A dying industry – or not? The future of the European textiles and clothing industry

Michael Keenan (Research Fellow, based at PREST, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (E‐mail: michael.keenan@man.ac.uk))
Ozcan Saritas (Research Associate, based at PREST, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (E‐mail: ozcan.saritas@man.ac.uk))
Inga Kroener (Research Associates, based at PREST, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (E‐mail: ingakroener@lycos.com))

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

The textiles and clothing sector employs millions of people in the European Union (EU) and has a combined annual turnover of more than €200 billion. Over the last decade or so, more than a million jobs have been lost in the industry, partly through modernisation, but mainly as a result of international competition, especially from developing countries. This competition is set to intensify with the abolition of import quotas in 2005, leaving the EU industry facing an uncertain future. This article explores five key drivers that are likely to affect the sector profoundly over the coming decade. For each driver, three “outlooks” have been articulated: an extrapolation of current trends and drivers (“Alpha” outlook), a situation where many things “go wrong” (“Beta” outlook), and a situation involving more visionary outcomes (“Delta” outlook). The aim is not to forecast the future, but rather to explore plausible outcomes for the industry over the coming decade. On this basis, a number of policy areas have been identified where the European Commission (EC) and Member States will need to address future threats and opportunities.

Keywords

Citation

Keenan, M., Saritas, O. and Kroener, I. (2004), "A dying industry – or not? The future of the European textiles and clothing industry", Foresight, Vol. 6 No. 5, pp. 313-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680410563016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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