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Industry Talk

Intertextile Apparel showcases post-pandemic innovation and sustainability

The primary sourcing platform for the spring/summer season for the global industry wrapped up another successful edition last week.

24th March 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Shanghai, China

Knitted Outerwear

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition hosted nearly 2,600 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions and 80,533 buyers from 17 – 19 March, with well-received online and hybrid solutions running in tandem with the physical fair, organisers report.

Main themes emerging from the fair this year included an increase in innovative products resulting from the pandemic, the benefits for both domestic and international companies to have an in-person event, encouraging prospects in the Chinese market as it continues to rebound, and hope that more of the main textile markets will do the same as 2021 progresses.

Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd elaborated at the show: “Following the two Intertextile Apparel editions in China in the second half of last year, we are delighted that we could offer another hybrid platform with new online solutions for the global industry to utilise this season. It was pleasing to see the number of exhibitors showcasing new products in response to the pandemic, particularly in the Functional Lab and All About Sustainability zones. And there are many positive signs and belief from participants here this week that the post-pandemic recovery in China will maintain its strength this year. We hope that by the Autumn Edition this August more of the global industry can gather here in Shanghai in-person to take advantage of this.”

Innovative and sustainable products in high demand

With consumers’ increasing focus on the health protection their garments can offer as well as the ecological footprint, the fair’s Functional Lab and All About Sustainability zones were must-visits for many buyers this edition, while innovations could be found in other areas also. Just a few of the many exhibitors offering products in response to the latest trends were Alumo AG from Switzerland, with their Alumo & weba brands, who cooperated with HeiQ Viroblock to apply antibacterial and antiviral technology into their fabrics. Biella Manifatture Tessili from Italy showcased their Defender collection which uses ViralOff technology to reduce the instance of viruses by 99%. Hong Kong’s Hansk New Materials presented their health protection, hygiene protection and anti-insect collections, while Successori Reda from Italy, a manufacturer of sustainable pure Merino wool fabrics, created their S/S 2022 collection in a fully digital manner so as to ensure greater waste reduction.

Relaxing, comfortable, easy-care and eco-friendly products are the major trends now and the fair can help us explore these hot topics, which is one of the reasons why we continue to participate after 20 years

This edition’s fringe programme featured a number of events touching on innovation and sustainability, as well as opportunities in the current market climate, while the themes in the fair’s ever-popular Intertextile Directions Trend Forum were heavily influenced by how society’s model is being challenged by the pandemic. And rounding out the complete sourcing experience for the textile industry, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics was once again held alongside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value.

“Intertextile is an influential and well-known platform for the industry, and we are able to discover the latest trends here. To target the market changes amid the pandemic, we have brought functional products including anti-bacterial viscose fibres and plant-dyed fabrics which match the current industry trends. Our export business is gradually recovering, and we are optimistic about the future development of the industry,” commented Ms Lynn Bao, Marketing Executive, Bros Eastern Co Ltd, China.

© Messe Frankfurt.

“The fair is very effective for promoting our brand and our booth had an estimated 300-plus visitors yesterday. As the current trend is about environmental protection, our products are made with recyclable and eco-friendly materials and they meet the biggest sourcing needs in China. After participating in last year’s Autumn edition, we have increased our domestic sales and so we intend to participate in the August edition as well as the November edition in Shenzhen this year,” added Mr Yonghui Zheng, Manager, Shanghai IRIS Garment Accessories Co Ltd, Japan.

“Relaxing, comfortable, easy-care and eco-friendly products are the major trends now and the fair can help us explore these hot topics, which is one of the reasons why we continue to participate after 20 years. We are showcasing our latest knitted and sportswear fabrics and have met with our most important customers in China that always come to the fair. Overall we are very optimistic about the Chinese market. I also saw that Intertextile is allowing exhibitors to promote online and for a period longer than the fair too, which I think is nice,” Enthused Ms Hong Cui, Director of Sales, Vitale Barberis Canonico SpA, Italy.

“Amid the pandemic, we collaborated with HeiQ from Switzerland and added their antibacterial treatment to weba’s products to cater to pandemic-related trends. These products are already in use in Europe and the US to make masks for the general public. The fair is an effective, prestigious platform for the industry to receive different customers in a centralised place over a short period of time. We can gather with existing customers while it is convenient for new customers to find us as well,” Ms Zheng Liu, Product Manager, Alumo AG, Switzerland, said.

“As the largest and most influential textile trade fair in China and even Asia, Intertextile is one of the trade fairs that I must visit every year. Through the new Hybrid Showcase display area, I discovered a high-quality supplier, Sateri, and I will continue communicating with them after the fair. Intertextile plays an indispensable role in keeping up with industry trends, such as regenerated, natural, eco-friendly and protective products. I think these are the future direction of China’s market and even the global industry,” said Ms May Wu, Fabric Purchaser, CPAX Ltd, China.

Ms Merry Yang, Deputy General Manager, Yarn & Suzhou Office, Neo-Concept (Holdings) Co Ltd, China, continued: “I joined Eastman’s seminar about cellulosic fibre and its latest applications because our company makes sweaters and we cooperate with Eastman on raw materials. The presenter introduced their new recycling solution and this kind of information is exactly what we are trying to understand. This year’s seminar sessions have been extended to three days, which is a great opportunity for us and we are grateful for what we can learn from the Intertextile platform.”

The next edition of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, the 2021 Autumn Edition, will be held from 25-27 August concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edtion, Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value. Intertextile Apparel is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre.

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