The modern supply chain, new technologies and trends, as well as the millennial consumers and their consumer journeys were some of the topics raised during last month’s Lycra Fiber Moves conference that took place in Lake Como, Italy, marking the brand’s 60th anniversary.

The key message of this year’s conference was that Lycra is “more than just a fibre”. The focus was on innovation, as well as creating a positive experience for a new generation of consumers. Among the newly introduced innovations set to further revolutionise the fashion segment was Lycra Fusion True To You technology, a patent-pending innovation allowing the creation of transparent 3D hosiery that delivers a natural-looking shine to the legs.

Fashion show at Lycra Fiber Moves dinner party, demonstrating the latest hosiery trends. © 2018 Invista

Another debut was the new Thermolite FIR technology – a spun dyed black fibre embedded with special ceramic pigments that absorbs the wearer’s infrared radiation and reflects it back to them as heat energy.

Finally, Lycra Made To Fit You technology has been expanded to offer the benefits to stay-ups (thigh-highs), with the new band construction.

Inclusion strategy

“Lycra also constantly works on improving existing technologies, based on the consumer feedback, and addresses changing market requirements,” said Sybille. These include the change in sizes of global female consumers globally and the need to stay current with a modern and functional range of products available for different shapes and sizes.

Marie Braun and Alberto Ceria presenting Lycra Fusion True To You technology. © 2018 Invista

“This is the first year that we included plus-size models in the trend-forecasting campaign and on the catwalk,” said Anne Marie Commandeur, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, who presented Lycra legwear trends for 2019. This also resonates in the new global consumer marketing campaign called Lycra Insiders, developed with Refinery29, a leading digital media and entertainment company for young women, which launched earlier this month to “celebrate different women, their stories and insights”.

You can read the full conference report on our Knitting Industry website here – Lycra unveils new technologies at annual event.

Digital product creation

The latest event in the PI (Product Innovation) Apparel World Series that took place in Milan focused on discussing companies’ journeys into digital product creation, the growing use of data management platforms and technologies, as well as how technology can be leveraged to enable more sustainable business practice.

Bits & Bytes collection. © Hugo Boss

Anne Knoth, Team Leader 3D Virtualisation at Hugo Boss, gave an insightful overview into how the company’s working processes have changed through the implementation of virtualisation technologies. The company’s 3D journey started with a small team in 2013 and the initial focus was on reducing the number of physical prototypes and sharing ideas in a digital and more efficient way.

Since then, the 3D teams have grown both in number and skills, leading to the digitisation in other areas, as demonstrated by a range of recent initiatives. The latest project, a collection called “Bits & Bytes”, took inspiration from the dawn of the computer age and was designed 100% digitally from beginning to end. With the introduction of a digital showroom for the Hugo menswear collection, the company are also advancing digitalisation in its wholesale business…

Hugo Boss digital showroom. © Hugo Boss

To find out more about Hugo Boss and other companies and their insights, read the article by our correspondent, design professional Anne Prahl, who travelled to the event last month – PI Apparel World Series – Milan 2018.

Ethical business practices

The role of the consumer in the circular economy and disruptive technologies for social change in the clothing industry were two of the big themes in this year’s World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR) conference in Toronto, Canada.

A combination of keynote presentations and panel discussions dissect the many ways that innovation can become a key driver towards finding more sustainable practises for the apparel industry. Karen Newman, an independent consultant to the United Nations (UN), discussed progress and issues with a representative from one of the fashion brands involved, Charline Ducas who is leading the development of C&A’s Circular Economy strategy. The consumer’s attitude towards sustainability was the focus of Anerca’s Ellen Karp, with data taken from their 2017 report on textile sustainability commissioned by Oeko Tex/Testex.

This year’s WEAR conference focused on the circular economy and disruptive technologies. © WEAR2018

Digital and blockchain technologies are offering new sustainable and ethical opportunities to the apparel and footwear industries. Vera Belazelkoska, Director of Programs at Ulula offered a vision of how digital technologies can amplify the voice of workers and communities worldwide in the advancement of transparent, responsible and more ethical business practices. Ulula provides companies with global auditing supply chain management, with customisable analytics that can be integrated with third party systems to streamline the auditing business process…

Learn more about Ulula and others from a conference report by our expert Marie O’Mahony attended the conference – WEAR2018: The consumer in the circular economy and disruptive technologies for social change.

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