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Compostable agricultural textiles with adjustable service life Foto: Pixabay
30.06.2020

Compostable agricultural textiles with adjustable service life

In the "AgriTex" innovation project, WESOM Textil GmbH, together with the Fiber Institute Bremen e.V. and the Institute for Polymer and Production Technologies e.V., has set itself the goal of developing a compostable technical textile that is to be used in agriculture, among other things. The project is funded over three years by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) and has a funding volume of around 570,000 Euros. A corresponding application was approved by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in April 2020.

In the "AgriTex" innovation project, WESOM Textil GmbH, together with the Fiber Institute Bremen e.V. and the Institute for Polymer and Production Technologies e.V., has set itself the goal of developing a compostable technical textile that is to be used in agriculture, among other things. The project is funded over three years by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) and has a funding volume of around 570,000 Euros. A corresponding application was approved by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in April 2020.

Plastics have become an integral part of our everyday lives and are used in a wide variety of areas. At the same time, pollution from plastic waste is one of the greatest global problems of our time. There are already various options for the sensible and environmentally friendly disposal of plastics, e.g. recycling or thermal recovery. However, it cannot always be guaranteed that the waste is also disposed of in the corresponding disposal routes. For example, in agriculture, even if used properly, a release cannot always be prevented or a return is not possible depending on the application. Biodegradable plastics can help to solve this problem, but many of today's products only rot very slowly, as otherwise the required stability and robustness cannot be guaranteed.
     
The aim of the "AgriTex" project partners is to develop an innovative, biodegradable textile for applications in agriculture. On the one hand, the textile withstands the highest mechanical and weather-related requirements during use, on the other hand it rots quickly after a predefined period of use under natural conditions in the environment or on the compost. This two-phase behavior is made possible by a new type of bicomponent fiber made from the biodegradable plastic PLA. The new technology is to be developed and tested using a hail protection net for fruit growing. Hail protection nets are exposed to considerable loads from various weather conditions and usually have to be replaced after a few seasons. Proper disposal of the old nets represents a considerable cost factor for agricultural businesses. With "AgriTex" the nets can be composted with other biological waste in a cost-neutral manner. In addition, unintentionally released netting components from the structure remain, e.g. by storms or damage caused by game, no longer in the long term in the environment and the pollution of ecosystems by plastic waste is effectively prevented. The ecological and economic advantages of the new technology are not only in demand in fruit growing, but will also be of interest for many other applications in agriculture, landscaping or fishing in the future.
 
The idea for the “AgriTex” project came about as part of the PREVON - Production Evolution Network innovation network, which is funded by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM). As part of the membership, the partners are actively supported in the implementation of R&D projects and in securing funding.

More information:
agricultural textiles AgriTex
Source:

IWS Innovations- und Wissensstrategien GmbH

(c) Messe München
23.06.2020

ISPO Re.Start Days: New digital live conference

Orientation for the sports and outdoor industry on June 30 and July 1, 2020 

  • Digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry
  • Main topics: digitization, sustainability and health
  • European Outdoor Group and Association of German Sports Retailers support event

In the course of the current corona pandemic, the international sports and outdoor industry is facing far-reaching challenges. The ISPO team also had to cancel OutDoor by ISPO 2020 and the ISPO SDG Summit and postpone the ISPO Digitize Summit. However, the focus and motto of the current anniversary year, "50 years of tomorrow", will remain.
 
Based on the feedback and needs of the most important industry stakeholders, ISPO developed a digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry. The ISPO Re.Start Days on June 30 and July 1 2020 offer orientation and growth strategies during and after Corona.

Orientation for the sports and outdoor industry on June 30 and July 1, 2020 

  • Digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry
  • Main topics: digitization, sustainability and health
  • European Outdoor Group and Association of German Sports Retailers support event

In the course of the current corona pandemic, the international sports and outdoor industry is facing far-reaching challenges. The ISPO team also had to cancel OutDoor by ISPO 2020 and the ISPO SDG Summit and postpone the ISPO Digitize Summit. However, the focus and motto of the current anniversary year, "50 years of tomorrow", will remain.
 
Based on the feedback and needs of the most important industry stakeholders, ISPO developed a digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry. The ISPO Re.Start Days on June 30 and July 1 2020 offer orientation and growth strategies during and after Corona.

Based on this year's anniversary, ISPO proclaimed "50 years of tomorrow" at the beginning of this year. The existing events, supplemented by new formats, were intended to further promote sports and the outdoors and to make them drivers of global, sustainable change. However, the developments around the corona virus made the original planning obsolete. OutDoor by ISPO 2020 had to be cancelled, the premiere of the ISPO SDG Summit is postponed to 2021 and the ISPO Digitize Summit will be held at ISPO Munich 2021. But also, or especially under the new circumstances, the ISPO group continues to focus on its motto.

Digital format for a restart
"Corona is changing the world, the rules are just being rewritten" says Klaus Dittrich. The Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe München is certain: "We are living up to our pioneering role even in these difficult times and are making a fresh start with the sports and outdoor industry. We are focusing everything on the '50 years of tomorrow'.”

European Outdoor Group supports  SPO Re.Start Days
The digital live conference is aimed at an international audience and is developed in close cooperation with industry associations such as the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and the Association of German Sports Retailers (vds). Mark Held, President of the European Outdoor Group: "Access to nature is important and helpful for the well-being of all people.
This is where we continue to see a growing importance and major role for the outdoor industry. At the same time, however, we must discuss the negative consequences of the crisis for society and the economy as a whole and rethink the challenges it poses. We can only do this together and we will be fully involved.”
 
Focus on digitization, sustainability and health 
The event will focus on three main topics: Digitalization, Sustainability and Health. The program is dedicated to best cases in times of Corona and will present ideas, projects and campaigns implemented at short notice. Experts will talk about the boost the pandemic is giving digitization, which aspects of it will be preserved and which counter-movements are already forming as a result. Industry experts will show in which areas consumers are questioning the behavior of companies and how brands should react.

ISPO Re.Start Days

More information:
ISPO ISPO Munich
Source:

Messe München GmbH

(c) SANITIZED AG
16.06.2020

‘WHAT SMELLS LESS HAS TO BE WASHED LESS OFTEN’

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Founded in 1935, the majority ownership of the public company SANITIZED still lies with the founding families. You are the market leader in Europe in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What influenced you in particular in the development of the company and what made it unique?
Preventing odor in shoes, that's how it started in 1935. This is where our business model came from: the antimicrobial protection of plastics and textiles.
SANITIZED develops ready-to-use additives that are individually tailored to the protection goals of the end products and that work, for example, against the development of odors in work clothing, against permastink (resilient odors) in synthetic textiles or against mold growth.
The 360-degree service is unique: This includes backing in product development, support for all regulatory questions and assistance with marketing topics.
SANITIZED AG is globally active and yet committed to Swiss quality principles. More than 400 brands worldwide use the ingredient brand Sanitized® on their end products.

Think global – act local? You have sister companies in France, the United States and Asia. Your roots and headquarters are based in Switzerland. The pandemic is currently increasing the question of intact supply chains. What does this mean for your company in the future?
Indeed, the broad global positioning enables us to do business locally. The local anchoring results in synergies, also in sourcing. That will be even more important for us in the future. And, of course, the issues of speed and customer proximity are also positive aspects of this approach.

From textiles to plastic surfaces to cans: SANITIZED Preservation AG was founded in 2018 to take care of colors and coatings. SANITIZED is thus opening up another market. Which markets are you particularly interested in and which product areas do you feel particularly challenged by?
Customers want paints and varnishes without solvents, which is better for people and the environment. But with the alternative water-based products, there is a high risk of contamination by microbes. This starts with the production, continues with the storage in the can and also in the application. The result is mold formation.
Antimicrobial protection for paints or coatings is particularly relevant in hygiene-sensitive areas of industrial production and, of course, in the medical environment. The risk of contamination and mold multiplies in regions with high air humidity. This is another reason why India is a growth market for this business area.   

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect - about which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made it?
Let me mention just three decisions that are important for corporate development: This is definitely the foundation of the SANITIZED Preservation division. This is about the antimicrobial protection of paints and varnishes. This also includes setting up our in-house TecCenter, in which we can perform laboratory services even faster. It was recently accredited by the International Antimicrobial Council. And right now it is the sales cooperation with Consolidates Pathway on the US market for our textile hygiene function solutions.

You state that innovation is embedded in the company's DNA. How do you live your inno-vation management and which role do the requirements of end consumers and your indus-trial customers play in this setting?
We ourselves as well as our global sales partners are in close contact with the manufacturers of textile products. This is also why we know the requirements and needs of the market. Sustainability is emerging from the niche in the mass market.
This is exactly what our product Sanitized® Odoractiv 10 has been developed for and awarded by the Swiss Innovation Award.
It is a dual-acting, biocide-free, patented technology against odor development and odor adsorption in textiles. Many customers appreciate our expertise and use it in the development of new products to create innovative textiles with additional benefits for the requirements of the market.

Tailor-made or solutions only for major customers? The topic of individualization up to lot size 1 takes up a lot of space today. What do you think about individual product solutions - or can you cover everything with the SANITIZED portfolio comprising 40 products?
We have a very versatile technology “kit” at our disposal. It is part of our daily business to respond individually to the special customer needs and the respective product requirements. We offer tailor-made recipes for this and our extensive application know-how flows into the advice for the individual application situation at the customer.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the ex-clusion of child labor, etc. Textile finishing does not always sound unproblematic. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for SANITIZED and what do you do to bring the concept of sustainability to life for your company, and which activities and certifications do you focus on?
Resource conservation is a key issue for us. Since we “think” about the topic of sustainability along the entire production chain, including in research and development, resource-saving application techniques for the textile industry are important to us. Sanitized® additives can be integrated into standard production processes, so that additional energy is not required for complementary finishing processes.
Our portfolio also includes biocide-free products. Sanitized® Odoractiv10 prevents odors from sticking to textiles. Sanitized® Mintactiv uses the natural antibacterial effect of mint and was specially developed for cotton textiles.
And what smells less has to be washed less often. This saves water and electricity and extends the useful life of textiles.
          
SANITIZED supports its customers with a so-called 360° service. What do you mean by that and why don't you concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of the products?
The SANITIZED brand wants to create real added value for its customers. That is why we have expanded our core competence as a developer and provider of innovative antimicrobial additives with an all-round service. The obvious thing to do is to support the production process, of course that is part of it. Furthermore; we also provide the latest knowledge on regulatory issues - world-wide. And we offer comprehensive marketing assistance for our license partners who use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. Making correct advertising statements is important not only in times of Corona. Because it's always about transparency and security for people. Warning letters or delivery stops due to incorrect claims can be prevented.
Cooperation with the institutes is absolutely sensible; after all, it is their job to do research for com-panies that they cannot shoulder on their own. This includes testing facilities, as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore have different objectives per se than a company: We have to bring a promising idea to the market as quickly as possible to show a profit. A research institute does not have this pressure.

Which goal do you pursue with the website https://www.sanitized.house for example?
Yes, it may seem unusual when SANITIZED as a B2B company designs a platform for end customers. But more than 400 brands use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. So, we are connected to the end customer in this way.
In the virtual house - Sanitized® the house -, visitors can playfully experience in which areas of life hygiene and material protection contribute to the quality of life. A click in the wardrobe links to products - including brand names - that have been equipped with Sanitized®: clothing in the wardrobe, the carpet in the living room or the towel in the bathroom. The best thing to do is try it yourself.

The company is working consistently on implementing Sanitized® as a brand. The hygiene function for textiles and plastics shall be documented and thus offer added value to customers and consumers. Co-branding is not always welcome, especially in the clothing, sports and outdoor sector. How rocky was the road until Sanitized® was advertised as an ingredient brand by 400 license partners on the product?
Of course, there are brands that do not want a second brand on their end product. But a trend is causing more and more manufacturers to rethink: Customers are increasingly asking questions about ingredients and their origins. Elucidation and transparency are growing needs. And that's exactly what we contribute to. In addition, this is an opportunity for a textile brand to stand out positively in the flood of suppliers. Differentiation through added value - donated by Swiss technology from SANITIZED. Those arguments work worldwide.

You have a diversified network. Just to mention to two of them - you have been a system partner since the foundation of bluesign® and you work closely with Archroma in sales matters. In which aspects do you see the special value of partnerships? Are there segments existing where you can imagine new partners and collaborations?
Partnerships are important and work if all pursue common goals and can mutually fertilize each other. For example, the partnership with the company Consolidates Pathway in the United States is brand new one.

For which socially relevant topics do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action in the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?
Nobody can predict what the corona pandemic will change in the long term. Environmental protection and thus the conservation of our resources is and remains an important issue.
The fact that the textile industry can make a big contribution to this is slowly gaining awareness among the masses. Keywords are cheap production or water consumption for jeans production. People are becoming more sensitive to what companies and brands are doing. It will be all the more important to act and communicate openly and transparently.
For SANITIZED, it is a mission and a matter of course that only products with official approvals are used and that we work ac-cording to the bluesign principle. This is where traceability and transparency begin.


This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Used textiles Photo: bvse textile recycling association
20.05.2020

Corona-virus pushes Used Textiles Industry into Struggle for Survival

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The amount of used clothing collected in Germany is declining sharply in many regions along with increasing social distancing, existing or expected curfew and associated closings of collection points and civic amenity sites.

"It looks even bleaker on the sales side. In the meantime, measures ordered worldwide, such as curfews and ban on meetings, prevent the opportunities to even generate any revenue. Due to official orders, second-hand shops have to close everywhere, including in Eastern Europe. This means that the demand for used clothing dries up almost completely.
The African markets are also suffering from the corresponding lack of demand, due to the lack of funds available from local consumers.

The markets necessary for the sale of sorted goods have collapsed globally since mid-March 2020. It is currently not possible to market wearable second-hand clothing, but also products in the recycling and cleaning rag segment. Thus, there are currently no prospects for generating revenue in the end customer area.
Since the transit time of a piece of used textile from the collection to the sorting to the final marketing in one of the global markets can take up to four months, this situation will certainly take just as long because a positive change in the current overall pandemic situation cannot be assumed.

The waste disposal companies active in Germany in the field of used textiles are therefore currently concerned only with maintaining the operational structures in order to find ways at a later time to be able to fulfill the previous agreements.

"What we urgently need now are common, fair and economically sound solutions with all of our contractual partners so that both sides can survive this crisis. The situation in many municipal, charitable and private places currently looks like that we maintain the services of waste collection and recycling at high costs, but currently do not know whether we will be compensated for this due to force majeure,” stated Wittmann.   

As a start, some companies in the industry have therefore already concluded agreements with municipalities. In return for a provisional suspension of payment obligations for the rental of container spaces or collected goods, the private companies want to do everything possible to ensure that the recycling of used clothes and cleaning of the collection points in the interest of the com-mon good, despite their own staff shortages and difficult conditions remains guaranteed.

“At the same time, we would like to appeal to everyone involved that there is understanding for late pick-ups and container empties caused by the crisis. We urge the citizens not to put any collectibles next to the containers. As long as we have enough staff, every container will be emptied,” promised Martin Wittmann, Vice President of the bvse.

Photo: Pixabay
28.04.2020

Meltblown Productive: Fraunhofer ITWM vs. Corona - With Mathematics Against the Crisis

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

IEspecially in intensive care and geriatric care, disposable products made of nonwovens are used due to the special hygiene requirements. At the moment there are clear bottlenecks in the production of these materials. For the meltblown nonwovens class, however, it is difficult to increase production efficiency because meltblown processes are highly sensitive to process fluctuations and material impurities.
 
Although nonwovens are not all the same, the rough principle of their production is relatively similar to all industrially manufactured nonwovens: molten polymer is pressed through many fine nozzles, stretched and cooled down in an air stream and thus deposited into the typical white webs. "Meltblown" stands for the submicron fiber process whose nonwovens are responsible for the decisive filter function in face masks.
 
With meltblown technology, nonwoven fabrics are produced directly from granules. A special spinning process in combination with high-speed hot air is used to produce fine-fibered nonwovens with different structures. The fibers are highly stretched by the turbulent air flow. During this process they swirl in the air, become entangled and fall more or less randomly onto a conveyor belt where they are further consolidated - a very complex process. Nonwovens manufacturers around the world are striving to massively increase their production capacities.
 
Digital Twin Optimizes Meltblown Process    
This is where the software of the ITWM comes into play. "Our Fiber Dynamics Simulation Tool FIDYST is used to predict the movement of the fibers, their falling and the orientation with which they are laid down on the conveyor belt. Depending on the process settings, turbulence characteristics are generated and thus nonwoven qualities are created that differ in structure, fiber density and strength," explains Dr. Walter Arne from the Fraunhofer ITWM. He has been working at the institute for years on the simulation of various processes involving fibers and filaments.

The methodology is well transferable to meltblown processes. In these processes, one of the specific features is the simulation of filament stretching in a turbulent air flow - how the stretching takes place, the dynamics of the filaments and the diameter distribution. These are all complex aspects that have to be taken into account, but also the flow field or the temperature distribution. The simulations of the scientists at the Fraunhofer ITWM then provide a qualitative and quantitative insight into the fiber formation in such meltblown processes - unique in the world in this form when it comes to simulate a turbulent spinning process (meltblown).

Nonwoven Manufacturers benefit from Simulation
What does this mean for the industry? The production of technical textiles becomes more efficient, but the nonwovens can also be developed without having intensive productions tests in a real facility. This is because the simulations help to forecast and then optimize the processes using a digital twin. In this way, production capacities can be increased while maintaining the same product quality. Simulations save experiments, allow new insights, enable systematic parameter variations and solve up-scaling problems that can lead to misinvestments during the transition from laboratory to industrial plant.

Making a Contribution to Overcome the Crisis With Many Years of Expertise
"We want to demonstrate this in the project using a typical meltblown line as an example - for this we are in contact with partner companies," says Dr. Dietmar Hietel, head of the department "Transport Processes" at the Fraunhofer ITWM. "Within the framework of Fraunhofer's anti-corona program, we want to use our developed expertise and our network to contribute to overcome the crisis", reports Hietel. His department at the Fraunhofer ITWM has been pursuing research in the field of technical textiles for around 20 years. Due to its current relevance, the project not only got off to a quick start, but the implementation and results should now also be implemented quickly: The project is scheduled to run from April 15th 2020 to August 14th 2020. The kick-off meeting took place on April 17th 2020 via video conference.
 
The project "Meltblown productive" and the results are certainly interesting for nonwoven producers. The production of many mass products has often been outsourced to Asia in the past decades; the nonwovens manufacturers remaining in Germany and Europe tend to focus more on high-quality technical textiles. In the medium and longer term, this will also be a scientific preliminary work when production capacities in Germany and Europe are expanded by new plants. One lesson to be learned from the crisis will also be to reduce the dependence on producers in Asia, especially as a precautionary measure for crisis scenarios.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics, ITWM

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T © I.S.T Corporation
03.03.2020

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

The CEO and president, Ms. Toshiko “Toko” Sakane, answered Textination's questions. She has been running the company - founded by her father - since November 2016. After completing her bachelor's degree in sociology / human sciences, she worked in the office of the House of Representatives of the Japanese Parliament and the former Japanese Minister of Health and Social Affairs. Later she was managing director of the I.S.T Corporation in Parlin, New Jersey, USA, founded in 2000 - a manufacturer of unique, high-temperature resistant resin materials.

I.S.T is a Japanese company with a comparatively young history. Originally founded in 1983 as an R&D company, you are now also based in the United States and in China. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
I.S.T Corporation is an R&D-oriented Japanese material company with the claim to "invent technologies that no one can imitate". What makes us uniquely competent is our integrated process of material development, innovating our own in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. Through this end-to-end cycle, we can achieve various advantages including developing complete original products, securing best quality assurance, and, most importantly, letting us discover new innovations. I.S.T is committed to keep innovating new technologies so they can contribute to enriching people’s lives more.   

Your slogan is: make the impossible possible. In which markets and from which industries do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations for the textile industry do you think you can move the most?
I.S.T’s focus is sporting goods and apparel industry because materials used in this industry demand a wide variety of functionalities and are likely used in extreme conditions. We find it challenging and exciting to offer our advanced innovations. As for the textile industry, we believe our KARL KARL™ spinning technology offers a new great solution for winter active inner wears because it offers all the functions they want, such as warmness, being light-weighted, and easy-care.

A central guideline of the company is the motto "Inventing technologies no-one can copy". Patent protection and a consistent brand policy characterize your activities in the market. But patents can expire and brands can be copied, what makes you uncopiable?
A patent or brand can be copied. However, what makes it impossible to copy us is that our core technologies are embedded throughout our integrated process of material development, in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. For example, our KARL KARL™ technology is spinning technology that offers multiple functionalities in one yarn and also can be applied to all different types of and hybrid yarns.
There are some other companies that claim their yarns having a similar function with ours, but those are single function and in a particular type of yarn. This is the most fundamental and significant difference between technologies and competitors. Other companies may be able to copy a single function from us, but it will never be the same as our products that are the results of layers and layers of our integrated innovations.
          
Initially focused on selling technology, you are now a major fiber producer yourself. In addition, you have expanded your portfolio in the past 15 years - for example in the wool market - through acquisitions in Japan and China. Where do you see I.S.T as a player in the textile sector in 2030?
Just as you see a GORE-TEX tag on any outerwear, I would like to see brand names produced by I.S.T on every sports and fashion apparel and people instantly recognize it as the sign of most advanced functional materials.

For the first time you attended ISPO Munich 2020 in January as an exhibitor to present the high-tech fiber IMIDETEX® and new KARL KARL™ yarns to the sporting goods and outdoor industry. What is so special about these two products and what makes them so suitable for use in these markets?  
IMIDETEX®, made of 100% polyimide resin and commonly used in outer space, has possess various advantageous characteristics that other existing super fibers couldn’t overcome, including it being high UV resistant, heat resistant, low water absorption, and has a high tensile strength.
Examples of possible applications for the outdoor market as in composites, would include highly resistive but also durable golf shafts or tennis rackets that can minimize the impact sent to players, and a bicycle that can absorb the shock from the ground throughout a long and competitive race. As for textile, it makes an incredibly durable sail that endures an unforgiving sun. Finally, as yarns IMIDETEX® makes a light-weighted but super strong ropes that people can trust their lives with. IMIDETEX® can provide great performances in extreme natural conditions.
KARL KARL™ is the patented spinning technology that multiplies one core thread with another thread. By expanding the yarn structure itself, it achieves lightness and warmness, which are two seemingly opposite characters to coexist. This technology can be applied to wool, cotton, silk, polyester, nylon … plus there are endless possibilities of developing new yarns by combining different characteristic yarns.
These materials by I.S.T are unrivaled and present infinite possibilities for richer designs in sports fashion scenes.

In a world in which great value is placed on nature and natural materials, man-made fibers are not always welcome. On your website you postulate, I.S.T contributes to the people around the world through chemistry for a better life style. Which aspects make a good case for that?
Our brand-new product, faux-fur, made with KARL KARL™ technology is a good example of our contribution to keep the good balance of natural and synthetic.
The real fur is fashionable but it’s a symbol of animal abuse nowadays. To conserve the nature, our KARL KARL™ faux-fur offers an alternative to fashion, while preventing polluting the ocean from using micro fibers.    

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
We believe that light-weight is a major key factor for better lives and the planet because it allows to save energies and expand the performances.
As the first step, we are bringing in our light-weight technologies, such as IMIDETEX® composites and KARL KARL™ technology, to sporting gears and apparels to support our active lifestyle before extending those technologies to all other markets that can benefit from them.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what activities or certifications do you rely on?
I.S.T's taking this subject seriously in any aspects. We aggressively approach to research and develop technologies and materials that can support human lives and planet, as well as bringing in sustainable methods and materials to our operations. For instance, we are developing a yarn making from cellulose taken out of used papers without using any harmful chemicals to humans. Also, we invested in a state-of-the-art low emission production facility to make Polyimide materials.
We are RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified yarn spinner as far as wool is concerned and we are using RWS certified wool fiber. As for polyester, we are using GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified recycled polyester and as for cotton, we are using organic cotton fiber. Moreover, our company values producing materials that last forever and not to produce any wastes and/or one-time use materials.
          
Where do you get your inspiration from to research certain technologies or products? Which orders or inquiries from the textile supply chain play a decisive role?
You may think that our life is already filled with things and there isn’t a thing that we cannot get in this world. And yes, we have everything. Yet there are some functions you wish you had in addition to full of those things.
The original idea of developing KARL KARL™ technology was that we wanted to adapt functions like lightness, warmness, quick-drying and easy-care that synthetic fibers have, into natural fibers such as wool and cotton because, obviously natural fibers are much friendlier to human and the earth than petroleum-based fibers.
We believe in and keep our corporate missions: “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Handle high-value added products”. Our inspirations for R&D come from our belief, “bringing a wish into a reality”. We do not get an inspiration from others. Our innovations inspire customers and the market.

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Actually, for us, there is no such thing as failed projects because we never give up until each and every project becomes successful.
By carrying on our original corporate missions of “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Confront difficulties” that my father, the founder of I.S.T, established almost forty years ago, I.S.T members including myself have learned the joy of overcoming problems and of feeling the victory.
When I took over the business, I have set my goal to “move forward to the global market to inspire the world with our technologies”.
Most recently, by making the decision to enter the sporting gears and apparel market and receiving very positive responses at the ISPO Munich 2020, I’m very pleased that we have made one step forward toward my goal.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

ISPO TREND REPORT (c) Messe München GmbH
28.01.2020

ISPO: SPORT BECOMES A SYNONYM FOR HEALTH

TREND REPORT

  • Winter sports trends for 2020/2021
  • The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
  • ISPO Munich (January 26 to 29) to showcase next season’s products

Health will be one of the next decade’s megatrends. The sports industry is, for its part, one of the growth drivers, not least because society now views fitness as a synonym for health. In the future, athleticism will have an ever greater bearing on our everyday lives.

TREND REPORT

  • Winter sports trends for 2020/2021
  • The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
  • ISPO Munich (January 26 to 29) to showcase next season’s products

Health will be one of the next decade’s megatrends. The sports industry is, for its part, one of the growth drivers, not least because society now views fitness as a synonym for health. In the future, athleticism will have an ever greater bearing on our everyday lives.

“Medical fitness” refers to ensuring both a sporty lifestyle and the right medical care tailored to the individual needs. Winter sports are also set to assume a challenging yet important role in the future as a vehicle for teaching values within society. Veit Senner, Professor of Sports Equipment and Sports Materials at the Technical University of Munich, says: “Sports must be used as an emotional Trojan Horse for teaching skills and in particular for teaching values.”

There are also other challenges that will need to be faced in the next few years: Children and adolescents need to be encouraged to lead more active lifestyles and our aging population needs to be kept fit and mobile for as long as possible. Senner believes that winter sports could hold the key for today’s youth: “We need to demonstrate the kinds of educational content and values that can be taught through sports.” Attractive products and services therefore need to be created for children. The latest winter sports trends and pro ducts will be showcased at ISPO Munich from January 26 to 29.

Textile manufacturers are giving the winter sports industry an eco-boost
Swedish label Klättermusen impressed the ISPO Award jury so much with its first fully compostable down jacket “Farbaute” that they named it the Gold Winner in the Outdoor category and the winner of the ISPO Sustainability Award.

The first 100% biodegradable down jacket biologically decomposes on the compost heap after around three months (all apart from the zippers and a few snap fasteners which can be removed and reused).

When washed it does not release any microplastics into the environment. Norwegian clothing manufacturer Helly Hansen is launching a new membrane technology for winter 2020/2021 which can be produced without any additional chemicals. The microporous Lifa Infinity membrane is made using a solvent-free process and, together with a water-repellent Lifa outer material, provides extremely impressive protection from the elements. Helly Hansen’s new Lifa Infinity Pro technology also uses the spinning jet dyeing process whereby the color pigments are already injected during the fiber production process. This can save up to 75% water. What’s more, no harmful wastewater is produced.

The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
“The really big trend is for biopolymer fabrics and materials,” says Senner. “The idea is to replace the many different types of plastics that are used in the sports industry with biopolymers.” Together with his team, he is working hard to conduct in-depth research in both areas. This is a trend which French ski brand Rossignol has also identified, whereby it has focused on the use of raw and recycled materials for the production of its new Black Ops Freeride skis. The Black Ops Sender TI model was crowned the winner in its category by the ISPO Award jury.

Alpina Sports is also exploring new ecological avenues and launching a completely sustainable back protector made from 100% sheep’s wool, obtained exclusively from sheep in Switzerland and Norway. The back protector, which consists of three layers of pressed sheep’s wool, meets the standards for protection class 1 and boasts all the impressive properties that the natural material has to offer: In icy temperatures it remains supple, can both warm and cool the wearer, and is odorless. The ISPO Award jury chose Alpina Sports’ “Prolan Vest” as the “Product of the Year”* in the Snowsports Hardware category.

Swedish label Spektrum uses plant-based polymers made from castor oil as well as corn and recycled polyester for its ski and snowboard goggles. The ISPO Award jury was extremely impressed with both the ecological aspects and the execution and named the “Östra Medium” model the Gold Winner.

(c) Messe München GmbH
28.05.2019

OutDoor by ISPO: the new Outdoor Movement

OutDoor by ISPO is the first year-round, integrative and cross-media platform designed for a new outdoor movement. It also includes the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair, the perfect event for bringing together the international outdoor industry. It will be held for the first time ever at the Messe München site from June 30 to July 3, 2019 and will be organized in close cooperation with the European Outdoor Group (EOG) trade association.

Under the motto “There's a perfect outdoor for everyone”, the international outdoor industry will meet for the first time at the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair in Munich from June 30 to July 3.

OutDoor by ISPO is the first year-round, integrative and cross-media platform designed for a new outdoor movement. It also includes the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair, the perfect event for bringing together the international outdoor industry. It will be held for the first time ever at the Messe München site from June 30 to July 3, 2019 and will be organized in close cooperation with the European Outdoor Group (EOG) trade association.

Under the motto “There's a perfect outdoor for everyone”, the international outdoor industry will meet for the first time at the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair in Munich from June 30 to July 3.

  • More than 950 exhibitors expected
  • Highlights of supporting program fixed
  • OutDays—outdoor festival for end consumers during trade show time

More than 950 international exhibitors spanning nine halls are expected to be at the premiere. The event will be held under the motto “There’s a perfect outdoor for everyone” and will reflect consumers’ modern understanding of the outdoors: Classic outdoor activities such as climbing and hiking will form the basis but will to some extent be reinterpreted and transformed into forms such as bouldering and speed hiking. New segments such as mountain biking, trail running and water sports will also feature. OutDoor by ISPO will also be branching out by tapping into other industries outside of the outdoor sector, thus providing visitors with inspiration and valuable knowledge gained from other areas, such as environmental technology or digital retail and technology solutions.

The first OutDoor by ISPO in Munich will mark the dawn of a new outdoor era. The ISPO team has succeeded in developing a modern consumer-centric concept in close collaboration with the industry. The aim now is to inspire as many people as possible worldwide, break down barriers and highlight the many opportunities and types of “outdoor” that exist.

Nine halls with over 96,000 square meters of exhibition space in the eastern part of the trade fair grounds in Munich will bring the outdoor scene to life. Wide central aisles will help visitors get their bearings and gain a quick overview. The open-plan design with plenty of room for holding meetings will ensure that the whole event is a truly inspiring communications platform. A real outdoor feeling will also be achieved in the outside area with direct access to the halls, the green atrium (functioning as a quiet zone during the day and a party area during the evening) and the camping and glamping site. The Riemer Park, which is directly adjacent to the exhibition grounds, offers spacious green areas and a lake for swimming after the visit to the fair.

Hot topic: sustainability
The outdoor sector is already playing a leading role within the industry in terms of raising awareness of sustainability issues and social responsibility. Various different working groups are developing a comprehensive sustainability concept under the OutDoor by ISPO umbrella. The major driving forces behind this are the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the OutDoor by ISPO Advisory Board. Environmental pollution and deforestation along with their negative impact on the climate have been identified as the biggest challenges that need to be overcome.

Existing ideas and approaches for reducing water and electricity consumption, minimizing waste and reusing resources will be assessed and ranked in terms of their importance and then incorporated into a Code of Conduct throughout the entire duration of the trade fair. With the additional support of research findings and projections, this will result, in the medium term, in a general fact-based sustainability guide with specific, practical recommendations for managing emissions, water and waste in the outdoor sector. Based on OutDoor by ISPO and the outdoor industry, it will be extended to the entire ISPO platform and trade fair location.

The CSR Hub & Sustainability Kiosk located in Hall B6 will be a central reference point on all related matters for visitors throughout the trade fair. Display cabinets showcasing biodegradable and bio-based materials will take center stage. There will also be a diverse program of speeches and presentations packed with tips and inspirational ideas for achieving sustainable operations.

The new outdoor mindset: “outdoor” covers a myriad of concepts
The very fact that the word “outdoor” means so many different things to so many different people is reflected in the diverse range of topics covered by OutDoor by ISPO. Some of them will be specifically delved into and looked at in detail in various different focus and activation areas.

Climbing and bouldering centers are booming, especially in urban areas, making climbing sports accessible to new target groups. The Indoor Climbing Hub located in Hall A6 will focus specifically on this trend. Speakers from the international climbing scene will provide exclusive insights, highlight potential and identify opportunities for retailers and brands.

The Borderlands will celebrate its world debut. A curated exhibition space for urban outdoor fashion will be created in Hall B4 together with vanish.today, a media platform for outdoor life & style. The progressive project bridges the gap between outdoor and lifestyle. Technical yet stylish products will be showcased together with design elements and photography to create an inspiring overall impression. There will also be a separate catering area featuring superfoods to help visitors recharge their batteries.

Water sports enthusiasts will feel right at home in Hall C6 in the River Lake Camp organized in conjunction with PADDLEexpo. They can enjoy testing out the latest products designed for activities involving nature’s wettest of elements in the large indoor pool. The program will also include various workshops, presentations and discussion forums.

The latest technology, models, trends and designs from the world of footwear, socks and related accessories will feature in Hall A5 in the Shoe & Trailrunning Village. This area will also play host to the Run & Trail Summit on Monday, July 1, in cooperation with the world’s largest running magazine Runner’s World.

The travel segment is a new addition to the outdoor portfolio. The Adventure, Tourism & Travel Summit in Hall B6 will unveil opportunities for collaborations between the travel industry and the outdoor industry and highlight existing potential. Matchmaking will be at the heart of the extensive program. Partners will be experts from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

Bikepacking now represents a major trend in alternative travel, allowing you to get off the beaten track of mass tourism. The Bikepacking Zone in Hall C5 will tell you everything you need to know about this new movement and show you what the equipment involved has to offer. It will be part of the bike segment, which is being integrated for the first time ever this year as part of a soft launch. This will also involve the Bike Test Track organized in cooperation with ExtraEnergy. This track with mixed surfaces and obstacles will be the perfect place to test ride gravel bikes, mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes. The biggest bike textile producers on the market will also be showcasing their latest collections in Hall B6.

“Outdoor” action will of course not be confined to the halls but will also be available in the outside area: the HangOut Area, designed as an interactive exhibition space, will be the perfect place to try out and test a wide variety of products. Meat lovers in particular will enjoy the barbecue in the Kreutzers Outdoor Kitchen.

As an integral addition to the various outdoor activities, daily yoga sessions will be held in four of the focus areas as part of the Body & Mind segment. They will be based around the four elements and will each comprise relevant exercises: fire will represent the climbing-specific program in the Indoor Climbing Hub; the natural flow of water will be at the heart of the session in the River Lake Camp; runners will be able to strengthen their bodies and minds using the theme of earth in the Shoe & Trailrunning Village and the outside exhibition area will provide the perfect location for exercises using the theme of air.
A complete overview of all the focus areas is available online.

OutDays—a festival of outdoor culture
The OutDoor by ISPO trade fair may be reserved for trade visitors but everyone else can look forward to getting involved in OutDays from June 29 to July 6 in the metropolitan area of Munich. End consumers, brands and retailers will become a vital part of this new movement through the festival celebrating outdoor culture. Participants can expect exclusive workshops, meet & greets, try-outs, film screenings, presentations, prize draws and contests. The contents will also reflect the diverse nature of the entire outdoor world: from bouldering, climbing, mountain biking and trail running right through to different water sports, adventure travel and camping. The OutDays program will be available from mid of May 2019 on the Web page.

Outstanding Outdoor—award-winning innovative products
Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair is also a hot spot for innovative products and trends. “Outstanding Outdoor” is an award designed to recognize stand-out products in the outdoor industry. The popular seal of quality helps retailers, the press and end consumers find their bearings in the increasingly complex product landscape. The winners will feature in the exhibition space of the same name in Hall B5.

Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles
23.04.2019

Interview with CEO Stefan Ruholl (Schmitz Textiles): We are Textile

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

Schmitz Textiles is a family business that has been offering textile solutions for indoor and outdoor applications for more than 90 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
As an almost fully integrated manufacturer in Germany, we have advantages that many other market players are likely to envy. We can respond flexibly, technically and with good service to the needs of our customers. Under the drapilux brand, we distribute intelligent design textiles for the contract sector, outdoor and sun protection fabrics under the swela brand and textiles for the automotive segment under the still young label mobiltex. All brands benefit from the broad know-how in production and product development. A few years ago, Germany as production location may have been regarded more negatively as a pure cost factor, but today we see this as valued by our partners as a clear strategic advantage.

In which product areas do market and partners particularly challenge you?
And with which product innovations in the field of technical textiles do you think you can move most?

In each of our fields of activity, we are confronted with comprehensive challenges. At drapilux, for example, we have to meet strict safety requirements in the context of fire protection certifications for the use of our materials on cruise ships and have invested massively in this subject. The sun protection sector is characterized by high demands on color and light fastness combined with optimum resilience - here we were able to gain a major technological advantage with the change from acrylic to polyester qualities years ago.
With the new, award-winning development of our convertible top fabric for mobiltex, also based on polyester, we were able to realize product properties that are completely new in this form in this segment.

For which socially relevant topics do you see particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years
and what is your assessment that the textile industry will be able to offer solutions with its products?

When we look at the next ten years, then it is surely the topic of sustainability that is already omnipresent today. At the moment we are living in a phase where we want sustainable products on the one hand, but, on the other hand, the willingness to pay higher prices for them is not yet pronounced and people tend towards staying with conventional products. This will change. Sustainable products from companies that really live sustainability in the dimensions of ecology, economy and society will win the race. The textile industry offers the best conditions to turn this vision into reality - albeit under investment in production and research and development.

Today, product and technology innovations mean to a large extent digitalization of production and business processes.
New business models often aim at verticalization and demand the path to batch size 1 - what does this mean for Schmitz Textiles?

For an industrial company with a B2B focus, such as Schmitz Textiles, "batch size 1" must be answered with a certain bandwidth. However, in principle, this topic is not new to us, for example in yarn dyeing, we can couple micro-installations for larger batches - and conversely control correspondingly smaller batches through our process chain. In the digital printing sector for the contract business, we are very individually and customer-oriented positioned with a minimum quantity of 25 meters. For our sister company and customer markilux we are supplier for their "Color on Demand" offer for the individual awning cloth with a choice of 1625 RAL colors. With an industrial production scale, you can hardly get much closer to "lot size 1".

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and with that the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed.
Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy about having made it in retrospect?

If we look further back, about ten years ago, the decision to invest in digital printing and to build up know-how and our own production capacities was the right one. Having passed through these learning curves enables us today to expand our offer into the outdoor market without major problems. We are currently more convinced than ever that by entering the automotive segment with the still young mobiltex brand, we have established a new, important keystone for the long-term future of Schmitz Textiles.

The textile industry has been growing steadily worldwide for decades. The consumption of chemical and textile fibres more than quadrupled between 1975 and 2016. In terms of sustainability, there is, to put it mildly, a mixed feedback for our industry.
What is Schmitz Textiles concentrating on in order to fulfil their social responsibility?

If textiles are produced exclusively in Germany, the regulatory framework already requires a certain sustainable orientation. But of course, there is also room for maneuver. In order to meet the high demands of a sustainable and environmentally friendly production, we operate a very high expenditure. For example, all dyestuffs and textile auxiliaries are first checked for compliance with laws and regulations and for environmental and occupational safety aspects before they are used in-house. In addition, voluntary measures were implemented in the area of production long before legislation came into force, such as regenerative thermal post-combustion for the post-treatment of process exhaust air from finishing plants. This ensures that no harmful emissions are caused by exhaust air, waste water or noise. Many projects have also been successfully implemented for energy recovery from process waste water and process exhaust air. All process waste is either returned to the production workflow, recycled or professionally disposed of. A contribution to environmental protection, that should not be underestimated, is the use of synthetic fibres (here: polyester), which can be modified with much less chemicals than natural fibres and are much more durable.
 
The next Techtextil is just around the corner. What are your expectations at the Frankfurt trade fair?
We are a young but at the same time an almost 100-year-old company, having emerged from the corporate reorganization of Schmitz-Werke GmbH + Co. KG on January 1, 2018. Consequently, we are exhibiting for the first time as Schmitz Textiles GmbH + Co KG with our three brands mobiltex, swela and drapilux. We want to present ourselves as a textile competence center. However, the automotive textiles theme will be somewhat in the foreground. We are exhibiting a complete convertible roof with our mobiltex 388 soft top fabric, which was nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019 by the German Design Council, and we are confident that we may accept an award at the end of May.

 

Source:

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

As part of its Newsline, Textination will give innovation leaders of the industry a special place to talk about success, experiences, forecasts and trends.

ISPO Beijing (c) Messe München GmbH
29.01.2019

ISPO Beijing CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL ANNIVERSARY

More than 400 exhibitors representing 682 brands and approximately 30,000 trade visitors and key opinion leaders (KOLs) took part in ISPO Beijing and Alpitec China held at the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) from January 16 to 19, 2019. This year, the most important sports trade fair in the Asia-Pacific region was jam-packed with numerous forums, trends and innovative products and services relating to winter sports, outdoors, health & fitness, and manufacturing & suppliers. Soccer also featured for the first time.

More than 400 exhibitors representing 682 brands and approximately 30,000 trade visitors and key opinion leaders (KOLs) took part in ISPO Beijing and Alpitec China held at the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) from January 16 to 19, 2019. This year, the most important sports trade fair in the Asia-Pacific region was jam-packed with numerous forums, trends and innovative products and services relating to winter sports, outdoors, health & fitness, and manufacturing & suppliers. Soccer also featured for the first time.

“The Chinese have discovered a passion for soccer and their enthusiasm for it continues to grow. European clubs and leagues in particular are a huge source of inspiration for the emerging Chinese soccer market. ISPO Beijing has found a strong new partner in Bundesliga International for continuing to drive the soccer boom in Asia over the next few years,” says a delighted Elena Jasper, Exhibition Director ISPO Beijing. The specially created Football Activation Area played host to seven German first-league teams, namely Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg. They challenged visitors to take part in various activities such as Speed Goal and Goal Wall Shooting and created a thrilling soccer atmosphere for them. The program also featured the Football Forum, which was held on the opening day of the trade fair. High-profile speakers from the clubs set out their strategies for activating the market in China and presented concepts for promoting and encouraging fresh young talents as well as ideas on brand positioning.

Winter sports continue to be popular thanks to Olympics
Winter sports have proven to be hugely popular for several years now, especially in view of the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. As well-known brands and exhibitors in this segment, Burton and Oakley made a welcome return to ISPO Beijing. The Market Introduction Program, designed for brands keen to penetrate the Chinese market, also focused on this area. As part of the two-day seminar program, representatives of 10 brands from across Europe, Asia and the U.S. gained a solid understanding of the specific ins and outs of the Chinese market thanks to industry experts in distribution, online and offline retail and commercial law, and made preliminary contacts.

The Asia Pacific Snow Conference was held for the 11th time in collaboration with the longstanding partner event Alpitec China, the leading trade show for mountain and winter technologies. Representatives from the technology, sports and tourism industries discussed advances being made with China’s ski resorts as well as models and measures for developing, maintaining and expanding them.

Ski Resort Tour participants were given an insight into the infrastructure of the winter sports resorts and treated to a taste of what to expect from the Olympics. Three 2022 Winter Olympics training venues and sites were on the itinerary, namely the Shougang Olympic Park, Wanlong Ski Resort and Genting Ski Resort Secret Garden. “China’s professionalism in preparing for the major sporting event is very impressive. Sports venues are being designed and built in line with the very latest standards. The Olympics will be just the start of China’s development as a winter sports nation,” says Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München.

Valuable knowledge transfer throughout all segments
An extensive supporting program was also provided for the other trade fair segments. The Sports Industry Forum focused on the topic of new investment opportunities for the sports business in China, including with regard to digitalization. Sport injuries and rehabilitation options were the main focal points of the Health & Fitness Forum. The China Climbing Report was published as part of the China Rock Summit. In the ISPO Textrends Area, international consultant for textile trends, Louisa Smith, presented the textile trends relating to materials, fibers, cuts and accessories set to take the industry by storm in the next few years. At the ISPO Award Exhibition and the ISPO Startup Village, visitors gained an overview of the most important innovative products and latest ideas to be devised by young entrepreneurs.

Creation of an advisory committee for ISPO Beijing
An international advisory committee has been set up in order to further develop and bring ISPO Beijing even more in line with the needs of the market, exhibitors and trade visitors. Representatives of exhibitors’ interests, industry representatives and partners met for the first time ever on the eve of this year’s event in order to discuss the strategic direction of the trade fair. The consensus amongst all participants was that the current format of ISPO Beijing represents a solid base with plenty of potential. New segments such as Sports Fashion and Travel should be added to the event in the future and the target group of key opinion leaders (KOLs) should be further expanded. Exchanging experience with Europe is the primary focus of interest.

The next ISPO Beijing will be held from February 12 to 15, 2020 at its new location, the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC).

For more information on ISPO Beijing, please visit https://www.ispo.com/en/beijing

20.11.2018

CHINA'S CLOTHING COMPANIESS REPOSITION THEMSELVES

  • AUTOMATION AND STRONGER FOCUS ON THE DOMESTIC MARKET

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese apparel industry is repositioning itself. Increased wage costs force more automation, more customers demanding more quality.
Nowhere else in the world so much clothing is being produced as in China. According to the sector portal http://www.ask.com, alone 22.9 billion pairs of socks were being produced in 2017. This was 4.8 percent more than in the previous year, and the production of jeans amounted to more than 0.6 billion pieces according to information from http://www.chyxx.com, an increase of 5.0 percent.

  • AUTOMATION AND STRONGER FOCUS ON THE DOMESTIC MARKET

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese apparel industry is repositioning itself. Increased wage costs force more automation, more customers demanding more quality.
Nowhere else in the world so much clothing is being produced as in China. According to the sector portal http://www.ask.com, alone 22.9 billion pairs of socks were being produced in 2017. This was 4.8 percent more than in the previous year, and the production of jeans amounted to more than 0.6 billion pieces according to information from http://www.chyxx.com, an increase of 5.0 percent.
China is not only the world's largest production nation, but also by far the world's largest export nation in the sector. However, countries such as India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia are catching up enormously due to lower wages. As a result, China - measured by its share of world clothing exports - has lost around 5.5 percentage points since 2013, down to only 32.4% in 2017.

China's share of world clothing exports 1) (in USD billion; shares in %)
  2008 2013 2015 2017
World Export 380 468 471 486
China Export 120 177 175 157
China's share 31.6 37.9 37.1 32.4

1) SITC Pos.84; 2) Partially estimated on the basis of information provided by the ITC
Source: UN Comtrade, GTAI calculation.

By contrast, Bangladesh (+3.7 points), Vietnam (+2.0 points) and Cambodia (+1.3 points) in particular recorded gains in the period from 2013 to 2017. In absolute terms, Chinese apparel exports fell by 15.6% to USD 157 billion since the record year of 2014 (USD187 billion). No improvement is in sight as exports are stagnating in 2018.

Export of clothing 1) by country (in USD million; shares in %)
  2008 Share 2013 Share 2017 Share
World Export 380,000 100.0 468,000 100.0 486,000 100.0
China 120,405 31.6 177,435 37.9 157,464 32.4
ASEAN3) 29,793 7.8 42,123 9.0 61,441 12.6
Vietnam 8,724 2.3 17,230 3.7 27,930 5.7
Kambodscha 3,014 0.8 4,832 1.0 11,250 2.3
Bangladesch 12,035 3.2 19,679 4.2 38,460 7.9
India 10,968 2.9 16,843 3.6 18,313 4.0
Germany 18,183 4.8 19,178 4.1 22,034 4.6

1) SITC Pos. 84; 2) partly estimated on the basis of ITC data; 3) excluding Laos and Brunei
Sources: UN-Comtrade; ITC; GTAI calculation

Rising wage costs as investment driver
Due to rising personnel costs throughout the country, manufacturers were and are under considerable cost pressure. With an average hourly wage for a Chinese worker of the equivalent of around USD 5.2 (2017), China has not only left classic emerging markets such as Thailand (USD 2.3) or Mexico (USD 3.9) behind - not to mention India with USD 0.8 - but is already approaching individual European countries (e.g. Greece 2016: USD 6.0).


Companies have met and continue to meet this challenge through increased automation. Between 2015 (9.1 million) and 2017 (7.8 million) alone, the workforce of the textile and clothing industry shrank by 14.3 percent - according to the Chinese statistical office. More and better machines make it possible to say goodbye to the previous labor-intensive production - and thus lower cost pressure with more precise and faster execution. Imports of textile machinery are also benefiting from this. These rose in 2017 by a whopping 34.1 percent year-on-year to nearly USD 3.9 billion.


Germany no longer number one textile machinery supplier
Although Germany lost its position as most important supplier country for textile machinery to Japan, it was still able to increase its deliveries by 28.3 percent to USD 1.1 billion. This corresponded to a supply share of 28.3 percent. Japanese manufacturers achieved a ratio of 30.0 percent with just under USD 1.2 billion (+52.8 percent). Competition from Italy came to only 11.5 percent. The good performance is remarkable due to the fact that a number of German textile machine manufacturers have invested heavily in recent years in the region in order to be able to meet the wishes of Chinese customers more effectively.

China's textile machinery imports *) by selected countries (in USD million; year-on-year change and 2017 shares in %)
  2015 2016 2017 Change Shares
Total 3,354 2,907 3,897 34.1 100.0
including          
Japan 728 765 1,169 52.8 30.0
Germany 1,219 851 1,101 29.4 28.3
Italy 415 347 448 29.1 11.5
Taiwan 206 187 203 8.6 5.2
Belgium 134 124 173 4.0 4.4
Switzerland 104 111 126 13.5 3.2

*) SITC-Pos. 724
Source: UN-Comtrade; GTAI calculation

Due to the high pressure to modernization Chinese textile machinery imports in the first seven months of 2018 increased by almost 15 percent compared to the previous period. German machine manufacturers in particular benefited from this development, with deliveries increasing by 30 percent in the same period. As Japanese exports of textile machinery to China stagnated at the same time, German manufacturers are likely to take the lead again in 2018.
As the garment exports come under such severe pressure, the industry is now increasingly geared towards the local market. Whereas ten years ago about half of the value of production was exported, today it is only about a third. In fact, the Chinese spent an average of around 4.8 percent of their disposable income or 1,238 Renminbi (RMB; around 183 US dollars; 1 USD = 6.7531 RMB, annual mean rate of 2017) on clothing in 2017, according to the Chinese Statistical Office. With an average disposable annual income of 25,974 RMB and a population of 1.39 billion, this translates into a market volume of approximately USD 255 billion.

China's consumers demand quality and design
This makes the Chinese clothing market one of the largest in the world - and one that is becoming increasingly diversified. Local offerings range from the cheapest mass-produced goods, qualitatively and visually appealing products in the mid-price segment up to luxury and haute couture. Much has changed in the upper price segment in particular. "In the past, the Chinese exported the best qualities, but today they keep them for themselves," says a British sourcing expert who has been working in the Kashmir business for decades, describing the development.

In general, Chinese consumer demand is becoming increasingly sophisticated and differentiated. In addition to the tendency towards recognized brands, an increasing individualization of consumption can also be observed. The question is what fits well, pleases and is also somehow "special". "People in the North used to buy cashmere clothes because they warmed well," explains Cheng Xudong, president of the private Dongrong Group. The design was of secondary importance - and accordingly most of the pieces were "old-fashioned".

"Today, cashmere clothes also look very good," Cheng adds. "That's why it's bought not only in the north, but also in the more southern parts of the country." In general, the middle class in particular is looking for a high-quality lifestyle - and clothing is a part of it. The entrepreneur is convinced that if the textile and clothing industry succeeds in adapting to the higher quality demands of local customers through a technical upgrade and improved design, then the industry will continue to do well in the future.

Additional information
Further information on the economic situation, the sectors, business practice, law, customs, tenders and development projects in China can be found at http://www.gtai.de/china The website http://www.gtai.de/asien-pazifik provides an overview of various topics in the region.

 

More information:
China Sampe China GTAI
Source:

Stefanie Schmitt, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Outdoor by ISPO (c) Messe München GmbH
16.10.2018

NEW CONCEPT AND VENUE: EXHIBITORS AND PARTNERS COUNT ON OUTDOOR BY ISPO IN MUNICH

OutDoor by ISPO is coming to Munich and numerous exhibitors and partners have already confirmed their involvement in the trade fair (June 30 to July 3, 2019) – around nine months in advance. The international trade fair for the outdoor industry owes its popularity in no small part to the new profile, which extends far beyond the exhibition halls themselves: the 365-day platform provides brands and manufacturers with the digital and physical channels they need to be able to communicate with their customers all year round. As such, OutDoor by ISPO is the reliable, modern and pioneering platform that the industry has been looking for.
 

OutDoor by ISPO is coming to Munich and numerous exhibitors and partners have already confirmed their involvement in the trade fair (June 30 to July 3, 2019) – around nine months in advance. The international trade fair for the outdoor industry owes its popularity in no small part to the new profile, which extends far beyond the exhibition halls themselves: the 365-day platform provides brands and manufacturers with the digital and physical channels they need to be able to communicate with their customers all year round. As such, OutDoor by ISPO is the reliable, modern and pioneering platform that the industry has been looking for.
 
At the end of June during the Outdoor by ISPO launch conference it was already clear that the concept developed by Messe München in cooperation with the European Outdoor Group (EOG) was exactly what the market needed. Over 250 international industry representatives also welcomed the plan to raise the profile of OutDoor by ISPO by establishing it as a year-round platform for the outdoor industry in addition to the trade fair. Numerous exhibitors, from a total of 25 countries so far, including for example Arc‘terix, Maloja, Mountain Hardware, Jack Wolfskin, Ortlieb, Petzl, Scott, Sining Rock, Tatonka and Vaude as well as the Oberalp Group with its brands Dynafit, Salewa, Pomoca and Wild Country, have already registered for the first event in Munich. The new OutDoor by ISPO will open its doors for the first time at the Messe München Exhibition Center from June 30 to July 3, 2019. An overview of the brands and manufacturers, which have already booked their places, updated every week, is available online as is information on the exhibitor registration process.
 
“OutDoor Easy” – flexible stand construction concept for more modest budgets
OutDoor by ISPO is an important industry event both for small and big brands and hence caters for companies of all sizes. Outdoor Easy is specifically targeted at exhibitors with a more modest budget and aims to make the exhibition process as smooth as possible. Markus Hefter, Exhibition Director OutDoor by ISPO, says: “This flexible and cost-effective stand construction concept is a high-quality and authentic solution enabling companies to showcase their products in the perfect setting without having to undertake all the set-up work on their own.” The concept consists of a cost-effective full package offering an open and attractive layout as well as a good location in the hall. More information on OutDoor Easy is available here. 
 
PADDLEexpo enriches OutDoor by ISPO with its experience
With the PADDLEexpo as partner the booming water sports sector will now be properly represented at OutDoor by ISPO. The professional trade show for kayaking, canoeing & stand-up paddling (SUP) in Nuremberg has been an ISPO partner for ten years and the partnership is now being taken to the next level with the installation of the Paddlesport Village at OutDoor by ISPO. This area will be exclusively dedicated to paddlesport products and will be an important meeting place for kayaking, canoeing and SUP experts. More information on PADDLEexpo is available at ispo.com.
 
OutDoor by ISPO available 365 days a year for the industry
ISPO is known for being a year-round ecosystem offering analog and digital products and services. ISPO customers have been benefiting from this mix of information, innovation and networking for years – and this portfolio is now also available for OutDoor by ISPO. OutDoor by ISPO now offers market players the opportunity to present themselves to the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With it, the annual leading trade fair for the outdoor industry is supplemented with a far-reaching platform, which is available to the entire outdoor community, from brands and manufacturers right through to retailers and consumers all around the world.

 

More information:
OutDoor Show
Source:

Messe München

Texcare Asia and China Laundry Expo (c) Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd
07.08.2018

TEXCARE ASIA AND CHINA LAUNDRY EXPO TO MERGE – CREATING ASIA’S LARGEST EXHIBITION FOR LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

As disclosed in an agreement signed on 18 July 2018 by the organisers of Texcare Asia and the China Laundry Expo, the two trade fairs will merge into a single show in a win-win arrangement to integrate industry resources.
 
The new joint-venture fair will be the largest annual industry event covering the textile care and laundry chain in Asia. The first edition will take place in September 2019 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and will be jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Unifair Exhibition Service Co Ltd, the China Laundry Association, and the China Light Machinery Association.  
 

As disclosed in an agreement signed on 18 July 2018 by the organisers of Texcare Asia and the China Laundry Expo, the two trade fairs will merge into a single show in a win-win arrangement to integrate industry resources.
 
The new joint-venture fair will be the largest annual industry event covering the textile care and laundry chain in Asia. The first edition will take place in September 2019 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and will be jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Unifair Exhibition Service Co Ltd, the China Laundry Association, and the China Light Machinery Association.  
 
Mr Wolfgang Marzin, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt Group, said: “The merger is fantastic news for the textile care industry in Asia as a whole and also for the Messe Frankfurt Group. By integrating Texcare Asia’s extensive resources with those of the China Laundry Expo, we will provide a larger and more complete platform for the industry to converge upon. The new show will provide coverage across the entire supply chain, including dry cleaning, dyeing, detergent and disinfecting chemicals, leather care, textile rental, digital solutions and much more.”
 
Ms Xiuping Han, General Manager of China Unifair Exhibition Services Co Ltd added: “The laundry industry in China faces numerous challenges, such as the tightening of sewage treatment and disposal regulations, while opportunities are also arising in the form of increased demand for energy saving technologies. By merging the China Laundry Expo and Texcare Asia under a single banner, we will provide an ideal platform to facilitate industry development and address these challenges and opportunities.”   
 
The annual China Laundry Expo was founded in 2000 and is held on a rotating basis between Beijing and Shanghai. Organised by the China Laundry Association and Unifair Exhibition Services Co Ltd, the show receives significant government and commercial sector backing. The 19th edition is held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre over the next three days and will play host to more than 220 exhibitors representing around 500 brands from over 10 countries and regions. The fair is also expecting to welcome over 20,000 trade and industry visitors to an impressive 23,000 sqm of exhibition space.   

Key product categories of the China Laundry Expo include laundry equipment, accessories, chemicals, consumables, leather care products, energy-saving and environmental protection equipment, informationbased intelligent products and solutions, and much more. Not only do these product categories cater to the purchasing demands of visitors around the globe, but the strong variety also serves to attract more suppliers and industry players.
 
With a similar focus to the China Laundry Expo, Texcare Asia made its debut in Singapore in 1998 and was introduced to Hong Kong in 2002. The fair then move to China in 2005 in Beijing and has been located in Shanghai since 2013. With the strong international network and industry support from the mother fair, Texcare International, the China event is now recognised as Asia’s biggest laundry and dry-cleaning show. It has served as a biennial meeting point for textile care manufacturers, suppliers and professionals to network, trade, conduct business, and catch up with industry developments.   
 
The fair also holds a unique position as a platform for providers of textile rental services, training services for institutions, and machinery for the cleaning of carpets, floor coverings, upholstery and buildings. By combining product groups from the China Laundry Expo with those of Texcare Asia, the merged platform promises to deliver a comprehensive value added experience for its customers and visitors.  
 
The expanded product portfolio and merging of resources mean that the newly merged show is predicted to attract an impressive 300 exhibitors and 25,000 industry visitors across 30,000 sqm of floor space when it opens its doors in September 2019.   
 
For further details, please visit www.texcare-asia.com, or contact texcareasia@china.messefrankfurt.com.

ETHOPIA CAN SET UP FURTHER TEXTILE FACTORIES Photo: Pixabay
15.05.2018

ETHOPIA CAN SET UP FURTHER TEXTILE FACTORIES

  • Sudanese and Chinese investors want to secure raw material supplies

Nairobi (GTAI) - Ethiopia has further successes in attracting textile companies: One British company is planning to invest USD 100 million, one Chinese company even plans to invest USD 220 million. This means that the textile sector is increasingly becoming a self-starter, as donors increasingly want to supply domestic industry with pre-products. Meanwhile, those who invest should not only raise the financial means, but also the raw material cotton, according to market experts.

  • Sudanese and Chinese investors want to secure raw material supplies

Nairobi (GTAI) - Ethiopia has further successes in attracting textile companies: One British company is planning to invest USD 100 million, one Chinese company even plans to invest USD 220 million. This means that the textile sector is increasingly becoming a self-starter, as donors increasingly want to supply domestic industry with pre-products. Meanwhile, those who invest should not only raise the financial means, but also the raw material cotton, according to market experts.

The Ethiopian textile and clothing market has two new entrants: the British Intrade Co. UK Ltd. and the Chinese Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment Co. Ltd, Intrade intends to build a textile and clothing factory in the Mekelle Industrial Park (Tigray Regional State), which was opened in July 2017. Initial cost estimates are around USD 100 million. Intrade is an offshore company of the Sudanese Mahgoub-Sons Group. The company has reached an agreement with the Ethiopian Investment Commission to invest USD 200 million in three projects. The textile project is to be completed in 16 months.

Security of supply for cotton is becoming an issue
The Sudanese group is not only interested in textile production, but also with lucrative supply transactions for its own cotton. They have the capacity to supply 500,000 tons of long staple quality cotton annually, Wagdi Mirghani Mahgoub, Managing Director of Intrade says. The supply of raw cotton has become an increasing problem for the emerging Ethiopian textile industry since some Asian countries ordered export stops for the raw material, including the PR China and India. The African Plantation, which cultivates 33,000 hectares of agricultural land in Sudan, also belongs to the Mahgoub-Sons Group.

However, Wuxi No. 1 Cotton Investment has announced the second and larger textile investment of 2018: a textile factory will be opened shortly in the Dire Dawa Industrial Park. In a first phase, USD 80 million are planned, followed by further investments totaling USD 140 million. The company intends to install state-of-the-art textile machines to produce and supply goods for the demanding markets in Europe, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. According to their own statements, partners are leading world machinery brands. Wuxi is already pursuing a project in the Ethiopian city of Adama and also has plans to grow cotton in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is considered the first textile address in Africa
"Clothing companies are nomads," an industry consultant knows, "they go where it is cheapest for them. If wages and ancillary costs rise too much in countries like Bangladesh or the PR China, the caravan moves on." South of the Sahara, only Mauritius has made a name for itself as a producer of high-quality clothing. Attempts to establish larger-scale textile and clothing companies in Namibia and Lesotho have so far been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Kenya and Ghana have production conditions that are far too expensive.

Ethiopia offers several advantages at the same time: Wages and ancillary costs are extremely low and far below those in China. The US Centre for Global Development found out that a worker in Ethiopian sweatshops earns an average of USD 909 a year. In Bangladesh, however, it is US$ 835 and in Tanzania and Kenya even US$ 1,776 and US$ 2,118 respectively. Another advantage: Ethiopian seamstresses are considered to be extremely hardworking and reliable. In addition, there is a tradition in textile and clothing production as well as in leather processing and thus there is a basic pool of trained specialists.

Infrastructure is making huge progress
Meanwhile, the supply of domestic cotton and leather needs to be expanded, because in the drought years 2016 and partly 2017 the supply of cotton was insufficient. The government is cooperating and is increasingly listening to the needs of producers. The infrastructure is currently undergoing sustained improvement, in particular the transport routes to the neighboring seaport of Djibouti, from where Europe can be reached more quickly than from the Far East. And, last but not least, the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has a capable air traffic hub with a dozen direct flights to the EU, including Frankfurt and Vienna. In addition, there is a modern air freight center.

Just as important as the delivery routes are the comparatively modern production conditions in the newly emerging industrial centers throughout the country. Everything here is "Made in China": fences, access controls, roads, electricity and water supply, waste and sewage disposal, workers' settlements. From a European perspective, this may look like Chinese dominance, but from an Ethiopian perspective it creates jobs, feeds families and earns foreign exchange. Under better working conditions than in Bangladesh, experts mean.

According to the ideas of the Ethiopian government, the country is undergoing a transformation process: away from an agrarian-based economy and towards an industrial state. By 2025, the country is expected to reach middle-income status and to become Africa's largest industrial production hub. To achieve this, Ethiopia is investing heavily in roads, railways and power generation, health and education, urban and rural development and the creation of industrial clusters.

Customs advantages in the USA and Europe
Ethiopia has so far benefited from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the USA, which, for example, allows savings of 16.8 percent in import duties on cotton trousers and 30 percent on synthetic shirts. Ethiopia also has duty-free access to the EU market under the Everything but Arms initiative. Fears that US President Donald Trump might stop AGOA have not yet come true.

Ethiopian exports of textiles, clothing and leather products
(including footwear; in US$ millions)

SITC-Commodity Group
 2014 2015 2016
61 Leather and leather goods    97.51    98.20
78.63  
65 Yarn, fabrics, finished textile products and related articles  39.34  39.12 29.61
84 Clothing and apparel accessories  55.53  77.94  68.25
85 Shoes         
 33.88
 37.69  43.80
Total 226,26 252,95  220,2

Source: Comtrade

German exports can be expanded
German sales representatives of technology for the textile, clothing and leather industry are not yet well positioned in Ethiopia. According to preliminary figures from the Federal Statistical Office (SITC 724), only EUR 2.84 million of relevant technology where sent to Ethiopia in 2017, though 169 percent more than in the previous year.

Ethiopian imports of machinery, equipment and parts for the textile and leather industries
(SITC 724; in USD millions)

Supplying Country 2014    2015 2016
Total 131.30 170.51 111.10
.. PR China  43.87  42.40 62.07
..Italy 6.38 11.75 11.72
..Japan 4.40 10.11 6.89
..Turkey   4.86 19.14 4.92
..Other Asian countries, not specified 1.85 1.87 4.11
..India  6.07 6.49 3.06
..Germany 9.22 9.08 2.44

Source: Comtrade

 

Source:

Martin Böll, Nairobi (GTAI)

Furniture market in France Photo: Pixabay
24.04.2018

FURNITURE MARKET IN FRANCE IS GROWING VIGOROUSLY

  • Sales of Kitchens and Beds is outperforming
  • E-commerce puts pressure on the Sector

Paris (GTAI) - Furniture sales in France rose sharply in 2017 for the third year in a row, although the record level of 2011 has not yet been reached. This is reported by the association FNAEM in its annual balance sheet and refers to the close connection with the booming housing market. This also should push the furniture sector in 2018.

  • Sales of Kitchens and Beds is outperforming
  • E-commerce puts pressure on the Sector

Paris (GTAI) - Furniture sales in France rose sharply in 2017 for the third year in a row, although the record level of 2011 has not yet been reached. This is reported by the association FNAEM in its annual balance sheet and refers to the close connection with the booming housing market. This also should push the furniture sector in 2018.

After growth rates of 2.4 and 2.3 percent in 2015 and 2016 the French furniture market has again achieved a stable growth of 2 percent in 2017. According to the FNAEM Federation (Federation française du negoce de la ameublement et de equipement de la maison), the market developments are closely linked to the housing and real estate markets. According to the association, every third furniture purchase was made by a household that has moved within the last 24 months.
 
In 2017 16 percent more homes were built in France compared to the previous year. By the end of October 2017, the real estate market also had also registered 16 percent more transactions. The FFB (Federation française du batiment) expects a strong total construction activity again but with a slight decline of 2.5 per cent in the construction of new housing in 2018.

The development of the overall economy and the political environment also have a strong influence on the furniture market. For example, the presidential elections and the change of government in France led to an initial uncertainty among consumers and delays in the awarding of public contracts. Sales of furniture initially developed weakly in the first half of 2017, but then all the more dynamically.

Furniture market in France 2017
  Sales 2017 (in Euro billion) Change  2017/16 (in %) Share (in %)
Kitchen furniture 2.57 4.0 26.3
Upholstered furniture (sofas, armchairs and benches) 2.42 2.3 24.8
Beds 1.34 3.0 13.8
Bathroom furniture 0.24 -1.6 2.5
Garden furniture 0.13 2.0 1.4
Other home furniture (tables, chairs, chests, drawers) 3.06 0.1 31.2
Total 9.76 2.0 100.0

Source: IPEA (Institut de prospective et d'etudes de l'ameublement)

Most strongly grew the kitchens segment in 2017, whereas in recent years in particular bedroom furniture led the sales. Kitchens are particularly benefiting from the improving housing market and a continuing trend in French households to pay more attention to kitchen equipment.

Fitted kitchens gain market share
According to an analysis by the market research company IPEA (Institut de prospective et d'étes de l'ameublement), only 60 percent of households in France have fitted kitchens, much less than in other Western European countries (Germany: around 80 percent). This difference promises good growth rates for this segment for years to come.
According to the market researchers, the gap between the well-running segment of sofas and armchairs over benches is increasing in favor of upholstered furniture. Above all, folding sofas, which are always offered cheaper, continue to make competition to banks.

Other home furniture such as tables, chairs or chests, which continue to make the majority of the market, were, according to the FNAEM association, unable to make up much ground in retailing compared to kitchens and beds in 2017. Also, in 2018, according to the association's expectations, there will be no signs of recovery. According to FNAEM at most the online trade should continue to grow in the home furniture segment.
The sales of garden furniture benefited from warm weather periods in spring 207, which extended the sales season. According to IPEA bathroom furniture could not fully benefit from the upturn in the housing market in 2017. The business often depends on the hardware stores, which often promote low-cost products. Installers would have sold less bathroom furniture in favor of heating systems.
 
Good sales forecasts for beds
The bedroom segment, the leader in growth in recent years, has developed less strongly in 2017. IPEA attributes this to a tougher competition with more price promotions. Lower prices had slowed the sales despite good volumes. The buyers continue to ask for larger beds sizes with a width of 160 cm.

According to a study by the market research firm Xerfi, the bedding segment is expected to grow steadily by 3.3 percent per year until 2019, supported by the housing market and higher disposable income. French consumers would also exchange their mattresses now more often. According to the trade Frenchmen buy a new mattress every 14 year, whereas this happens in the US every eight years. The association of the mattress industry calls 13,5 for Germany.

Retailers operate multichannel strategy
However, the competition in the bed and mattress market is growing, above all due to the success of e-commerce. Online mattress suppliers such as Casper from the USA (with production in Germany), Tediber and Ilobed from France or Simba and Eve Sleep from the UK have launched massive advertising campaigns in France. According to estimations of the providers, they now have reached a market share of about 5 to 6 percent in the mattress segment.

The stationary trade with furniture stores like Ikea, Conforama or But and the bed specialists Maison de la literie, Compagnie du lit or Litrimarche defend themselves against the pure on-line offerors. All major retailers now operate a multichannel strategy, meaning that they try not only to sell in their furniture stores but also via their own online channels. At the same time the shops are upgraded by events, more advice or more frequently changing exhibitions.

Leading in France are the large furniture stores Ikea, Conforama and But. Market leader Ikea claims a market share of 19.4 percent in 2017. Conforama and But did not publish any shares for 2017 but came to 16.1 and 13.4 percent respectively in 2016. According to estimates by IPEA, online commerce accounts for a total market share of around 12 percent. Half of this is accounted for by pure online providers and internet sales by conventional, previously purely stationary, providers.

Ikea aims for a 10 percent online share in France. Conforama claims to already generate 10 percent of its sales via the Internet. However, the company also offers entertainment and household electronics. Of the online furniture purchases, 82 percent are still being picked up at the stores. Conforma wants to do justice to this with additional furniture markets in the low-price segment. At the same time, other sales rooms should be created in which new furnishing ideas will be presented.

Furniture retail in France by sales channel 2017
  Sales 2017 (in EUR billion) Change 2017/16 (in %)
Furniture stores 4.91 +0.9
Kitchenhouses 1.30 +6.0
Furniture stores, medium segment 1.02 +1.4
Luxury furniture stores 0.37 +2.0
Craft 0.33 -0.4
E-Commerce, catalog-trading and others 1.83 +3.3
Total 9.76 +2.0

Source: IPEA

Conforama joined the French online pioneer Showroomprive.com in 2017 as an investor, hoping to gain expertise in online marketing. Due to the impending bankruptcy of the South African parent company Steinhoff Conforama sold its shares in early 2018 to the supermarket chain Carrefour.

However, the company intends to take advantage of the increased customer interest in the bedding segment with a new high-end store chain under the brand "Il etait une nuit" and is buying additionally more smaller bed houses. The chain But was for a long time for sale until it was taken over in mid-2016 by the third largest furniture retailer Lutz from Austria together with financial investors.

Contacts
Name Internet address Comments
AHK Frankreich http://frankreich.ahk.de Advises on entering the market in France
Federation française du negoce de l'ameublement et de l'equipement de la maison (FNAEM) http://www.fnaem.fr Association of the furniture trade
Union nationale des industries de l'ameublement français http://www.ameublement.com Association of the French furniture manufacturers


      

More information:
France Furniture market
Source:

Peter Buerstedde, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de. Translation Textination.

19.12.2017

Relaunch Textination: Goodbye and welcome!

 With the last working days of the year 2017 at Christmas we have satisfied a desire for us and hopefully also for all visitors and users of the internet portal for the textile industry TEXTINATION:
Textination says goodbye to its old layout and will welcome 2018 with a fresh new look.

 With the last working days of the year 2017 at Christmas we have satisfied a desire for us and hopefully also for all visitors and users of the internet portal for the textile industry TEXTINATION:
Textination says goodbye to its old layout and will welcome 2018 with a fresh new look.

EVERYTHING STAYS DIFFERENT:
As usual, you will find our business information in the form of company overviews, economic data, tenders and market analysis. The job market will continue to help finding new challenges or people who face challenges.
The textile knowledge database TextileTechnology is still at your disposal, just like the new DownCheck database with all the details about down and feathers. And of course, we will keep you posted about dates and events.
 
WHAT'S NEW?
We have cleaned up: the navigation has been revised and streamlined; topic priorities have been newly set. In addition, we have followed the wishes of many companies and have significantly expanded and structured the news area. In future, you will find information or news from the industry that interests you with one click. An extensive archive and an indexing will help at finding.

We offer a platform that optimally supports you in the presentation of your products, developments and innovations – following the motto: we proudly present ...
Show what sets you apart from others.

We wish you, your colleagues and employees a wonderful Christmas and a good start to a hopefully happy, healthy and prosperous NEW YEAR 2018.

Stay curious!
Your Textination-Team. 

More information:
Textination
Source:

Textination

12.12.2017

ETHIOPIA FOCUSES ON CLOTHING AND TEXTILE EXPORTS

  • Industrial parks should enable a quantum leap
  • Progress in infrastructure, Deficits in foreign exchange provision

The Ethiopian textile, clothing and leather industry scores not only with comparatively low wages and high-performing personnel, but also with modern industrial parks. In the meantime the technology has to be fully imported and the supply of materials needs to be greatly expanded. There is a great progress in logistics, but unfortunately not in foreign exchange procurement. German suppliers of relevant equipment should definitely consider Ethiopia in their acquisition.

  • Industrial parks should enable a quantum leap
  • Progress in infrastructure, Deficits in foreign exchange provision

The Ethiopian textile, clothing and leather industry scores not only with comparatively low wages and high-performing personnel, but also with modern industrial parks. In the meantime the technology has to be fully imported and the supply of materials needs to be greatly expanded. There is a great progress in logistics, but unfortunately not in foreign exchange procurement. German suppliers of relevant equipment should definitely consider Ethiopia in their acquisition.

So far, only Mauritius has made a name for itself as a producer of high-quality clothing south of the Sahara. Attempts to locate textile and clothing companies in Namibia and Lesotho in a larger style have not been very successful. Meanwhile Kenya and Ghana have far too expensive production conditions. "Clothing companies are nomadic,” says a consultant, who is specializing in the trade, "they go where it's cheapest for them."

Meanwhile, Ethiopia offers several advantages: Wages and additional costs are far below the Chinese ones. A worker in the Ethiopian factories earns an average of USD 909 a year, according to a survey by the US Center for Global Development, compared to USD 835 in Bangladesh, USD 1,776 in Tanzania, and USD 2,118 in Kenya. Another advantage is appreciated by employees: Ethiopia has a long tradition of textile and clothing production as well as in leather processing and thus at least an expandable base of skilled workers.

The supply of native cotton and leather meanwhile is considered strongly expandable. In times of drought, such as in 2016 and partly in 2017, the supply of cotton is insufficient. However, the government is cooperative and increasingly open to the needs of producers. Thus, the infrastructure has been currently sustainably improved, in particular the transport routes to the seaport Djibouti, from where Europe is much faster to reach than from the Far East. In addition, the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has a capable aviation hub with a dozen direct flights to the EU, including Frankfurt and Vienna. There is also a modern air freight center.

Modern industrial parks as a game changer

Just as important as the delivery routes are the "modern" production conditions in the emerging industrial centers all over the country, Made by China: pothole-free roads, guaranteed electricity and water supply, proper waste and wastewater disposal, workers' settlements in the vicinity. From the Ethiopian point of view, a great many jobs are created, families are fed and foreign exchange is earned.

According to its government, Ethiopia is in a transformation process away from an agrarian economy and towards an industrialized state. By 2025, the country should reach a "middle-income status" and become the largest industrial production hub in Africa. To achieve this, Ethiopia is investing heavily in roads, railways and power generation, in health and education, in urban and rural development, and in the creation of industrial clusters.

Ambitious export specifications

In July 2016 the Hawassa Industrial Park was officially opened, dedicated to the export of textiles and clothing, and is the largest industrial park in sub-Saharan Africa. As early as 2018, the park is expected to employ 60,000 workers and generate USD 1 billion in exports of clothing and textiles - a steep target given in a view of the current export figures. As early as 2030, Ethiopia wants to reach a total of USD 30 billion by exporting textiles and clothing - but it's still a long way off. At present, 15 in-ternational companies are already investing in Hawassa, including the US PVH Corporation (formerly Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, prominent brands: Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfinger) and Epic Group (Hong Kong), a supplier of, among others, Walmart , JC Penny, Levi Strauss, VF Corporation, Tesco, Sansbury's, Marks & Spencer and C & A. Epic wanted to go to Kenya first, but then decided for Ethiopia at the last minute, which, according to Epic boss Ranjan Mahtani, is "still unpolished," but has the most potential.

The challenges are considered to be high: "Our seam-stresses have never got a job before and have never seen a sewing machine," Mahtani says training therefore is a top priority. At the same time, however, his company also relies on state-of-the-art automatic machines, for example for attaching bags. The production halls are also all around computerized with RFID technology. The current efficiency Mahtani estimates at 25 to 30 percent. After experience with other production sites, results of 75 to 80 percent are possible after about ten years.

Wide range of new industrial parks under construction

In July 2017, another industrial park was opened in Kombolcha City. A whole range of other parks are in various stages of realization and all are focused on the apparel, textile, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing sectors. According to the Ethiopian Government, there is no shortage of interested investors from the PR of China, India, Turkey, the US, Hong Kong and South Korea. Ethiopia benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act of the United States, which, for example, reduces its import duties by 16.8 per cent on cotton pants and 30 per cent on synthetic shirts. In addition, Ethiopia has a duty-free access to the EU market under the Everything-but-Arms initiative.

Ethiopian exports of textiles, clothing and leather goods (including shoes), in USD mio
SITC- product group 2014 2015 2016
61 Leather and leather goods  97.51 98.20 78.63
65 Yarn, fabrics finished textiles and re-lated products 39.34 39.12 29.61
84 Clothing and clothing accessories 55.53 77.94 68.25
85 Shoes   33.88 37.69 43.80
Total      226.26 252.95 220.29

Source: Comtrade, as of 18 October 2017

Ethiopian imports of machinery and equipment for the textile and leather industry and parts thereof (SITC 724, in USD mio, change in%)
Supplying country 2014 2015 2016
Total      131.30

170.51

111.10
PR China 43.87 42.40 62.07
Italy 6.38 11.75 11.72
Japan 4.40 10.11 6.89
Turkey 4.86 19.14 4.92
other Asian countries, not specified 1.85 1.87 4.11
India 6.07 6.49 3.06
Germany 9.22 9.08 2.44

Note: The import figures mentioned above are based on Ethiopian data, which for various reasons are not considered particularly reliable. Equally not reliable are often the relevant export data of the partner countries, because all sea transports go via Djibouti and deliveries statistically are recorded often as exports to Djibouti.
Source: UN Comtrade, as of 18 October 2017

German exports expandable

German exporters of technology for the textile, clothing and leather industries are not yet well positioned in Ethiopia. According to the preliminary figures of the Federal Statistical Office (SITCM 724), in 2016 only EUR 1.06 mio of relevant technology went to Ethiopia, compared to EUR 1.05 mio in the previous year and EUR 5.02 mio in 2015.

More information:
Ethiopia Export Textilindustrie
Source:

Martin Böll, Nairobi (GTAI)

 Ethiopia is considered as investment tip in Sub-Saharan Africa © Pixabay
07.11.2017

ETHIOPIA IS CONSIDERED AS INVESTMENT TIP IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

  • International companies have confidence in government work
  • Chinese set the tone

Nairobi (GTAI) - Foreign companies are flowing into Ethiopia and investing in the textile, clothing and leather sectors. Ethiopia is also interesting for companies that assembling simple technical devices. The country does not look good in various international indices, but that does not have to be a contradiction. For some sectors Ethiopia is highly interesting and hope for improvement is always to be hoped for.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of many typical developing countries, as there are many on the African continent. The big difference is: Ethiopia is controlled by a regime that is not satisfied with what it has achieved, but is more ambitious: to become a leading, if not the leading, industrialized nation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Model China

  • International companies have confidence in government work
  • Chinese set the tone

Nairobi (GTAI) - Foreign companies are flowing into Ethiopia and investing in the textile, clothing and leather sectors. Ethiopia is also interesting for companies that assembling simple technical devices. The country does not look good in various international indices, but that does not have to be a contradiction. For some sectors Ethiopia is highly interesting and hope for improvement is always to be hoped for.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of many typical developing countries, as there are many on the African continent. The big difference is: Ethiopia is controlled by a regime that is not satisfied with what it has achieved, but is more ambitious: to become a leading, if not the leading, industrialized nation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Model China

Despite its geographical location in Africa, large parts of the country's historical and cultural development are strongly influenced from the Middle East. The big role models are therefore not more successful states in Africa but are coming as the United Arab Emirates and China from the East. Thirty years ago, the economic march that Ethiopia is undergoing today, began there: cheap labor, interesting natural resources, enough free land and rivers for energy and irrigation.

The country is thus attractive for labor-intensive industries, especially the textile, clothing and leather industry. A worker in an Ethiopian sweatshop earns an average of USD 909 a year, based on a survey by the US Center for Global Development, compared to USD 835 in Bangladesh, USD 1,776 in Tanzania, and USD 2,118 in Kenya. Another advantage appreciated by employers: In the African context Ethiopian women are considered to be well-educated and less willing to strike.

Special zones of industrial oases

Another location advantage are the industrial zones, which are mostly built by Chinese companies: fencing, strict access controls, no-hole roads, guaranteed electricity and water supply, proper waste and garbage disposal, workers' housing in the area or nearby, shops, banks, medical care. From a European point of view, it may look like exploitation and "big brother", but from an Ethiopian point of view jobs are created, families are fed and foreign exchange is earned.

In July 2016, the Hawassa Industrial Park was officially opened, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. From here, textiles and clothing are to be exported. By 2018, the park will employ 60,000 workers and generate USD 1 billion in exports. As early as 2030, Ethiopia wants to earn USD 30 billion in this segment. Even if one should not take the last number too seriously, the ambitions are clear and unambiguous.

Another industrial park was inaugurated in July 2017 in the city of Kombolcha. Meanwhile, a whole range of other parks are in various stages of realization, focusing on apparel, textiles, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, as well as the agro-industry. According to the Ethiopian Government, there is no shortage of interested investors, primarily from China, India, Turkey, the US, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Cheap electricity soon abound

While some of the industrial parks still have to rely on standby generators and the connection to roads and railways leaves much to be desired, long-term remedies are in sight: several large hydropower plants are under construction nationwide, especially the Grand Ethiopian-Renaissance Dam project, which will start up the first generators in the current financial year (July 8th 2017 to July 7th 2018). Upon final completion, the capacity should reach 6,450 megawatts. It would then be Africa's largest power plant - and one of the cheapest electricity suppliers.

There are notable successes in road construction also: since August 2016, Ethiopia has got a first fully commissioned 85-kilometer three-lane highway from the capital Addis Ababa to Adama. Further sections are under construction. And also with the railway there is something to celebrate with a new, 756 kilometers long and continuously electrified route between the outskirts of Addis Ababa and the container port in neighboring Djibouti.

Foreign exchange shortage a big hurdle

This positive development cannot hide the fact that large parts of the country are not yet connected to the electricity net, that the road network is inadequate and the railway line is only a small start. Moreover, the bureaucracy is inflated and inefficient and lacks a functioning constitutional state. Currently, an acute lack of foreign exchange hinders imports and profit transfers, as the ambitious infrastructure projects absorb every available dollar in the country.

Investors, however, are speculating on tomorrow: because the country is on the right track and wants to maintain its course. A steady influx of foreign direct investment shows that international companies have sufficient confidence and want to be among the first. In addition next to the low wages, they are interested above all in the underdeveloped and untapped consumer market of 105 million people. For the South African Rand Merchant Bank, Ethiopia is therefore the fourth most attractive investment destination in Africa after Egypt, South Africa and Morocco (Where to Invest in Africa 2018).

Poor placement in international rankings

Even if Ethiopia is predicted to get a bright future, current negative assessments may not be ignored: in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017 - 2018 of the World Economic Forum, Ethiopia ranks 108th (out of 137). In the Index of the Economic Freedom of the World Heritage Foundation Ethiopia belongs to the group of largely unfree countries in 2017 ranked 142 (out of 180). And in the Doing Business Ranking of the World Bank (2017), Ethiopia is in a poor position with 159 (out of 190). By contrast, in 2016 in the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index Ethiopia ranked 108 (out of 175), making it a lighthouse in an otherwise corrupt region (last place: Somalia 176, South Sudan 175, Sudan 170, Eritrea 164, Uganda 151, Kenya 145, Djibouti 123).

In the Fragile States Index 2017 of the Fund for Peace, Ethiopia ranks 15th, ranking among the most fragile states in the world (lowest rank 1 = South Sudan, best rank 178 = Finland). Ethiopia also scored poorly on press freedom and the rule of law: ranked 150th out of 178 in the Press Freedom Index in 2017 and 107th in the Rule of Law Index in 2016 (out of 113).

Economic data in a regional context
  2016 20171) 20181)
Gross domestic product, in USD billion      
..Kenya 70,5 80,7 88,2
..Ethiopia 70,3 72,1 75,3
..Tansania 47,7 50,5 52,5
GDP growth, real, in %        
..Kenya 5,8 5,1 6,1
..Ethiopia 7,6 6,1 5,7
..Tansania 7,0 6,4 6,0
Import of goods, in USD billion, fob      
..Kenya 13,62) 14,5 15,1
..Ethiopia 16,02) 16,8 17,0
..Tansania 8,52) 8,6 9,0

1) Prognosis
2) Estimation
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

ISPO Shanghai © Messe München GmbH
20.12.2016

ISPO SHANGHAI 2017 EXPANDS ITS RANGE OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

  • Sports Tech Asia: Messe München and the Organizer of ShanghaiTex Launch a New Trade Show

After its successful debut in 2015 and impressive growth this year, ISPO SHANGHAI will complement its product offer by the new trade show "Sports Tech Asia" in 2017. As a joint venture of Messe München and Adsale Exhibition Services, the event will take place simultaneously with ISPO SHANGHAI at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) for the first time from July 6 to 8, 2017. Within the scope of this cooperation, ISPO SHANGHAI not only presents the finished products but also highly innovative production technologies and the future of manufacturing.

  • Sports Tech Asia: Messe München and the Organizer of ShanghaiTex Launch a New Trade Show

After its successful debut in 2015 and impressive growth this year, ISPO SHANGHAI will complement its product offer by the new trade show "Sports Tech Asia" in 2017. As a joint venture of Messe München and Adsale Exhibition Services, the event will take place simultaneously with ISPO SHANGHAI at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) for the first time from July 6 to 8, 2017. Within the scope of this cooperation, ISPO SHANGHAI not only presents the finished products but also highly innovative production technologies and the future of manufacturing.

Klaus Dittrich, Chaiman and CEO of Messe München, expresses his contentment: “Innovative patterns, knitting techniques and fabrics are becoming increasingly important in sports fashion. By taking this step, ISPO SHANGHAI extends its future portfolio of products and services. The trade show underlines that it is not only textiles that are becoming increasingly smart and networked but also the production procedures with a view in adjusting themselves that fulfills the growing requirements. Therefore, “Sports Tech Asia” is a genuine enrichment for every trade visitor, and we expect that the new technologies will have exciting synergy effects for ISPO SHANGHAI.”

The organizers of this event – Messe München and Adsale Exhibition Services – anticipate an exhibition space totaling 2,000 square meters in the first year. As a multi-segment trade show, ISPO SHANGHAI is primarily mapping the areas of Speed & Strength, Urban & Lifestyle and Nature & Elements. The product offer of "Sports Tech Asia" comprises, in particular, highly innovative machines and technologies for the manufacture of sports products, and will be connected to the clothing and textile segment of ISPO SHANGHAI. As a result, all areas will be on display in Shanghai, ranging from production to the product.

Every two years, Adsale Exhibition Services organizes the "ShanghaiTex" (International Exhibition on Textile Industry) trade show in Shanghai. With more than 1,200 exhibitors, this is one of the most important trade shows for textile machinery in Asia. In addition, Adsale is the organizer of "Chinaplas" (International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries), the world's second largest trade show for plastics, which can pride itself on more than 3,000 exhibitors. Therefore, Adsale enjoys optimum access to the manufacturers of the latest manufacturing technologies for sports fabrics and products.

ISPO SHANGHAI is growing

The new multi-segment trade show, which presents more than 450 brands under one roof, opened its gates for the first time in 2015. In 2016, ISPO SHANGHAI continued on its successful course, recording 470 companies, who represented some 500 brands, and 14,593 visitors. “Thanks to the new exhibition segment, we enlarge our target group and create additional growth opportunities”, states Klaus Dittrich. 
Further information on ISPO SHANGHAI is available at shanghai.ispo.com.

Get more information on Sports Tech Asia at www.SportsTechAsia.com

Turkish State pushes sluggish Economy © Bildpixel/ pixelio.de
06.09.2016

TURKISH STATE PUSHES SLUGGISH ECONOMY

  • Low interest rates and government subsidies should drive consumption and Investments
  • Less start-ups and fewer direct foreign investment

Istanbul (GTAI) - After the failed coup attempt of July 15th 2016 the Turkish government wants to support the economy. Financial relief, government subsidies and a low interest rate policy should aim strengthening of consumption and investment and eliminate the arisen uncertainty in the business world. At the same time the overall savings ratio should be increased and the basis for financing of major infrastructure projects be improved.

The target of the government for an economic growth of 4.5% in 2016 appears now as no longer realistic. After the impressive increase of 4.8% in Q1 2016 government representatives expect for the rest of the year lower numbers, so that for the full year 2016 a growth of around 3.0 to 3.5% could be achieved.

  • Low interest rates and government subsidies should drive consumption and Investments
  • Less start-ups and fewer direct foreign investment

Istanbul (GTAI) - After the failed coup attempt of July 15th 2016 the Turkish government wants to support the economy. Financial relief, government subsidies and a low interest rate policy should aim strengthening of consumption and investment and eliminate the arisen uncertainty in the business world. At the same time the overall savings ratio should be increased and the basis for financing of major infrastructure projects be improved.

The target of the government for an economic growth of 4.5% in 2016 appears now as no longer realistic. After the impressive increase of 4.8% in Q1 2016 government representatives expect for the rest of the year lower numbers, so that for the full year 2016 a growth of around 3.0 to 3.5% could be achieved.

But not only the failed coup attempt and subsequent the internal political turmoil are affecting the economic development. Also the in the recent months clearly increased geopolitical risks, the armed conflicts along the southeastern border with Syria and Iraq, and the threat of terrorist attacks are pressing on the business climate.

The number of start-ups is declining since April 2016th. According to the Turkish Chamber Union TOBB (Türkiye Odalar ve Borsalar Birligi) in July a provisional low point with a decline of about 34% over the same month of last year has been reached.

Establishment of new companies
Month 2015 2016

Change (%)

January 6,471 6,894 6,5
February 5,509 6,363 15,5
March 6,092 7,117 16,8
April 6,022 5,860 -2,7
May 5,635 5,422 -3,8
June 5,896 5,571 -5,5
July 4,760 4,760 -34,1
January til July 40,385 40,363 -0,1

Source: Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce TOBB (http://www.tobb.org.tr)

"Tailored" state support for Investors

Despite a rising inflation (annual increase of consumer prices in late July 2016: 8.8%) since several months the Turkish Central Bank is lowering the interest rates in small steps and ensures an increasing liquidity. For investors the government is planning generous subsidies. In the words of economy minister Nihat Zeybekci the government investment promotion is standing before fundamental changes. The plan includes "unlimited, customized and project-based" facilitations for specific sectors, which will go far beyond current incentives.

In this context Zeybekci named metallurgy, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and medical technology, in addition the renewable energy and modern agricultural technologies. In addition to extensive tax breaks the planned state aids will also include subsidizing the salaries of highly skilled employees, a free allocation of land, subsidies of taxes and energy subsidies. With this especially international investors should be won and high technology projects should become supported.

Foreign direct investments slumped in the first half year of 2016

According to the Turkish Ministry of Economy foreign direct investment declined in the 1st half of 2016 compared with the same period of last year by 55%. In 2015 a net amount of USD 16.9 billion flowed into Turkey, and in 2014 approximately USD 12.5 billion. Of these USD 5.3 billion or resp. USD 4.2 billion were invested in real estate.

Foreign direct investment in Turkey without real estate (in USD million)
Sector 1.Halfyear 2015  1.Halfyear 2016  Change (in %)
Agriculture 5   24 380
Industry 2,710 866 -68
Mining 185 17 -91
Manufacturing  1,445 607 -58
Food, Beverages, Tobacco products 257 171 -33
Textile and Clothing 399 21 -95
Leather and leather goods 2 8 300
Wood and wooden products 0 1 -
Paper and paperproducts 4 20 400
Coke and refined petroleum products 500 11 -98
Chemical and pharmaceutical 
  products
69 136 97
Coutchouk and plastic products  21 54 157
Non metal  mineral products - 23 -
Metal and metal products 36 24 -33
Machines and machinery equipment 5 20 300
Electronic and optical products 46 98 113
Automotives 90 8 -91
Furniture 16 12 -25
Electricity, Gas 1,078 242 -78
Water, wastewater, waste-disposal 2 0 -100
Services  2,066 1,274 -38
Total  4,781 2,164 -55

Source: Turkish Ministry of Economy (Ekonomi Bakanligi, http://www.ekonomi.gov.tr)

State fund to finance infrastructure projects established

Of particular importance for the future financing of large infrastructure projects, especially in the transportation sector, is the law No. 6741 of  08  /19th / 2016, establishing the Turkey-Property Fund (Türkiye Varlik fonu - Sovereign Wealth Fund). The law, which was announced in the government Gazette No. 29813 on 08 / 26th /2016 regulates the structure and operational rules of the new fund, which originally was to be filled from the state budget and privatization proceeds and should have started with an initial capital of TL 50 million. The law provides the establishment of a stock corporation that will be responsible for investments, stakes and other commitments of the fund. The financial market operations of the fund are according to paragraph 8 of the law 6741largely exempt from taxes and fees.

From the new Turkey-Fund the government expects major funding contributions for ongoing and upcoming major projects. These include the third international airport in Istanbul and the planned "Canal Istanbul", which will run parallel to the Bosporus. Expected to the ideas of the government the fund should bring an annual contribution of 1.5 percentage points to the real GDP growth over the next ten years. Economy Minister Zeybekci expects through the fund in the long term an asset control of about USD 200 billion.

Debts to the State can be paid by installments

Companies that are under financial pressure should be relieved by the law no. 6736 for the restructuring of public demands from March 8th 2016. This came in force after the publication in the government Gazette no. 29806 of August 19th 2016. With this law firms and persons, which have debts at the tax office or at social security institutions, can get the possibility to settle their outstanding claims, including failure surcharges by installments within 18 months. On claims up to TL 50 (1 Euro = 3.31 TL) the state will entirely dispense. The redemption of debt from tourism enterprises, which are due in2016, will in accordance to the law shifted by one year.

The private retirement provision for all workers should increase the savings rate 

In order to increase the country's low savings rate, the Turkish government has adopted the law no. 6740 on August 10th 201616, which gets into force on January 1st 2017 (promulgated in the government Gazette No. 29812 on August 25th 2016). With this law, changing the law no. 4632 of March 28th 2001 about the voluntary private retirement provision all workers aged less than 45 years and of Turkish nationality will in the future "automatically" be included in the system of the private pensions system. Affected employees however have the right, within two months from the inclusion date to declare their abandonment and leave the system.