Who we are?

The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp was born of the collective will of women and men committed to building and promoting a European industry of excellence, from field to finished product, from producer to consumer.

Developing European Flax-Linen sector excellence

The Alliance, an international reference organisation

An association governed by the law of 1901, the organisation has brought together stakeholders and all stages of the European flax and hemp production and value chains for over 70 years. The embodiment of solidarity from an ambitious sector in a globalised market, it encourages dialogue with the European public authorities and helps create a competitive business environment. 

The Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp has three missions:

  1. To inform members, industry, brands and consumers
  2. To support and defend the European ecosystem and expertise
  3. Promote European Flax and Hemp as preferred sustainable premium fibres, globally

What is the Alliance?

  • Committed women and men.
  • A unified industry of excellence that brings together the entire value chain, from upstream to downstream, from the farmer to the textile industry.
  • An ecosystem open to all European flax and hemp stakeholders.
  • Modern governance with a voluntary Board of Directors made up of heads of businesses working across all stages of the European production process.
  • A European approach to challenges based on cooperation with national organisations in the sector.
  • A multidisciplinary team made up of both specialists and generalists. 

A place for reflection, analysis, cooperation and strategic direction, the Alliance brings together over 10,000 businesses in 16 European countries around the values of teamwork, innovation, scientific validation and respect for people and planet. It initiates and organises economic studies and research on the remarkable environmental properties of its fibres in order to be able to provide all of its interlocutors with proven economic data, accurate environmental information and reliable scientific evidence. It strives to increase the international visibility of its fibres, whose technical and environmental properties inspire global creation and open up new opportunities for industrial innovation. 

The Alliance guarantees the traceability of flax fibre through its two certifications: 

European Flax™ logo

European Flax™ (created in 2012)

Traceability guarantee for premium flax fibre grown in Western Europe.

Learn more about European Flax™ certification

Masters of Linen™ logo

Masters of Linen™ (created in 1993)

Traceability guarantee for flax processed by European businesses at the Europeans and Euromed1 locations.

Learn more about Masters of Linen™ certification

The values of the Alliance

All of the Alliance’s work is based on four strong values shared by all members. They express the guiding principles for our work today and help direct our future ambitions. 

alliance value - be united

Working together by drawing on the diversity of the
members of the Alliance, united by their joint passion for
sharing knowledge and supporting each link in the value
chain in the spirit of collaboration.

Alliance value - connect tradition and innovation

Connecting tradition and innovation, placing innovation at
the heart of operations by transferring and deepening knowledge and expertise.

alliance value - radiate respect

Cultivating respect while committing to respect people
and the planet in all our actions.

alliance value - remain proof obsession

Maintaining our obsession with evidence and continuing
to build on existing scientific proof.

The strategic ambition of the Alliance

“We clearly state our ambition: to make European flax and hemp the preferred premium sustainable fibres around the world. To achieve this, our strategic trajectory focuses on three pillars: growing our ecosystem; becoming an innovative, creative and sustainable international reference; and, finally, guaranteeing quality and embodying desirability. Today, European flax and hemp are in line with modern expectations.”

Bart Depourcq, President of the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp

In keeping with today’s expectations for respecting both people and the planet, the Alliance for European Flax-Linen & Hemp continues to strengthen its economic role. In a globalised context, it is creating conditions that are favourable for all players in the value chain and is steering a collective strategy of key actions to grow the European Flax and Hemp ecosystem, anticipate market demand, and identify new opportunities for growth. 

The strategic trajectory of the Alliance focuses on 3 key pillars:

  1. Cultivate and grow a virtuous and united ecosystem at the service of European flax and hemp
  2. Make the Alliance the innovative, creative and sustainable international reference
  3. Guaranteeing quality and embodying desirability

Global perspective and challenges for reindustrialisation

In order to nurture and grow a virtuous and supportive ecosystem at the service of European flax and hemp, the Alliance conducted a collective study on flax fibre and linen textile (carried out with Kéa Partners in collaboration with Institut Français de la Mode with the support of region Normandie ) which made it possible to conduct further analysis while including all players in the ecosystem, including institutions and brands, and to outline five priority issues:  

2 issues related to Agriculture and Fibres:

A challenge at the agricultural and fibre level Producing better to address climate challenges and anticipate demand for fibres. This priority requires efforts in three key areas.

  • Produce better to address climate challenges by strengthening agronomic R&D and innovation while continuing to lower inputs for a more efficient agricultural technical itinerary that also conserves biodiversity.
  • Produce more to anticipate demand for fibres: 
    • Easing some of the pressure on supply by increasing production capacity, creating innovations in scutching and studying ways of expanding production areas.
    • Supporting the development of a European textile hemp sector while respecting the current hemp sector and current markets.

1 issue related to fibres and spinning:

Define and develop a common reference for describing fibre quality, which complements existing sensory references thanks to R&D in optical imaging. This work is being performed jointly by European scutchers and spinners as part of a working group.

1 challenge for spinners in France and Europe:

Create a competitive local industrial advantage through R&D investments to reduce production costs by working with local machine manufacturers. These investments will help to promote the creation of businesses with higher production capacity and to become a sourcing reference for premium and luxury brands.

1 sector-wide issue:

Create a dedicated framework for brands to enhance dialogue between links in the flax value chain. This dialogue will cover issues related to fibre traceability and anticipating supply, and it should also measure the evolution of linen in collections.

Our team

The Alliance member network is supported and led on a daily basis by a team of multidisciplinary experts with the goal of addressing industry challenges in an interconnected, constantly changing world. The Alliance team is organised into four hubs of expertise that have the relevant information and networks to meet the demands of all internal and external stakeholders.

Upstream agricultural organisations culture and production of flax-linen fibres and co-products

Cipalin logo

3 French organisations representing producers and 1st processors (scutching)

AGPL logo
USRTL logo
Festal logo

1 Belgian organisation

Algemeen Belgisch Vlasverbond logo

Strategic partner

Fashion Intelligence GGHQ

Gill Gledhill, founder of GGHQ, partner of European Flax and Hemp Alliance for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Contact: gill.gledhill@gghq.co.uk

Training partner

Elementi Moda logo

Ornella Bignami, founder of Elementi Moda, partner of the European Flax and Hemp Alliance for school training in Italy.
Contact : el.moda@elementimoda.it

Learn more about Alliance