Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


At 7th and 8th of May the 22nd European Forum on Eco-Innovations with the title “Closing the Loop – Delivering Circularity in the Textile Sector took place in Vienna. This symposium was organized by the European Union, with the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability, Environment & Tourism.

In two days about 37 speakers talked about the possibilities of sustainability in the sector of textiles and confection. About 100 participants mainly from Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Hungary and Slovakia visited that symposium. From Portugal  aicep Portugal Global and  MODATEX – Centro de Formacäo Profissional da Indústria Têxtil, Vestuário Confeccäo e Lanifícios, represented by Sr. Dir. José Manuel Castro visited  that symposium.


46% of the visitors come from Trade Associations, 17% from Governments, 17% from Research Institutes , 13% from private companies and 7% from NGOs.


At the begin of the symposium an overview about the worldwide situation of the production, consumption and of the waste of textile was given. All speakers agreed that the current situation of a linear consumption of textiles has to change to a circular one. Considering that the production of one pair of jeans needs about 7.000-10.000 liters of water, it becomes obvious that the consumption of water, electricity, land and labor force is much too high that garments are landfilled after a short period in use. Also the EU is aware about that problem. Mandatory collecting systems for textiles, similar to those for paper, glass or packaging materials are in preparation by the EU.


This introduction followed presentations of several concepts which run already by various European companies. The approaches of these companies are quite different: The ideas which have been presented reached from repair services for confection, to fashion renting systems (fashion libraries) up to fiber-to-fiber recycling.


Although the ideas were different, all participants agreed that the re-use of textiles will become more and more important in the next years and companies and nations which are working already on solutions today, will have an competitive advantage for tomorrow.