Milano Unica concluded its latest edition (held 10-12 July 2018) registering a generally positive mood and visits by insiders from 6,000 companies, 4% more than in July 2017. However, some exhibitors’ disagreed about the effectiveness of this anticipated fabric fair differently from the traditional September timing. Some of them were very happy with the foot traffic while others registered fewer visitors than the July 2017 edition. Despite this, international visitors increased their presence (+20% from The Netherlands, +9% from the US and +6% from Japan, among others) and spent quite some time seeing collections and placing orders. "The significant increase of international buyers and exhibitors makes us definitely approve the choice to anticipate this show to July," commented Ercole Botto Poala, president, Milano Unica. "We have also been able to offer stronger identity proposals tied to our vision of the future including our focusing on sustainable issues that are significant for our planet's future and for our industry future growth," he continued referring to the show's enlarged ecofriendly fabric trend forum and other initiatives.
The number of exhibitors grew 4% when compared with July 2017 for a total of 475. There was a significant increase of European ones (86). In addition, growth was reached in terms of ecofriendly-minded companies; in February 2018 53 exhibitors showed 250 fabric samples in the new sustainable fabric trend area while this time 123 companies showed 750 fabric samples there.
Eco is in the air
Eco-friendliness was everywhere at this edition of Milano Unica. The show’s organization presented a report stressing the importance of a sustainable approach that also noted that a sustainable revolution has happened from 2011 on. According to the report the world’s textile product consumption was 3 kilos per person in 1960, in 2000 it was 8 kilos per capita and in 2015 it has grown to 13 kilos. Therefore much more attention in consuming and producing textiles are indispensable.
Among novelties on show there were Iluna Group velvet laces entirely made with sustainable materials including Roica Eco-Smart family fibers. Schoeller launched its cotton-feel technical materials treated with PFC-free Ecorepel Bio treatment. Albini launched a series of eco-friendly products such as Zero24, a wrinkle-free line of shirting fabrics. It also offered fabrics made with organic linen and cotton, biological silk, BCI cotton, but also Tencel Micro and Cupro. Earlier this month it joined the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) program.
Also shirting manufacturer Tessitura Monti offered its Brezza Bio 100% line of fabrics made with 100% organic fibers.
Button manufacturer Metalbottoni launched a new collection of accessories made with recycled leather from processing chipping. It also presented metal accessories with finishing that is entirely mechanical and does not employ any chemical agents. It has banned the galvanic process, therefore reduced water consumption to zero, and uses machinery that reduces energy consumption and processing times.
Wool gets cool
Various novelties are influencing the wool market, too. Reda and its Reda Active line of innovative wool fabrics offered a series of jackets made with wool and Cordura as a special jacket by Rossignol designed by Damir Doma. It also launched a special biodegradable membrane derived from maize that guarantees high-functionality and protection though it is not based upon fluorine-derived substances. It also presented a special top by US brand Armadillo made with Merino wool and worn by NASA astronauts. It can be worn for a long time without smelling as it is naturally anti-bacterial. It also offered a new men’s bathing suit made with wool and Cordura that is tear-proof and dries very fast, according to wool’s natural characteristics. It also presented skiing casks by Kask, lined with its techno-wools, and sneakers whose uppers are made with functional and weather-protective wool knit.
Tailoring company Rubinacci in collaboration with Tollegno 1900 offered a new 3D Wool material that is worked to be high-stretch and perfect for everyday dynamic life.
Vitale Barberis Canonico presented Supersonic, a special selection of wools that are wrinkle-free and, at the same time, eco-friendly as they don’t employ fluorine-based substances.
Thindown is a special Made in Italy padding that performs as a fabric, though it is made with down feathers only. It can be cut, embroidered and used as a regular padding. As additional advantages it is breathable, warmer, available in different thicknesses (from 30g to 150g) and for the first time also stretch as added with inner elastic fibers. It can also be used for paddings in footwear, or added as an application onto T-shirts or sweatshirts. A special record model was developed by Eddie Bauer for a weather- and windproof jacket that was worn at -15° while hiking the Himalayas. Differently from regular down it doesn’t move inside a garment, needs no stitchings and lets no air in. Moreover its production costs are about 25% less than regular down garments.
Italian shirt manufacturer Canclini offered Blue 1925, a casual line of fabrics made in collaboration with denim and casual market insider Maurizio Brocchetto. The 40-fabric selection offers materials that weigh from 4 oz. up to 8-9 oz. (the latter can also be used for bottoms). The selection includes chambrays, yarn-dyed checks and other woven fabrics. It is produced in collaboration with Intex, a high-end indigo fabric dyer.