Robert Long, secretary general, European Textile Services Association (ETSA) recently shared a recap of several initiatives the association has undertaken to aid its members and the global textile services industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Textile services companies are facing an unprecedented crisis in terms of:

  • Protecting our workers and customers
  • Keeping our businesses operational while adapting to reduced customer demand
  • Preparing for post-COVID-19

National textile services associations in Europe are working hard to:

  • Provide technical assistance to membership
  • Monitor and inform members on economic relief measures
  • Communicate with public authorities on measures to help our industry, for example to understand that hygienically-clean textiles are a basic need and therefore textile services are essential, or at least, system-relevant
  • Advise membership on best practices
  • Envisage exit strategies for our sector

ETSA – European Textiles Services Association – is focusing on:

  • Monitoring and providing a platform to members to share best practices to address this COVID-19 crisis
  • Holding weekly COVID-19 webex calls for national associations. Our sixth weekly call was held on Thursday, April 9
  • How can we work best with our suppliers?
  • Learning from other European industry associations on how to cope with COVID-19, particularly other business service sectors
  • Monitoring relevant European Union (EU) developments
  • Increasingly, we are turning our attention to preparing for post-COVID-19 and exiting this crisis

We believe that post-COVID times will be even more receptive to the many positives of textile services as a solution for businesses and society in general:

  • The importance of recourse to hygiene specialists for textiles. Textile services have decades of experience
  • The importance of process validation (and disinfection) to ensure proper hygiene
  • Re-use and recycling are better than disposables
  • While economic and cost factors will remain fundamental, resource efficiency, circularity and sustainability will be more important
  • The importance of using proximity and local businesses
  • The added value of outsourcing and externalization