In 2020, the textile and clothing industries recorded a drop in turnover of 7.09% compared to 2019. (Source: EURATEX)
This deconsumerism is a direct consequence of the loss of purchasing power households have been facing for over the last 10 years. This situation is not improving, as there will be a further loss of purchasing power due to the COVID crisis.
The industry’s economic model, which has been in place for the past ten years, is no longer suitable. This may be due to the significant reduction in variable costs, the constant increase in fixed costs, or to prices that are mainly driven by a promotion model. The latter is no longer efficient today, and changes need to be implemented at this level as well as in the production and sourcing of raw materials.
Biocides in the textile industry are used to protect certain fibres against a number of insects that are harmful to textiles, such as beetles, moths, and mites.
Permethrin-based formulations constitute about 90% of the market. All biocides give rise to environmental problems when discharged into wastewater due to their toxicity to aquatic life. This is a fact that consumers have come to accept. Furthermore, regulations continue to shorten the list of active substances used.
The health crisis has had several impacts and has also further amplified some of them. These include a change in consumer choice criteria. It should also be borne in mind that the textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, responsible for 20% of the world’s wastewater and 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. Deconsumerism may also be a more judicious choice: according to an Ipsos Sopra-Steria survey conducted in 2019, the primary concern of the French population today is indeed the environment.
In recent years, societal trends have developed, demanding more local and also more sustainable and responsible products. There is very little room for action in the short term, but players need to take up the challenge of preparing for the future quickly.