ETSA Congress in Rome, a Colosseum full of the best and brightest in the textile services industry
2022's ETSA Congress occurred on 11 May and 12 May; this was the first ETSA Secretariat since the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic and the first organized under the New Secretariat, headed by ETSA Secretary-General, Elena Lai. It was an exciting event with so many amazing speakers, panelists and attendants, representing all facets of the textile services industry and ETSA's greater membership. The Congress was also followed by a meeting of the ETSA National Associations. ETSA worked tirelessly to ensure a balance and adequate representation of our members and their respective interests in all debates and discussions during the Congress in order to better ensure we receive a holistic view of the contemporary post-covid world and the challenges we are facing as an industry.
The Congress started out with welcoming events and lunch followed by the presentation of ETSA VIDEO by Elena Lai, ETSA Secretary-General. This video was the work of the ETSA Communications Steering Committee comprised of various ETSA members and under the leadership of Marco Marcone at Bardusch. You can watch it by clicking the link here. Following the presentation of the video, there was a formal welcome and opening address by Andreas Holzer, Managing Director BI Bardush Holding GmbH and chairman of the ETSA board of directors, and a welcome speech by Egidio Paoletti, President of Assosistema.
There were a total of four panel discussions planned for the ETSA Congress, the first of which was called the "The New Normal", which featured discussions and perspectives on the post-COVID world and the effect of the lingering pandemic on the textile services industry. This high-powered panel, featuring CEOs of ETSA Member Companies was moderated by Charles Betteridge, the Vice President of Global Corporate Accounts at Christeyns and Chairman at the Textile Services Association. The other panelists who all presented their own unique point of view, included, Thomas Krautschneider from Salesianer , Juha Laurio from Lindström, Marcel Willems from TenCate, Miguel Pablo from Chainge and Joseph Ricci from TRSA, who provided the international and American perspective. It was of tremendous interest to see how the perspectives on the pandemic differed and where they were the same, and while we look to the future with optimism, it is nevertheless fruitful to discuss all possible outcomes of the post-covid world, and we thank our panelists for their time and expertise.
The second and last set of discussions of the first day of the congress included talks on the "Green Recovery 1", a panel discussion moderated by ETSA chairman of the board, Andreas Holzer. It started off with the opening video from Mr, Amit Gautam of "Textile Genesis" which spoke to pioneering fiber-to-retail traceability platforms and deliberated on a new future for textiles enabled by blockchain technology. Jukka Pekka Ovaska spoke next, showcasing a presentation on "Co-creating Sustainable Textile Systems", his expertise and presentation courtesy of Aalto University proved both fruitful and insightful. This presentation was followed by another from a Mr Amaury Sartorius of Klopman, which detailed "New approaches to textile recycling and sustainability in the framework of the New EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles." By contextualizing the real pressing issues of the textile care industry within the paradigm of the ongoing EU textile strategy and EU policy moreover, Mr Sartorius was able to give a suburb presentation. The last presentation of the workshop was given by Claire Bottineau of ELIS, called "Example of a company's engagement towards fighting, Climate Change, an ambition aligned with the Paris Agreements." Anther great presentation showcasing ELIS's commitment to green innovation, the circular economy and combatting climate change. The first day was concluded, with an inspirational speech pertaining to sustainability and the preservation of bio-diversity from Dr Stefano Mancuso and a Gala Dinner from the roof of the Hotel Atlante in Rome, overlooking St. Peter's Basilica.
The second day kicked off with the presentation of the ETSA Activity Report- Elena Lai and Matthias Zoch, where the two detailed some of ETSA's proudest moments in the last 1,5 years, especially its cooperation in its various working groups. This was followed by the panel discussion "The Green Recovery Part 2" moderated by Dr. Maren Otte, Group Director of Corporate Communications & Corporate Responsibilities at CWS. The panel discussion, which focused on attracting a new generation of young talent to the textile care industry began with an opening video from Marie Hélène Pradines of the European Commission on the "The EU PACT for Skills".
Representing the interests of the younger generation in this workshop were Nikola Kašparová of APaČ and Jean Carlo Alves da Silva of ELIS offering their unique perspective on this industry and what can be done to attract more young people to take the first step in the direction of exciting and lucrative opportunities in this industry. The panel also featured a presentation by DTV's Andreas Schumacher who presented the new E-Washboard mobile app and discussed "Educate!", the EU-funded project, ETSA worked with national associations extensively on. You can of course, read more on that here. Following the presentation of Mr Schumacher, Professor Giorgos Demetriu of the Circular Economy Research Center gave a presentation on "Preparing young people's domains of professional interest in the framework of the upcoming climate transformation." This workshop was concluded with an intervention by Dr. Hubertus Dieckmann, the head of Human Resources at Alsco Germany, where he spoke on not only attracting new talents to the textile service industry, but deliberated on the best strategies for better staff retention and engagement.
The last panel discussion, which was moderated by ETSA Secretary-General Elena Lai, dealt with ETSA's work in its previous two "Peer Parliament" workshops which it organized in its function as EU Climate Ambassador. These previous Peer Parliaments were also organized within the context of 2022 being the Commission's "European Year of Youth" and thus featured both young panelists and ETSA CEOs. ETSA CEOs present included Jesper Jensen of Jensen Group, Andreas Holzer of Bardusch, and Hartmut Engler of CWS. Representing the interests of the younger generation in this workshop were ETSA's own Nikolas Schulze-Makuch, Nikola Kašparová of APaČ, Jean Carlo Alves da Silva of ELIS and special guest, Janne Fillet from the European Commission. The panel began with a re-cap and video summary of the two previous ETSA Peer Parliaments and concluded with a fruitful back and fourth between the CEOs and the younger people on not only the importance of committing to sustainability and circularity, but the drive to constantly improve and to strive collectively for a better and more environmentally conscious world.
Concluding the congress with the new "ETSA Awards": the most accomplished and innovative projects run by ETSA members will be presented by ETSA Secretariat, followed by some amazing afternoon activities for our members and a meeting of the ETSA National Associations.
All the presentations from the ETSA Congress are available on the ETSA website for our members linked here, and the videos are linked on our youtube channel here. We were most pleased with the results of this Congress and are extremely excited for the next one!
To find out more about our members including suppliers, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies, national associations and research institutes click here.
To find out more about our members including textile rental companies and suppliers, click here.