Trade unions keenly await tomorrow’s plenary debate at the European Parliament ahead of the Commission’s communication on the EU textiles strategy. The strategy, which aims to look at how to create a more ‘’sustainable textiles sector’’, is closely anticipated by workers, businesses, and NGOs.

IndustriAll Europe took part in the European Commission’s consultation last year and released its own position paper, clearly stating that workers are at the heart of the sector and will therefore play a major role in the decarbonisation of the sector. As well as including demands on investment and support to help decarbonise the textiles sector, trade unions also insist on efforts to improve the working conditions for all workers, both in Europe and across the globe, and to avoid a race to the bottom in low-cost production.

Judith Kirton‐Darling, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said:

‘’We maintain that a truly sustainable and circular transition for the textiles sector must look at workers’ rights, create decent jobs, insist on high environmental standards internationally, be adequately supported, and most importantly, should be established via stakeholder engagement and social dialogue with the social partners.

‘’For the EU textiles sector to be truly sustainable, it must work for both people and the planet. For trade unions, this means ensuring high levels of worker’s rights for all workers in the supply chain and guaranteeing a Just Transition for all workers and regions impacted by the transitions. We call on MEPs to stand up for textile workers across the entire value chain, and to ensure that the EU textiles strategy helps some of the most vulnerable and low-paid workers both in Europe and across the world.’’

IndustriAll Europe's position paper: EN, FR, DE

Joint letter from civil society: EN

Contact: Elspeth Hathaway (policy adviser)