Back on the Rise

The 2014 balance of the Italian Textile/Apparel industry was a topic at the Sistema Moda Italia annual general meeting, where the establishment of the first and only Committee for Sustainability, Research and Innovation in the Italian Textile, Clothing and Fashion industry was formalised. At a round table held in Milan they discussed the trend of this sector
From r. to l.: Nicola Porro, deputy editor Il Giornale and chairman of the round table, Claudio Marenzi, president SMI, Marina Salamon, president Altana, Lisa Ferrarini, vice Europe section president of the General Confederation of Italian Industry, Marco Fortis, vice president and general manager, Fondazione Edison, Francesco Morace, president Future Concept Lab

Focusing on optimism, fed with findings of a rebound in the entire Italian textile and fashion industry, SMI annual general meeting also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Federation.

An Important Record

Claudio Marenzi, chairman SMI, announced the establishment of the first and only Sustainability, Research and Innovation Committee on the Italian Textile, Clothing and Fashion industry within the Association. The Committee, officially recognised by the Deputy Minister Carlo Calenda, shall form and manage a round table on quality and sustainability standards covering all manufacturing stages in this industry.

The round table has to define and indicate the guidelines on product and supply standards the market requires on sustainability and quality. Andrea Crespi, Eurojersey, was appointed member responsible for Sustainability, Research and Innovation.

«We chose the most favourable moment to decide and formally start the Committee – Claudio Marenzi stated – in a rebounding scenery we should also select a new growth scheme aiming at higher and higher quality and sustainability standards to meet the market demand. It is a tempting topic to many people, however we at SMI are the only body that can pursue this aim in the way the major Italian industry deserves. Today, we formalised a role the Federation has been playing with its authority and competence, receiving the official endorsement of the Ministry of Economic Development with which we are taking forward the fight for Made In, not yet lost, a still unresolved question!».

Marenzi further explained the planning role of the committee to establish and manage a single round table for all supply chain players, upstream and downstream, to be able to submit and discuss their requirements, problems and proposals covering different quality and sustainability standards that involve manufacture steps in this industry. Aim of this body is to define and indicate guidelines that every associate can share regarding the use of chemicals and production methods the market requires on the way towards a sustainable quality.

grafico2014 Final Findings

The assembly also presented the 2014 balance; let us to mention a few highlights: total turnover in excess of 52 billion Euro, up by 1.3 billion Euro as against 2013 (+2,7%); a further 3.8 increase is forecast for 2015. In 2014 the export trend was successful with an average 3.8% growth and a total value of approximately 28.5 billion Euro (equalling 54.7% of the total turnover). In detail, export from Europe market showed a lively rhythm at plus 4.6% against 2.9% from non-UE areas, despite a negative trend of the Russian market. Meanwhile the import trend turned positive again at a lively +8% rhythm. The balance is largely positive with 9.2 billion Euro.

Growth from Different “Aspects”

Number of players discussed various topics at the round table chaired by Nicola Porro, deputy editor, Il Giornale. Marco Fortis, economist, vice president and general manager Fondazione Edison, focused on the robust cyclical upturn, finally a reality, and in particular on the contribution to our system from the textile clothing manufacturing industry. Sociologist Francesco Morace, founder and president Future Concept Lab, talked about a “Happy growth” from his own standpoint, referring to his considerations in a book published recently with the same title. According to Mr. Morace «we shall not be afraid of growing, growth inevitably being part of a biologic destiny, nor shall we be frightened by happiness that is the neurologic horizon of the human being. A link economy is prevailing on one based on the exchange of goods and the classic value chain is integrated with a solid confidence chain». Contributions from entrepreneurs were more pragmatic and focused on the need to be aware of our strength; e.g. the contribution by Marina Salamon, president Altana and by Lisa Ferrarini, vice president Europe of the General Confederation of Italian Industry. The former insisted on a concept of credibility that should go hand in hand with visibility; expertise as a tool to grow, however accompanied by marketing and innovation, a lacking subject from Italian entrepreneurs compared with American ones, just to give an example. On her hand, Lisa Ferrarini, always committed to the promotion of “made in”, recalled the daily difficulties Italian businesses have to face, from closing doors to export (see Russia) to the credit and insurance sector, the duty issue, and so on, all of them covered by Confindustria. «We have been debating on “made in” since 2004 – Ferrarini pointed out – by the end of the year we have to finalize a transaction, otherwise the topic wears out and we go nowhere». She also mentioned the potential of our country which we should drive towards growth, even with the help of policies capable of promoting factories.