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Network for circularity in Barcelona

Responding to the challenge of new EU legislation.

9th October 2023

Innovation in Textiles


The first Ecosystex Conference will be held at the Valkiria Hub Space in Barcelona, Spain, from October 18-20 2023.

Ecosystex is a new network of textile circularity projects with combined funding of well over €100 million, aiming to create a long-term community of practice, ensuring collaboration across project consortia and lasting beyond the duration of individual projects.

它促进了欧元pean Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (Textile ETP) which was created in 2004 to match the research and innovation needs and priorities of the European industry to the scientific and technological capacities of universities, research organisations and technology developers to raise the sector’s competitiveness through intensified collaborative research and innovation. Since 2013 the Textile ETP has been established as an international non-profit association based in Brussels.

Speaking at the recent WTIN Innovate Material Innovation conference, Textil ETP secretary general Lutz Walter summarised the 16 pieces of EU legislation that are upcoming and will have a profound impact on the textiles and clothing industry over the next 25 years.

Lutz Walter. © WTIN

“As far as materials are concerned, the push for fibre-to-fibre recycling is the cornerstone of the EU’s policy and currently at a very embryonic stage,” he said, citing other key aims as the drive for recycled content, durability and repairability in products, the move to bio-based feedstocks, the elimination of hazardous chemicals, reduced fibre shedding and lower water and energy consumption.

“This industry will go from being relatively unregulated to being highly regulated,” Walter said. “By 2050 it will be based on biobased or otherwise renewable materials and 100% low CO2-emissions energy. Manufacturing will take place in highly automated, digitised factories located close to the point of final consumption with flexible supply chains that produce as much as possible on demand. To get there will demand significant innovation and smart investment.”

He identified one key requirement as the need to manage data very differently.

“There are two aspects to this – how to capture all the raw data that will be required and how to communicate it,” he said. “Developing a digital strategy is essential for manufacturers, and establishing who manages it and what systems and standards are employed.”

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