In line with the EU Strategy on Sustainable Textiles, the European organization European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) has presented its vision for a sustainable industry, disclosing 15 action points for increasing industry efficiency and expanding global market share.
It said that EU policymakers have focused on the textile sector, and the European Commission will publish an ‘EU Sustainable Textiles Strategy' this year, as well as a transition pathway for the industry.
Given the contribution of the EU textile and clothing industry to the overall economy, Euratex claims that EU policymakers have placed a “strong focus” on the sector, with the European Commission releasing a dedicated ‘EU Sustainable Textiles Strategy' before the end of 2021 and a transition pathway developed for the textiles sector as one of the 14 critical ecosystems of the EU's new Industrial Strategy.
The current situation presents an opportunity to create a new European framework for the T&C business, which is at a crossroads. EURATEX wishes to actively participate in this process in order to ensure that they can establish a forward-thinking business model that will set the groundwork for a competitive and sustainable European textiles industry.
Euratex's goal, according to the organization, is to promote a competitive and sustainable European textiles and apparel industry in which the EU is a global leader in sustainable textiles, has a robust and efficient textiles industry, and grows its market share.
EURATEX urges the European Union to focus on a few key criteria in order to successfully implement the strategy. Policy coherence should be ensured when developing this strategy. While the EU Green Deal provides a solid foundation, this textiles strategy must be coordinated with other EU policies like the EU Industrial Strategy, the new EU Trade Strategy, the EU Skills Pact, the Sustainable Chemicals Strategy, and the Sustainable Product Initiative, among others. The strategy should result in harmonized European actions and the elimination of policy contradictions between EU policies.
The strategy should consider the entire value chain of the industry, as it is interconnected, as well as its direct links with other sectors, in order to be meaningful (agriculture, chemicals, plastics, etc). It's also critical to focus funding and investments on innovations like advanced bio-based and recycled materials, green manufacturing technologies, and advanced multifunctional products in order to support and scale them.
To avoid disappointment due to a lack of implementation or follow-up, the strategy should also provide an adequate governance structure, such as a (virtual) organization that brings together respectable industry leaders, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders. EURATEX recommends the formation of a textile alliance to examine the impact of policy on textiles and to avoid conflicting actions emerging from several policy areas.
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