Stefan Schmidt (Source: IVGT)
In these turbulent times, the economic situation of the textile industry - being globally connected – is also impacted. During the last 2 years our industry has been through different crises – caused by the Covid pandemic – starting a recovery, and now, as a result of the war in the Ukraine, energy price peak, inflationary pressures and a decrease in consumer confidence. We asked different stakeholders in our industry the question: “What are the 5 biggest challenges in the textile industry for 2023?” In the following statement, Stefan Schmidt, Head of the Yarns, Fabrics and Technical Textiles Departments at the Industrial Association IVGT, Frankfurt/Germany, gave us his assessment:
The ability to produce has become a key factor in serving local and global markets over the past 3 years. The European economy is facing enormous challenges and planning uncertainties. The Corona pandemic, lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine war as well as national reactions and measures in important economic areas have strongly influenced the freedom of action of the internationally connected textile industry. It is to be feared that the force of the strong price-driving factors, such as inflation, material and energy costs, will not subside quite as quickly as hoped. According to current estimates, companies will experience a longer phase of uncertainty in the coming year. Raw materials and energy will continue to be the main problem for all sectors in 2023.
For European textile manufacturers, especially in the technical textiles sector, the supply chains have become significantly longer due to the relocation of primary products abroad. The legal requirements for traceability represent a high burden and hurdle, since even supply chains for basic materials in the textile industry stretch across all continents.
The central challenge of the coming year is the uncertain product price situation, and the continued search for qualified employees which has already been difficult for years. In the apparel textiles and home textiles segment, no significant growth seems possible for the foreseeable future. This is still possible in almost all areas of technical textiles, which is why a current survey shows that in 2023 almost 70% of companies want to invest in new energy-efficient and more flexible machines and systems.
The core challenge and future opportunity in 2023 will be the implementation of digitalization in the supply chains in order to restore reliability and predictability for customers and end-users. The continuation of the transformation for sustainability and climate protection that has already begun will determine the textile industry for the coming years.