ETSA has the industry’s back over Covid-19

16 April 2020

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

He wrote that textile services companies are facing an unprecedented crisis in terms of protecting workers and customers, struggling to remain operational in the face of reduced demand and preparing for post-COVID-19.

In the meantime, 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, and

• Envisage exit strategies for our sector

ETSA itself is focusing on monitoring and providing a platform to members to share best practices to address the COVID-19 crisis by holding weekly COVID-19 webex calls for national associations. The sixth weekly call was held on Thursday, April 9. The association is also looking at how best to work with suppliers and learning from other European industry associations on how to cope with COVID-19, particularly other business service sectors as well as monitoring relevant European Union (EU) developments.

“Increasingly,” said Long, “ 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, namely:

• 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, as will using proximity and local businesses and the added value of outsourcing and externalisation.”

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