. With our knowledge, speed, production quality, design power, and geographical proximity to Europe, we distinguish ourselves from competitors. We took a very important step in the transformation process exactly one year ago. We shared our action plan, which is a road map for our fashion industry's compliance with the Green Deal, with the public on January 30, 2023."

After Mustafa Gültepe's opening speech, Euratex Director General Dirk Vantyghem, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Trade Bahar Güçlü, and Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş made presentations regarding the ongoing efforts in the Green Deal process.

Dirk Vantyghem discussed the sustainability strategy of the textile and apparel industry and the expectations from the EU administration, while Bahar Güçlü provided information about the reflections of legal regulations related to the Green Deal on Türkiye.

Deputy Secretary General of ITKIB Özlem Güneş emphasized the significant opportunity that the Green Deal represents for the Turkish apparel industry, providing comprehensive insights into the efforts conducted by IHKIB regarding the Green Deal adaptation process.

Source:

Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (IHKIB)

19.12.2023

Euratex Manifesto: 15 requests for competitiveness and resilience

2024 is a turning point for the European textiles and clothing industry: From 6 to 9 June 2024, European citizens will vote for a new European Parliament and, based on the results, a new European Commission will be formed. In view of this important election, EURATEX publishes a Manifesto, presenting 15 requests which will help to ensure a competitive European textiles and clothing industry.

The textile and apparel industry is making a substantial contribution to European wealth, jobs and growth. Europe counts 192,000 companies employing 1.3 million workers with a turnover of €167 billion and over €67 billion of exports. Entrepreneurship should be recognised as the foundation for a competitive textile industry, offering high quality and sustainable products, based on innovation, creativity and design. European policy makers should recognise such role to textiles and apparel companies and have an open dialogue to create better framework conditions to operate in the internal and global markets.

2024 is a turning point for the European textiles and clothing industry: From 6 to 9 June 2024, European citizens will vote for a new European Parliament and, based on the results, a new European Commission will be formed. In view of this important election, EURATEX publishes a Manifesto, presenting 15 requests which will help to ensure a competitive European textiles and clothing industry.

The textile and apparel industry is making a substantial contribution to European wealth, jobs and growth. Europe counts 192,000 companies employing 1.3 million workers with a turnover of €167 billion and over €67 billion of exports. Entrepreneurship should be recognised as the foundation for a competitive textile industry, offering high quality and sustainable products, based on innovation, creativity and design. European policy makers should recognise such role to textiles and apparel companies and have an open dialogue to create better framework conditions to operate in the internal and global markets.

To realise that vision, the industry and policy makers need to work together on a mix of policy measures and initiatives, which are coherent and offer a transparent and predictable framework for our companies, and make them more resilient and competitive.

These policies should focus around four points:

Develop and implement a “smart” EU industrial policy
Europe should create policies which enhance competitiveness, instead of creating administrative burdens. To EURATEX, each new piece of legislation should undergo a “competitiveness test” to critically look at the impact of the new rules. Europe should also create a favourable environment to promote education and jobs in the industry. The EU textile industry currently employees 1,3 million people, 30% of which is above 50 years old. A critical bottleneck for the textile industry is to attract (young) people and make sure these people have the right set of skills, to operate in a changing textile ecosystem. EURATEX also asks the EU to invest in innovation and digitalisation as they are key to the European competitive advantage. Not only, as the last years have proved, Europe should provide companies with access to sustainable energy at lower prices.

No sustainability without competitiveness
The EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles is pushing our sector towards new business models with a lower environmental footprint. To realise that ambition, no less than 16 regulatory proposals are on the table, each of them with a different timetable, managed by different departments of the European Commission. EURATEX is committed to sustainability, but asks for economic realism. This set of new regulations needs to be coherent, enforceable, feasible and applicable for SMEs, and not push textile companies out of the market. Moreover, some member states are moving forward faster and some legislations will be decided at national level, creating fragmentation of the market. Such scenarios will hamper Europe and its possibilities to grow.

Ensure free and fair trade
With $224 billion in sold merchandise, Europe is the second major world exporters of textiles and clothes after China ($321 billion). It is therefore important that the global market should be open, free and fair for our industry to continue to thrive. Besides the support to FTAs in general, EURATEX wants to emphasise that all trade agreements should offer effective market access for EU companies and a level playing field in these markets. A free and open market should go hand in hand also with protection against free riders. The EU must always consider enforcement and enforceability when making new laws; it should also take action together with the member states for a better coordination with harmonised criteria for action among Customs Authorities.

Incentivise the Demand for sustainable textiles
Sustainable textile products typically come at a premium price, making it difficult for many consumers and buyers to purchase such products. Many surveys across Europe confirm that around 50% of interviewees do not purchase sustainable fashion products and the main reason is price. EURATEX believes that, to create a demand and help consumers to buy a (genuine) sustainable textile product, there should be standard requirements and fiscal incentives. Public authorities should also implement green public procurements, by increasing the importance of sustainability criteria in their evaluation grids.

08.12.2023

EURATEX welcomes approval of PanEuroMed rules of origin

EURATEX welcomes the unanimous vote in support of the new rules of origin under the PEM Convention, as a historic achievement. Facilitating trade and investments in the “PanEuroMed” region (covering 27 EU member states and 24 partner countries in the neighbourhood region)1 is top priority region for the EU, as trade with these countries accounted for €677 billion in 2023. For the EU textile and clothing sector, the region represents 35% of its exports and 21% of its imports.
 
In 2013 the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at increasing trade between the European Union and neighbouring countries in the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) region. The proposal introduced modernised rules of origin of the PEM convention, lifting the prohibition of duty-drawback and introducing the principle of “full cumulation”.

EURATEX welcomes the unanimous vote in support of the new rules of origin under the PEM Convention, as a historic achievement. Facilitating trade and investments in the “PanEuroMed” region (covering 27 EU member states and 24 partner countries in the neighbourhood region)1 is top priority region for the EU, as trade with these countries accounted for €677 billion in 2023. For the EU textile and clothing sector, the region represents 35% of its exports and 21% of its imports.
 
In 2013 the European Commission adopted a package of proposals aimed at increasing trade between the European Union and neighbouring countries in the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean (PEM) region. The proposal introduced modernised rules of origin of the PEM convention, lifting the prohibition of duty-drawback and introducing the principle of “full cumulation”.

Today, after ten years of intense negotiations which EURATEX supported, the European Commission reached a full and final agreement with all PEM partners. This is a landmark achievement that will unlock the full potential of the Euro-Mediterranean area as the biggest and most integrated region of advanced manufacturing and trading of sustainable textiles and clothing. The rules adopted today will accelerate the integration of T&C supply chains and boost T&C production and trade within the region, both in the East and Southern borders of the EU. In a moment when companies are looking at moving their production from Asia to nearby, like-minded and more reliable countries , it is very timely to have the PEM Convention implemented.

EURATEX’s President, Mr Alberto Paccanelli, commented: “This is a strategic trade deal that can help European companies recover from the multiple crisis which we face since 2020”. He continued “We call on the European Union to not stop here, but keep up the efforts to secure trade deals that are good for European companies and their competitive position in the world. The next objective should be the adoption of the EU-Mercosur Agreement and a conclusive settlement of all trade disputes with the United States”.    
 
According to Director General Dirk Vantyghem, “today’s unanimous vote in favour of the modernised PEM rules is good news for our industry.. We should now engage with these partner countries to fully exploit the potential of these new rules. EURATEX is ready to engage in an industrial dialogue with the companies from the PEM Countries to facilitate their transition to the new framework”.

1The PanEuroMed contracting parties are: the EU, the EFTA States (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), the Faroe Islands, the participants in the Barcelona Process (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the territories of West Bank and Gaza, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey), the participants in the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo), the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine.

Source:

EURATEX 

10.10.2023

Textile & Fashion Forum Helsinki 2023

The Textile & Fashion Forum Helsinki 2023, organized by Finnish Textile & Fashion and EURATEX, highlights the discourse on sustainable practices within the textile and fashion industry. This two-day event, scheduled for 26-27 October at the Little Finlandia event center in Helsinki, will include a day of curated company visits.

Finland’s leading textile and fashion forum will showcase the industry's pioneering companies and their pursuit of a sustainable and resilient future. With insightful discussions, inspiring speakers, and thrilling business cases, the event drives transformation and sets new benchmarks for the textile and fashion sector.

The Textile & Fashion Forum Helsinki 2023, organized by Finnish Textile & Fashion and EURATEX, highlights the discourse on sustainable practices within the textile and fashion industry. This two-day event, scheduled for 26-27 October at the Little Finlandia event center in Helsinki, will include a day of curated company visits.

Finland’s leading textile and fashion forum will showcase the industry's pioneering companies and their pursuit of a sustainable and resilient future. With insightful discussions, inspiring speakers, and thrilling business cases, the event drives transformation and sets new benchmarks for the textile and fashion sector.

The Textile & Fashion Forum Helsinki 2023 will focus on critical industry themes. The transformation of the textile and fashion industry relies on three key pillars: the creation of different circular business models matching growth with sustainability, a green and digital transition where information technology is necessary to deliver sustainability, and scaling the business, as how start-ups can make a leap and big companies can evolve their growth strategies. These three themes will be discussed in depth during the event.

The speaker lineup, drawn from Finland, Europe and beyond, demonstrates the expertise connecting on this platform. Noteworthy figures include Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President & CEO of Marimekko; Kai Mykkänen, Minister of Climate and the Environment of Finland; Marcus Hartmann, Head of Public Affairs & Sustainability at H&M; Liljana K. Forssten, Range Strategist at IKEA; and Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner (on video).

Source:

Euratex & Finnish Textile & Fashion

05.10.2023

EURATEX and CIE warn EU Presidency about de-industrialised Europe

Ahead of the extra-ordinary Council on 6 October in Granada, EURATEX President, Alberto Paccanelli, and CIE President, Jose Vte Serna, call on the EU Presidency to develop a new competitiveness strategy, which can relaunch the European industry and ensure it will remain competitive in the decades to come. This means bringing together trade, energy, state aid and sustainability policies into a single, integrated, comprehensive approach, which can support a robust and modern European manufacturing industry.  
 
To consolidate a strong industrial structure in Europe, the Union should

Ahead of the extra-ordinary Council on 6 October in Granada, EURATEX President, Alberto Paccanelli, and CIE President, Jose Vte Serna, call on the EU Presidency to develop a new competitiveness strategy, which can relaunch the European industry and ensure it will remain competitive in the decades to come. This means bringing together trade, energy, state aid and sustainability policies into a single, integrated, comprehensive approach, which can support a robust and modern European manufacturing industry.  
 
To consolidate a strong industrial structure in Europe, the Union should

  1. secure the supply of clean energy at a competitive cost;
  2. support innovation and foster the necessary talent pool and
  3. be more assertive in achieving an international level-playing field on sustainability, based on the European model.  

During the past few years the implementation of incoherent and conflicting objectives under the trade, energy, industrial and sustainability policy has been observed. As a matter of fact, while the circular economy promised to be a recipe for a competitive industry of the future, the likelihood of pushing the EU industry out of the market and driving investment elsewhere than in Europe is very high. If this approach were to continue in the next years, it will result in a de-industrialised Europe, depending on imports from abroad. Such a Europe would be more exposed to geopolitical turmoil, with no agency to deliver its vision of peace, well-being and a healthy environment to its citizens.

It is fundamental for Europe to pursue a more coherent set of policies that put the competitiveness of its domestic industry at the core. In this context, all the industrial manufacturing sectors should be in the scope, including the textile industry, given its importance in providing essential products and applications to our society. A first impactful action that can be taken in this direction, would be to expand the scope of the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) to include the textiles and clothing industry.
 
The history of European industry is fully woven in the birth and expansion of the European textiles industry since the XVIII century. Still today, the European textiles and clothing industry holds a pivotal position in the market, encompassing a diverse range of sectors and applications. In terms of employment, our industry creates 1,3 million direct jobs in Europe, encompassing a wide range of roles, from design and production to distribution and retail. European textiles have a wide range of applications, the most common one is of course clothing and fashion. The industry has a long history of producing high-quality apparel, with various regions specializing in specific niches.
 
Beyond clothing, there is a wide range of industrial sectors were textiles play an essential role, including  Automotive (used for upholstery, interior components, and even lightweight composite materials), Aircraft and Shipbuilding (where textiles are employed for their lightweight and high-strength properties, to enhance fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and improve overall performance), Building and Construction (insulation, roofing, geotextiles, and architectural textiles), or Personal Protective Equipment, for medical personnel, firefighters, police and army officers. This includes masks, gowns, uniforms, helmets, and fire-resistant clothing, ensuring safety in hazardous environments.
 
Textiles are essential components of our society and our well-being. It is key for Europe to maintain its capacity to manufacture high-quality, sustainable and high-technology textiles.  With this in mind, the competitiveness policy of the future and the related funds to support it, should include the textile ecosystem in its scope.  

 

More information:
Euratex EU council Policy Hub
Source:

Euratex

04.10.2023

Official launch of ReHubs Europe

At a kick off meeting hosted by Mango, EURATEX and 20 incoming members presented ReHubs Europe, a new international non-profit organisation poised to give a boost to the textile recycling. The launch follows three years of intense preparation, and the publication of a Techno-Economic Study, which analysed the business case, cost and environmental benefits for upscaling textile waste recycling in Europe.

ReHubs Europe will gather key players from the textile value chain - textile manufacturers, fashion brands, collectors and recyclers, chemical industry, technology providers - who welcome the ReHubs joint ambition to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030. This requires up to 250 industrial projects across Europe, covering different types of fibre-to-fibre recycling.

ReHubs Europe is the industry’s response to the upcoming EU legislation, which sets compulsory collection and sorting of textile waste, by 2025. To manage this, an upscale of recycling capacity is needed as well as a collaboration of different players from the value chain.

At a kick off meeting hosted by Mango, EURATEX and 20 incoming members presented ReHubs Europe, a new international non-profit organisation poised to give a boost to the textile recycling. The launch follows three years of intense preparation, and the publication of a Techno-Economic Study, which analysed the business case, cost and environmental benefits for upscaling textile waste recycling in Europe.

ReHubs Europe will gather key players from the textile value chain - textile manufacturers, fashion brands, collectors and recyclers, chemical industry, technology providers - who welcome the ReHubs joint ambition to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030. This requires up to 250 industrial projects across Europe, covering different types of fibre-to-fibre recycling.

ReHubs Europe is the industry’s response to the upcoming EU legislation, which sets compulsory collection and sorting of textile waste, by 2025. To manage this, an upscale of recycling capacity is needed as well as a collaboration of different players from the value chain.

Chris Deloof will lead ReHubs Europe as Executive Director. Chris has a long-standing experience in the textile sector and is a passionate advocate for cross-industry collaboration. Moreover, Chris is deeply committed to driving the transition towards a circular economy, which aligns seamlessly with ReHubs Europe's mission.

ReHubs Europe will operate from Brussels, in close partnership with EURATEX. Membership is open to any companies who wish to invest in textile waste recycling in Europe.

Source:

Euratex

01.06.2023

Euratex criticizes European Parliament: No balance between sustainability and competitiveness

June 1, the European Parliament has adopted its Report on an EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Report wants to step up the EU’s ambition towards sustainability and circularity even further, but it has failed to recognise the strategic role of the European textile industry to scale up sustainability, nor to appreciate the global competitive threat which our companies are facing.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on the MEP Report: “We welcome the strong interest of the European Parliament in the textile and fashion industry, but encourage MEPs to develop a balanced vision which reconciles sustainability and competitiveness. Developing a new business model for our industry requires carefully crafted legislation at global level, and an open dialogue between the industry, the brands and the consumer.”

June 1, the European Parliament has adopted its Report on an EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Report wants to step up the EU’s ambition towards sustainability and circularity even further, but it has failed to recognise the strategic role of the European textile industry to scale up sustainability, nor to appreciate the global competitive threat which our companies are facing.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on the MEP Report: “We welcome the strong interest of the European Parliament in the textile and fashion industry, but encourage MEPs to develop a balanced vision which reconciles sustainability and competitiveness. Developing a new business model for our industry requires carefully crafted legislation at global level, and an open dialogue between the industry, the brands and the consumer.”

EURATEX supports the EU Textile Strategy, as it was presented over a year ago by the European Commission. The 160.000 European textile companies are committed to invest in sustainability, develop new circular business models and produce high quality textile products – not just in fashion, but also in home and medical textiles, construction, agriculture or cars. To do so, indeed a new regulatory framework is needed, with clear definitions, coherent rules and effective controls. But also, the companies should be able to comply with these rules and remain globally competitive.

The EP Report has failed to respect that balance between sustainability and competitiveness. Instead, it suggests even more rules and restrictions, totally disregarding the current economic challenges caused by high energy prices, loss in consumer confidence and assertive trade partners. Putting the bar even higher will simply mean that the European textile industry will be pushed out of the market, resulting in a bigger environmental footprint and increased dependency on foreign supplies. Quite the opposite of what the EU wants to achieve with its open strategic autonomy plans.

The Report also fails to differentiate between textile products. There is a mix up between fashion and technical textiles, between products made in Europe and outside, between high quality and durable products and low-quality items. It is regretful that the European Parliament did not make that distinction and simply refers to “textiles” as a general cause of concern, without acknowledging e.g. the high quality products, made by European textile and fashion companies.

The Report puts a strong responsibility on the supply side – the industry and the brands – and does not sufficiently address the role of the consumer. Initiatives therefore are essential to create a stronger demand for sustainable textiles, which includes better communication and transparency (avoid greenwashing), fiscal measures, green public procurement and better control of online marketplaces.

On a positive note, the EP Report does recognise the importance to invest in research and innovation, to support reskilling and upskilling, the need of scaling up circular economy and pay attention to the needs of SMEs. EURATEX has always insisted that such massive transition can only be successful if accompanied by significant and dedicated support programmes. The EU Textiles Transition Pathway should offer a clear perspective in this regard.

Source:

Euratex

EU Trade Highlights (c) Euratex
17.05.2023

European textile industry increasingly exposed to global pressure

"Policy makers need to consider that global dimension."
 
EURATEX released its 2023 Spring Report, which analyses latest trade flows for textiles and clothing products.

In 2022, EU trade in textiles and clothing has exceeded, for the first time in history, the €200 billion mark. This record growth of total trade is mainly due to a sharp increase of clothing imports (+36,6% in value), especially from China and Bangladesh, which outweighs Europe’s positive export performance. As a result, the EU’s trade deficit in textiles and clothing has increased to €70 billion, which is 48% higher than the year before.

Such a growing deficit is a cause for concern; the objective of the EU’s Industrial Strategy to strengthen resilience and “strategic autonomy” is not happening. Instead, the dependency has increased, and becomes critical in certain raw materials and fibres.

"Policy makers need to consider that global dimension."
 
EURATEX released its 2023 Spring Report, which analyses latest trade flows for textiles and clothing products.

In 2022, EU trade in textiles and clothing has exceeded, for the first time in history, the €200 billion mark. This record growth of total trade is mainly due to a sharp increase of clothing imports (+36,6% in value), especially from China and Bangladesh, which outweighs Europe’s positive export performance. As a result, the EU’s trade deficit in textiles and clothing has increased to €70 billion, which is 48% higher than the year before.

Such a growing deficit is a cause for concern; the objective of the EU’s Industrial Strategy to strengthen resilience and “strategic autonomy” is not happening. Instead, the dependency has increased, and becomes critical in certain raw materials and fibres.

It also challenges the Commission’s ambition is to promote – and prevail – high quality and sustainable textile products on the Single Market – regardless where they have been produced. With imports now reaching €140 billion, it will be a challenge to effectively control the quality and compliance over these imports. Market surveillance will need to be stepped up massively, without becoming a barrier to trade.

The efforts on the EU’s export performance need to be strengthened, so as to rebalance the European trade relations with the rest of the world. EU companies are world leader in high end fashion products and in technical textiles. More needs to be done to support their activities in established markets but also emerging economies. For instance, the ongoing FTA negotiations with India should focus on improving market access and ensure “fair” competition with local companies.

The EURATEX Spring Report highlights significant differences between trade in value and in volume. EU’s export of textile products has increased by 13% in value, but actually dropped by nearly 7% in volume. This obviously reflects the very high inflation figures from last year, caused initially by the rising energy prices and changing central bank policies. This in turn leads to uncertainty with the consumer, resulting in low demand and gloomy prospects for the entire value chain.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented on these latest figures: “This report confirms once again that “textiles” is one of the most globalised sectors of the European economy, and hence the importance of taking that global dimension into account, when designing EU and national policies. Failing to do so may have a devastating effect on the global competitiveness of the European textile industry.

Looking forward, he added: “It is essential to stabilise inflation, restore consumer confidence and ensure a level playing field for all operators in the textile industry. On that basis, European companies can prosper and offer quality jobs to 1.3 million workers”.

More information:
Euratex China Import
Source:

Euratex

31.03.2023

EURATEX at 1 year EU Textile Strategy – Yes, but …

On 30 March 2022, the European Commission presented its vision for the future of the textile industry. The strategy mainly focuses on reducing the environmental footprint and promote sustainability and transparency in the value chain.

EURATEX has welcomed the publication of the strategy, as it recognises the strategic importance of the European textile industry, and its core competitive values of quality and creativity. At the same time, the association has warned that translating that vision into reality is a delicate process, as the industry needs to reconcile sustainability with competitiveness. Making the green (and digital) transition should make companies stronger; the benefits should outweigh the costs.

On 30 March 2022, the European Commission presented its vision for the future of the textile industry. The strategy mainly focuses on reducing the environmental footprint and promote sustainability and transparency in the value chain.

EURATEX has welcomed the publication of the strategy, as it recognises the strategic importance of the European textile industry, and its core competitive values of quality and creativity. At the same time, the association has warned that translating that vision into reality is a delicate process, as the industry needs to reconcile sustainability with competitiveness. Making the green (and digital) transition should make companies stronger; the benefits should outweigh the costs.

This premise had a serious blow by the Russian war in Ukraine, which erupted at almost the same time when the strategy was launched, and has dramatically changed the economic context. Energy prices increased by a factor of 10 (!), putting the European industry at a significant disadvantage with its global competitors, leading to company shutdowns or relocations. Extended lock downs in China and defensive trade policies in the US and elsewhere have further generated uncertainty on the market and disrupted supply chains.

Today, one year after its publication, EURATEX remains carefully optimistic about the implementation of the strategy, but needs to warn against some important pitfalls on the road ahead.

  1. Despite these turbulent times, the Commission is moving ahead “swiftly” in translating their EU Textile Strategy into (draft) legislation. At present, at least 16 pieces of legislation are on the table, which will turn the textile industry into a strictly regulated sector. The quality of this new regulatory framework is critical to the success of the strategy: upcoming rules need to be coherent, technically feasible and enforceable, and have a minimal cost for SMEs. EURATEX calls for a realistic timetable and “competitiveness test” for each piece of legislation before it is adopted.
  2. Textile companies need to be informed and supported to comply with this new framework. This requires substantial funding which should be earmarked exclusively to the sector, covering areas of innovation and digitalisation, skills development, support to start ups and internationalisation, as well as access to affordable energy. In this regard, EURATEX calls on the Commission to translate the current “good intentions” into concrete decisions.
  3. The EU strategy will not work if there is no demand for sustainable textiles, both from individual consumers and public authorities (procurement). Concrete measures need to be taken to offer a competitive advantage to sustainable and high quality textile products, e.g. through a different VAT rate, strict procurement rules, closer cooperation between the brands/retailers, producers and consumers.
  4. The EU strategy could also fail, if the global dimension of the textile industry is ignored. Up to 80% of clothing products are produced outside the EU; these products need to comply with the new framework, but it remains unclear how to ensure that level playing field. Market surveillance needs to be stepped up massively – also targeting on line sales – but this would require significant efforts from member states, which are not available as of today.

Despite these important challenges, EURATEX remains committed to the successful implementation of the EU Textile Strategy. Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “We want to be a global leader in sustainable textiles, building on the entrepreneurship, quality and creativity of nearly 150,000 European textile companies. Creating this new framework is an incredible challenge, requiring a close dialogue between the industry and the regulator. But if well designed and carefully implemented, it can set a new era for the European textile industry”.

Source:

Euratex

(c) Euratex
RegioGreenTex - Kickoff meeting
21.02.2023

New European initiative for SMEs: Transform textile waste into value

43 partners of the RegioGreenTex project met in Brussels to kick start a three-year project that should change the way we manage textile recycling.

Regions for Green Textiles – known as RegioGreenTex – is a quadruple-helix partnership initiative aiming at mapping and reducing the difficulties, which currently exist in the implementation of a circular economy model within the textile ecosystem across the EU.

RegioGreenTex will  support tangible solutions at SME level, where textile waste becomes a value. The project will contribute to maintain and develop jobs in the EU textile sector, reshoring the production in Europe and making the EU textile value chain more competitive and resilient. It will contribute to the EU Green Deal objectives of reducing carbon footprint, energy and water consumption.

More information:
Euratex SMEs textile waste EISMEA
Source:

Euratex

21.12.2022

EURATEX addressing EU Energy Council: Cap at 180 €/MWh still too high

On Monday, December 19 2022, the European energy ministers reached an agreement on a price cap for natural gas wholesale prices.

Despite welcoming the adoption of the instrument and the prospect to limit gas price speculations on the stock market, EURATEX considers the cap at 180 €/MWh to be still too high. Also, the complexity of the conditionalities triggering the cap may weaken its effectiveness and implementation: according to the legal proposal, the price level must be reached for three working days and European wholesale gas prices must remain, for the same length of time, at €35 above the global price of liquefied natural gas. Therefore, EURATEX urges the Council of the EU to improve this market correction mechanism.

On Monday, December 19 2022, the European energy ministers reached an agreement on a price cap for natural gas wholesale prices.

Despite welcoming the adoption of the instrument and the prospect to limit gas price speculations on the stock market, EURATEX considers the cap at 180 €/MWh to be still too high. Also, the complexity of the conditionalities triggering the cap may weaken its effectiveness and implementation: according to the legal proposal, the price level must be reached for three working days and European wholesale gas prices must remain, for the same length of time, at €35 above the global price of liquefied natural gas. Therefore, EURATEX urges the Council of the EU to improve this market correction mechanism.

Furthermore, EURATEX insists on the need to provide the industry with support measures to counteract competition from the US and other countries. Dirk Vantyghem, Director General of EURATEX, affirms: “The Industry is at the heart of the European way of life and the fundament of our social market economy. The European textile industry is 99.8% composed of SMEs, which struggle with tight margins while being at the upstream part of the supply chain: the EU must do more to save its industrial structure, its competitiveness and its capacity to provide essential products to European citizens”.

Source:

Euratex

Graphic Euratex
16.12.2022

European textiles industry extremely concerned about the fast loss of competitiveness

  • Potential loss of competitiveness, caused by the EU’s inaction of the energy crisis, and Chinese and US subsidies to domestic industry

Following yesterday’s European Council summit and its conclusions on the measures to tackle the energy crisis, the European textiles industry is extremely concerned about the fast loss of competitiveness of Europe and demands urgent action to save the industry.

The chain of factors determining this sharp decline in competitiveness is twofold. First, the energy cost in Europe is more than 6 times higher than in the US, China, and neighbouring countries. This factor alone has almost erased the business case for producing in the EU. At present, many textiles and clothing companies are producing at net loss or have shut down production. The industrial conditions have worsened in such a way that there is no business case to invest in Europe or buy products produced or processed in the EU. It is only the sense of responsibility of the entrepreneurs towards the European society that is keeping the plants and production running.

  • Potential loss of competitiveness, caused by the EU’s inaction of the energy crisis, and Chinese and US subsidies to domestic industry

Following yesterday’s European Council summit and its conclusions on the measures to tackle the energy crisis, the European textiles industry is extremely concerned about the fast loss of competitiveness of Europe and demands urgent action to save the industry.

The chain of factors determining this sharp decline in competitiveness is twofold. First, the energy cost in Europe is more than 6 times higher than in the US, China, and neighbouring countries. This factor alone has almost erased the business case for producing in the EU. At present, many textiles and clothing companies are producing at net loss or have shut down production. The industrial conditions have worsened in such a way that there is no business case to invest in Europe or buy products produced or processed in the EU. It is only the sense of responsibility of the entrepreneurs towards the European society that is keeping the plants and production running.

Secondly, while the EU is passive and extremely slow in articulating a credible and effective response to the energy crisis, the main international competitors and trade partners (China, India and the US respectively) have developed comprehensive state-aid frameworks for their domestic industry despite not being affected by this crisis at all. The latest example is the 369-billion-dollar scheme of the Inflation Reduction Act rolled out by the Biden administration.

Recent trade data  already indicate a loss of global competitiveness: imports to the EU have grown tremendously in 2022 (+35% year-to-date). It is also evident that the surge in imports goes in parallel with the surge of natural gas price. It is expected that energy prices will remain high and volatile, opening the door for imports to gain substantial market shares in the EU.

The chart indicates the development of the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) until September 2022 since Eurostat data for Q4 2022 has not been published yet. Euratex is aware that the market situation has eased somewhat since in the past months, but the crisis remains because gas prices are still extremely high in comparison to last year. This suggests that the current loss of competitiveness of the EU manufacturing will not be recovered even with lower energy prices, unless measures are taken to correct the unlevel playing field on which the EU industry has to operate in the international markets. Only with an ambitious and comprehensive relaunch plan at EU level, Europe will be able to restore its credibility as a global manufacturing powerhouse and investments.

If the status quo is maintained, not only the EU will not be able to recover its competitive position on the global business stage, but it will also fail its plans to reach zero-net emissions and achieve circularity. It is evident that these ambitions - that the industry is passionately supporting - need massive capital investments. However, in the current scenario an investments diversion can only be expected to markets where governments are actively supporting those investments and energy costs are much lower – regardless of their fossil- or non-fossil origin.

The European textiles industry – the whole value chain, from fibres, nonwoven, to fabrics, clothing manufacturers - are facing unprecedented pressure deriving from the current geopolitical situation, the new macroeconomic conditions and unfair competition from third states. The situation is going to worsen if no emergency action is taken, especially because a recession is expected in the coming months.

The main structural component of the EU manufacturing are SMEs: these are economic actors that are particularly exposed to the current crisis as they do not have the financial leverage to absorb the impact of energy prices for much longer. Urgent EU action is needed to ensure their survival.

EURATEX calls on the EU political leaders in the Commission, in the European Council and in the national capitals to:

  1. Raise the ambition and adopt a comprehensive approach at EU level: energy, state-aid and trade policy must be brought together in a single strategy with concrete emergency solutions and with a clear SME dimension;
     
  2. Let all hesitations aside and adopt a meaningful price cap on natural gas wholesales, that should be ideally no higher than 80 euro/MWh. In parallel, it should also be ensured that electricity prices are brought to a sustainable price level;
     
  3. Change the European posture on state-aid, even temporarily. An ambitious plan of investments and state-aid in green technologies to support the industrial transition should be rolled out.

Such a plan, however, should not be conceived as a retaliation against our most necessary and like-minded trade partners. Access to finance and markets must be safeguarded for all those actors who are capable and willing to invest in Europe, on the basis of reciprocity. In   these challenging times for geopolitical stability, ensuring strong trade ties with our traditional allies and partners is of utmost importance. The roll-out of an investment and state aid plan should not interfere, but rather support, the dialogue with the US (and other partners) and the deepening of our trade and investment partnership. Such a dialogue should be accelerated in the context of the TTC as well as at WTO level.

Source:

Euratex

16.12.2022

IndustriAll Europe and Euratex: Joint SSDC Textiles & Clothing Statement

The European textiles and clothing sector is set for a major transformation which will affect both industry and workers. The EU’s strategy for sustainable and circular textiles aims to ensure that by 2030, textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable with the industry moving from a linear to a circular business model. This strategy is accompanied with the EU’s transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable, and digital textiles ecosystem linking the green transition with the digital transition while stressing the need for the sector to remain competitive.

IndustriAll European Trade Union (industriAll Europe) and Euratex, representing the workers and employers in the textiles and clothing sectors respectfully, jointly highlight both the challenges and opportunities of the giant forthcoming transformation of the sector and call for action to ensure that European industrial policy is fit for purpose and enables the sector to transform without negatively impacting workers or European industry.

Specifically, the European social partners jointly call for:

The European textiles and clothing sector is set for a major transformation which will affect both industry and workers. The EU’s strategy for sustainable and circular textiles aims to ensure that by 2030, textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable with the industry moving from a linear to a circular business model. This strategy is accompanied with the EU’s transition pathway for a more resilient, sustainable, and digital textiles ecosystem linking the green transition with the digital transition while stressing the need for the sector to remain competitive.

IndustriAll European Trade Union (industriAll Europe) and Euratex, representing the workers and employers in the textiles and clothing sectors respectfully, jointly highlight both the challenges and opportunities of the giant forthcoming transformation of the sector and call for action to ensure that European industrial policy is fit for purpose and enables the sector to transform without negatively impacting workers or European industry.

Specifically, the European social partners jointly call for:

  1. EU action to guarantee that the European textiles ecosystem remains competitive, including ensuring a level global playing field.
  2. Measures to increase the demand of sustainable products including awareness raising campaigns, incentives such as lower VAT rates, and sustainability criteria in public procurement.
  3. Measures to ensure access to green and affordable energy.
  4. Policy gaps to be addressed, such as promoting a harmonised Extended Producer Responsibility approach across the EU and ensuring that SMEs can use Product Environmental Footprints.
  5. Action to ensure that the Sustainable Products Regulation and the forthcoming Digital Product Passport will offer a transparent, predictable and SME-friendly framework.
  6. Investment in attracting, training and reskilling workers including via concrete support for the EU Pact for Skills.
  7. Appropriate funding, sound metrics and legal incentives at regional, national, and European level to support the green and digital transitions of the textile and clothing sectors.
  8. Regional and national authorities to coordinate with sectoral social partners to ensure that the green and digital transitions are fair and just and do not leave the industry, regions or workers behind.
Source:

Euratex

24.11.2022

EURATEX: A price cap at 275€/MWh would be meaningless

The plan of the European Commission to propose a price cap on wholesale gas price at 275€/MWh would be a bitter disappointment for the European textiles and clothing manufacturers, said EURATEX.

November 22nd, EURATEX stated in a letter to EC President, Ursula von der Leyen, that any price cap above the level of 80€euro/MWh would not help the EU industry – the textile sector in particular – to survive the current crisis. Indeed as early as July 2021, the wholesale gas price in the EU was below 30€/MWh. Now, the EU industry is facing gas and energy prices that have exceeded any coping capacity: from the record-high 320€/MWh last August, the price has reached to 127€/MWh today. Still, it is more than 300% than the business as usual prices.

The plan of the European Commission to propose a price cap on wholesale gas price at 275€/MWh would be a bitter disappointment for the European textiles and clothing manufacturers, said EURATEX.

November 22nd, EURATEX stated in a letter to EC President, Ursula von der Leyen, that any price cap above the level of 80€euro/MWh would not help the EU industry – the textile sector in particular – to survive the current crisis. Indeed as early as July 2021, the wholesale gas price in the EU was below 30€/MWh. Now, the EU industry is facing gas and energy prices that have exceeded any coping capacity: from the record-high 320€/MWh last August, the price has reached to 127€/MWh today. Still, it is more than 300% than the business as usual prices.

The very existence of the European industry is at stake and with it the European sustainability agenda – and Europe’s capacity to implement it. Furthermore, Europe will lose its strategic autonomy, which guarantees essential goods and services are made available on the European Internal Market. If we continue on this path, the EU will soon become totally dependent on foreign imports with no leverage to implement its sustainability agenda, let alone lead the transition to a circular economy on the international stage.

At present, the EU industry is facing a dire international competition with the industry in China, India and the US working at energy prices of around 10$/MWh. In addition, these competitors are benefitting of sky-high subsidies from their own governments: the rollout of the US $369bln industrial subsidy scheme is just the latest example.

EURATEX Director General, Dirk Vantyghem, believes that “while the EU Industry is under immense, unprecedented pressure, a price cap at 275€/MWh would be meaningless: the European industry will be permanently pushed out on the market. The industry is at the heart of the European way of life and the fundament of our social market economy. The EU must save its industry to save Europe. The moment to act is now.”

More information:
price gap energy crisis Euratex
Source:

EURATEX

Photo: Euratex
26.10.2022

EURATEX & ATP Convention successfully concluded in Porto

  • European textile industry needs to prepare for a paradigm shift, and become global leader in sustainable textiles

Organised by EURATEX in partnership with the Portuguese Textile Association (ATP), the Porto Convention – Sustainability meets Competitiveness: How to Square the Circle? – took place on 13-14 October in Porto, Portugal, with nearly 250 entrepreneurs attending from all over Europe. They discussed the current challenges of the European textile industry and set the grounds for a bright future, based on some strong foundations: innovation, creativity, quality and sustainability.

In his keynote speech, Mr. Pedro Siza Vieira, Former Minister for the Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, assessed the geopolitical and macroeconomics changes, and how this will impact on the future of the textile industry: nearshoring and friend-shoring, independence from foreign gas through the use of European sustainable energy, as well as circular and automated production lines. While the current turbulence causes uncertainty, he sees a better future for our industry.

  • European textile industry needs to prepare for a paradigm shift, and become global leader in sustainable textiles

Organised by EURATEX in partnership with the Portuguese Textile Association (ATP), the Porto Convention – Sustainability meets Competitiveness: How to Square the Circle? – took place on 13-14 October in Porto, Portugal, with nearly 250 entrepreneurs attending from all over Europe. They discussed the current challenges of the European textile industry and set the grounds for a bright future, based on some strong foundations: innovation, creativity, quality and sustainability.

In his keynote speech, Mr. Pedro Siza Vieira, Former Minister for the Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, assessed the geopolitical and macroeconomics changes, and how this will impact on the future of the textile industry: nearshoring and friend-shoring, independence from foreign gas through the use of European sustainable energy, as well as circular and automated production lines. While the current turbulence causes uncertainty, he sees a better future for our industry.

The first CEO Panel, addressing the theme of How to Measure and Communicate about Sustainability, focused on the challenges to translate “sustainability” towards the consumers. The panel addressed the issue of greenwashing and the role of brands in communicating about sustainability. It looked at how the new European Commission regulations on eco-label, digital product passport (DPP) and product environmental footprint (PEF) will create a new framework.

The second CEO Panel, discussing Financing Sustainability, looked at the cost of sustainable investments, and how this cost should be managed within the entire supply chain, including the brands and retailers.

Four workshops with industry experts followed in the afternoon, addressing the themes of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Textiles, Digital Product Passport (DPP), Recycling Textile Waste and Labelling Textiles (Product Environmental Footprint). As these initiatives will roll out in the coming years – as part of the EU Textile Strategy – participants got a better understanding of the future framework for our industry.

Dirk Vantyghem, Director General of EURATEX, commented on this: “to prepare for a brighter future requires a new regulatory framework, where quality and durability become the norm, where transparency and sustainability is rewarded, where free riders – who do not comply with rules and standards – are kept outside the market. The EU Textile Strategy aims at creating such a framework, which must be fair and balanced, and requires a close and constant dialogue between the regulator and the industry.”

During the 2nd day of the convention, participants had the opportunity to visit state of the art textile companies (Têxteis J.F. Almeida, RIOPELE, and TMG Automotive) and the Portuguese textile  research centre CITEVE. They showcased how the Portuguese textile industry is making this transition, while remaining globally competitive.

Alberto Paccanelli, President of EURATEX, concluded: “We need to attract creative people in our companies, we need to produce top class quality products, and we need to become more sustainable. That is the recipe for our success in a globalised and highly competitive industry.” Paccanelli is positive about the future: “While we face very tough times, I am optimistic about the future of our European textile industry. The rest of the world is watching us, as we move forward with our strategy. We should become their benchmark and Europe should become a global leader in sustainable textiles.”

 

Source:

Euratex

(c) EURATEX
11.10.2022

EURATEX and ATP: 10th European Textile & Apparel Convention in Porto

On 13-14 October, EURATEX in partnership with ATP is organising the 10th European Textile & Apparel Convention in Porto, Portugal; the convention marks also the 24th Textile Industry Forum for Portugal.

The Porto Convention – titled Sustainability meets Competitiveness: How to Square the Circle? – will look at how companies can anticipate the new European regulatory framework, embrace innovation, and develop a business model where sustainability becomes a source of competitiveness and growth. In the current economic, social and political environment, Europe is facing many challenges: increased energy prices, unforeseen inflation and climate change, which add to the day-to-day challenges of running a business. Embracing the European Union’s commitment to a green and digital transformation, the textile industry needs to also move towards a new circular economy where recycling is at the core of the design process supported by digitalisation, innovation and new skills, and creativity. The conference will address explore solutions to turn quality and sustainability into a source of competitiveness.

On 13-14 October, EURATEX in partnership with ATP is organising the 10th European Textile & Apparel Convention in Porto, Portugal; the convention marks also the 24th Textile Industry Forum for Portugal.

The Porto Convention – titled Sustainability meets Competitiveness: How to Square the Circle? – will look at how companies can anticipate the new European regulatory framework, embrace innovation, and develop a business model where sustainability becomes a source of competitiveness and growth. In the current economic, social and political environment, Europe is facing many challenges: increased energy prices, unforeseen inflation and climate change, which add to the day-to-day challenges of running a business. Embracing the European Union’s commitment to a green and digital transformation, the textile industry needs to also move towards a new circular economy where recycling is at the core of the design process supported by digitalisation, innovation and new skills, and creativity. The conference will address explore solutions to turn quality and sustainability into a source of competitiveness.

The Porto Convention will see representatives of national and European institutions, experts from the industry and like-minded entrepreneurs come together to discuss ideas, share experiences and find solutions to face common challenges.

Source:

EURATEX

04.10.2022

EURATEX response to the latest EU Energy Council decision

  • More ambition and joint European efforts needed

On Friday 30 September, the EU Energy ministers approved a Council Regulation proposal to address high energy prices. The Regulation focusses on the electricity prices and electricity demand reduction, on a solidarity levy from the fossil fuel sector and a retail levy for SMEs. While these initiatives are driven by goodwill, they miss the point of bringing gas prices down – the one measure that would bring the biggest impact on European industry.

EURATEX – as the voice of the European apparel and textiles manufacturers – regrets this lack of ambition: the Regulation does not foresee any meaningful action to directly support the European industry. This can accelerate the de-industrialisation of Europe and loss of industrial capacity to secure the European standard of living and implementing the Green Deal.

“We call on the EU and Member States to pursue our common European interests. The hesitation to adopt a European price cap on natural gas, accompanied by massive national spending programs to subsidise domestic gas consumption, is a dereliction of duty”, said Director General Dirk Vantyghem.

  • More ambition and joint European efforts needed

On Friday 30 September, the EU Energy ministers approved a Council Regulation proposal to address high energy prices. The Regulation focusses on the electricity prices and electricity demand reduction, on a solidarity levy from the fossil fuel sector and a retail levy for SMEs. While these initiatives are driven by goodwill, they miss the point of bringing gas prices down – the one measure that would bring the biggest impact on European industry.

EURATEX – as the voice of the European apparel and textiles manufacturers – regrets this lack of ambition: the Regulation does not foresee any meaningful action to directly support the European industry. This can accelerate the de-industrialisation of Europe and loss of industrial capacity to secure the European standard of living and implementing the Green Deal.

“We call on the EU and Member States to pursue our common European interests. The hesitation to adopt a European price cap on natural gas, accompanied by massive national spending programs to subsidise domestic gas consumption, is a dereliction of duty”, said Director General Dirk Vantyghem.

Triggering competition among Member States rather than promoting cooperation in bringing gas prices down for all European companies will also prove ineffective: indeed, the industrial structure in the European Union is fully integrated. Once a segment of the value chain perishes because of the crisis in one country, all companies based in the EU will suffer its negative effect, driving prices up in the supply chain and adding further strain to our operations. The European industry will be saved as a unified industry, or it will not be saved at all. Fragmenting the internal market will not protect any Member State’s domestic manufacturing.

In addition to a EU-wide price cap on gas, EURATEX calls on the European Commission to swiftly amend the Temporary Crisis Framework, making sure the criteria and thresholds applied do not exclude vulnerable companies from possible support (e.g. in textile finishing and services). Euratex also encourages the European Commission to revise the ETS Indirect Carbon Leakage mechanism and include the man-made fibres, non-wovens, spinning and weaving sectors.

It is high time now for the European Union, said the association – in particular for Member States and the Commission – to step up their ambition and adopt a European vision: a chaotic and fragmented approach will not mitigate the crisis but accelerate it.

Source:

Euratex

26.08.2022

EURATEX: Future of the European textile & clothing industry is at stake

  • European Textile Industry calls for immediate action to tackle the energy crisis;

The European textile & fashion in Europe, represented by EURATEX, calls for a single European strategy to tackle this energy crisis. To safeguard the future of the industry, a revision of the electricity price mechanism is necessary and an EU wide cap on gas prices at 80€/MWh. Special company support needs to be granted to avoid bankruptcy and relocation of textile production outside Europe.

Gas and electricity prices have reached unprecedented levels in Europe. Due to severe global competition in the market that characterizes the European textile & clothing industry, these cost increases are impossible to pass on to customers. This has already led to capacity reductions and production stops. Closures and the shift of production outside Europe are being forecasted should the current situation persist, leading to further de-industrialization of our continent and increased dependency on external suppliers.

  • European Textile Industry calls for immediate action to tackle the energy crisis;

The European textile & fashion in Europe, represented by EURATEX, calls for a single European strategy to tackle this energy crisis. To safeguard the future of the industry, a revision of the electricity price mechanism is necessary and an EU wide cap on gas prices at 80€/MWh. Special company support needs to be granted to avoid bankruptcy and relocation of textile production outside Europe.

Gas and electricity prices have reached unprecedented levels in Europe. Due to severe global competition in the market that characterizes the European textile & clothing industry, these cost increases are impossible to pass on to customers. This has already led to capacity reductions and production stops. Closures and the shift of production outside Europe are being forecasted should the current situation persist, leading to further de-industrialization of our continent and increased dependency on external suppliers.

Specific segments of the textile industry are particularly vulnerable. The man-made fibres (MMF), synthetic and cellulose-based fibres, industry for instance is an energy intensive sector and a major consumer of natural gas in the manufacturing of its fibres. The disappearance of European fibre products would have immediate consequences for the textile industry and for society at large. The activities of textile dyeing and finishing are also relatively intensive in energy. These activities are essential in the textile value chain in order to give the textile products and garments added value through colour and special functionalities (e.g. for medical applications).

The European textile industry calls for an EU-wide cap on gas prices at €80/Mwh, and a revision of the price mechanism for the electricity market, to reduce the huge price gaps with our foreign competitors.

Governments should ensure that critical industries, such textiles and all its segments, are able to ensure gas and electricity contracts towards the end of the year at an affordable price. Stable and predictable energy supply is of the utmost importance. Gas restrictions and rationing must only be used as a last resort. No mandatory consumption cuts should be foreseen.

In addition to these measures under discussion, currently a proliferation of contradictory, uncoordinated national initiatives to tackle the energy crisis is observed. This has led to a de facto fragmentation of the Single Market, resulting in a chaotic policy and regulatory environment that adds a further strain on our supply chain, which is fully integrated at European level. Measures that guarantee a level playing field in the EU are utmost important.

EURATEX President Alberto Paccanelli explained: “Given the current situation, a scenario where entire segments of the textiles industry will disappear can no longer be excluded. This would lead to the loss of thousands of companies and tens of thousands of European jobs and would further aggravate the dependency of Europe to foreign sources of essential goods. This applies specifically to SMEs who need temporary support measures (e.g. state aids, tax relieves, energy price cap) to survive the current crisis and to prepare for the green transition in the longer run.”

More information:
Euratex energy supplies crisis
Source:

Euratex

04.08.2022

EU-India Free Trade negotiations

  • Opportunity to rebalance trade relations and promote a global sustainable textile industry

Today’s trade relations between the EU and India in textiles and clothing are characterised by a large and systemic trade deficit for the EU; annual imports from India exceed €6 bln (2021) – making it the 4th supplier – while EU exports to India reached just half a billion – the 20th place in our export markets.

Against this background, the free trade negotiations are an opportunity to rebalance that relationship; European textile and clothing companies can offer high quality and innovative products for the Indian market, but they can also offer solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of the textile industry.

EURATEX, as the voice of textiles and apparel manufacturers in Europe, supports an ambitious EU trade agenda, that puts reciprocity, transparency, fair competition and equal rules at the centre of its action. The FTA is an opportunity to establish a more sustainable and fair trading system, based on rules, global environmental and social standards, which are effectively respected by all.

  • Opportunity to rebalance trade relations and promote a global sustainable textile industry

Today’s trade relations between the EU and India in textiles and clothing are characterised by a large and systemic trade deficit for the EU; annual imports from India exceed €6 bln (2021) – making it the 4th supplier – while EU exports to India reached just half a billion – the 20th place in our export markets.

Against this background, the free trade negotiations are an opportunity to rebalance that relationship; European textile and clothing companies can offer high quality and innovative products for the Indian market, but they can also offer solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of the textile industry.

EURATEX, as the voice of textiles and apparel manufacturers in Europe, supports an ambitious EU trade agenda, that puts reciprocity, transparency, fair competition and equal rules at the centre of its action. The FTA is an opportunity to establish a more sustainable and fair trading system, based on rules, global environmental and social standards, which are effectively respected by all.

In this context, EURATEX highlights that the sector needs open and efficient markets, but combined with effective controls where necessary, thus ensuring level playing field for European companies. It is clearly essential that the same level of market access to India – both in terms of tariff and non-tariff barriers – is available to EU producers as vice versa.

India today benefits from reduced customs duties due to GSP. For European companies instead, market access to India is challenging, facing non-tariff barriers (related to proof of origin, quality control procedures, etc.) as well as national or state-level support programmes which distort the level playing field between EU and Indian companies.

That level playing field should also apply to our sustainability targets. As the EU will roll out its EU Textile Strategy, setting ambitious standards and restrictions (e.g. on chemicals), we must ensure the FTA is fully aligned with that strategy.

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “We look to these negotiations with great interest. The FTA is an opportunity to develop a shared ambition between the European and Indian industry to make sustainable textiles the norm, and to create a regulatory framework where our companies can compete in a free and fair environment.”

Source:

EURATEX

Euratex
24.06.2022

EURATEX’s ReHubs initiative: Fiber-to-fiber recycling

The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the European textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource, and to boost textile circular business model at large scale.

This collaboration is set to turn the societal textile waste issue into a business opportunity and to fulfil the EU ambitions of the Green Deal, of the mandatory texile waste collection by end 2024 and the transition into Circular Economy.

In 2020 EURATEX launched the ReHubs initiative to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain and considering all perspectives on chemicals, fibers making, textiles making, garments production, retail and distribution, textiles waste collection, sorting and recycling.

In June 2022 ReHubs completes a Techno Economic master Study (TES) which researches critical information on the feedstock (textile waste) data, on technology, organizational and financial needs to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030 and to effectively launch the ReHubs.

The ReHubs initiative brings together key European and world players to solve the European textile waste problem by transforming “waste” into a resource, and to boost textile circular business model at large scale.

This collaboration is set to turn the societal textile waste issue into a business opportunity and to fulfil the EU ambitions of the Green Deal, of the mandatory texile waste collection by end 2024 and the transition into Circular Economy.

In 2020 EURATEX launched the ReHubs initiative to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain and considering all perspectives on chemicals, fibers making, textiles making, garments production, retail and distribution, textiles waste collection, sorting and recycling.

In June 2022 ReHubs completes a Techno Economic master Study (TES) which researches critical information on the feedstock (textile waste) data, on technology, organizational and financial needs to recycle 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030 and to effectively launch the ReHubs.

EURATEX’s ReHubs initiative plans to pursue fiber-to-fiber recycling for 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030
According ReHubs Techno Economic Master Study (TES), the textile recycling industry could generate in Europe around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030, and increase need for nearshoring and reshoring of textile manufacturing.

The textile recycling industry in Europe could reach economic, social and environmental benefits for €3.5 billion to €4.5 billion by 2030
“Transform Waste into Feedstock” announced as first project supported by the ReHubs, and aiming at building up a first 50,000 tons capacity facility by 2024.

Europe has a 7-7.5 million tons textile waste problem, of which only 30-35% is collected today.  

Based on the ambitious European Waste law, all EU Member States must separately collect the textile waste in 2 years and half. While some countries are designing schemes to face the waste collection challenge, currently no large-scale plan exist to process the waste.

The largest source of textile waste (85%) comes from private households and approximately 99% of the textile waste was made using virgin fibers.

Euratex  assesses that to reach a fiber-to-fiber recycling rate of around 18 to 26 percent by 2030, a capital expenditure investment in the range of 6 billion € to 7 billion € will be needed, particularly to scale up sufficient sorting and processing infrastructure. The economic, social, and environmental value which could be realized, potentially total an annual impact of €3.5-4.5 billion by 2030.

Once matured and scaled, the textile recycling industry could become a profitable industry with a total market size of 6-8 billion € and around 15,000 direct new jobs by 2030.

Next steps of the ReHubs initiative

  • A European textile recycling roadmap proposing Objectives and Key Results to recycle fiber-to-fiber 2.5 million of textile waste by 2030
  • A leading collaboration hub with large players and SMEs from across an extended European textile recycling value chain
  • A first concrete portfolio of 4 launching projects:
    - Transform textile waste into feedstock
    - Increase the adoption of mechanically recycled fibers in the value chain
    - Expand capacity by solving technical challenges for thermo-mechanical textiles recycling
    - Create capsule collection with post-consumer recycled products

The 1st project addresses current sorting technologies which have limits to identify materials with sufficient accuracy for the subsequent circular recycling processes. The “Transform Waste into Feedstock” project will focus on further developing and scaling such sorting technologies. The project group led by Texaid AG aims on building up a first 50,000 tons facility by the end 2024.

Source:

Euratex