- Antonio de Sousa Maia, Legal Officer, European Commission;
- Cecilia Nilsson-Bottka, Policy Officer, European Commission;
- Enrico Venturini, Senior Researcher, NEXT TECHNOLOGY TECNOTESSILE;
- Dirk Vantyghem, Director General, EURATEX;
- Clara Mallart, Senior Specialist for Sustainability, MODACC.
Summary of remarks by Dirk Vantyghem (Director General of the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, EURATEX)
- EU textile and apparel companies are still struggling with an adverse business environment, from high energy bills and hiking inflation to an economic slowdown. Many companies are in trouble. New “green measures” must be careful about their impacts on companies’ business operations.
- Textile and apparel is one of the most globalized sectors in the EU. Government sustainability policy must consider the global dimension of their implications on EU companies, such as the impact on fair competition and investments across borders.
- Consumers’ demand for sustainable textile and apparel products, especially their willingness to pay a premium, remains a question mark.
- If new sustainability regulations are implemented, it is imperative for the government to assist companies going through the transition. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbones of the textile and apparel industry. These SMEs must survive as they provide critical products and services to large-scale fashion brands.
- Many green legislations impacting the EU textile and apparel industry are coming (e.g., new labeling requirements on sustainable materials). Close collaboration and dialogue between the industry and legislators are essential.