Election of TEGEWA Board 2024-2026

On June 7th, the association’s general meeting took place in Aachen. In addition to intensive exchange and fruitful discussions within the specialist groups and during the general meeting itself, the regular election of the board for 2024 – 2026, as well as the treasurer and auditors, was on the agenda.

The composition of the board is as follows:

The new chairman of the association is Mark Dohmen, Archroma. The deputy chairpersons are Birgit Holz, CHT, and Soeren Hildebrandt, BASF. The treasurer of the association is Ben Jones, Sasol.

The other board members:

Holger Bender, Pulcra
Karl-Ludwig Gibis, Clariant
Wolfgang Goertz, Evonik
Felix Grimm, Zschimmer & Schwarz
Joachim Henkmann, Stahl
Florian Krückl, Kolb
Kristina Platkowski, Schill + Seilacher
Dietrich Tegtmeyer, TFL

As auditors were confirmed:

Michael Fleig, Sinarmas CEPSA
Friedrich Petry, Dr. Petry Textilchemie


© Katrin Heyer

from left to right: Florian Krückl, Karl-Ludwig Gibis, Wolfgang Goertz, Birgit Holz, Ralf Kattanek (Managing Director TEGEWA), Ben Jones, Holger Bender, Soeren Hildebrandt, Felix Grimm, Dietrich Tegtmeyer, Mark Dohmen, Joachim Henkmann (Missing: Kristina Platkowski)

TEGEWA for open-mindedness and tolerance

The association TEGEWA operates with member companies in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, among other countries. It maintains close and friendly connections with associations, institutions, and colleagues across Europe and even globally. The association is an industry organization that doesn’t just preach tolerance and openness but has been living these values for decades. Our committee members have roots in Europe, Africa, America, or the Asian continent. What matters is their expertise, the excellent personal exchange, collegial interaction, and mutual trust.

Despite valid criticism of individual European (chemical) legislation and legislative processes, we appreciate the European Union and the removal of trade barriers, free trade, and the security that common EU legislation provides. We recognize the challenges that the United Kingdom faces after Brexit and consider a “Dexit” not only as an alternative but also as the greatest imaginable harm to Germany.

And despite (economic and political) criticism of current German legislation, we are grateful for the democratic system in which we live. We appreciate living in a country whose government, out of necessity, seeks solutions to migration issues while being aware that we urgently need foreign skilled workers to address demographic and industrial challenges today and tomorrow. Large parts of the industrial sectors we represent are significantly affected by the shortage of skilled workers.

The association aligns with the statements of numerous business associations that view a Europe- and foreigner-hostile party as destructive. Both economically and socially, we reject such “alternatives” for Germany – even though we consider ourselves independent and impartial, a stance we’ve maintained since our founding in 1951. 

We would like to point out in this context the tenth European election, which will take place on June 9, 2024, and whose results will also have an impact on our country: every vote for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law counts!

Change in TEGEWA Management

Frankfurt, July 2023

The TEGEWA office in Frankfurt is headed by Mr Ralf Kattanek by 1 July 2023.

Dr Alex Föller, who has been General Secretary since 2001, is thus handing over to an industry expert who – once active in the Association as a representative of a member company himself – is very familiar with both the Association’s workflows and the needs and necessities of companies in the chemical industry.

When Dr Föller took over the management of the association in 2001, it coincided with the publication of the White Paper “Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy” – the birth of today’s European chemicals legislation REACH.

Advocating for science-based and viable legislation thus became one of the main tasks of the new TEGEWA Managing Director.

In a way, handing over to his successor at a time when the current REACH text is being revised closes the circle:

Ralf Kattanek looks back on many years of experience in the textile industry. He started his career in fine chemicals and then in the textile dye division of BASF AG. When this division was sold, he joined DyStar to lead the textile business in the EMEA region. Mr Kattanek gained international experience as Managing Director for DyStar in Turkey and for CHT in Switzerland. Most recently, he served as CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) for the CHT Group, having spent many years building and leading the global textile chemicals business.

For many years, Mr Kattanek supported TEGEWA’s activities both in the Working Group Textile Auxiliaries and Dyes and on the TEGEWA Board of Directors and played a key significant role in their further development. As a result, he got to know the processes and the team very well.

“I am looking forward to the new task, which offers great challenges with, among other things, the further development of the Strategy, internationalisation and the implementation of the European Union’s Green Deal. I can rely on a very experienced team with a high level of expertise. Furthermore, I am very pleased that Dr Alex Föller will continue to support the association for a while yet with his many years of know-how, e.g., on technical issues in the field of surfactants.”

TEGEWA association is a trade association of the German chemical industry. It represents the interests of currently 104 member companies that produce chemicals for industrial use. These include, for example, products for the manufacture of paper, textiles or leather goods, but also raw materials for the cosmetics and detergent industry.

CESIO Lifetime Award for Dr Föller

CESIO Lifetime Award for Dr Föller

At the closing ceremony of the 12th CESIO World Surfactant Congress in Rome, Dr. Föller, who has been instrumental in shaping the content and organisation of the CESIO Congress for many years, was presented with the CESIO Lifetime Award.

In his laudatory speech, CESIO President Tony Gough (Innospec) highlighted Dr Föller’s extensive knowledge of surfactants from a technical, commercial and regulatory perspective.

On the CESIO Executive Committee, he represented TEGEWA’s interests as a national association. The list of CESIO congresses in which he participated in the organising and programme committees is impressive: Florence 2000, Berlin 2004, Paris 2008, Vienna 2011, Barcelona 2013, Istanbul 2015, Munich 2019. This year’s congress in Rome was the second one he shaped as chair of the programme committee – and also the last one he actively contributed to.

The Lifetime Award was the big final of 23 years of CESIO Congress.

First General Assembly of new European Association EUCTL

(Frankfurt, 16-11-2021)

On February 10th, 2021, the first General Assembly of the European Association EUCTL (European Chemistry for Textile and Leather) was held – due to the pandemic situation in form of a virtual conference. EUCTL had been founded in 2020 by TEGEWA and the Italian Chemical Industry Association Federchimica and shall help to achieve better – and earlier – involvement in European legislation processes.

This first General Assembly also comprised the election of Board and Chair Persons. Due to restructuring processes in the membership, the board was forced to make use of its right on cooptation and to determine Dr. Wolfgang Schumann, Rudolf, as successor to the first elected president, Ralf Kattanek. Dr. Filippo Pampagnin, Bozzetto, holds the position as Vice President. Further Board members are :

Roberto Ghioldi,  E.R.C.A. S.P.A.
Dr. Giuseppe Li Bassi,  Lamberti S.P.A.
Dr. Benoit Moutault, CHT Germany GmbH
Marc Smit,  Smit & Zoon B.V.


The European Commission’s Chemicals Strategy even outshines REACH

Frankfurt, October 15, 2020

On October 14th, the EU Commission published its “Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic-Free Environment”. This strategy – which is meant to be implemented within the next four years, according to the Commission’s intentions – is posing extremely ambitious challenges to chemical industry. Whereas the strategy seems to be at least unrealistic in view of the temporal context, the content-related requirements are even more than ambitious. The member companies of TEGEWA and the management staff of the association itself consider the challenges as bigger than those of the European Chemicals legislation REACH, which came into force in 2007.

The protection of both the environment and human health is a self-evident goal of the association TEGEWA and its member companies. REACH, which is being implemented with all our strength right from the start, is offering all kind of possibilities to identify and regulate harmful or “problematic” substances. How far a „chemicals strategy for sustainability“ with focus on „a toxic-free environment“ can offer a certain added value, is not visible to the association TEGEWA at this point of time.

In close cooperation with the umbrella organisation VCI, the European associations as well as the respective industrial customer’s associations, TEGEWA will accompany the strategy process on all levels and raise the voice of its member companies.

TEGEWA welcomes the EU Commission‘s proposal to further minimize risks of skin allergies that may be caused by chemical substances – but criticises the chosen approach which is overshooting the mark.

Frankfurt, August 19,2020

First, there is – in general – a limited consumer risk from textile and leather articles. Secondly, the restriction proposal is demanding a restriction of all substances with a harmonised classification as „sensitiser“ – completely independent of their actual use in textile or leather production, and not considering whether allergies may be caused by them or not.

This would, in practice, not only lead to an enormous number of unnecessary testing and monitoring costs, because textile and leather articles would have to be tested for non-occurrence of regulated substances – which are not even used for the manufacture of these consumer articles. Many dyes (being used for many years, some of them for decades) would be banned, even though there is no indication that textiles which had been dyed with them have ever caused allergies. As an alternative, the association TEGEWA proposes to regulate well-known, strong sensitisers with individual limits and, by doing so, to focus on real relevance and exposure by those substances through textiles and leather – as successfully implemented in the “Restriction of CMR substances in textile articles and clothing for consumer use under REACH” of 2018.

In 2019, Sweden and France published a proposal to restrict sensitising substances in textiles and leather. Not only textile and leather industry themselves, but also the textile and leather auxiliaries industry as well as the dyestuff industry are affected by this proposed restriction. This had been the reason for the association to develop a joint position on this first restriction proposal with its member companies, the international organization representing the dye and pigment industries ETAD and various German and European textile and leather industry associations. The association’s comments on this proposal had been submitted at the first public consultation in December 2019. Following the common legislative process in the EU, the two ECHA committees RAC (Risk Assessment Committee) and SEAC (Socio-Economic Analysis Committee) discussed the submitted comments and developed their opinions.

SEAC’s „Draft Opinion“ had been subject to a further public consultation (deadline August 24th). Due to the high relevance and importance of this topic, TEGEWA developed and submitted (again in cooperation with the above mentioned associations) a further position regarding the SEAC draft opinion (see weblink of this post to ECHA’s website). Focus of this position was an extensive argumentation against the intended restriction of specific disperse and reactive dyes. For textiles that have been dyed with these substances there is no indication – neither from the view of market relevant dyes manufactures nor from the view of the associations ETAD and TEGEWA – of sensitising effects to consumers by leather or textile articles.

On the other hand, these dyes do have – for decades – such a huge market relevance, that a ban would imply incalculable consequences for the companies producing dyes; for the textile and leather dyeing companies as well as for the consumers who could not purchase numerous articles any more.

As an alternative, the association developed a process based on a list of substances which can in fact be present on textile and leather articles and may lead to allergies to consumer. This process is also comprising a course of action regarding a regular update of the substances concerned – after verification whether they are relevant or not.

Apart from these important dye classes the association TEGEWA also pointed out implications for the manufacture of leather and textile articles; among others flame retardant and non-iron finishing of textiles and tanning of leather. Furthermore, TEGEWA sees a high risk for the European textiles and leather producers, as especially the European industry will be affected by the restriction – whereas, in parallel, articles are imported from outside the EU with unclear quality and consumer exposure.

The association TEGEWA is doing its best to contribute to a regulation as reasonable and justifiable as possible which actually is helping to improve consumer safety.

Fluorochemistry – TEGEWA participates at Cross-Sectoral Information Session

Various European regulatory activities with regard to fluorochemistry – either implemented or still in development – show far-reaching consequences for the whole textile supply chain. That’s the reason for the contribution of TEGEWA to the comprehensive, web-based conference on July 23rd about „the Cascade of REACH Restrictions in Fluorochemistry“. The information session had been a joint project of the associations VTB (Verband der Bayerischen Textil- und Bekleidungsindustrie), Südwesttextil, textil + mode, VCI Bayern and TEGEWA and addressed a large-scale target audience at European level. Along with representatives of textile chemistry companies, from politics and authorities, especially representatives of customer’s industry joint the session in order to inform themselves about the current developments with regard to REACH legislation on fluorochemistry. This is, among others,

  • The restriction process on undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and fluorinated polymers that are used in textile industry (public consultation ends September 25th)
  • As well as the „Call for Evidence“ regarding an intended restriction of the whole fluorochemistry (PFAS) in the EU (public consultation ended July 20th).

The audience had been invited to make submissions to the public consultation on the restriction of PFHxA. Further information regarding the information session as well as the presented slides can be downloaded e.g. from the website of the VCI Bayern.

Moving towards Europe: TEGEWA and Italian chemicals association Federchimica are founding European association of manufacturers of textile and leather chemicals (EUCTL, European Chemistry for Textiles and Leather)

In order to accompany European and international issues even more efficiently, TEGEWA and Federchimica founded the association „European Chemistry for Textiles and Leather“ (EUCTL) on June 8th, 2020. The statutes which had been signed by the authorised representatives of both founding members will now have to be confirmed by the Belgian bodies.

This will take approximately three months – during this time, all necessary organisational preparations will be started to establish the new association as an active European body in Brussels in autumn 2020. TEGEWA and Federchimica hope to achieve better – and earlier – involvement by EUCTL in European legislation processes and to be able to actively accompany those in future.

Even if the two founding members are representing the major part of textile and leather chemical industry in the European Union, further organisations of additional EU countries are welcomed to join EUCTL. Strategical partnerships with additional, European or global acting organisations are imaginable as well.

Master’s Course “Sustainable Textiles” at Hof University

The TEGEWA Steering Group Textile Auxiliaries has established an endowment professorship for the master’s course „Sustainable Textiles“ at the Hof University/Abt. Muenchberg which started in summer term 2020 on April 20th (later than originally planned because of the current pandemic situation).

This English-taught, postgradual master’s Course is a dual one, meaning: In parallel with the course of study, a traineeship at a company (textile chemicals manufacturer) is obligatory.

The master’s course “Sustainable Textiles” is combining textile chemistry and sustainability in the textile supply chain in a unique way. By linking theory and practical applications the students are receiving the best possible preparation for a future career in this exciting and innovative professional field. To find more information just visit the university’s website!