The fashion industry has been known to tear down anything that might stand in its way. Ripe for a change, the conversation at the New York fabric fairs last week centered on sustainability and that message carried on throughout the convention including Texworld USA and Functional Fabric Fair which ran for three days at the Javits Center.
Making responsible textiles a priority, Messe Frankfurt’s Texworld introduced Fashionsustain, a one-day conference boosting the voices of those rolling up their sleeves in an effort to make a difference in the industry's carbon footprint. “Everyone has a dirty supply chain,” said Karen Newman of the United Nations in the discussion panel of Transparency & Traceability, while the host of the panel Maggie Kervick went on to explain that brands and their manufacturing stories “are being told whether you like it or not.” Juliette Barre introduced Source Map, a platform for corporations to create deeper relationships between producers and their supply chain. It’s worth noting that VF brands Timberland, Vans and Jansport have since publicized their Source Map Chains. Leslie Ferrick, Athleta’s senior manager of fabric and sourcing, shared that its sustainable materials have seen a jump from “30% to 80% increase within the last three years,” proving that the sustainable initiative may not be so fleeting.
Attendees were given insight on the trends for autumn/ winter 2020 presented by Louis Gèrin and Grégory Lamaud. The season according to Gèrin and Lamaud will consist of explosive mixed themes including Apocalyptic Fascination and Immemorial Spell; a new world concept where red heat collides with aqua blue cold colors. Synthetic Dazzle and Astral Ecstasy showcased a mystical palette of matte and shiny metallics. Collectively the inspiration represents a balance of the end, and a new beginning. A world fighting against its past, while simultaneously pushing towards its future.
Concluding the show’s three-day run, Mozartex Co. offered an array of eco-friendly and Tencel organic denim. Nancheng Industrial fabrics showed soft-to-the-touch Baby cotton twill from Fuji, China. Camouflage prints and metallics hung at DH Innovative and Pursue. The busiest aisles of the massive show were those occupied by the discussion panels, and conversation booths such as Helpsy and Global Fashion Exchange (GFX), where designers and trend forecasters discussed recycled apparel and clothing swap events.
Functional Fabric Fair
For a more intimate approach, the Functional Fabric Fair housed a broad arrange of Made in USA and performance fabrics. Companies proved to do more with recycled materials and organic cotton standard (OCS).
More than “25% of the business” at Texollini has derived from recycled polyester and nylon says director of merchandising Sherry Wood. “Everyone wants recycled materials and Made in the USA product but it all comes down to cost.” Specializing in Lycra fabrics, Woods explains that “customers are looking to tell a story to their consumers, so we’re looking to expand our recycled materials.”
Waterproof wash waxed was offered at Halley Stevensons, a Scotland-based brand that specializes in products that are made to last. “We’re not interested in fast fashion,” says James Campbell, the company's managing director. “Buyers want to know the process of our wax; we use a natural petroleum for a non-breakable finish and a two of one die ratio.” Baltic Works also offers a long lasting Organic Cotton Standard that last 14 to 15 years.
Standout booth Arktis Endurance offered polyurethane and cotton ribstock in contemporary camo prints designed inside the company’s ArkAir military autumn/ winter 2019 collection featuring a waterproof smock and parka shown in a shadow cam.
In short, both shows proved that once you get over the fact that you have to change, there is a newness to be found in even the smallest steps towards that goal.