The European textile and clothing (T&C) industry was hard hit by the pandemic in 2020. The T&C industry is a pillar of Europe, counting 160,000 companies (mainly SMEs), employing 1,500,000 people, generating €162,000 billion. 38% of such industry’s turnover is sold on global markets, whereby SMEs cover more than 50% of those global sales. On the occasion of the EU Industry Days from February 23-26, 2021, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, asks the European Commission and Member States to set the right conditions for the competitiveness and resilience of its industrial base, in particular the T&C industry.
Euratex has suggested a series of measures: Firstly, Europe should put in place effective market surveillance, avoid unfair competition and guarantee level playing field. The continent has the stringiest social and environmental standards, and it should protect the quality of its products. Next, Europe should support the transition towards a more sustainable and digital industry through specific funds and programs. Moreover, the sector should reduce future risks by diversifying its supply chains and promote nearby production.
A market proof approach should be adopted by the continent when moving towards sustainability and circular economy. The green transition should carefully balance the cost of this transition process and the long-term benefits. Furthermore, education systems and institutes should be helped to develop comprehensive and leading-edge T&C knowledge.
Euratex also suggests that Europe should have a coherent approach when legislating in different areas. All policies, from the Green Deal to the Sustainable Chemicals strategy, from the EU Trade strategy to the EU Industrial one, should be consistent and not hamper industry.