A Future For The Future
By Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor
The International Textile Manufacturers Federation’s (ITMF’s) annual conference took place in
Cairo, Egypt, November 18-20. Over the years, this summit of the global textile and textile
machinery industry has impressed with its high-class seminars where top representatives from all
divisions of the textile industry speak about problems of time, but also about the future. The
theme of this year’s conference was “In an integrated world,” and some lectures referred to this
Over the last few years, whoever dealt with or spoke of the limited size of resources, ecology and the environment was often dismissed as a “green fool.” These topics were something for environmental activists and other eco freaks, but hardly worthy of the agenda at an ITMF conference. This opinion recently has changed drastically because concern is growing about the future of the planet. Different speakers engaged the topic at the meeting and appealed for a mind change.
Increasing Energy Consumption
Western nations started the war for oil a long time ago, and Africa was recently “discovered” as an oil resource. With the increasing rise in energy consumption by emerging industrial nations such as China and India, energy is in short supply, and water will follow. Only the countries with sufficient energy and water supplies will be able to hold or improve their living standards. One really sees now that climate change is not a fairy tale, but a brutal reality. The textile industry also is stipulated to go new ways, not only for ecological, but also for economical reasons, as energy gets more and more expensive.
The Consumer Decides
As some of the ITMF speakers reported, there is a new power appearing in the markets to support the environment — the consumer. Consumers want to know more and more about where their apparel was produced and what technology was used. Global labels that stand for environmentally compatible and socially acceptable production are extremely important to help the big brands survive. Products produced in an environmentally harmless way enjoy the sympathy of consumers. As mentioned before — it’s all about integrated production, so that we can live in an integrated world and the future has a future.
November 27, 2007