On June 10, from 9-12:30, the ETSA secretariat in synergy with its members, specifically its suppliers hosted a webinar where ETSA members had the opportunity to learn from one another and to share best practices. Suppliers from various segments of the textile service industry, from machines to soaps, detergents, chemicals, textiles, fabrics, etc. Were able to converse with peers in their industry and make their position and actions taken on various issues known. This naturally, greatly benefits the ETSA secretariat when it deals with EU policy makers and stakeholders, so to represent the values of the textile service industry in a more holistic sense, while also benefiting participants and speakers who had the opportunity to deliberate on the intricacies of sustainable policies in Covid times, from the perspective of the textile services industry.

 

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The Webinar began on a hot June day with words of welcome from the ETSA Secretary-General Elena Lai and the ETSA President Andreas Holzer. Mr Holzer addressed the participants and underlined the purpose of this webinar, saying:  "COVID has been a difficult time for ETSA, it has forced us to redefine our strategy and how to communicate to you....However, COVID has also given us the tailwind to be heard, and (for textile services) to be seen as a European Industry." Following Mr Holzer's initial address, the webinar dove right into the first topic, which was equipment and ICT. Jesper Munch Jensen, the CEO of the Jensen Group was the first presenter, who discussed how Jensen was embracing new forms of sorting and laundry technology to embrace several of the United Nation's Sustainable Development goals. Specifically, in the realm of good health and wellbeing, industry innovation and infrastructure, clean water and sanitation, and lastly, responsible consumption and production. Mr Jensen's presentation was followed by a demonstration from Jensen's sorting line where robotic innovation was witnessed first-hand by the participants.  


Michael Harre the Head of Sales and Marketing at Kannegiesser was the second presenter and discussed how Kannegiesser was working to reduce their carbon footprint and elongate a textile item's lifetime. Mr Harre said: "If you look at our industry we as textile services are a prime example of sustainability and we've been working toward improved sustainability long before there it was a public priority." 

In the second segment of the webinar, Ms Claudia Thallauer, the Director of Corporate Accounts at ECOLAB gave the first presentation where she discussed ECOLAB's bold commitment to fighting climate change by going above and beyond the  minimum prescriptions of EU policies, saying: "We as ECOLAB have developed in the last year(s) new solutions and processes....we have the most efficient and sustainable to support commercial laundry to achieve their hygienic and sustainability targets." The next speaker was David Benson, the National Account Director at Christeyns who spoke on water and energy saving techniques and equipment being undertaken at Christeyns. Mr Benson also discussed ground-breaking new research on the survivability of COVID-19 on various textile surfaces, and the ability of the washing process to kill viruses including COVID-19, thereby making textile services more lucrative as an industry. 

The final segment of the webinar consisted of four speakers and we heard from our suppliers of textile garments and linens. The first speaker in this segment was Ms Martine Kok, Product Manager Workwear at TenCate Protective Fabrics Europe. Ms Kok presented sustainably designed workwear from TenCate, which spoke to the greater goal of TenCate to design workwear that not only lasts longer but can be more easily recycled, she spoke on the innovative "International EPD system" which serves as a vital tool to communicate and asses the environmental impact of a product. Ms Kok was followed by Andreas Beirholm the Business Development manager of Beirholm. He spoke on new and incoming supply chain laws both on the national and EU level, which will deal with supply chain management. He said "Due Diligence laws are indicating companies will have to take responsibility for what happens all along their supply chain, not only inside the EU but also outside the EU." He outlined consequences and measures the EU will be implementing to ensure more sustainable supply chain management.  

Following Mr Beirholm was Paul Farrell the Sales & Marketing Director at Carrington Textiles. He discussed the need for balancing sustainable development goals with economic needs. He also outlined opportunities in new fibres and materials for textile fabrics, including possibly increasing the use of cotton, recycled polyester or hemp. The final speaker was Jeff Strahan Ph.D, the Director of Sustainability at Milliken and Company. He spoke on the unique approach Milliken & company has to becoming a leader in sustainability and waste reduction. Mr Strahan simplified and explained how to best conceptualize sustainability in products while also showing the scientifically informed approach that Milliken is undertaking with respect to not only Life Cycle analysis, but also end of life textiles and waste reduction in a holistic sense. 

 

This webinar was one of many more to come which deals with issues like sustainability and environmentalism through the context of current events and relevant legislation. While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all of European industry hard, the textile services industry has proven to be more resilient and adaptable to change. We as an industry have to show ourselves to be willing to constantly innovate and exchange best practices so to show our industry's fortitude to politicians, stakeholders and consumers alike. A recording of the webinar as well as the slides from the speakers are available on the ETSA site.

 

Recording linked here

 

 

Slides linked here.

ETSA: Representing textile rental companies

Alsco Bardusch CWS DFD Elis Initial johnson Lindstrom Mewa Salesianer

To find out more about our members including suppliers, national associations and research institutes click here

ETSA: In partnership with suppliers of detergents, fabrics and machinery

 Carrington Chainge christeyns Ecolab HB Jensen kannegiesser Klopman Milliken 2021 Tencate Van Moer We-Wear

To find out more about our members including textile rental companies, national associations and research institutes click here

ETSA: Coordinating national textile service associations and working with research institutes

Apac Assosistema BVT DTV FBT GEIST Hohenstein NRV Tekstiilihuoltoliitto-ry TRSA TSA Sveriges-Tvätteriförbund VTS WFK

To find out more about our members including textile rental companies and suppliers, click here