SBS Forum on PPE and Textile Care 2021

October 04, 2021


SBS Forum 2021 on PPE and Textile Care

Standardising Circularity in the PPE sector – Digitalisation and Eco-design to support resilience in SMEs

20 October 2021, 10:00 – 13:00 CEST [Online event]





During last year, several activities and initiatives were designed on including circularity into PPE standardisation. At the EU level, two important initiatives, the Sustainable Products Initiative, and the Sustainable Textile Strategy have also addressed these issues such as Eco-design for PPE products and services and digitalisation of the sector.


With regard to digitalisation of the sector and in relation to circulatory, the Digital Product Passport initiative demonstrates the use of digitalisation and ICT standards in tracing PPE and Textile raw material to ensure transparency along the supply chain. For example, enabling technologies such as Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology can increase trust among the supply chain actors with accurate information regarding the source and quality of the raw materials and manufacturing processes. This would also ensure adherence to reusability, recyclability, and repairability requirements. Hence, ICT standards for the support of circularity can enable other sectors to achieve circularity goals in faster and efficient manner, as highlighted by the report on ICT Standardisation supporting Circular Economy.


Regarding eco-design, the aim should be to increase the number of usage cycles. This is possible with the help of the production of long-lasting, recyclable, and repairable products. Embedding eco-design aspects in product standards along the supply chain will therefore play a decisive role in sustainability. In order to achieve a circular economy for workwear, protective clothing or medical textiles for example, criteria and standards for a clear recognition of repairable and recyclable clothing should be available (similar to the EU energy labels). These standards would support the business models of SMEs and keep Europe much more resilient in pandemic times as well as in economic crisis and interruptions in international supply chains of linear products.





10.00-10.10       Welcome, Maitane Olabarria Uzquiano, Director, Small Business Standards


10.10-11.10       Session 1: Digitalisation of the PPE and Textile sector – insights from policy makers


Topics for discussion:

  • Requirements for sustainable digitalisation
  • The contribution of the Digital Product Passport to sustainable PPE and textile care sector
  • What are the advantages of a Product Digital Passport for PPE and textile care SMEs? Will the Digital Product passport support SMEs in their pursuit of becoming greener or become a burden?
  • How can standards support sustainable digitalisation of the sector?



  1. Laurens Hernalsteen, Project Manager – Standardization & Digital Solutions, CEN-CENELEC
  2. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, UNECE
  3. Andrea Caccia, SBS Expert & Member of the Task Force Rolling Plan of EC’s Multi Stakeholders Platform on ICT Standardisation


Moderator: Sebastiano Toffaletti, Secretary-General, SME Safety


11.10-11.30       Q&A


11.30-12.30       Session 2: Eco-design for textiles


Topics for discussion:

  • What does the textile services sector need to prolong the lifecycle of textiles?
  • How could eco-design for textiles look like in practice?
  • What instruments are feasible?
  • How would a directive for eco-design of textiles be implemented?



  1. PPE and Textile Services representative
  2. Mauro Scalia, Director Sustainable Businesses, EURATEX
  3. Valeria Botta, Programme Manager, ECOS
  4. Andrea Rechtsteiner, SBS expert

Moderator: Andreas Schumacher, Managing Director, DTV


12.30-12.50       Q&A

12.50-13.00       Closing remarks




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