Nov 4, 2010
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Be Linen: three years to revolutionise linen's image

Nov 4, 2010

Supported by the European Union and the French state, the CELC Masters of Linen (The European Confederation of Linen and Hemp) is launching a promotional campaign to boost linen’s image. Focusing on Italy, France and Belgium, this operation will show off the local origins of the fibre, its ecological and innovative nature.

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Be Linen film

Today’s ambition is summed up in a fifteen minute film about the process of the life of linen, from its manufacturing to its end use, for professionals. Both a film, produced as apart of an online communications strategy, a map of linen in Europe, a catalogue of public exhibitions and two books: "Lin & maille" (Linen & wool) and "Lin & art de vivre” (Linen & the art of living").

Not to mention the introduction of a training scheme to teach students and retailers and how to properly use and sell linen. CELC is also planning public exhibitions, such as the one conducted this summer at the Palais Royal (Paris 1st). In addition, a strong presence at trade shows is expected; the association is particularly preparing a few surprises for its stand at the next Premiere Vision.

Support of the European Union and France

The European Union is funding 50% of this operation, alongside a 20% investment by France, the remainder is being directly invested in by CELC. In total, a budget of 3.3 million Euros is earmarked for this campaign which will initially be aimed towards professionals, before going to the public in its last year. Everything was presented to industry professionals at the 61st annual industry event, held last week in Barcelona. A launch is important, so Europe and France have deployed Michele Ottati, Head of promotion for EU agricultural units and Louveau Olivier, Head of the French Ministry of Agriculture.

"Linen gives supports no less than 12,000 direct jobs and 8,000 indirect jobs across 7,500 farms," he said. "It's five times more than wheat manufacturing. But linen weighs just 0.4% of the materials used in the clothing. It's a real mission for France to consider that no small-scale production or small market exists." "Linen represents what we (N.B.: the EU) want to see: it promotes the unique characteristics of local products," explains Michele Ottati. "Linen represents what will be in the new Common Agricultural Policy in 2013".

Linen as an ambassador for Europe

With 92,402 acres of farms and 123,334 tons of fibre produced each year, Europe is the source of 65 to 70% of the world production of scotched linen. 90% aimed at textile, 60% doted to clothing, this industry is worth 225 million Euros. "I always dream that linen should be an international ambassador of Europe," said Frederic Douchy, president of the CELC. "That's why our film highlights the excitement present at each stage of production, within the 10,000 firms that officiate it in this field.

"Let the Europeans know that linen does not come from China; that linen is of high quality, it is beautiful; that linen is not necessarily crumpled, but has many facades”, Marie-Emmanuelle Belzung concludes, CELC ‘s general secretary, for whom this historic campaign has to overcome this major challenge outlined.

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