Clothing Textiles

The "clothing textiles" product group includes

fabrics and knitted fabrics for:

  • sportswear,
  • casual wear,
  • rainwear,
  • nightwear,
  • work wear,
  • underwear,
  • fashion clothing,
  • linings,

and finished knitted products such as

  • baby and children's wear,
  • jogging pants,
  • sweaters,
  • other outerwear,
  • leg wear,
  • T-shirts.
09 KLEDING CONCORDIA IMG 7552 corr Concordia Textiles

Clothing textiles and the circular economy

In the transition towards a circular economy, the value chain of clothing and clothing textiles is also becoming more and more prominent. Belgian clothing textile manufacturers are strongly committed to switching to more circular solutions. Various company initiatives bear witness to this.

But circularity is also a focus within the overarching textile sector. Through Flanders Circular, six "Working Agendas" have been set up, partnerships that focus on circular initiatives. Two textile-related priority groups have been put forward within the Working Agenda Manufacturing, namely 'Consumer textiles' and 'Carpet and technical textiles (professional textiles)'. Clothing textiles fall under both groups, since there is obviously a link with consumer textiles (fashion) but also with professional textiles, for example work clothes. A methodology is now being devised within the working agendas to scale up laudable individual initiatives to the entire sector. Of course, our companies will play an important role, as will the knowledge centres.

The circular economy is both a challenge and an opportunity for clothing textiles.

Sharing knowledge and exploring new horizons

The Centexbel textile knowledge centre plays a crucial role in disseminating knowledge among textile companies, and SMEs in particular. In this context, an annual Horizon Exploration of Clothing Textiles is organised, where updates relating to innovations, patents, standards, labelling, and legislation directly or indirectly related to apparel, are all made available. Centexbel's research projects are also outlined at each event.

Within Centexbel research projects, solutions are investigated for making textiles circular. A nice example is the project 'Decoat' which focuses on removing coatings and dyes on fabrics, which is a considerable challenge in clothing textiles, especially in clothing fabrics used for work-, protective- and safety clothing.

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Due diligence for more fair competition

By pursuing a policy of due diligence, the aim is to implement processes throughout an entire value chain that make it possible to trace the risk of human rights and environmental violations, as well as measures to remedy them. This would apply to all sectors.

In the context of the possible introduction of European policies in this regard, the clothing sector, owing to the fact it is global in nature, is one of the sectors additionally highlighted. An important condition regarding the due diligence is that there will be no one-size-fits-all arrangement, it will be sector-specific. Moreover, the uniqueness of SMEs should not be overlooked. If realistically applied, due diligence will not only benefit people and the environment, but also lead to fairer competition across all borders. Fedustria is participating with a constructive and realistic approach to due diligence during consultation sessions with other sector federations, with NGO representatives and with political parties.

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Key figures
Weaving Knitwear
Number of companies 11 21
Number of employees 1.050 325
Turnover (in million EUR) 273 132
Exported quota 90 % 60 %
Activity evolution in 2021 (in volume) +1 % -4 %
Share in the total added value of the Belgian textile sector 10 % 10 %

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Kris Van Peteghem

Kris Van Peteghem

Clothing Textiles and Spinning Advisor