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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.”

(c) INDA
27.04.2022

World of Wipes® International Conference 2022 addresses changing role of wipes

With the wipes sector adapting to demands for products that protect consumers from COVID-related risks, industry experts will present the latest insights for moving forward post-pandemic at the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference.   

The shift from “clean” to “safe” in the world of wipes will be among the key topics thought-leading speakers will address at the in-person event, June 27-30, at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago.

The information-packed program will tackle timely topics to support decision making on the following key themes: Circular and Sustainable Wipes, Supply Chain Challenges in Wipes, Nonwoven Substrates for More Sustainable Wipes, Trends in the Wipes Market and Among Consumers, Disinfection Concerns and New Technologies, Sustainable Wipe Packaging Trends and Developments in Flushability Issues.

World of Wipes Session Highlights

With the wipes sector adapting to demands for products that protect consumers from COVID-related risks, industry experts will present the latest insights for moving forward post-pandemic at the World of Wipes® (WOW) International Conference.   

The shift from “clean” to “safe” in the world of wipes will be among the key topics thought-leading speakers will address at the in-person event, June 27-30, at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago.

The information-packed program will tackle timely topics to support decision making on the following key themes: Circular and Sustainable Wipes, Supply Chain Challenges in Wipes, Nonwoven Substrates for More Sustainable Wipes, Trends in the Wipes Market and Among Consumers, Disinfection Concerns and New Technologies, Sustainable Wipe Packaging Trends and Developments in Flushability Issues.

World of Wipes Session Highlights

  • Lifestyle Shifts and the World of Wipes: Meeting the Changing Consumer Demand to Secure Growth – Liying Quian, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International will explore personal and beauty care trends based on consumer surveys that could shape wipes’ long-term performance
  • The Supply Chain – Import Pressures Versus Domestic Manufacturing – Jacob Smith, Director, Supply Chain and Customer Care, Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division, North America, Berry Global will share his expertise and experience on how COVID-19 has impacted domestic production and international sourcing of wipes
  • Packaging Sustainability:  A Global Perspective – David Clark, Vice President of Sustainability, Amcor will look at how consumer brands, retailers and others are responding to consumer demand for more sustainable packaging and discuss progress and risks in the U.S. and other countries
  • How Sustainable are You Willing to Be? New Technology to Support Use of Recycled Fiber Sources – Richard Knowlson, Principal, RPK Consulting will tackle the question of how new manufacturing technology can help produce more sustainable nonwoven substrates in today’s price-sensitive environment
  • Dead Turtle Logos – What We Know So Far in the EU – Heidi Beatty, Chief Executive Officer, Crown Abbey, LLC will share the latest learnings on the European Union’s Single Use Plastic Directive and the impact of the plastic-free packaging logos on consumer attitudes
  • Challenges and Pitfalls of Scaling Up a Waste Cleaning Wipes Collection and Recycle System – Sergio Barbarino, Research Fellow, Fabric and Home Care Open Innovation, Procter & Gamble Distribution Company Europe will look at cleaning wipes’ potential to be recycled and become a convenient pioneering experimental platform
  • Case Study: Surface Disinfection Incompatibility with Medical Devices Creates Potential Patient Risks – Caroline Etland, Ph.D., RN. CNS, ACHPN, Associate Professor, Hahn School of Nursing, BINR, University of San Diego will share real examples of the issues healthcare facilities face with surface disinfection incompatibility that make cleaning and disinfection a major challenge

In addition to the conference program, WOW 2022 also features two nights of tabletop displays and receptions; the presentation of the World of Wipes Innovation Award® and the INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award; and 11 hours of face-to-face engagement during a welcome reception, first-time attendee mentorship program, and breakfast connections. The event kicks off with the WIPES Academy, a 1.5-day value-added training opportunity on June 27-28.

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

21.03.2022

OEKO-TEX® Association turns 30: Trust, Safety, Sustainability

The vision of the OEKO-TEX® Association, which was founded in March 1992 through a partnership between the Hohenstein Research Institute and the Austrian Textile Research Institute (OETI), is still reflected today in the organization's core values: trust, safety, and sustainability. For three decades, OEKO-TEX® has pursued the goal of building trust for companies and consumers and enabling them to make responsible decisions to protect people and the planet. "Our services bring transparency to the international textile and leather industry supply chains," says OEKO-TEX® Secretary General Georg Dieners. "They enable all stakeholders to make mindful decisions that help preserve our planet for future generations."

The vision of the OEKO-TEX® Association, which was founded in March 1992 through a partnership between the Hohenstein Research Institute and the Austrian Textile Research Institute (OETI), is still reflected today in the organization's core values: trust, safety, and sustainability. For three decades, OEKO-TEX® has pursued the goal of building trust for companies and consumers and enabling them to make responsible decisions to protect people and the planet. "Our services bring transparency to the international textile and leather industry supply chains," says OEKO-TEX® Secretary General Georg Dieners. "They enable all stakeholders to make mindful decisions that help preserve our planet for future generations."

OEKO-TEX® market leadership
In 1992, 20 years before the United Nations announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), OEKO-TEX® launched STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, now one of the best-known labels for product safety.
"It emerged from the Schadstoffgeprüft nach ÖTN 100(tested for harmful substances according to ÖTN 100), developed by OETI in 1989 to address increasing public interest in textile ecology and health," the Austrian Textile Research Institute reminds us. The limit values and test methods on which STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is based were internationally standardized and are adapted to the latest scientific findings and legislation at least once a year - a principle that is applied to all OEKO-TEX® standards. Prof. Dr. Stefan Mecheels, the owner of the textile testing service provider Hohenstein, adds: "From the very beginning, we have considered the needs of all players in the textile value chain and continue to create solutions for current and future market requirements."

At least seven SDGs are firmly integrated into the OEKO-TEX® product portfolio. For example, Good Health & Well-Being (SDG 3) and Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG 6) are reflected in the STeP by OEKO-TEX® factory certification, and Responsible Consumption & Production (SDG 12) and Climate Action (SDG 13) are implemented through the comprehensive MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® product label.

Today, the international association consists of 17 independent research and testing institutes focused on textile and leather, with contact offices in over 60 countries. They are responsible for the joint development of the test methods and limit values in the OEKO-TEX® Standards and carry out laboratory tests and factory audits according to globally uniform specifications. These comprehensive product and process audits to ensure appropriate risk management, consumer and environmental protection, and legal compliance. With their wide-ranging research and development, the accredited OEKO-TEX® test institutes provide important insight for innovations within the textile and leather industry. They work in close cooperation with manufacturers and make a significant contribution to the development of high-quality textile and leather products at all stages of the value chain.

Mirror of social and political development
Being close to the market, and ideally, one step ahead is essential to supporting companies who are adapting to constantly changing conditions and meeting consumer expectations. Therefore, the development of OEKO-TEX® is not only a reflection of scientific knowledge but also of social and political trends. The focus is always on standardizing sustainable action and measures and making it easier for the industry to quickly and comprehensively implement sustainability goals.

Exchange with third parties is particularly valuable for this purpose. OEKO-TEX® participates in various international multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, the ZHDC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals), and Greenpeace.
In addition to cooperation with external multi-stakeholder initiatives, the OEKO-TEX® International Advisory Board (IAB) meets annually. The core function of the IAB is to help review consistent and market-oriented Standards development proposals by the OEKO-TEX® Working Groups. In addition, OEKO-TEX® is conducting a public stakeholder consultation to gain further insights from all interest groups, which it will integrate into further development of the Standards.
Using three decades of experience for the future
The founding goal of enabling responsible choices that preserve our planet for future generations has become increasingly urgent over the past 30 years. So, OEKO-TEX® is even more resolute than ever in developing comprehensive solutions. We stand by industry and consumers as a trusted partner for the challenges ahead. In addition to the IMPACT CALCULATOR launched in January 2022, which helps STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified production facilities reduce their carbon emissions and water consumption, this summer, the association will launch a service to help companies transition to the upcoming Due Diligence Laws.

Source:

Oeko-Tex

24.02.2022

NCTO: Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi visits Shawmut Corporation

Shawmut Corporation hosted Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi at the company’s headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Bridgewater, Mass., as part of the ambassador’s inaugural visit to textile manufacturing facilities in the New England area.

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

Shawmut Corporation hosted Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi at the company’s headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Bridgewater, Mass., as part of the ambassador’s inaugural visit to textile manufacturing facilities in the New England area.

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

The ambassador’s visit to Shawmut included a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility and a roundtable discussion highlighting the critical need for policies supporting a domestic supply chain and the innovative nature of the modern textile industry and its important contribution to the U.S. economy. Shawmut, a fourth-generation, family-run global advanced materials and textile manufacturer, is a global leader in automotive textile composites, innovative technical fabrics and custom laminating services, employing more than 700 employees worldwide with 10 global manufacturing plants and seven commercial offices. The company has also contributed greatly to U.S. PPE efforts, investing $20 million in a new state-of-the-art facility, which can produce up to 180 million NIOSH-approved N95 respirators and other PPE annually and created hundreds of new local jobs.

Ambassador Bianchi said, “Today’s tour of Shawmut’s manufacturing facilities and the roundtable discussion with textile industry executives was an invaluable opportunity for me to see innovative U.S. textile manufacturing first-hand, to learn more about the challenges that U.S. textile manufacturing faces, and to explore ways in which the Administration and industry can cooperate to support a worker-centric trade policy.”

During the visit, U.S. textile executives spanning the fiber, yarn, fabric, and finished product textile and apparel industries participated in a roundtable with the ambassador at which they discussed the innovative achievements and competitiveness of the domestic industry and outlined priority issues in Washington, such as the importance of Buy American and Berry Amendment government procurement policies, maintaining strong rules of origins in free trade agreements and the need to address larger systemic trade issues with China.

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

(c) Swissmem
14.02.2022

Swiss textile machinery going digital: Innovative technology for new business models

Digitalization is a big story in the world of business. It’s all about change, making use of technology to transform attitudes and create new opportunities to grow revenue. At its heart is innovation, with new systems and intelligent use of data. In textiles, the entire value chain is going digital, as evidenced by the commitment of Swiss Textile Machinery Association member firms. Their story – presented here in six ‘chapters’ – spans industry sectors through spinning, weaving, finishing and nonwovens.

Digitalization is a big story in the world of business. It’s all about change, making use of technology to transform attitudes and create new opportunities to grow revenue. At its heart is innovation, with new systems and intelligent use of data. In textiles, the entire value chain is going digital, as evidenced by the commitment of Swiss Textile Machinery Association member firms. Their story – presented here in six ‘chapters’ – spans industry sectors through spinning, weaving, finishing and nonwovens.

Cost savings and more
The process of digitalization in the textile industry today is continuous – faster in some segments than others – but noticeable everywhere. Automation is promising in many areas of finishing and making-up, where initial investments are being made. An example is folding of finished goods, previously a slow manual operation. Now, high-performance automatic folding machines from Swiss company Espritech deliver the potential for cost savings, unlocking new options for positive change at this most labor-intensive stage of production. For manufacturers in low-cost areas, the benefit results from its volume and is a simple financial one. In higher-cost segments, the application of this technology can be part of a completely new business model, taking production closer to the end customer.

Better process, better workplace
Pioneering in the field of digitalization embraces social responsibility along with the introduction of bold new technological innovation. That’s a commitment made by Uster, as it aims to shape future working practices in the textile industry in areas where its systems are applied. In fabric inspection, that means combining the strengths of human capabilities with the performance of Artificial Intelligence. Automatic defect classification with machine learning technology is the next leap in digitalization for fabric manufacturers, following on from automated detection of fabric faults, which is already well established in weaving and finishing mills. This will bring benefits in profitability for the manufacturer – as well as an improved working environment for their operatives, freed from repetitive tasks.

Information, flexible and fast
Access to data is critical in the digitalized world of textiles. It must be flexible, fast and secure, and available to all levels of the company – worldwide. Jakob Muller serves the narrow fabrics industry ideally with a digitalization portal, perfectly developed to provide essential production information. The portal is a browser-based production data acquisition system, with direct access to the machine controls. The system offers unique data monitoring and communication on a global framework. Digitized weave rooms present information 24/7 on desktops at the customer’s plant, as well as on tablets and smartphones remotely.

Making the most of it
Rieter takes advantage of latest digital technology to offer customers a unique experience. Their digital spinning suite helps spinners overcome their daily challenges and manage costs and efficiency more effectively. This all-in-one mill management system connects all the machinery, giving quick access to the right information and a holistic view, from bale to yarn. Users profit from full transparency, and are presented with recommendations based on long-standing experience and know-how. This is digitalization at its most practical, applied to allow spinners to make the most of their installed machinery.

Production, service, training – digital everything
As a solutions provider, Saurer puts digitalization at the core of business, integral to its technology offering to customers. Some latest examples include self-optimization of spinning machines, and a fully automated transport of cylindrical or conical cross-wound packages. These are automatically stored in an internal buffer system, for later feeding to subsequent processes. Of course after-sales service is also digital: the e-shop and machine information hub, together with the web-based training centre, ensure that knowledge is transferred to customers – turning employees into experts.

See the future system today
Autefa Solutions uses the concept of digital twinning, visualizing any real-world concept of a nonwovens line to make it easier for potential customers to grasp the idea. It’s also a big help for training and servicing needs. Most of all they digitalize important parts e.g. of a baling press line with perfectly interconnecting software tools. This is an excellent method for reducing commissioning times. Ordered bale presses reach technical readiness in the form of a digital twin, before they are commissioned in the real world. This typically halves the total time to get the line up and running.
Speaking on behalf of Swiss Textile Machinery Association members, André Imhof, CEO of Autefa Solutions Switzerland AG, says: “Making digitalization our friend opens doors for business model innovations, which is essential for our industry competitiveness. The approach is to digitalize everything that can be digitalized. We won’t stop.”

More information:
Swissmem digital Swiss companies
Source:

Swissmem

04.02.2022

NCTO welcomes House Passage of America COMPETES Act

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of the America COMPETES Act, a legislative package that will help close the de minimis loophole on duty-free imports from China and also renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), both important provisions to U.S. textile manufacturers.

“We commend the House for passing this sweeping legislation, which contains several critical trade provisions beneficial to American manufacturers,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This legislation contains a provision that would effectively prohibit China from exploiting the Section 321 de minimis mechanism in U.S. trade law, a win for U.S. textile producers and workers.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished sewn products, issued a statement welcoming House passage of the America COMPETES Act, a legislative package that will help close the de minimis loophole on duty-free imports from China and also renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), both important provisions to U.S. textile manufacturers.

“We commend the House for passing this sweeping legislation, which contains several critical trade provisions beneficial to American manufacturers,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “This legislation contains a provision that would effectively prohibit China from exploiting the Section 321 de minimis mechanism in U.S. trade law, a win for U.S. textile producers and workers.

“We sincerely thank Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) for working diligently to include and preserve his Import Security Fairness Act in the underlying U.S. competitiveness bill. This bill would help close the de minimis loophole, which allows imports valued under $800 to come into the United States without paying duties and taxes, bypassing inspections by U.S. Customs and providing a backdoor to Chinese goods produced with forced labor. The loophole has not only fueled the rise of imports from foreign e-commerce companies and mass distributors, but it has also put our domestic manufacturers and workers at a competitive disadvantage.”

Another important provision in the legislation renews the MTB for two years, which would extend limited tariff relief on a range of manufacturing inputs used by U.S. textile producers.

In closing, NCTO’s Glas stated: “NCTO worked closely with our allies in the House on these provisions in the underlying bill and we commend their hard work and support. We will continue to push for these critical provisions that benefit the U.S. textile industry in Senate-House conference negotiations in the coming days.”

31.01.2022

NCTO: Coalition are urging Support for De Minimis Provision in House America COMPETES Act

A broad coalition of industry and labor groups has sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging support for the Import Security and Fairness Act (included in the broader House America COMPETES Act), which aims to stop China from exploiting the de minimis threshold that allows imports valued under $800 to come into the United States without paying duties and taxes, bypassing U.S. Customs inspections and providing a backdoor to Chinese goods produced with forced labor.

The coalition sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), urging the leaders to strongly support and prioritize the provision in the underlying China bill.

The letter was signed by the following organizations:

A broad coalition of industry and labor groups has sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging support for the Import Security and Fairness Act (included in the broader House America COMPETES Act), which aims to stop China from exploiting the de minimis threshold that allows imports valued under $800 to come into the United States without paying duties and taxes, bypassing U.S. Customs inspections and providing a backdoor to Chinese goods produced with forced labor.

The coalition sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), urging the leaders to strongly support and prioritize the provision in the underlying China bill.

The letter was signed by the following organizations:

  • AFL-CIO
  • Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • Coalition for a Prosperous America
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Narrow Fabrics Institute
  • National Council of Textile Organizations
  • Service Employees International Union
  • U.S. Footwear Manufacturers Association
  • U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute
  • United Steelworkers
  • Workers United/SEIU

See the full letter here.

More information:
NCTO U.S. textile industry Import
Source:

NCTO

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

13.12.2021

TMAS: Digitalisation demands streamlined solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

TMAS / AWOL Media

13.12.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DNFI: Microplastic pollution is a global challenge

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

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

Global textile consumption has become:

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

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

Global textile consumption has become:

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

DNFI / IWTO – 2021

02.12.2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glas outlines key policy recommendations to the committee, including:

  • Enact tax incentives and other targeted critical investments to strengthen Western Hemisphere trade relationships and re-shore manufacturing
  • Close the Section 321 De Minimis Tariff Loophole
  • Step up enforcement of forced labor of Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)
  • Firmly maintain Section 301 penalty duties on China for finished textiles and apparel products
  • Immediately pass the MTB to help manufacturers with a limited list of critical inputs not made in the U.S. and review/close the mechanism in the MTB renewal which allows for finished products
  • Strengthen buy-American practices for PPE and other essential products
  • Block expansion of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to include textile and apparel products
  • Use trade enforcement in free trade agreements to mitigate transshipment schemes by unscrupulous importers seeking to illegally circumvent duties
05.11.2021

NCTO Commends House Passage of Infrastructure Package

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

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

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

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

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

28.10.2021

The Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI) celebrates its first anniversary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:

Renewable Carbon Initiative (RCI)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14.10.2021

NCTO's Statement on Global Supply Chain Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information:
NCTO
Source:

NCTO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Euratex