The European Commission aims at adopting the European Strategy for Textile by the 3rd quarter of 2021. It published first a roadmap, and at the beginning of May, it launched a public consultation.
The initiative aims to set a comprehensive framework to create conditions and incentives to boost the competitiveness, sustainability and resilience of the EU Textile sector, taking into account its strengths and vulnerabilities after a long period of restructuring and delocalization, and addressing its environmental and social impacts.
The initiative will facilitate and encourage optimal use of the recovery plan and sustainable investments, particularly in production processes, design, new materials, new business models, infrastructure and capacity. Support to technologies, including digitalisation, related to innovative textiles, tackling the release of microplastics, manufacturing and recycling processes will contribute to the digital and green transition.
Textile and Clothing make up a diverse industrial ecosystem covering different value chains and types of products.
The Industry employs 1.5 million people, spread across more than 160.000 companies in the EU, most of which are SMEs, with an EU annual turnover of 162 billion euros in 20195.
Despite a growing social trend for sustainability in the EU Textile and Fashion Industry, Europeans consume on average 26 kg of textiles per person per year – a significant share of these coming from Third-World countries. Each item is used for a shorter period, resulting in 11 kg of textiles discarded per person per year.