Euratex, the trade association representing European textile companies, launched the initiative yesterday (9 May) to offer a single contact point for Ukrainian companies who seek support and cooperation with EU counterparts, and vice versa, it says. That connection will be helpful to match supply and demand, as there are many requests for supplies of fabrics, and to engage in public procurement and offer company-to-company support, the association said in a statement. 

Euratex says the service will be coordinated by them in close cooperation with the Ukrainian Association of Enterprises of textile and leather industry (Ukrlegprom). Olena Garkusha, an experienced manager from the Ukrainian textile industry, now based in Brussels, will act as a contact point.  

Euratex director General Dirk Vantyghem commented: “Supporting the textile industry is our way to help the people of Ukraine. We encourage our European members to connect via EUTI and develop sustainable partnerships.” 

Euratex notes that EU exports to Ukraine reached EUR1.3bn (US$1.4bn) in 2021, with imports from Ukraine reaching EUR500m, so there is potential to expand relationships, it says, both in the short term, to respond to urgent needs, but also in the longer term, as a partner in the PEM Convention. Ukraine can play an important role in Europe’s textile and apparel supply chain, Euratex says.  

Euratex also notes that the proposed suspension of tariffs on imported products from Ukraine by the EU will offer further opportunities. 

Tetyana Izovit, president-chief of the board of Ukrlegprom welcomed the initiative: “Today, we have many textile and apparel companies in Ukraine with expertise and skilled workers; they are able and willing to work with EU, but lack the contacts, customers and supplies. EUTI will help them.” 

In March, Euratex urged the EU to control spikes in oil and gas prices, saying many textile and clothing companies will be forced to shut down production due to rising energy costs. 

Click here for Just Style’s timeline on how the Ukrainian crisis is evolving.