"Do good and talk about it" was one of the key messages heard at the Textil Wirtschaft Sustainability which took place  on June 21, 2022, in Mainz, Germany.

 



More than 110 listeners participated in the event held at the Rheingoldhalle to find out, network and discuss.

 



Part of the program were also lively discussions about the opportunities and limits of recycling, certifications, supply chain laws, employee motivation and resale potential.

 



Here you can find the top statements from the summit, whose title was "A journey towards growth and sustainability".

 

 

 



"Sustainability must be visible," also emphasized consultant Thekla Wilkening, Jens Cornelsen of Livblu and Stefanie Sumfleth of Bonrprix.

 



"Education about sustainability should not be a mission, but information."

 

 

Stefanie Sumfleth, VP Corporate Responsibility & Technical Product, Bonprix: "Communication to the end consumer is a challenge. Up to now, we have communicated rather technically, a lot via seals. We are now changing that and focusing more on stories and emotions. However, this must not be at the expense of substance."

Mirela SLowik catregory leader, Isko
Photo: Jose Poblete
Mirela SLowik catregory leader, Isko
Mirela Slowik, Category Leader, Isko: "Of course we use certificates, because third-party verification is important for us. And we do our homework: as a Tier 2 supplier, we are responsible for ensuring that Tier 1 has a product that is as sustainable as possible. In doing so, we also audit our upstream products."

 



Jens Cornelsen, Managing Partner Livblu: "Education about sustainability should not be a mission, but information. I believe the majority in Germany has a latent positive awareness of sustainability, but is not yet living it out. There are ways to overcome these barriers. I am convinced that sustainability must be built up much more strongly as a story at the POS, so that the argument is positioned more strongly at the moment of purchase. Right now, from the customer's point of view, price is the only valid benchmark."

 



Prof. Monika Eigenstetter: "Recycling will not solve all problems. We should only think about that when everything else has been exhausted, like, for instance, use, need, repair, share, reuse and refurbish."

Gernot Lenz, CEO, Tom Tailor
Photo: Jose Poblete
Gernot Lenz, CEO, Tom Tailor
Gernot Lenz, CEO Tom Tailor: "Open and transparent communication - internally and externally - are extremely important. The fear of greenwashing accusations should not stop anyone from celebrating their successes. We should not see greenwashing as a permanent threat."

 



Thekla Wilkening, consultant: "Go out more boldly in communication! Be concrete, give numbers. Otherwise, everything is just soft-pedaled."

Georg Dieners, Oeko-Tex
Photo: Jose Poblete
Georg Dieners, Oeko-Tex
Georg Dieners, Secretary General, Oeko-Tex: "The problem with the Supply Chain Act is not the law itself, but that companies cannot take on this responsibility at all. They are completely overwhelmed with such a risk analysis. That's where certifiers can at least provide guidance."
Katharina Schaus, Organic Textile Partner & GOTS-approved consultant
Photo: Jose Poblete
Katharina Schaus, Organic Textile Partner & GOTS-approved consultant
Katharina Schaus, Organic Textile Partner & GOTS-approved consultant: "I would not speak of a seal jungle, but of a seal landscape. There can be no seal that can do everything. But many things are mixed up. For example, I'm irritated by Better Cotton or Fair Wear Foundation labels on the product. Those are not product certificates."

 



Walter Thomsen, CEO, Soex Group: "Monomaterials and less complex mixtures make our recycling hearts beat faster. This requires maximum transparency and a 360-degree view of the entire business."




 

Georg Stehschuster, ITA, Augsburg: "In our newly opened recycling atelier, we want to learn as much as possible. For example, we still don't know how best to sort cotton for recycling. Does it make sense to recycle long and short staple cotton separately? Or can you mix them?"

 



 

Oliver Spies, co-founder, Langbrett: "Since the beginning of February, there has been a legal take-back obligation in France. And since then, there has been massive investment in take-back systems. I hope that something like that will come here soon, too."

 



Ansgar Lohmann, Division Manager CSR, Kik: "I have just come from Bangladesh. And the picture that presented itself to us there is unfortunately relatively sobering, CSR standards have been cut back. Of course, we hope that things will improve again now. But the factories are not at all prepared for the Supply Chain Act, for example."



 

Martin Böschen, CEO, Texaid: "We mostly dispose of clothing before the end of its technical useful life. In Germany, currently only 7 to 8% of discarded clothing is actually carried on. To change that, we need a new awareness. But that's coming. A few years ago it was purely a price issue, but gradually more and more people are also coming to our stores for sustainability reasons."

 



Nico Kemmler, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Seidensticker: "We were critical about a national supply chain law. The law will not be able to deliver what it promises. That's because the influence we can exert is limited. However, the fact that it is there now is not a drama. It may even be a competitive advantage for our company, since we can already show a lot with our production by now."

 



Cécile Wickmann, founder and CCO, Rebelle: "Sustainability is now the key driver in the high-priced segment. The new statement piece has to be sustainable."

 




Jürgen Janssen, Textile Alliance: "Real progress in the production countries can only be achieved by everyone working together. We need more organization on the ground. Only together do we have great leverage for effective change."

Andreas Streubig, Hugo Boss
Photo: Jose Poblete
Andreas Streubig, Hugo Boss
Andreas Streubig, SVP Global Corporate Responsibility & Public Affairs, Hugo Boss: "Many of those sitting here work for companies that were not developed with the idea of sustainability in mind, but were successful as traditional textile companies for decades. And that's why sustainability often has to do with transformation."

 



"Consumers are demanding it - especially the younger ones. Of course, there's a gap there between demand and action; people don't always act consistently. But we need to have those expectations on our radar and serve them as well."

 



"What we've seen so far in terms of government regulation has only been a harbinger of what's to come."

 



"Investors want to know more and more because sustainability is a sign that companies are fit for the future."

 



"When NGOs admonish something, there is usually an improvement."

 

This article was published by textilwirtschaft.de on June, 22nd, 2022

 




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