Is sustainability paying off ?
EURATEX, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, held its 4th Convention on 18 November in Milan in conjunction with ITMA textile technology fair. An outstanding part of the event was the round table discussion among the managers of well-known European textile and clothing companies. The CEOs of the enterprises established many decades ago shared their solutions for maintaining competitive manufacturing business in the EU.
Investing in development of sustainable materials is key for Sympatex Technologies stated Michael Kamm, the company’s CEO. Since 1980s, Germany-based Sympatex is one of the top global suppliers of high-tech functional materials. The enterprise is constantly developing innovative products that serve the changing market requirements. For example, the Sympatex membrane made of safe polyester is ‘guaranteed green’ – 100% recyclable like a PET bottle.
Consumers are becoming more sensitive regarding the quality and origin of the wearable goods and devices, mentioned Elizabeth Ducottet, CEO of Thuasne. The Thuasne Group was founded in 1847 in France and currently the company is the leading producer of medical textile devices in Europe. Ms Ducottet underlined that to be a leader in this competitive market, the company is investing in the most advanced solutions integrating textile and non-textile materials for the comfort of consumers.
Collaborative approach to manufacturing helps the European companies to compete with existing in Asia integrated production models. Milan Lušić from Croatian clothing producer Varteks Group, emphasized the importance of digitalisation of textile and fashion companies. In response to the global crisis, Varteks strengthened its network to build a more focused and collaborative value chain. This is essential in the view of current trends of personalisation and mass customisation in the future.
All the speakers agreed that buyers of clothes and other textile-based goods should become more responsible in their choices. Alejandro Laquidain, CEO of the Spanish fabric manufacturing company Lakidain, pointed out that consumers praise ‘green’ products, but unfortunately, they are often not willing to pay a higher cost.
European companies are eager to improve and invest in sustainability added the CEO of Italian Fil Man Made Group Andrea Parodi. Fil Man Made Group is experimenting with new yarns and applications and to check the quality of new products, all company’s plants are equipped with experimental laboratories. Mr Parodi stressed that the goods imported to the EU should also comply with the demands and mindset of Europe.
These successful entrepreneurs proved by their own example that the European industry’s focus on innovative production of highly qualitative goods remains the leading factor of our sector’ success.