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ACIMIT’s annual meeting on Italian textile machinery promotes sustainable innovation

According to ACIMIT, sustainable innovation can only be achieved through a collaboration with the recipients of innovative research, the textile producers.

4th July 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Milan

Sustainable, Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial, Sports/​Outdoor, Interiors

Sustainable technologies as an added value for the whole of the textile industry became the focus at the ACIMIT’s annual meeting, where the latest data relating to Italian textile machinery was presented.

In 2015, production increased by 13%, equivalent to EUR 2.6 billion, with exports rising 15% (EUR 2.2 billion). This sort of progress has not been seen in the industry since 2011, attributable to signs of a recovery on the domestic market, as well as a recovery in the world’s most important market for textile machinery: China.

Playing an essential role was the Italian edition of ITMA, the industry’s foremost global trade fair, held last November in Milan, and recording a major success both for the many technology innovations on show and strong visitor turnout, the association reports.


“Innovation is a discriminating element between those who have managed to overcome the long period of recession in production, and those who on the other hand struggled on the sidelines,” explained Raffaella Carabelli, President of ACIMIT, the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers. “And in the future, innovation will play an even larger part in making a difference in our sector.”

The grounds on which the textile industry is staking its competitive edge is environmental, economic and social sustainability. Under the pressure of increasingly stringent regulatory standards, and urged by the environmental movement and precautionary policies on chemical safety adopted by various major brands, the textile industry must face up to new issues.

Raffaella Carabelli, President of ACIMIT, said that innovation is front and foremost in relaunching Italy’s textile machinery sector. © ACIMIT

These include eliminating hazardous substances from production processes, ensuring water and energy savings, providing supply chain traceability, and recycling materials at the end of their life cycle, the association reports.

Sustainable technologies

Within this context, research and innovation become a core issue, and Italy’s textile machinery sector is definitely at the forefront. “Thanks to our Sustainable Technologies project, over 1000 Green Labels have been assigned to an innovative and sustainable machinery. This is a crucial result that promotes the project’s scientific commitment and the efforts displayed by over 40 manufacturers taking part in the initiative, yielding important objective goals,” added Carabelli.

Thanks to the new sustainable technologies developed by Italian manufacturers, 221,000 less tons of CO2 eq. were emitted into the environment in 2014, the equivalent of reducing CO2 eq. emissions generated by 38,000 cars.

ACIMIT represents an industrial sector comprising around 300 manufacturers and producing machinery for an overall value of about EUR 2.6 billion. © ACIMIT

Sustainable innovation is therefore among the primary goals promoted by ACIMIT – a goal that can be achieved only through a strict collaboration with the recipients of innovative research, the textile producers, according to the association.

Intensifying industry partnerships

To help promote awareness on its projects, ACIMIT, in partnership with the Blumine/sustainability-lab, has backed a study aimed at thirty or so textile manufacturers already committed to rendering their own products and processes greener. The study highlights the important role played by technology in the sustainability programs of the businesses interviewed.

The round table discussion which followed the research study’s presentation included input by Graziano Brenna, CEO at Tintoria Filati Portichetto; Andrea Cavicchi, President of Confindustria Toscana Nord; Alan Garosi, marketing manager at Fulgar; and textile machinery entrepreneurs Flavio Tonello, owner of Tonello.

A common underlying thread in the discussions was the importance of proceeding hand in hand on the road to innovation, intensifying partnerships between textile manufacturers and textile machinery manufacturers. The day’s proceedings were concluded by Domenico Sturabotti, General Manager of the Fondazione Symbola.

Further reading

Executive summary: Green technologies for the textile industry: added value in sustainable innovation processes

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