2023, it could be the worst economic year in 3 decades, thanks in part tot the energy crisis. Is there a sense of uncertainty across the business community? Of course. Is there restraint in our solar shading industry? Certainly. Particularly bleak prospects are forcing consumers to consciously choose sustainable and energy-saving products. And let that be precisely what roller shutters, screens and blinds naturally possess. That sounds like a bright spot, right? 

When you open a magazine or browse a trade website, you can't look past them: advertisements and reports highlighting the sustainability and energy-saving role of shading products. We all focus on these same aspects of our products, and completely rightly so if you ask me. In turbulent economic waters, the DNA of our products is our lifeline. We can offer what every family is looking for: with screens or roller shutters, we offer the solution to save on energy bills. At BUILDING SHUTTERS, we are therefore convinced that we are in a good and healthy sector. Of course we do not expect a record year, but we are happy to settle for some form of stability.

What I'm telling you is not all smoke and mirrors. In times of crisis, consumers are more careful with their decisions. Their investments must still pay of in the long term. Comfort, security and privacy may be nice, but in time like these it's money that really counts. Roller shutters keep the heat in during winter and out during summer. Exterior blinds can block up to 40 percent more heat than curtains. Extra cooling, such as air conditioning, becomes unnecessary when the sun is kept out. And that can reduce energy bills by up to 10%. That's what really counts.

And while we ourselves highlight the advantages of outdoor shading, we should alsof eel supported in this by the professional associations of the solar shading industry. They are knocking on doors and pushing for appropriate regulations against overheating in buildings. They are pushing for laws and premiums that will make outdoor solar shading the norm. ES-SO (European Solar Shading Organisation), is even launching the 1st Global Shading Day. On 21 March, the start of spring, we in Europe will reflect on the benefits that solar shading has to offer. That annual Global Shading Day will be a beautiful umbrella that every solar shading company can capitalise on. An initiative that will only raise awareness of outdoor solar shading. 

2023, we will have to wait and see... But there are bright spots on the horizon. And not better sector than ours to look at things from the bright side.

Femke Desmet,