During the first half of 2017, Business Beyond Borders (BBB) organised two very successful matchmaking events at Genera, Madrid, and African Utility Week, Cape Town. The next stop in our BBB journey is Texworld, in Paris. With over 600 international suppliers on site, the fair welcomes designers, producers and other stakeholders from all over the world, and is one of the major fairs in the textile, clothing and footwear sector.
Keeping up with our post-event tradition, we have selected our 10 most important facts to know about the industry before attending Texworld:
- The textile sector is responsible for 1.7 billion jobs in the EU
The sector employs as much as the 6% of employment in total manufacturing in Europe. In the EU, the sector is mainly comprised by around small businesses and companies with less than 50 employees.
2. The textile sector provides a turnover of over 166 billion Euros and investments of 4.8 billion
The sector’s performance has been constant in the last decade. In 2009, the textile industry had a turnover of circa €167 billion, and investments amounting to €4 billion.
3. The United States, China and Turkey are the main importers of EU textiles
The United States is the most important customer for the EU’s textile sector, registering 2.623 customers in 2016.China, on the other hand, accounts for 1.979 buyers and Turkey for 1671. Among others countries known for important a large amount of EU textiles, one can find Switzerland and Morocco.
4. The EU’s biggest exporting markets for clothing are Switzerland, United States and Russia
Trade with United States remains crucial but Switzerland heads the list with 3.436 customers. Alongside the Swiss, US, and Russian markets, both Hong Kong and Japan are considered priorities for the sector.
5. EU textiles producers amount for the second largest synthetic staple fibre production after Asia
ECAP, European textiles & Workwear Market, 2016
6. The greatest environmental impact caused by the EU’s textile industry comes from materials usage and production
Impacts of textile consumption according to life cycle phase
Considering the impact of the textile sector on the environment, as well as on other industries, the EU has established the EU Ecolabel. The criteria for textile has been revised and can be consulted at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1403869165475&uri=OJ:JOL_2014_174_R_0015
7. The EU’s textile sector risk rating fluctuates between medium and sensitive
Changing consumer behaviour, fierce competition and undermined profitability call for stakeholders’ attention to risks and new possibilities.
Euler Hermes, Sector Risk Map: Textile
8. European textiles are looking to increase their added value by going digital
The importance of high-tech textiles is more recognised than ever. New and better performing fibre-based materials, the digitisation of manufacturing and supply chains, new sustainable and customer-centric business models, plus the access to growing markets will be key to outline and develop the future of the textile and fashion industries in Europe.
Such efforts can already be seen in the DIGITEX project, funded by the European Union.
9. The EU is a top market for textiles and fashion due to a higher rate of consumption per capita.
10. More than 70 % of all the sector’s employees are women
Euractiv, European Textiles and Fashion: Facts & Figures, Employment by gender in the European textile sector.