Raw Materials


Opportunities for the EU cotton textile industry in international competition

© 2022 Bremen Cotton Exchange
The Bremen Cotton Exchange and the Fibre Institute Bremen e.V. invites people to the 36th International Cotton Conference Bremen on 29 and 30 September. Under the motto "Cotton Decoded", conference participants will be offered an ambitious programme with up-to-date lectures and lively discussions, both on site in Bremen and via an online conference platform. The day's events will be rounded off by an exciting evening program.

Antonios Siarkos © 2022 Bremen Cotton Exchange
Antonios Siarkos © 2022 Bremen Cotton Exchange

Premiere: EU cotton textile industry in focus

A special feature: On Friday 29 September, the conference will highlight the high- quality cotton production within the European Union in the network and the downstream, highly specialised textile and clothing industry, under the headline ‘Region in Focus’. “The three-part session will show and discuss opportunities for stronger positioning and assertiveness in international competition” explains Axel Drieling (FIBRE e.V.) from the conference planning team.

The countries of the European Union, such as Greece and Spain, are among the largest cotton exporters in the world. Europe is the world's second largest importer of textiles and clothing. This includes the raw material cotton with a share of around 50 percent, only a small part of which comes from Europe. In addition, Europe is one of the world's leading suppliers of innovative technical textiles, for example in the health sector, automotive engineering or interior design. Here, too, natural fibres such as cotton are increasingly being used as renewable raw materials and, because of their biodegradability, as part of the drive towards a circular economy.

The first part of the session will not only present the cotton textile industry in facts and figures, but also discuss its strengths and weaknesses. The predominant market structures within the framework of EU agricultural policy will be made transparent.

This will be followed by a discussion about new possibilities in the EU textile chain, embedded in the European Commission’s strategy to build a resource-saving circular economy. The background here is changing consumer behaviour towards sustainably manufactured textiles. The aim is to make it clear what the competitive advantages of the EU textile chain are against this background, with which the demanding wishes of European consumers can be satisfied more quickly and flexibly. This could result in opportunities for the development of locally or regionally structured value chains.

Last but not least, the 'EU cotton' initiative of the European Cotton Alliance, an association of European cotton organizations, will be presented. It enables European cotton farmers and their affiliated companies to provide their cotton with an EU cotton label, which can also be found in processed cotton textile products. The associated licensing program could make market- oriented textile production in Europe more lucrative through transparency and traceability.

Additional highlights of the anniversary week

This year’s International Cotton Conference takes place in a year of celebration for the Bremen Cotton Exchange. The association was founded in 1872 and is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The event is therefore embedded in an entire anniversary week.

The first association and working group meetings will take place in Bremen on 27 and 28 September. These include the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative (DNFI), the Industry Association for Finishing - Yarns - Fabrics - Technical Textiles (IVGT), the ICAC Task Force on Commercial Standardisation of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC), a spinning mill and textile seminar given by the Fibre Institute, Cotton Exchange, IVGT and ITMF, and an ICA Bremen Board Meeting. A further highlight is certainly the meeting of the ICAC's Social, Environmental and Economic Performance of Cotton Production (SEEP) expert working group.

Bremen Cotton Night

On the evening of 29 September, the Bremen Cotton Exchange and the Fibre Institute Bremen invite participants to the popular and well-known Bremen Cotton Night. This year, the event is all about the 150th anniversary of the Bremen Cotton Exchange and is taking place in the Bremen Übersee-Museum (Overseas Museum) for a good reason: At the same time, the gates will open to an attractive exhibition on the cultural history of cotton. Conference participants can celebrate in the large atrium of the museum and also take a guided tour of the exhibition. With good music and good food, it will finally be possible to spin personal networks again and at the same time review the multifaceted world of cotton in an exquisite exhibition.


This year’s conference is not taking place in the historic town hall of the Hanseatic City of Bremen, but at the Bremen Chamber of Commerce in the immediate vicinity of the Cotton Exchange. The Chamber of Commerce has represented the interests of Bremen's trade since 1451 and is closely connected to the Bremen Cotton Exchange.

Early-bird registration until 31 August

Registration for the International Cotton Conference has already started and can be made at any time on the conference website www.cotton-conference-bremen.de, where you will also find regularly updated information about the conference.

We will continue to provide information about the International Cotton Conference on 29 and 30 September and the complete programme of the Cotton Week in the form of further press releases and target group-specific newsletters, as well as via our social media channels.

Of course, we cordially invite all interested media representatives to visit the 36th International Cotton Conference. We are happy to support you with accreditation or the selection of suitable discussion and interview partners. We look forward to any form of reporting in the run-up to the conference. We are available for further questions and interviews.

Images from this press release may be used for reporting provided the source is acknowledged.

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