European linen sector set to receive boost
Ms Marie-Emmanuelle Belzung
In order to rejuvenate the linen sector in Europe, the European Union (EU), the French government and a linen industry association - European Confederation of Linen and Hemp (CELC) is undertaking a campaign to boost the European linen industry, backed by funding amounting to more than €3.3 million or US $4.6 million.
Europe is worldwide leader in linen fiber, accounting for 85% of the total production. Linen is cultivated at close proximity in fields located in an area extending from Southern Normandy to Belgium and The Netherlands. Considering its ecological profile, linen is much better than other natural fibers which consume a huge amount of water. Due to the temperate and rainy climate, it needs neither irrigation nor fertilizer. Naturally, linen is also an ethical product that contributes to maintaining the economic and social cloth of rural areas.
As Europe's unique agro-industrial network, the European linen industry integrates know-how and technologies specific to growing and transforming the fiber (from scotching to weaving or knitting) that are derived from European traditions and cultures. This heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, has produced an industry viable for the long term since the companies involved are committed to respecting the by-laws of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The European Confederation of Linen and Hemp is the only European agro-industrial organization federating all the stages of production and transformation for linen & hemp. It is the privileged spokesperson for 10,000 European companies and oversees the fiber's development from plant to finished product.
Created in 1951, the CELC incites reflection, market analyses, industry concentration and strategic orientations. With its 'CELC Masters of Linen' promotional platform, the confederation creates an ideal competitive environment for industry companies. Its actions, inscribed in an international context, stimulate innovation and rely on the value of these natural fibers with their proven environmental qualities.
“Until 2010, European linen fiber was 100% supported financially by its 10,000 members from 14 countries. In order to enhance our action plan and to launch new tools, especially for the retail and schools, we needed a complementary budget. With the support of the European Union and France, the 'Be Linen' program has now been launched for three years with a global budget of €3.3 million”, informed, Ms Marie-Emmanuelle Belzung, CELC General Secretary - Masters of Linen, exclusively to fibre2fashion.
Informing about the properties of the fiber, Ms Belzung said, “Linen is a 360 degree fiber which can be used all year long and not only during summer; is easy to care; is a sustainable fibre; is innovative and creative with “outdoor” and “knitting” for example and last but not the least linen is our future”,she concluded by saying.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India