In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Times, the head of the Israeli textile industry, John Robert Bankshaw, described the shift from the 1970s as “the biggest shift that has been made by the Israeli industry” and explained that the transition was largely driven by the new market realities.
“Today, you have people like China, India, Brazil, Australia, South Korea, and now even the U.S., which has a huge textile market, and these are the big markets, and this is the one where the industry was very reliant on the old model,” he said.
“We had a very big investment in our facilities in the United States and other countries, and then the world shifted away from that, and we were very much reliant on this old model.
So we needed a new model, a new technology that would enable us to survive in the new world, and so we adopted a very advanced technology.”
Bankshaw said that as the textile industry shifted to China, where the Chinese market was much bigger than Israel’s, the companies realized they could “do it more cheaply, and also have a bigger impact on the world, than the Israel industry could do it.”
“We were able to do this much faster than they could because we could afford to invest in these plants, because we had these high standards,” Bankshaw told the Times.
“And we are still able to invest because of the technology that we have.”
Bankshare, who is also a senior partner at a global textile business advisory firm, said that the company is focusing on China in order to have the best possible experience for its customers, both in terms of product quality and labor standards.
“The key is to be flexible and not let the market dictate,” Bankshare said.
The textile industry’s transition from an “old” model to a “new” one is driven by its increasing need to compete with the global textile industry.
“There is an increase in the demand for garments in developing countries, because of poverty, and the growing number of poor people,” Banksha explained.
“So, there are very different ways that we can compete, because different countries need different products.
And so, we have to take into account different markets, because a lot of products are made in different countries.”
Banksha also noted that it is not only the Israeli market that has changed.
“It’s the world market, too.
If you look at the countries that are importing the Israeli products, you see that there is a huge shift.
There are so many different countries, the number of countries that use Israeli fabrics has grown from just five to 10, and there are now a lot more people who have a global experience with it.
So, that is what has made the transition so much easier,” Bankshi said.
In the United Arab Emirates, for example, textile factories now employ more than 2,500 people, while the number is closer to 100, Bankshaw noted.
“You have to understand the difference between the manufacturing process and the manufacturing, and that is that there are different ways to produce garments, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
We are doing the best that we could with the knowledge that we had at the beginning, but also the need for the technology,” Bankshaw said.