Swiss sustainable textiles initiative: market actors and federal government develop joint solutions

Textiles are ubiquitous in our daily lives, from clothing and household textiles to technological solutions in a wide array of applications, such as medicine, mobility and architecture. The global textile industry is one of the most important and fast-growing economic sectors, but also poses huge social and environmental challenges as the majority of textile production is carried out abroad.  

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The federal government, represented by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), with the support of the industry association Swiss Textiles and the amfori Network Switzerland, is promoting exchange and efforts to develop a future-proof and sustainable textile value chain in Switzerland. The aim is to launch a broad-based and effective Swiss sustainable textiles initiative.

Project management of the initiative: 

amfori  Pierre Strub
Swiss Textiles  Nina Bachmann
SECO  Christian Robin
FOEN  Josef Känzig

Key questions of the Swiss sustainable textiles initiative

“What do trends like fast fashion, digitisation and individualisation, the use of robots in manufacturing, water and resource scarcity, and ongoing social challenges mean for textile value chains?”

“What would a sustainable, resource-saving textile industry of the future look like?”

Future lab: Sustainable textiles and clothing Switzerland

The first milestone was reached with the sustainable textiles and clothing Switzerland future lab, which was held on 22 March at the Hotel Sorell Zürichberg in Zurich. The event saw some 50 figures from throughout the textile value chain, mainly from industry, but also from the science community, NGOs and the public sector, discuss joint solutions for a future-proof and sustainable textile and clothing industry in Switzerland. A summary of the results of the one-day event can be found in the short report below.

Working groups for the cooperation of industry, the science community
and civil society

On the basis of the exchange and results of the future lab held on 22 March in Zurich, further work is currently being carried out in working groups in the areas of:

  • Basis & knowledge for decision-making (contact:
  • Transparency & standards (contact:
  • Awareness building & motivation (consumers, decision-makers) (contact:
  • Technology & innovation (contact:

The first meetings of these working groups are being organised planned and will take place between August and November of this year. You can find more information on the working groups in the short report below. If you would like further details, please get in touch with the contact persons listed.

Short report on the future lab held on 22.03.2018

Below you’ll find a short report (in German and English) on the kick-off event held on 22 March 2018 at the Hotel Sorell Zürichberg in Zurich: 

Further information

Last modification 25.03.2019

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