Then European Textile Services Association promises a transformative experience at the ETSA Congress 2024, says Elena Lai, the association’s secretary general, pictured, which is a pivotal event in the textile services sector. This year Prague is hosting a particularly special event as ETSA celebrates its 30th anniversary. Two days over 2-3 May at the Hotel Grandior in Prague will see industry leaders and professionals gather to explore the sector's essential role in shaping a sustainable, green, and digitised economy.

The ETSA Congress is not just a conference, claims the association, it's a cornerstone event in the industry's calendar, reflecting its crucial importance in these dynamic times. Delegates will be able to:

  • Engage in meaningful discussions about the challenges and advancements in the textile services sector.
  • Gain insights into the EU Green Deal and the Climate Pact, and how they influence our industry.
  • Celebrate 30 years of ETSA's significant impact on the textile services industry.
  • Network with industry leaders, innovators, and peers.

The event kicks off with Elena Lai, pictured, secretary general at the European Textile Services Association welcoming delegates followed by opening remarks by ETSA chair Dr Thomas Neyers (Alsco) and APAČ (Asociace prádelen a čistíren) president Jana Puškáčová (ELIS).

‘Global Threads: Unraveling the Role of Textile Services in World Affairs’ will be presented by keynote speaker Paulo Portas, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal and Minister of Foreign Affairs, followed by Joseph Ricci: TRSA President and CEO.

A panel discussion – Key collaborations for winning partnerships in the textile service sector. What is the winning approach in the new art of recycling? – will be moderated by Andreas Holzer, founder of and former ETSA chair.

Panelists include Anna-Kaisa Huttunen, director of partnerships at Rester Oy (Keynote speaker); Chris Deloof, executive director of Rehubs Europe; Tosin Trim, chief product officer at Deploy London; and, Soon Joo Bovenschen, director of product innovation, TenCate Protective Fabrics

Another panel of experts addresses ‘From a green to a digital transition – what opportunities and challenges to navigate and shape textile services 2.0?’

Moderator of this module isLisa Lang, director for EU Affairs & policy orchestrator for EIT Climate KIC.

Panelists include:

Martina Ritzer, chief information officer at CWS

Ralf Schadowski, Data Protection Expert at ADDAG GmbH

Victor Ioane, CEO at Salesianer and co-founder of Linen2go

Mads Andresen, director at Inwatec ApS

Andreas Schneider, CEO at Global Textile Scheme


The 30th anniversary of the European Textile Service Association is the subk=ject of the next panel, moderated by Thomas Neyers, ETSA Chairman (Alsco).

Panelists include:

Christina Bardusch-Haupt, owner of Bardusch

Xavier Martirè, CEO at ELIS

Juha Laurio, president and CEO at Lindström Group

Jesper Jensen, CEO at Jensen Group

Charles Betteridge, non-executive director at Christeyns and chair of the

Textile Services Association

The second day of congress will hear about the ‘ETSA Climate Ambassadorship and campaign: participate in shaping the future of Europe’ with input from Kurt Vandenberghe, director general of DG CLIMA. Matthias Zoch, ETSA chair of the environment WG (MEWA) and Nelly Le Devic, EU Affairs Manager at the ETSA Secretariat will report on three years of ETSA Climate Ambassadorship, with Jindrich Pietras, Communication Officer at the European Parliament Liaison Office, Czech Republic

The ETSA Manifesto will be announced by Nikolas Schulze-Makuch: communications coordinator at the ETSA Secretariat,  an Autumn event to re-launch the textile service sector

A panel discussion on ‘Shaping a diverse and inclusive workplace at the core of companies’ plans’ is the penultimate presentation – ‘Is managing D&I the next ingredient for success?’ and will be moderated by Elena Lai, ETSA secretary-general.

Panelists are:

Nadine Nembach: International co-president at European Women’s Management

Development Network (keynote speaker)

Gerda Jank, director of corporate alignment at Jensen-Group

Harald Goost: CEO at Bierbaum-Proenen

Anles Cabrera,  group international marketing manager at Carrington Textiles

Emma Kiviniemi Andersson, director of finance and members at the Textile Services Association

The final panel of the congress concentrates on attracting and keeping staff. Businesses and national associations in the textile services sector are searching

for skilled workers across various roles. What new ways forward for attracting

high-skilled and low-skilled workers could be instrumental for the textile

services sector to flourish? What communication narrative and positive stories

can help the image of our industry?

Moderated by Daniel Dalkowski, deputy managing director at DTV, panelists are:


Natalie Matignon, director-general at GEIST

Claire Bottineau, sustainability director at ELIS

Jan Lamme, CEO at Cibutex

Bob Morrish, director of corporate sccounts and sales manager Uk/Ireland, Ecolab

“This congress is more than a meeting—it's a milestone in the textile services industry, marking the intersection of tradition and innovation. We eagerly await your presence as we delve into the topics that shape our industry and celebrate the legacy and future of ETSA,” said the association. There will be plenty of opportunities for catching up with peers – the event starts and finishes with a networking lunch – during the programme and there is an informal dinner at Mlýnec Restaurant in Prague on the evening of 2 May.