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(c) Euratex
17.05.2022

EURATEX 2022 Spring Report: Exports of textile and clothing articles +10.6%

EURATEX has just released its Spring report, offering a detailed insight into trade figures for the European textile and apparel industry in 2021. The numbers are encouraging: comparing with the dramatic corona-year 2020, EU exports of textile and clothing articles increased by +10.6%, while imports dipped by -7.5%. As a result, the EU trade deficit improved, even it remains significant (- €48 billion).

Furthermore, import prices went slightly down in clothing and dropped in textiles, following a strong decrease of Chinese import prices of face masks and protective medical supplies.

The boost in exports was mainly due to strong performance on the Swiss, Chinese and US markets. On the other side, EU sales of textile & clothing to the United Kingdom fell sharply (-23%), due to Brexit new requirements, customs’ delays and shortage of truck drivers.  Imports from the EU top supplier, China, plunged by -28%, corresponding to €13 billion. Similarly, textile and clothing imports from the United Kingdom recorded a sharp decrease over the period (-48%, equal to €-3 billion).

EURATEX has just released its Spring report, offering a detailed insight into trade figures for the European textile and apparel industry in 2021. The numbers are encouraging: comparing with the dramatic corona-year 2020, EU exports of textile and clothing articles increased by +10.6%, while imports dipped by -7.5%. As a result, the EU trade deficit improved, even it remains significant (- €48 billion).

Furthermore, import prices went slightly down in clothing and dropped in textiles, following a strong decrease of Chinese import prices of face masks and protective medical supplies.

The boost in exports was mainly due to strong performance on the Swiss, Chinese and US markets. On the other side, EU sales of textile & clothing to the United Kingdom fell sharply (-23%), due to Brexit new requirements, customs’ delays and shortage of truck drivers.  Imports from the EU top supplier, China, plunged by -28%, corresponding to €13 billion. Similarly, textile and clothing imports from the United Kingdom recorded a sharp decrease over the period (-48%, equal to €-3 billion).

Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “the 2021 export figures, presented in this Spring report, confirm that EURATEX members have gained momentum; even if energy prices are causing some serious short-term disruptions, our long-term ambition remains to be a world leader on sustainable textiles.”

The international trade dimension is indeed critical for the competitiveness of the European textile ecosystem, and needs to be fully embedded in the EU’s Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Commission insists that “all textile products placed on the EU market, are durable, free of hazardous substances, produced respecting social standards…” This is an essential condition to create a level playing field between all textile and apparel companies, regardless of their production base. With €100 billion of imports, and over 20 billion of “foreign” textile items put on the Single Market, this requires a dramatic upscaling of market surveillance, without however disrupting fluid supply chains.

Looking at the impact of war in Ukraine, EURATEX has strongly condemned the Russian aggression, and offered support to the Ukrainian textile industry. Ukraine offers valuable sourcing opportunities for European textile and apparel brands, as part of a broader nearshoring trend, which seems to emerge from the trade figures.

More information:
Euratex export
Source:

Euratex

09.05.2022

EURATEX is reaching out to the Ukrainian Textile industry

EURATEX has launched its EU-Ukraine Textile Initiative (EUTI), which aims at facilitating cooperation between European and Ukrainian textile and apparel companies. EUTI offers a single contact point for Ukrainian companies who seek support and cooperation with EU counterparts, and vice versa. That connection will be helpful to match supply and demand (e.g. there are many requests for supplies of fabrics), engage in public procurement, offer company-to-company support.

The service will be coordinated by EURATEX in close cooperation with UKRLEGPROM, Ukrainian Association of enterprises of textile & leather industry. Olena Garkusha, an experienced manager coming from the Ukrainian textile industry and now based in Brussels, will act as contact point.

EURATEX has launched its EU-Ukraine Textile Initiative (EUTI), which aims at facilitating cooperation between European and Ukrainian textile and apparel companies. EUTI offers a single contact point for Ukrainian companies who seek support and cooperation with EU counterparts, and vice versa. That connection will be helpful to match supply and demand (e.g. there are many requests for supplies of fabrics), engage in public procurement, offer company-to-company support.

The service will be coordinated by EURATEX in close cooperation with UKRLEGPROM, Ukrainian Association of enterprises of textile & leather industry. Olena Garkusha, an experienced manager coming from the Ukrainian textile industry and now based in Brussels, will act as contact point.

EU exports to Ukraine reached €1.3 bln in 2021 (13th market), whereas imports from Ukraine reached €500 mln (21st place). There is potential to expand that relationship, both in the short term - to respond to urgent needs, e.g. in military and medical fabrics - but also in the longer run; as partner in the PEM Convention, Ukraine can play an important role in Europe’s textile and apparel supply chain. The proposed suspension of tariffs on imported products from Ukraine by the EU will offer further opportunities.

EURATEX Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “Supporting the textile industry is our way to help the people of Ukraine. We encourage our European members to connect via EUTI and develop sustainable partnerships.”

Tetyana Izovit, President-Chief of the Board of UKRLEGPROM welcomed the initiative: “Today, we have many textile and  apparel  companies in Ukraine with expertise and skilled workers; they are able and willing to work with EU, but lack the contacts, customers and supplies. EUTI will help them.”

Photo: Pixabay
30.03.2022

EURATEX comments “Strategy for Sustainable Textile” calling for a realistic implementation

Today, March 30, the European Commission released its long-awaited Strategy for Sustainable Textile, with the ambition to move the sector towards the path of sustainability. EURATEX welcomes the EU ambitions to act on sustainable textiles and investments, in order to change how textiles are made, chosen and recovered, but calls for a smart and realistic implementation. Many European companies have already chosen this path, therefore the strategy should support them in this process, especially considering today’s energy crisis.

The strategy recognises the strategic importance of textiles, which are not only used as apparel or furniture, but applied in cars, medical equipment, agriculture, etc. It acknowledges the European Industry pro-active initiatives to tackle microplastics, to solve challenges of market surveillance and the skills needs. More cooperation is needed for re-use and recycling of textiles and to set up an EU market for secondary raw materials. On this last point, EURATEX ReHubs initiative is developing proposals to size EPR potential, to transform waste into value, and create a new capacity and jobs.

Today, March 30, the European Commission released its long-awaited Strategy for Sustainable Textile, with the ambition to move the sector towards the path of sustainability. EURATEX welcomes the EU ambitions to act on sustainable textiles and investments, in order to change how textiles are made, chosen and recovered, but calls for a smart and realistic implementation. Many European companies have already chosen this path, therefore the strategy should support them in this process, especially considering today’s energy crisis.

The strategy recognises the strategic importance of textiles, which are not only used as apparel or furniture, but applied in cars, medical equipment, agriculture, etc. It acknowledges the European Industry pro-active initiatives to tackle microplastics, to solve challenges of market surveillance and the skills needs. More cooperation is needed for re-use and recycling of textiles and to set up an EU market for secondary raw materials. On this last point, EURATEX ReHubs initiative is developing proposals to size EPR potential, to transform waste into value, and create a new capacity and jobs.

The proposed “transition pathways”, which will translate the strategy into action, will be critical in this respect: how will these sustainability targets be reached, what will the cost for SMEs be, how can companies be supported in that green transition, what about the impact on global competitiveness? These are essential questions to be addressed in the coming months.
The Textile strategy is part of much broader package, including as many as 16 new legislative actions and other policies which will directly impact on textile value chain. In particular the Sustainable Product Initiative Regulation released on March, 30 includes game-changing provisions on Digital Product Passport, Eco-Design, SMEs and Green Public Procurement.  The Regulation has an overwhelming ambition and, to be realistic, it would require a new way of joint working between institutions and business, and which builds on lessons learned on data flow across value chains, interoperability, conformity assessment and effective measures to support SMEs.

If wrongly implemented, such an unprecedented wave may cause a complete collapse of the European textile value chain under the burden of restrictions, requirements, costs and unlevel playing field. On the contrary, the changes ahead can boom the entire textile ecosystem and create a model of successful green and digital transition in manufacturing, which starts in Europe and expands globally.

Already in 2019, EURATEX asked policy makers to work together and remove barriers to circular economy, solve the market surveillance paradox in which laws are made but not checked, and to help create scale economies to make sustainable textiles affordable, hence the norm.

For example, there are 28 billion products circulating per year in EU, which is an impressive task for market surveillance authorities including customs. EURATEX has been stressing non-sufficient market surveillance and it is actively working on solutions for a fair and effective market surveillance of textile products through Reach4Textiles. EURATEX very much welcomes that the European Commission recognizes our work and the need for market surveillance by establishing more harmonised efforts in the EU.

EURATEX also welcomes the establishment of the Digital Product Passport. It has a high potential to improve every step in the textile value chain, from design and manufacturing to recycling and purchasing. At the same time, EURATEX calls the co-legislators to take into account the role of SME’s in this transition and to put forward pragmatic initiatives, supporting SME’s across the EU in a systematic approach.

Alberto Paccanelli, EURATEX President, concludes: EURATEX calls for true cooperation with all policy makers and other stakeholders across the value chains to advise, pressure-test and use this opportunity for a successful transition. Our ambition must be to reconcile sustainability, resilience and competitiveness; we know it can be done”.

Source:

EURATEX

02.03.2022

EURATEX asks EU to control the rise in oil and gas prices

Statement
Notwithstanding the industry support to the sanctions in place against Russia, EURATEX highlights that companies are at risk of stopping their production if energy and gas prices continue to rise.

The energy crisis that started at the end of last year has been worsening in the last week. Prices of energy, gas and oil has been skyrocketing. According to Reuters, Benchmark European gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub rose by 330% last year, while benchmark German and French power contracts have more than doubled.

The textile and clothing industry is facing an unprecedented situation. Many companies are considering shutting down production because of energy costs.

Statement
Notwithstanding the industry support to the sanctions in place against Russia, EURATEX highlights that companies are at risk of stopping their production if energy and gas prices continue to rise.

The energy crisis that started at the end of last year has been worsening in the last week. Prices of energy, gas and oil has been skyrocketing. According to Reuters, Benchmark European gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub rose by 330% last year, while benchmark German and French power contracts have more than doubled.

The textile and clothing industry is facing an unprecedented situation. Many companies are considering shutting down production because of energy costs.

EURATEX supports the measures taken by the EU in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, but asks the European Union and Members States to compensate the situation by supporting their industries. Companies need access to energy at reasonable prices, may those be subsidies, removing environmental levies or VAT from bills and price caps. The transfer to renewable and cleaner sources of energy needs to speed up, so to guarantee less dependency. But it is a long process that cannot be achieved in the forthcoming months. That’s why Europe should urgently look at the available options to control such market shocks.

16.02.2022

"European textile industry needs to grow its role on global markets"

Statement

On the occasion of the EU-Africa Business Summit, EURATEX is re-iterating the ambition of the European textile industry to grow its role on global markets, including the African continent.

The textile ecosystem is considered the 2nd most globalised sector of the European economy ; it is built on globalised supply chains and fierce competition with China, US, Bangladesh, Turkey and many others. Imports are now peaking at €115 billion (ca. 60% garments and 40% textiles), with a dramatic increase of imported medical textiles (face masks) in 2020. Every year, 22 billion pieces of textile and garment products are brought into the EU Single market.

Statement

On the occasion of the EU-Africa Business Summit, EURATEX is re-iterating the ambition of the European textile industry to grow its role on global markets, including the African continent.

The textile ecosystem is considered the 2nd most globalised sector of the European economy ; it is built on globalised supply chains and fierce competition with China, US, Bangladesh, Turkey and many others. Imports are now peaking at €115 billion (ca. 60% garments and 40% textiles), with a dramatic increase of imported medical textiles (face masks) in 2020. Every year, 22 billion pieces of textile and garment products are brought into the EU Single market.

Europe’s answer to this competitive pressure must be to invest even more on quality and innovative products, made in a sustainable manner. As emerging markets evolve, the appetite for better quality, comfort and design will grow. The ability and willingness to purchase technical textiles, which offer solutions to durability and improved performance, will increase. That is where Europe can be successful. To illustrate: the EU’s exports to China have increased by 33% in 2021 (first 11 months).

In its vision paper on the future of European textiles and apparel, EURATEX has confirmed its ambition to increase the global market share of the European textile industry. Strengthening relations with nearby Turkey and North African countries is important in this regard, offering opportunities for nearshoring. The African continent at large offers trade and investment opportunities, provided the business climate is stable and transparent.

Relations with the UK and Switzerland need to be optimised; especially Brexit has caused serious damage to bilateral trade flows (-33% export to the UK during Jan-Nov 2021). The Mercosur FTA offers interesting opportunities for the European textile industry; it should be ratified as soon as possible. We need to work with the US on mutual recognition of standards and setting global environmental and social rules. We call upon India to make an honest proposal for the upcoming free trade negotiations, which will ensure full and fair access to the Indian market.

European textile and apparel companies (mostly SMEs) need to be accompanied to exploit these market opportunities. At the same time, they need to be protected from unfair competition, e.g. products who do not comply with stringent EU standards and procedures. This requires more effective market surveillance.

More information:
Euratex Competition market share
Source:

Euratex

01.02.2022

EURATEX: High energy costs undermine crucial transformation of the textile and clothing industry

The current energy crisis is impacting on the competitiveness of the European textile and clothing industry. Because there are limited alternatives to the use of gas in different parts of the production process, production costs increase sharply. EURATEX asks the European Commission and Member States to urgently support the industry to avoid company closures. At the same time, we need a long term vision to move towards climate neutrality, while keeping the T&C industry internationally competitive.

EURATEX presented ten key requirements to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, to develop such a vision:

The current energy crisis is impacting on the competitiveness of the European textile and clothing industry. Because there are limited alternatives to the use of gas in different parts of the production process, production costs increase sharply. EURATEX asks the European Commission and Member States to urgently support the industry to avoid company closures. At the same time, we need a long term vision to move towards climate neutrality, while keeping the T&C industry internationally competitive.

EURATEX presented ten key requirements to Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, to develop such a vision:

  1. The apparel and textile industry needs a safe supply with sufficient green energy (electricity and gas) at internationally competitive prices.
  2. The transformation of industry requires access to very significant amounts of renewable energy at competitive costs. Additional investments in infrastructure will also be needed to guarantee access to new renewable energy supplies.
  3. Until a global (or at least G 20 level) carbon price or other means for a global level playing field in climate protection are implemented, competitive prices for green energy must be granted at European or national levels (e.g. CCfDs, reduction on levies, targeted subsidies).
  4. As the European textile and clothing sector faces global competition mainly form countries/regions with less stringent climate ambitions, it is of utmost importance that the European textile and clothing companies are prevented form direct and indirect carbon leakage.
  5. EU-policy should support solutions, e.g. through targeted subsidies (for hydrogen, energy grids, R&D, technology roadmap studies etc.).
  6. A dedicated approach for SMEs might be appropriate as SMEs do not have the skills/know-how to further improve their energy efficiency and/or becoming carbon neutral.
  7. CAPEX and OPEX support will be necessary for breakthrough technologies, like hydrogen.
  8. The Fit-for-55-Package must support the European Textile and Clothing industry in decarbonization and carbon neutrality. The EU must therefore advocate a global level playing field more than before. The primary goal must be to establish an internationally uniform, binding CO2 pricing, preferably in the form of a standard at G-7 / G-20 level.
  9. EU-policy must not hinder solutions, e.g. we need reasonable state aid rules (compensating the gap between national energy or climate levies and a globally competitive energy price should not be seen as a subsidy).
  10. The European Textile and Clothing industry has made use of economically viable potentials to continuously improve energy efficiency over many years and decades. The obligation to implement further measures must be taken considering investment cycles that are in line with practice. Attention must be paid to the proportionality of costs without weakening the competitive position in the EU internal market or with competitors outside the EU.

Please see the attached position paper for more information.

Source:

EURATEX

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

16.12.2021

Launch of the TCLF Pact for Skills: People at the heart of the industry’s competitiveness

118 organisations signed today the TCLF (= Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear) Pact for Skills, an initiative promoted by the European Commission and coordinated by EURATEX. The signatories acknowledge the skills challenge in the textiles ecosystem, and commit to invest in reskilling and upskilling workers, integrating green and digital skills and improving the attractiveness of the sector. Members of the Pact will benefit from networking, guidance and resources offered by the EC to implement the targets which are proposed in the Pact.

118 organisations signed today the TCLF (= Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear) Pact for Skills, an initiative promoted by the European Commission and coordinated by EURATEX. The signatories acknowledge the skills challenge in the textiles ecosystem, and commit to invest in reskilling and upskilling workers, integrating green and digital skills and improving the attractiveness of the sector. Members of the Pact will benefit from networking, guidance and resources offered by the EC to implement the targets which are proposed in the Pact.

The Pact for Skills is part of the EU Industrial Strategy, addressing the competitiveness of 14 critical ecosystems, including textiles. The main aim of the Pact is maximising the impact of investments in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). To reach such an ambitious goal, the Pact gathers various actors in the TCLF sectors: industry, employers, social partners, national and regional authorities, education and training providers. These actors should work together and invest in large-scale skills partnerships, guarantee exchange of best practices and increase the attractiveness of the sector.

Specifically, the TCLF Pact for Skills focuses on 5 objectives and for each of them, the signatories identified a certain number of target actions:

  1. Promoting a culture of lifelong learning for all: one of the actions is to design and roll out courses promoting latest technologies and digital tools such as VR and AI (digital skills) and promoting durability, repair and waste management activities (green skills), in particular circular design skills.
  2. Building a strong skills partnership with relevant stakeholders: signatories foresee to build regional and cross-sectoral partnerships between industry, education providers and authorities, which are adapted to their specific needs. .
  3. Monitoring skills supply/demand and anticipating skills needs: to reach it, industry, policy and education stakeholders will establish the TCLF Skills Observatory.
  4. Working against discrimination and for gender equality and equal opportunities: signatories will launch a TCLF manifesto of diversity and a supporting initiatives to improve the gender balance and ensure equal opportunities for all.
  5. Raising awareness & attractiveness on the TCLF industries, i.a. though dedicated information campaigns, showcasing the opportunities in the sector and promoting mobility for young workers.

As of early 2022, the European Commission will offer signatories of the Pact for Skills to benefit from collaboration at EU, national and regional levels and in particular gain access to networking, knowledge and guidance & resource hubs.

“EURATEX is proud to coordinate this initiative” says Alberto Paccanelli, EURATEX President. “Our companies’ success is based on finding the right people with the right set of skills. This becomes increasingly difficult, so this Pact is a wake-up call to work together and develop a forward looking strategy, where people are put at the heart of our sector.”

(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

(c) Euratex
24.09.2021

Energy supplies crisis: EURATEX calls for immediate support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information:
Euratex energy supplies crisis
Source:

Euratex

15.09.2021

EURATEX Vision on the EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles

EURATEX published their vision on the EU Strategy on Sustainable Textiles, reflecting the views of the European textiles and apparel industry. The goal is to promote a competitive and sustainable industry. to do so, wanting to be a global leader on sustainable textiles, the efficiency of the industry must be increase as well as the global market share.

The enclosed document presents 15 action points on how to achieve these targets.

EURATEX published their vision on the EU Strategy on Sustainable Textiles, reflecting the views of the European textiles and apparel industry. The goal is to promote a competitive and sustainable industry. to do so, wanting to be a global leader on sustainable textiles, the efficiency of the industry must be increase as well as the global market share.

The enclosed document presents 15 action points on how to achieve these targets.

More information:
Euratex Sustainability
Source:

Euratex

15.09.2021

REACH4Textiles: Better market surveillance for textile products

The REACH4texiles project just kicked off. Funded by the European Commission, it aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products.

Every year, about 28 billion of garments circulate across Europe, 80% of which are imported from outside the EU and its jurisdiction.
 
Inevitably, such huge volumes pose enormous challenges for market surveillance authorities which are called to ensure that uncompliant dangerous products are kept away from the EU citizens.

The European Union has the world most comprehensive chemical legislation which is set to protect consumers, the environment and, theoretically, even the competitiveness  of the business.

Such EU chemical legislation evolves constantly, increasing scope and ambition. New restrictions impact authorities and sectors like the European textile value chain and generate new costs for all actors.

Evidence suggests that such advanced regulatory framework is not completed with an equally advanced or effective EU-wide control system capable of ensuring compliance, especially in the case of imported products.

The REACH4texiles project just kicked off. Funded by the European Commission, it aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products.

Every year, about 28 billion of garments circulate across Europe, 80% of which are imported from outside the EU and its jurisdiction.
 
Inevitably, such huge volumes pose enormous challenges for market surveillance authorities which are called to ensure that uncompliant dangerous products are kept away from the EU citizens.

The European Union has the world most comprehensive chemical legislation which is set to protect consumers, the environment and, theoretically, even the competitiveness  of the business.

Such EU chemical legislation evolves constantly, increasing scope and ambition. New restrictions impact authorities and sectors like the European textile value chain and generate new costs for all actors.

Evidence suggests that such advanced regulatory framework is not completed with an equally advanced or effective EU-wide control system capable of ensuring compliance, especially in the case of imported products.

The REACH4texiles project aims at exploring solutions for fair and effective market surveillance on textile products; it pools together the key actors to address three objectives:

  • Keep non-compliant products away from the single market.
  • Increase skills and knowledge.
  • Support a Network addressing chemicals in textiles and applying the EU regulation 2019/1020

The 2 years project will share best practices, identify efficient approaches against non-compliant products, offer training and support for a more effective surveillance and for level playing field.

The project welcomes collaboration with concerned authorities across the EU Member States.

Details:

A well-functioning EU market surveillance system is an essential prerequisite to protect citizen, the environment and competitiveness of responsible business. When it comes to textiles, the broad range of products, the large set of REACH subjected chemicals used in textiles as well as industrial strategies like fast fashion make this a challenging task.

Challenges may include lack of resources, difficulties in identifying higher risk products, cost and management of chemical tests, lack of test methods and knowledge of best practices. These challenges are yet likely to increase with the upcoming REACH restrictions and the growth of e-commerce.

Because of this, products that do not comply with REACH regulations encounter today little or no barriers to enter the market. This creates not only a health risk for Europeans but also undermines the competitivity of responsible businesses that take all necessary measures to comply with these regulations.

Addressing the challenges requires more knowledge at market surveillance and stronger collaboration between these authorities, the textile and clothing industry and testing laboratories. More knowledge about the identification of risk baring textile products and REACH chemicals likely to be used in these products, suitable test methods and strategies such as fast screening on REACH chemicals, trustworthiness of labels, etc can increase the effectiveness of market surveillance considerably.

The REACH4Textiles first objective (keep non-compliant products away from the EU Market) will be pursued by increasing knowledge on market surveillance functioning by and working on a risk-based approach to identify products at higher risk.

The second objective supports a network to address the specificities of chemicals in textiles with market surveillance authorities and involving other relevant stakeholders. The third objective focuses on sharing knowledge with market surveillance actors on textile products and suitable test methodologies.

Supported by the European Commission DG Growth, the project team is coordinated by the Belgian test and research center Centexbel and include the European Textiles and Apparel industry confederation, EURATEX, the German national textile and fashion association Textile und Mode, t+m, the Italian association Tessile e Salute. Several other European industry associations and national authorities are welcomed to become involved through the project activities.   

More information:
Euratex market surveillance Import
Source:

Euratex

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

28.06.2021

Joint Business Statement on EU-MERCOSUR Association Agreement

  • A coalition of 13 European business associations, representing different European sectors calls for the swift ratification of the EU-Mercosur association agreement.
  • With the political agreement reached already 2 years ago (June 2019), now is the time to move forward and unlock the manifold mutual benefits that this agreement will deliver.

The EU-MERCOSUR agreement is the largest and most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by both sides, provides regulatory certainty for both trade in goods and services, and establishes better trade links between countries of respectively 440 and 260 million citizens. It also includes the most advanced sustainable development provisions that will foster partnership, help mitigate climate change and bind both sides to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it includes enforceable commitments on workers' rights and environmental protection through a dedicated dispute settlement mechanism.

  • A coalition of 13 European business associations, representing different European sectors calls for the swift ratification of the EU-Mercosur association agreement.
  • With the political agreement reached already 2 years ago (June 2019), now is the time to move forward and unlock the manifold mutual benefits that this agreement will deliver.

The EU-MERCOSUR agreement is the largest and most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by both sides, provides regulatory certainty for both trade in goods and services, and establishes better trade links between countries of respectively 440 and 260 million citizens. It also includes the most advanced sustainable development provisions that will foster partnership, help mitigate climate change and bind both sides to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. Moreover, it includes enforceable commitments on workers' rights and environmental protection through a dedicated dispute settlement mechanism.

Failure to ratify the agreement would leave the EU and Mercosur with fewer instruments to build mutual trust and cooperate to face the biggest challenge of our time. Moreover, non-ratification will lead to Mercosur countries continuing to trade, or even expanding their trade, with other trading partners that have substantially lower environmental and labour standards. Please find attached the full joint statement.

Source:

EURATEX

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

EURATEX and IAF conventions take place from 7 to 9 November 2021 (c) EURATEX
31.05.2021

EURATEX and IAF conventions take place from 7 to 9 November 2021

From 7 to 9 November 2021, the world of apparel and textiles will meet in Antwerp, Belgium, for a double convention: the 36th World Fashion Convention on 7-8 November, hosted by IAF, and the 9th European Textiles and Apparel Convention on 8-9 November, hosted by EURATEX.

Delegates can choose to register for the IAF’s 36th World Fashion Convention, for EURATEX’s 9th European Textiles and Apparel Convention or for a combination of both, which the organisers of course recommend. The IAF Convention, carrying the theme ‘Transition of the Global Fashion System’ focusses on global industry developments whereas the EURATEX convention, themed “A new paradigm for the European Textiles and Clothing Industry”, has a strong European focus. Therefore, the two conventions are perfectly complementary.

The Antwerp Convention will be the first ‘live’ meeting for the industry in nearly two years’ time. That’s why the convention will combine knowledge with social events, notably the IAF and EURATEX joint networking dinner on 8 November in the Antwerp Fashion Museum.

From 7 to 9 November 2021, the world of apparel and textiles will meet in Antwerp, Belgium, for a double convention: the 36th World Fashion Convention on 7-8 November, hosted by IAF, and the 9th European Textiles and Apparel Convention on 8-9 November, hosted by EURATEX.

Delegates can choose to register for the IAF’s 36th World Fashion Convention, for EURATEX’s 9th European Textiles and Apparel Convention or for a combination of both, which the organisers of course recommend. The IAF Convention, carrying the theme ‘Transition of the Global Fashion System’ focusses on global industry developments whereas the EURATEX convention, themed “A new paradigm for the European Textiles and Clothing Industry”, has a strong European focus. Therefore, the two conventions are perfectly complementary.

The Antwerp Convention will be the first ‘live’ meeting for the industry in nearly two years’ time. That’s why the convention will combine knowledge with social events, notably the IAF and EURATEX joint networking dinner on 8 November in the Antwerp Fashion Museum.

Previous speakers at the EURATEX and IAF conventions came from PVH, Hugo Boss, Zegna, as well as European Commission, McKinsey, OECD, and London College of Fashion. About 150 delegates at each event, from over 20 countries are expected.

For more information click here.

Source:

EURATEX

28.05.2021

European TCLF sectors: Social Partners demand safety for the industries and their workers

Following the European Commission’s update of the 2020 New Industrial Strategy: ‘’Building a stronger Single Market for Europe’s Recovery’’, the European Social Partners for the Textile, Clothing, Leather, and Footwear (TCLF) sectors came together to call for support via a dedicated strategy.  The Strategy aims to help guide the TCLF industries through the current green and digital transition, while facing tough global competition, stressing the need to safeguard the industries and protect jobs in Europe.

On 25 May, employers’ and workers’ representatives for the European TCLF sectors met with the European Commission to discuss the current challenges facing the TCLF industries and potential EU action to help support the sectors and their workers.  Following discussions on the terrible impact of COVID-19 on the sectors and the need for a strong EU action, the Joint Statement: ‘’The future industrial strategy of the EU Textiles Ecosystem (TCLF sectors)’’ was adopted.

Following the European Commission’s update of the 2020 New Industrial Strategy: ‘’Building a stronger Single Market for Europe’s Recovery’’, the European Social Partners for the Textile, Clothing, Leather, and Footwear (TCLF) sectors came together to call for support via a dedicated strategy.  The Strategy aims to help guide the TCLF industries through the current green and digital transition, while facing tough global competition, stressing the need to safeguard the industries and protect jobs in Europe.

On 25 May, employers’ and workers’ representatives for the European TCLF sectors met with the European Commission to discuss the current challenges facing the TCLF industries and potential EU action to help support the sectors and their workers.  Following discussions on the terrible impact of COVID-19 on the sectors and the need for a strong EU action, the Joint Statement: ‘’The future industrial strategy of the EU Textiles Ecosystem (TCLF sectors)’’ was adopted.

The Joint Statement highlights the need for a dedicated strategy with support at national and EU level to help the TCLF sectors survive following the COVID-19 pandemic, while they continue to face tough, and, sometimes unfair, global competition. The Social Partners of the TCLF industries fully support the EU’s ambitions for a green and digital transition of the sectors, but insist on concrete European measures to help the industries transform while the continues to suffer from an unlevel global playing field.

Specific joint demands include: full engagement with Social Partners in both the recovery and the transition of the industries, support for the EU Pact for Skills for the relevant ecosystem, a revision of the GSP which doesn’t negatively impact the sectors and its workers, support to decarbonise the sectors, careful consideration of the Due Diligence Legislation and quality dialogue with Social Partners ahead of the EU Sustainable Products Initiative and the Consumer Agenda to ensure that all policy gaps are addressed. Special attention must also be given to the forthcoming EU Textiles Strategy which should fully represent the needs of the EU’s entire textiles ecosystem.

05.05.2021

EURATEX comments on revised EU Industry Strategy

  • European Apparel and Textile Confederation EURATEX welcomes revamped EU Industry Strategy, but calls for consistency across EU policies

Europe’s industry is going through turbulent times as a result of the corona-pandemic; turnover in textiles and clothing sector dropped between 10 and 20%. However, even bigger challenges lie ahead: serious disruptions in supply chains, soaring energy prices and protective tendencies are threatening the competitiveness of our industry.

Against that background, the revised EU Industry Strategy – launched on May, 5 - is addressing very relevant issues, and underlines the need to think carefully about Europe’s industrial base. EURATEX welcomes the initiative, including the focus on 14 “eco-systems” and the proposal to develop privileged partnerships with trusted partners.

  • European Apparel and Textile Confederation EURATEX welcomes revamped EU Industry Strategy, but calls for consistency across EU policies

Europe’s industry is going through turbulent times as a result of the corona-pandemic; turnover in textiles and clothing sector dropped between 10 and 20%. However, even bigger challenges lie ahead: serious disruptions in supply chains, soaring energy prices and protective tendencies are threatening the competitiveness of our industry.

Against that background, the revised EU Industry Strategy – launched on May, 5 - is addressing very relevant issues, and underlines the need to think carefully about Europe’s industrial base. EURATEX welcomes the initiative, including the focus on 14 “eco-systems” and the proposal to develop privileged partnerships with trusted partners.

At the same time, EURATEX calls for more consistency by the EU across its different policy areas. Director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “We welcome the recognition that we need a strong industrial base in Europe, but at the same time are struggling to maintain that base, as our companies face significant challenges related to over-regulation and raising energy and supply costs. It feels like one hand offering you help, while the other hand squeezes you tight”.

Looking at the global perspective, EURATEX is not calling to close the European borders; our industrial model relies on accessing global markets. But clearly, there is a need to establish global rules to ensure fair competition, and make sure these rules are properly implemented and controlled. Also today’s proposal to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market, should be welcomed in this context.

Dirk Vantyghem concluded: “European textiles and clothing industry went through turbulent times. Today, as part of this new EU Industry Strategy, we have an opportunity to build a new business model, based on innovation, quality, sustainability and fairness. We look forward to develop that new EU Textile strategy with all stakeholders involved.”

 

More information:
Euratex
Source:

EURATEX