The global surge in energy prices is crimping Europe’s clothing industry, says The Wall Street Journal. Natural-gas and electricity prices now make up 25% of production costs for the continent’s textile makers, up from 5% before Russia invaded Ukraine and reduced gas flows to Europe.
The costs are cutting into profits at spinners, weavers and fabric dyers in countries including Italy. The clothing makers are fearful of raising their own prices in case it pushes customers such as H&M and Zara to suppliers outside the European Union.
Some brands are already looking to cheaper suppliers elsewhere, including countries such as Turkey that still receive energy from Russia. Germany and France are softening the blow for businesses by subsidizing caps on energy costs. But fabric makers worry that if gas needs to be rationed this winter, their industry could be left in the cold.
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