Interview with Charles Beauduin, CEMATEX : Th...
Interview with Charles Beauduin, CEMATEX

The transformation in the textile industry is on-going

Charles Beauduin (Source: ITMA)
Charles Beauduin (Source: ITMA)

The world economy is facing turbulent times. Being globally connected, this also impacts the textile industry. In June 2023, the world’s largest international textile and garment technology exhibition, the ITMA, highlights innovations that should help fiber and textile manufacturers transform and grow their business.

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 Ukraine, an energy price peak, inflationary pressures and a decrease in consumer confidence. What do you expect for the global textile industry this year?
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have predicted a slowing economy worldwide in the new year. The pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation of the textile industry as supply chains have been badly disrupted, and businesses need to be more agile in their operations.
There are consumer expectations for environmentally friendly products, thus, spawning demand for green textile production technologies, and recycled or other eco-friendly materials.
Above all, industry members across the textile, apparel and fashion industries need to embrace flexibility as they have to adapt to the changing business climate and consumer demands in order to survive.

What are the biggest challenges the textile industry is facing at the moment?
The challenges range from the energy crisis to fluctuating raw materials prices to the global supply chain disruption. The global geopolitical context remains uncertain and textile makers are faced with a need to shift towards sustainable products and circular business models.

This year, the ITMA is taking place in June in Milan/Italy, what do you hope/expect from ITMA 2023?
Currently, companies, including textile machinery customers, are cautiously navigating around the uncertainties so we can’t say that businesses are booming.  However, we are optimistic that to emerge stronger from the crisis, companies have to review their investment strategy.
The staging of the ITMA 2023 is very timely, being the first largest global sourcing platform for the industry after the pandemic. The industry is excited to be meeting face-to-face and we are optimistic about the strong turn-out, especially in terms of quality visitors.
The ITMA is also held at a time when there are many exciting opportunities created by digitalization and the demand for sustainable and circular solutions. Therefore, we can expect a very interesting presentation and industry collaboration from leading players from around the world.
Underscored by the theme Transforming the World of Textiles, the ITMA 2023 will have about 1,600 exhibitors eager to share their latest innovation with leading textile and garment makers, brands and retailers from around the world.
Can you tell us what new sections or networking forums industry experts and visitors can expect at the ITMA?
The Innovator Xchange will provide participants with unique opportunities to gain insights from the winners and finalists of the ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award, as well as exhibitors and industry experts. Presentations will be categorized in 4 trending topics: automation and digital future, advanced materials, sustainability and circularity, and innovative technologies.
In addition, held alongside the ITMA 2023 are events organized by us, namely the ITMA Textile Colourants and Chemicals Forum, and ITMA Nonwovens Forum. We also have events organized by industry partners: the Global Digital Textile Conference 2023 staged by WTiN, Planet Textiles hosted by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and ZDHC Impact Day 2023. Visitors can find out more from
The Start-Up Valley will be launched for the first time. What are the expectations attached to this new program topic?
Promoting entrepreneurship and cultivating the spirit of innovation will ensure that the textile industry will continue to have a bright future. Hence, CEMATEX is supporting young companies with a grant to help defray their participation costs at the Start-Up Valley.
We have received very good response for this new initiative. A total of 32 companies applied for the grant and the selection panel has shortlisted 16. We hope the start-ups will be able to find investors and customers, and have meaningful conversations with participants.  

At the moment, every new development, every new product should also be sustainable and environmentally friendly. How can we, the global textile industry, achieve the transformation to a greener world?
To accelerate the transformation to a greener world, it has to be a partnership among all stakeholders, from machine builders to textile and garment makers, research and educational institutions, industry organizations, policymakers and consumers.
The entire industry has to focus on promoting innovation and research, collaboration and knowledge sharing. The ITMA playing host to the largest congregation of stakeholders from the textile communities, provides the platform to underscore the message on the urgent need to adopt sustainability as part the industry long-term strategy.
Hence, we have put the spotlight on industry transformation. The theme of this year’s exhibition is Transforming the World of Textiles, and sustainability and circularity have been included as trending topics for our events. Visitors can also explore an exciting array of green technologies and materials.
The interview was conducted with the TextileTechnology team with Charles Beauduin, Vice-President of CEMATEX, Zurich/Switzerland, and Chairman of ITMA Services pte Ltd., Brussels/Belgium.

Your Newsletter for the Textile Industry

From the industry for the industry – sign up for your free newsletter now

To differentiate your newsletter registration from that of a bot, please additionally answer this question: