"What is needed is a clear renaissance of production in Europe. We must bring value chains back to Europe and produce more strongly here again - it is a question of research and development and modern digitalised production".
This quote was in mid-April in press releases by the currently responsible Minister for Economic Affairs, Ms Margarete Schramböck. In my view, the statement is highly gratifying and it is to be hoped that there is an honest intention behind this quotation. It is also to be hoped that the view is shared by many. And above all it is to be hoped that the production in Europe to which reference is made will also affect the textile and clothing industry, which has almost completely disappeared from Europe over the last 40 years.
But what do we need to do to really bring about a "renaissance" of production in Europe in an industry like the clothing industry?
Above all it needs a new way of thinking, a new mindset. The question must be asked: What do we want to achieve if we want to bring production closer to the consumer markets. In the end - and especially in times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic - it is always a question of prosperity, security and economic and social stability. Even with this enumeration, it is striking that it is not primarily a matter of procuring products as cheaply as possible.
Production in Europe can in any case make a strong contribution to security of supply. The current procurement crisis for protective masks and protective clothing dramatically illustrates what is meant by this. In Europe, there is only a very small amount of production capacity available, products coming from Far East countries are accompanied by certificates, but these are usually not worth the paper they are printed on. Deliveries of goods are blocked at airports or in the worst case even diverted to other countries.
So it is time for us to change our mindset, to do away with old industrial beliefs, and above all to look at the possibilities of modern industrial production. Robots have long since become standard in the production lines of most industries. In the garment industry, the belief system still prevails: that textiles cannot be easily handled by robot arms. That may be true, not so easy - but it is precisely these challenges that are at stake.
But it is also about thinking about new concepts such as the circular economy and implementing them along the entire supply chain in close cooperation with all partners.
We at BREDDY'S have already started with these developments. The entire supply chain, from the fibre to the last stitch and packaging, is 100% manufactured in Europe. And we, as a small company, are driving this development into a new manufacturing reality, which the Minister of Economics is talking about these days. We are looking forward to partners, to ideas and to initiatives that will bring us together on this path to success.