Initial situation in the textile and clothing industry
In Germany, the textile and clothing industry is still an important industrial sector. Approximately 415,000 people are employed within 1,400 companies. € 32 billion in sales volume are generated. The research and development activities of the industry are significantly influenced by 16 textile research institutes, applied colleges and universities throughout the country.
Approximately 2,000 students are currently studying at the Department of Textiles and Clothing at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences. This makes the university in Mönchengladbach one of the leading training institutions for young academics in Europe in this sector. Aachen is home to the Institute for Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University. It isanother focal point for top textile research within the region.
The history of the textile and clothing industry in the preceding decades was characterized above all by a variety of structural upheavals. This can be exemplified by the city of Mönchengladbach. Its growth into a major city at the beginning of industrialization is just as closely linked to the textile industry as upheavals in urban development and the associated crises since the 1960s. Nevertheless, The economy structure of Mönchengladbach is still characterized by numerous textile machine manufacturers, producers of technical textiles and clothing manufacturers.
The next structural upheavals for the industry have long been on the horizon. Immense challenges for the industry are caused by the extended digitalization with the topics of artificial intelligence, robotization or cyber security as well as the ecologization of production towards zero emissions.