The 6th Mediterranean Textile Forum focuses on sustainability and digitalisation

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The first part of the 6th Mediterranean Textile Forum (MediTex), the main textile forum in the Mediterranean, was held online on February 17 to highlight the importance of design and branding in the Mediterranean fashion industry with a special focus on the post-COVID-19 era. Organised by the Izmir Chamber of Commerce (Turkey), in collaboration with ASCAME, MediTex 2021 was a success, as it had both relevant speakers on the Mediterranean textile scene, as well as a large number of participants.

The textile sector has always been one of the fundamental pillars of the Mediterranean economy and, unfortunately, it has also been one of the most affected by the pandemic. For this reason, unparalleled speakers from the public and private sector met virtually in the most important forum of the textile industry in the region to highlight the relevance of branding and design for its recovery, and explain how their countries, companies and organisations are adapting to the new times.

The event addressed key issues for the future of the Mediterranean textile sector. All the speakers spoke about how the fashion industry should be directed towards good practices in the production of clothing, sustainability, the so-called slow fashion, zero waste and the improvement of traceability. On the other hand, the relevance of the digitisation of the sector, the weight of logistics and transport after COVID-19 and the need to streamline processes was emphasised.

Another topic of discussion was the change experienced by the consumer, who is now more demanding, the figure of influencers and the social role of brands. In addition, the importance of the Turkish textile sector in the international sphere, especially the wedding sector, was also discussed.

MediTex, moderated by Prof. Dr. Ender Yazgan Bulgun, İzmir University of Economics, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, began with an opening session by Mr. Mahmut Özgener, President of the İzmir Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Omar Moro, Vice-President of ASCAME and President of the Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceima Chamber of Commerce, and HE Valerio Giorgio, Consul of Italy in Izmir.

The first of the sessions, called 'National Vision', was attended by speakers such as Mr. Jak Eskinazi, President of the Aegean Exporters' Associations, Mr. Abdullah Salkım, Board Member of the İzmir Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Arzu Kaprol, Fashion Designer, and Ms. Melis Vekiloğlu, General Manager of SUN Textile.

The second session, entitled 'Mediterranean and International Vision', also had a wide range of top-level speakers: Mr. Emre Kızılgüneşler, Vice President of the İzmir Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Marco Temponi, Chief Executive Officer Calzedonia Group Turkey , Mr. İdris Onay, Benetton Vice Chairman & General Manager of Turkey & MEA, Ms. Şahika Yörükoğlu Aşkıner, Vice President of the Izmir Italian Chamber of Commerce, Founder of Özsimge Tekstil Ltd, Aegean Exporters Union, Mr. Nicola Guerini, General Director of Milano Fashion Institute, Ms. Jeanine Ballone, Fashion 4 Developments Managing Director, and Mr. Jacob Adrian, Founder and CEO of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC).

The second part of the Mediterranean textile Forum will take place in October 2021 focusing on digitalisation of textile sector and textile 4.0, building circularity in fashion industry and importance of regional cooperation for long-term growth.

Events such as MediTex will undoubtedly help the Mediterranean region to return to the center of the international scene as a closer investment opportunity and with greater possibilities for development than other areas of the world. A stronger, more modern and competitive Mediterranean textile sector will help the economies of the region recover.

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