The European Apparel and Textile Confederation, also known as Euratex has recently developed a Covid-19 recovery strategy that aims to turn the ongoing crisis to an opportunity. In the latest general assembly of the confederation this strategy has been endorsed. One of the objectives of this strategy is to make the textile and apparel sector more agile, more digital and sustainable and has 5 flagship projects. The latest general assembly of the confederation also re-elected Alberto Paccanelli as the confederation’s president Hadi Karasu, Gregory Marchant, Jean-François Gribomont and Bodo Bölzle are going to work as vice presidents of the confederation.

Although European textile and apparel manufacturers have been critical in offering short-term relief in the coronavirus crisis, such as transforming their production or rising PPE production, the long-term objectives that include the sector’s regeneration process and its supply chain and a more sustainable and greener future now need to be discussed.

“Europe should affirm the strategic value of the European textile and apparel industry, facilitate the growth of an interconnected ecosystem with the European Union and the countries in the region, invest in creativity and skills and make circularity a source of productivity. The implementation of these enduring initiatives must be immediate, “warns a Friday announcement.

Euratex brings together 5 flagship projects

The first project is to coordinate promised suppliers and create robust supply chains for vital PPE and other textile goods in Europe, in order to prevent potential impacts of this nature. That involves the creation of a powerful European textile coalition. The second project is to ensure that current population, which is getting older (35% is over 50 years old), are updated to accommodate a rapidly evolving market and recruit talented new employees and experts to promote creativity and digital transformation.

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The third project is to invest in creative and renewable textiles, and to make circularity a source of growth through committed public sector collaborations (PPPs) at European Union level. “These PPPs will pool and pace up science, creativity, pilot testing and demonstration in sensitive fields, such as digital production and supply chains,” Euratex forecasts.

Furthermore, as a fourth project, Euratex plans to create five recycle centers in Europe located in or near textile and apparel regions and thus render raw materials through the collection , sorting, refining and recycling of post-production and post-consumption textile waste.

The fifth project is about maintaining open and fair trade for clothing and apparel industries and fostering an interconnected economy with the long-standing allies of the EU so that exports should not be stopped at the border again in the future by national governments. “The development of the Pan Euro Med as an interconnected economy should be a first move and the utilization of business prospects arising from other EU free trade deals,” Euratex indicates.

“This crisis has demonstrated the value of our sector and now, even more than before, the growth of the competitiveness of the European ecosystem is important. Paccanelli stated that the “EU Next Generation” program would play a significant role in helping the textile and apparel sector in its revival.

As the face of the European textile and apparel sector, Euratex serves about 170,000 businesses (90 percent of which are small ones) employing around 1,7 million individuals. The industry produced exports in 2019 totaling over €61 billion but went through a challenging year, as recent statistics from Eurostat shows, with decreasing jobs and a first-time negative turnover pattern since 2012-13. The sector could see a turnover loss of 50 billion euros by 2020, according to projections.

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Efficient short-term access to funding, accelerated re-opening of shops and enterprises, strategic public procurement, well-functioning economies and supply chains and a pause to new regulatory pressures are rapid recovery steps that Euratex deems necessary for the sector.

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