Barcelona Treball - Textile industry
The sector The textile industry is made up of a series of inter-related processes, whose purpose is to create different products for clothing and industry. The industry includes whole process from obtaining primary materials to distributing the end-product to consumers and, traditionally, has been characterised by weak demand, low technology content and a labour-intensive production process. The industry has evolved over years of restructuring and witnessed the reorientation of its activities, the most important aspects of which are: the transformation of the commercial structure; product diversification; continuous changes in materials; and the optimisation of distribution and logistics.
Main areas of activity The textile industry includes a wide range of activities, from production of fibres and items of clothing, to distribution of the end-product to the consumer. The complete textile cycle is made up of the production of natural and man-made fibres, the traditional textile industries (spinning, weaving and finishing textiles), and the clothing industry. The market is split between three broad groups of products: clothing (approximately 50% of total consumption), textiles for the home and decoration (30%), and textiles for technical or industrial use (20%).
Trends All areas of the industry, especially garment making, have been affected by increased competition from emerging countries whose competitiveness is based on low labour costs. However, seems that Catalan fashion brands and European in general are realizing that producing abroad is not as cheap as before, and confirm that there is a tendency to return production closer. It is basically a matter of costs, but companies are noting the great potential and added value of having a product made in Europe. Another factor of great importance to the industry is the progressive concentration of commercial distribution and its commitment to international marketing and supply policies.
Economic importance In Catalonia, the activity of the textile and clothing industry slowed during 2011, reflecting the deterioration in the economic environment. Production fell -0.7%, however, the sector still holds a prominent weight in the Catalan economy, accounting for 4,4% of Gross Value Added (GVA) and 7,3% of the employment of Catalan industry. Employment In the industry there is a large number of small businesses, 2.900 existing companies in 2011, and 90% employ less than 5 people. The restructuring of the sector had effects on companies size, the largest companies had been more affected by this restructuring, which resulted in a reduction in the size of the business sector; so textile companies with more than 50 employees represented 5% in 2000, while currently do not reach 3%.