Circular Economy in textile maintenance, a fascinating challenge not to be missed

Giuseppe Conti - Presidente Assofornitori

In this month’s issue, Detergo’s Editorial will present the speech given by Giuseppe
Conti, the President of Assofornitori, during the Ecomondo trade show that took place in Rimini from 5 to 8 November 2019

Circular Economy in textile maintenance,
a fascinating challenge not to be missed

by Giuseppe Conti – President of Assofornitori

The Assofornitori Association that I have been presiding over since the recent elections, celebrated its babtism in 1990 and today, its members represent more than 60 businesses that make part of the textile care sector. The textile care sector reflects quite an important business share in terms of economy. Its market offer ranges from dry-cleaning, the real Italian excellence, to washing and wet cleaning. Also, let us not forget about the ironing sector or the professional detergents, better and better performing and green, and the complete and automated production lines that include garments finishing and packaging. Textile producers complete the picture with their offers (bedding and tablecloths) together with operative systems suppliers and 4.0 solutions. Together with Detergo magazine, a historical magazine of the sector and the communication tool of the Association, the crown jewel of our organization is EXPOdetergo International, the trade fair of textile care sector that draws the attention of exhibitors from all over the world.

The last edition of EXPOdetergo International 2018 represented an added value also in terms of eco-compatible innovation: the attention towards resources saving, let it be water, energy, detergents or fabrics had become the central theme that characterized the majority of the exhibited proposals. Going beyond the fashionable and often ideological evaluations, the green economy is convincing and advantageous.

Waste management, focused on the recovery and recycling of materials, realizes the production equal to 25 billion euro and generates 7,1 billion of added value that equals 0,4% of GDP. In the field of sustainability, one of the most important indicators is the circulation rate that is the rate of the circular use of materials coming from recycled products or recuperated materials.

Surprising, yet confirmed by the figures, is the circulation rate in Italy. It is at 17,15%, well 5 points above the average in the EU which makes Italy rank as 4th after Holland, France and Belgium.

The range of production of the associated businesses, as we mentioned earlier, goes from textile production to chemical detergents for fabrics treatment, laundry and dry-cleaning machines.

Let me briefly mention some of the aspects regarding the activities of the associated businesses. Chemical products manufacturers are often associated with water and air pollution or health risks via contact with products. Whereas instead, our chemical products manufacturers produce much more concentrated products, which leads to a significant waste reduction and the decrease in transport costs. In 2002, on average, 16g of product was used for 1Kg of linen by industrial laundries while in 2018, only 8g per 1 Kg of linen was used which translates to a 50% reduction. These are real facts, not promotional messages. Our textile producers are putting a lot of effort in making their production and products more and more ecocompatible; it is enough to think about their constant engagement in obtaining the environmental and social criteria certifications. The collaboration between Assofornitori and Assosistema dates back a long time. I remember, e.g. the successful initiative called Prendi la pista giusta: per un futuro migliore ci vuole stoffa! that was launched in spring, 2017, at Mugello Autodrome. The campaign promoted the use of fabrics in the health care sector, hospitals and restaurants: because textile is not only more attractive aesthetically but it is also more eco-friendly. How does the sector of washing, ironing and finishing machines conceive the Green challenge? The consolidated tendency is producing systems that allow the design of machines enabling the energy saving up to 40% reducing water, steam and energy consumption at the same time. The challenge has not just been launched, it is actually fully in progress now.

I would like to thank for the hospitality and for the unity of actions that have distinguished the successful collaboration between our associations. As Assofornitori and Expo Detergo, I will be happy to welcome you at EXPOdetergo International 2022 in Milan, a show dedicated to compatible innovation! Circular Economy in textile maintenance, a fascinating challenge not to be missed!

Detergo Magazine  – November 2019