The demand for sustainable products resulted in a more industrious approach at Messe Frankfurt’s Texworld and Apparel Sourcing show, which returned to New York’s Javits Center this week from January 19 to 21.
The Texworld show opened with a one-day conference called FashionInnovate introducing technological tools and scientific methods that can be implemented into manufacturing practices. It gave insight into blockchain technology, circular tracing and the newest software to reduce lead time and waste.
Taking eco-responsibility one step further, the show also included Innovation Spotlight, a hands on workshop organized by Lenzing Fibers Inc. that peeled back the layers of commonly used materials. Positioned on the show’s main stage, the presentation spotlighted material innovators that are currently moving the needle of advancement forward.
Recycle methods were shown from Guatemala's The New Denim Project of Iris Textiles, which showcased mechanically recycled denim yarns that are woven out of fibers derived from scraps of pre-consumer denim. Refibra technology (in conjunction with Tecel fabrics) displayed cotton that is made from a blend of sustainably harvested wood pulp and cotton waste. Each element was shown separately to fully understand the natural recycle methods.
New technology and developments included Mirum, a leather alternative to PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that is both biodegradable and recyclable. “This is a plant only and never plastic method. Made from ground cork, recycled goods, hemp and coconut,” said Dr. Luke Haverhals, CEO and Founder of Natural Fiber Welding. He went on to explain, “Mirum is infinitely remakeable into its own product, a closed loop production that melds natural fibers together without the use of synthetic glue.” Portugal’s Musgo Project is a collaboration introduced by Vime & Scoop companies that implements LED lighting that can be sewn into garments in an effort to reduce fatal risks in nightfall environments. The high-tech lighting device is machine washable and rechargeable by way of an external power source. “In the event of an accident, a garment with Musgo can detect any impact the wearer will encounter seven minutes prior the incident. It will save lives,” said Daniel Pinto, director of business development and strategy.
Standout practice Hemp Black company took ordinary hemp and chopped it into hurd then carbonized it into charcoal that is used later as an all natural screen printing ink. Show attendee Rose Mae Turner, a sustainable swimwear designer of Rosina Mae said, “Sustainability and transparency are major parts of the fashion conversation now and I am glad to see it. With textiles that no longer harm the planet, we can all become climate activists through our wardrobe.” The Rosina Mae collection is produced from responsible materials and is dedicated to making sustainable fashion fun.
Apparel Sourcing gave way for Chinese vendors to showcase products on the runway. Fabrics such as recycled polyester, polyurethane paper, non-woven and cellulose rayon materials could be found throughout the show. Monotone prints and menswear plaids decorated individual booths. While Spider silks, splashy confetti, and a color changing fabric by Ruyao textile gave kitschy and playful options. Concluding the show, China’s Industrial Co. showed corduroy and cotton jackets with denim embellishments.
In acknowledging the industry's obligation to our planet, Texworld continues to uphold its responsibility to both manufacturers and designers by offering educational tools and materials needed to address global dilemmas. While the fashion industry is held accountable for its waste and destructive impact, its community heeds the call to action.