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The textile sector as a road to recovery from the economic crisis of Covid-19

A day after the European Commission published the plan that aimed to lead the ecological and digital transition, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that Covid-19 was a pandemic, which caused strong blows to the vast majority of the sectors in the world. Nowadays, Europe is focusing, again, on the industry, with particular emphasis on sustainability, digitization and, resilience.

Based on factors such as economic relevance; decarbonization; level of digitization and resilience; and technology, the European Commission has defined fourteen ecosystems to focus on for relaunch the industry as recovery after the crisis:

  • The textile

  • Retail

  • Aerospace and defence

  • Agri-food

  • Building

  • Cultural and creative industries

  • Digital

  • Electronic

  • Energy-intensive industries

  • Renewable energy

  • Health

  • Mobility, transport and, automotive

  • Civil security, proximity and, social economy

  • Tourism.

The Covid-19 crisis has severely impacted the textile sector: last year (2020), the turnover of the textile, clothing, footwear and, leather goods trade fell by 24.4%, while the income of the textile industry fell, they contracted 9.3%, and those of clothing fell 17.7%.

As a fundamental element for the sector’s recovery, the Commission points to investment to support textile recycling. In this sense, the entity argues that member states must apply the mandatory collection of the waste of textiles, established by the Waste Directive, reviewed by the EU until 2025.

Source- Textile by Joost Nelissen (Accessed 9 June 2021)

In Europe, industry accounts for four-fifths of European exports and 80 per cent of investment in research and development by the private sector come from manufacturing. EURATEX Managing Director, Dirk Vantyghem, commented: "European textile and apparel companies have shown great resilience and flexibility during this pandemic, but they continue to face global challenges. Now is the time to design a modern framework to support these companies in their transition process. We must focus on promoting innovation, supporting digitization, building strong supply chains and ensuring a level playing field. "

Measures are being taken around the world to recover the textile economy: the Spanish textile has joined forces to opt for between 11,000 million and 12,000 million euros of European funds. On the other hand, Brussels has chosen the retail sector, Brazil, expects 25,000 new jobs in the textile area (gradually) by the end of 2021 and, in Peru, a series of plans and activities have emerged to boost the sector through electronic commerce through free training of CITEs; virtual business wheels; State purchases of masks, hospital clothing, uniforms and work clothes, etc.

Most professionals throughout the world expect to reach “pre-pandemic” textile production and sale levels by 2023.


ApexBrasil. (14/01/2021). Las proyecciones apuntan a una recuperación de la industria textil y de la confección brasileña hasta 2021. Available at: [Accessed 06/01/2021].

La Cámara. (25/01/2021). Lenta recuperación del sector textil y confecciones. La Cámara Perú. Available at: [Accessed 05/31/2021].

Ediciones Sibila. (13/04/2021). Euratex: 2021 tiene que ser el año de la recuperación del sector textil y de la confección en Europa. Available at: [Accessed 05/28/2021].

Modaes. (06/05/2021). Bruselas escoge el textil como uno de los catorce sectores estratégicos para relanzar la industria. Available at: [Accessed 05/26/2021].

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