Textination Newsline

Reset
Intertextile 1 (c) Messe Frankfurt / Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics
15.09.2020

Intertextile Apparel’s digitised Solutions reconnect suppliers and buyers

The organisers of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics are determined to make use of digitised solutions and provide support for exhibitors and visitors who originally intended to participate in the Spring Edition of Intertextile in Shanghai this March, as well as those unable to join the upcoming Autumn Edition from 23 – 25 September. This month’s fair is expecting about 3,400 exhibitors from over 20 countries and regions. With the Intertextile mobile app, an online business matching platform and more, Intertextile continues to utilise its diverse network in the textile industry to help address sourcing needs and generate new business opportunities.

The organisers of Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics are determined to make use of digitised solutions and provide support for exhibitors and visitors who originally intended to participate in the Spring Edition of Intertextile in Shanghai this March, as well as those unable to join the upcoming Autumn Edition from 23 – 25 September. This month’s fair is expecting about 3,400 exhibitors from over 20 countries and regions. With the Intertextile mobile app, an online business matching platform and more, Intertextile continues to utilise its diverse network in the textile industry to help address sourcing needs and generate new business opportunities.

“While we have been closely in touch with overseas exhibitors and visitors to prepare for the Autumn Edition of Intertextile, we are mindful that some may not be able to travel to China in September. We understand that alternative solutions are necessary at this time to help our exhibitors and visitors overcome the obstacles set by the outbreak of COVID-19, thus we have evaluated the online tools and services we currently have, as well as sought new ways to digitally connect the industry,” said Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.

“Our digitised solutions will cater for all scenarios – domestic and overseas suppliers and buyers who have been eager to connect with each other since missing out on the Spring Edition of Intertextile, while serving as pre-event promotion, business and networking opportunities for the Autumn Edition. This will facilitate a seamless exchange of information for doing international business online and offline before, during and after the fair to truly support the industry’s recovery,” continued Ms Wen.

Maximising brands’ exposure and business opportunities:
Intertextile’s digitised solutions will allow exhibitors to gain access to its valuable database – more than 100,000 buyers from over 100 countries and regions. To reach out to domestic buyers, exhibitors can download Intertextile’s mobile app and proactively upload product information and photos. They can interact with buyers by sharing their latest business updates, developments and sales promotions. Exhibitors will also have access to buyers’ contacts so that they can schedule online or onsite meetings in advance via the app’s built-in messenger function. The mobile app contains information about the fair, such as map, traffic and fringe programme updates, making it an all-in-one tool for exhibitors to enjoy convenience at the fair while gaining extra exposure not limited to the 3-day show period.

As a special measure in response to COVID-19, Intertextile is extending its offer for exhibitors and visitors to access its online business matching platform, Connect PLUS, which is normally only used to schedule onsite business meetings in advance of the fair. Connect PLUS is now available for online business matching before and after the fair. Based on data-driven intelligent recommendations, exhibitors can check out overseas buyer profiles from Intertextile’s valuable database and proactively send out requests to connect. With instant messaging and video call functions, this platform will be useful for exhibitors to connect with overseas buyers who are unable to attend Intertextile, serving as an ideal tool for post-event business matching and for enhancing sourcing efficiency. Sponsorship packages are also available for exhibitors to advertise on the platform and increase their exposure.

For more details about Intertextile’s digitised solutions, please visit: https://intertextile-shanghai-apparel-fabrics-autumn.hk.messefrankfurt.com/shanghai/en/Online_Platforms.html

Online content for overseas participants
The team at Intertextile is preparing for more pre-event content sharing in the form of webinars called the ‘Textile e-Dialogue’ series. By promoting exhibitors’ pre-event webinars through the fair’s e-newsletters and website, this will allow the online audience to catch up with the latest industry news while being able to interact with exhibitors via Q&A sessions.

During the fair, fringe programme events such as product presentations will also be livestreamed with real-time Q&A for onsite buyers and online audience. Presentations will be recorded and made available for viewing and sharing on social media platforms, so that overseas exhibitors and buyers in different time zones can learn about the fair’s highlights at their convenience.

Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition 2020 will be held concurrently with Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value from 23 – 25 September at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). The fair is co-organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Centre.

Photo: pixabay
08.09.2020

German Trade Fairs start again in September

  • 84 exhibitions still planned until the end of the year

After a shutdown of almost six months due to the Corona pandemic, major exhibitions for trade visitors and the general public will be held again in Germany from September onwards, often in modified formats and sometimes with digital supplements.
 
“Many exhibitors and visitors are waiting for trade fairs to restart, because they will once again stimulate demand through the presentation of innovations and personal trust-building communication,” explains Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, the importance of the restart for the German economy.
 

  • 84 exhibitions still planned until the end of the year

After a shutdown of almost six months due to the Corona pandemic, major exhibitions for trade visitors and the general public will be held again in Germany from September onwards, often in modified formats and sometimes with digital supplements.
 
“Many exhibitors and visitors are waiting for trade fairs to restart, because they will once again stimulate demand through the presentation of innovations and personal trust-building communication,” explains Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of AUMA – Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, the importance of the restart for the German economy.
 
“Through their participation exhibitors and visitors show that they expect high benefits from trade fairs even under altered conditions. In addition to business success, side-effects for companies such as image building are included, for example through showing innovative force, or being present in trade media or by direct exchange of experience within the industry.”

Caravan Salon is the largest exhibition to kick off
Twelve exhibitions are planned in September alone, including several international events, from the CARAVAN SALON in Dusseldorf as the largest show to restart, the compact version of the IFA Berlin right in the first week of September to the INTERBOOT in Friedrichshafen at the end of the month.

Messe Dusseldorf’s President & CEO Wolfram N. Diener, is looking forward to the restart of trade fair operations in Germany: “We want to signalise: Trade fairs can work in corona times, too. In close cooperation with authorities, partners and customers, we have realised the CARAVAN SALON 2020 under high hygiene and safety standards. The result: Around 350 exhibitors in eleven exhibition halls are presenting the entire spectrum of mobile travel.”

Exhibitions are not major events
The trade fair industry is not affected by the extension of the ban on major events in Germany by the Prime Minister’s Conference on 27 August 2020. Trade fairs have already been considered separately since 6 May 2020. Accordingly, a total of 84 exhibitions listed by AUMA, are currently planned for the months of September to December, 47 of them with international or national relevance and 37 with regional relevance. Dates for trade fairs, taking place in the near future are listed by AUMA at www.auma.de/Exhibition-Data.

Comprehensive concepts for health protection, which are approved by the responsible health authorities, are the basis for the industry meetings. “The trade fair organizers are doing everything possible to create safe and promising conditions for exhibitors and visitors. Size and quality of the exhibition grounds offer very good conditions for implementing hygiene and distance regulations”, says AUMA Managing Director Jörn Holtmeier.

AUMA has listed the key points of the protective measures as well as the safety concepts for all exhibition sites in Germany on its website at https://www.auma.de/en/exhibit/legal-matters/hygiene-and-distance-concepts-at-trade-fairs-in-Germany.

AUMA Chairman Philip Harting: "Those who focus on trade fairs can gain market shares”
"The principle is: Whoever dares wins. Anyone who bets on trade fairs in the coming months will have an earlier chance than others to receive a direct, unfiltered response to innovations, because at trade fairs customers can check and test the product. Once the customer is convinced of the quality, he simply decides faster.

Winning new customers in particular is extremely difficult with the help of digital formats. Many companies have experienced this in recent weeks and months. Along the way an exhibitor also gets valuable advice for the enhancement of his products". And, according to Harting, those who exhibit at trade shows find suitable cooperation partners faster, both professionally and personally, to help them weather the crisis better. Last but not least, he says, one can initiate urgently needed business deals, perhaps not as extensive as usual, but small orders often enough turn into large ones in the medium term.

Trade fairs offer just as great a benefit to visitors in the current situation. The AUMA Chairman: "Trade fair visitors can personally negotiate with potential new suppliers at an early stage, experience technology and design innovations earlier than others. And they may find suggestions on how retailer can inspire hesitant consumers".

Photocredits: Hohenstein
01.09.2020

Research Projects of the Zuse Community: Think about Recycling when Designing …

How applied research in cooperation with industry can lead to high-quality recycling solutions is explained by the Zuse community with its "Design for Recycling" series.

How applied research in cooperation with industry can lead to high-quality recycling solutions is explained by the Zuse community with its "Design for Recycling" series.

Artificial Turf of the Future
Textiles are much more than just clothes. The industry is a key customer for both synthetic and natural fibers. However, their textile products are often close to the consumer - this applies, for example, to the leisure industry or sports field construction, as is the case with artificial turf.
     
On sports fields, textiles are, so to speak, trampled underfoot, namely when playing on artificial turf. In Germany alone there are around 5,000 artificial turf pitches registered for football. But under the green stubble hides a heavy burden - for clubs and the environment. According to information from the IAKS Germany trade association, around 5 kg of granulate per square meter of artificial turf is infilled in Germany, and this figure is likely to be considerably higher in other countries. "In the case of artificial turf with a fiber length of 42 mm, only 12 mm look out of the mass of infill materials that have been applied to the surface," Dr. Ulrich Berghaus of Morton Extrusionstechnik GmbH, a leading manufacturer of artificial turf, explains. Nowadays, a new pitch is calculated to contain almost 50 percent of the old pitch - as infill material. But as a microplastic this can cause problems - alternatives have to be found. Together with the Aachen Institute for Floor Systems (TFI), Morton Extrusionstechnik is working on the artificial turf of the future, which can do without problematic infill materials.

The researchers at the TFI are now called upon to ensure that the nubs of the artificial turf will hold well in the carrier material in future, even without polyurethane and latex. "Ideally, artificial turf would be made of just one polymer," TFI project manager Dirk Hanuschik says. Because, similar to food packaging, inseparable material composites are poison for high-quality recycling. Hanuschik and his team are therefore researching with their industrial partner into an artificial turf design that does not require any polyurethane or latex for the backing of the carrier material. In a thermobonding facility, the artificial turf nubs are to be melted directly onto the base material, not glued on. Nevertheless, a durability of around 12-15 years is the goal - as with artificial turf laid today. He can test the new materials on the industrial coating plant, which is on a smaller scale at the TFI. The first production plant is scheduled to go into operation as early as the middle of next year.
     
"The practical project of the TFI is an excellent example of how industrial research from the Zuse community creates concrete benefits for people through sustainable recycling management. Research on 'Design for Recycling' is the focus of many of our institutes. Their close cooperation with companies and their interdisciplinary approach offer the best conditions for further innovations," explains the President of the Zuse Community, Prof. Martin Bastian.


Recycling in the Fashion Industry
Recycling is more than just a trend. In the future, fashion should increasingly include useful recycling: People in Germany buy an average of 26 kg of textiles per capita per year, including 12-15 kg of clothing. Given these large quantities, high-quality recycling is a major challenge. Improved recycling includes a circular economy that thinks about the "life after", i.e. the next or renewed product, already when designing products. A current research project of the Zuse community shows how this can work for clothing.
     
Beverage bottles made of the plastic PET are already ideally suited for recycling, and not only for packaging, because of their purity of type. Under the motto "From the fiber to the fiber", this is what the applied research in the joint project DiTex is using for rental linen. The fibers used come from recycled PET bottles, and the rented linen itself is to be recycled back into linen after its first life cycle.

"Rented linen is also well suited to the 'Design for Recycling' concept because its use can be precisely tracked, which provides optimum conditions for recycling," project manager Dr. Anja Gerhardts from the Hohenstein Research Institute explains. The institute from Baden-Württemberg is responsible for textile testing and product specifications in the project initiated and coordinated by the Institute for Ecological Economic Research (IÖW). For benefit rather than ownership, the partners in the alliance are developing a recyclable line of bed linen, as well as polo and business shirts. The shirts will serve as uniforms for police and rescue services.

Intelligent label stores information
The laundry is equipped with a digital tracking ID throughout the entire usage cycle. This "intelligent" label stores information such as fiber origin, material composition and composition of the textile. This enables recycling companies to sort the products better, increase the recycling share and upgrade them. Numerous washing trials are now being carried out at Hohenstein to test how well the tracking tool is performing and what the tensile strength, degree of whiteness, color quality, durability and wearing comfort of the textiles are when they are washed, spun and dried up to 200 times in commercial textile services. "In DiTex we bring users, procurers and recyclers of textiles to one table to make recyclable product design a reality", Anja Gerhardts explains.

"Practical research on fibers and textiles is one of the core competences of many of our institute, be it for industrial technical products or consumer-oriented products. Projects like DiTex show innovative solutions for design for recycling. Thanks to the interdisciplinary approach in our association, other industries can also learn from such solutions," explains Dr. Annette Treffkorn, managing director of the Zuse community.

Source:

Zuse-Gemeinschaft

Photo: Jakob Jost GmbH
25.08.2020

Steffen Jost: “We have to become faster, better in our Product Ranges and adopt a more strategic Approach.”

Interview with Steffen Jost, President of BTE e.V. and General Manager, Jakob Jost GmbH
 
On July 31 2020, the German Retail Association - HDE e.V. reported in addition to the current sales figures published by the Federal Statistical Office: “Many clothing retailers are still in danger of existence.” An HDE survey of 500 retailers showed that around two thirds of the non-grocers achieved at least 75 percent of sales in comparison to the same week last year. The main reason for this is the slowly increasing number of customers.

Interview with Steffen Jost, President of BTE e.V. and General Manager, Jakob Jost GmbH
 
On July 31 2020, the German Retail Association - HDE e.V. reported in addition to the current sales figures published by the Federal Statistical Office: “Many clothing retailers are still in danger of existence.” An HDE survey of 500 retailers showed that around two thirds of the non-grocers achieved at least 75 percent of sales in comparison to the same week last year. The main reason for this is the slowly increasing number of customers.

For 27 percent of retailers, however, the situation is still very serious: They realize their entrepreneurial existence threatened due to the corona crisis. Most retail companies will not be able to make up for lost sales that have occurred in recent months. Accordingly, two-thirds of non-grocery retailers calculated that sales would also decline in the second half of the year. Many clothing retailers continue to face difficult times.

Textination spoke about the situation with Steffen Jost, long-time president of the BTE Federal Association of German Textile Retailers, owner and managing director of Jakob Jost GmbH. The family company, founded in 1892, operates five clothing stores in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg in the medium to upper price segment with more than 300 employees and a sales area of around 20,900 square meters.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally? What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?
The corona era was a challenging time for the company and its employees. You realize very clearly which employees are loyal and committed to the challenges and which are not. It is frightening to experience the appearance of mask refusers among the customers, who claim to go shopping without a mask and demand freedom for themselves and at the same time presuppose the employees' willingness to make sacrifices. The tone, the impertinences as well as the aggressiveness are alarming, it is often pure egoism. And in this context the meaning of freedom is limited to their own freedom.    

What does the pandemic mean economically for your own company so far, how do you estimate the consequences for the entire sector?
The economic impact, especially in terms of profitability, is immense. Since it affects the entire sector and thus also many companies that entered the crisis without a solid equity base, a major shakeout is to be feared. Especially because it is also not yet possible to predict how long the crisis will last.
 
What adjustments or innovations have you considered necessary for your product range?
As a result of the crisis, occasion related and elegant clothing is tending to decline, while sporty clothing is on average a bit more successful, so that more we emphasis on these aspects. The stationary trade as well as the industry have big problems, nevertheless there are acceptable solutions with many suppliers after intensive exchanges. A few suppliers try to enforce their own interests exclusively. Of course, this will result in corresponding consequences for the cooperation.

How do you consider suppliers in the future, what experiences have you made and will you draw consequences for your procurement policy?
A good cooperation between retail and industry is essential for economic success. If this basis does not exist (it has suffered considerably as a result of corona), it is also assumed that future economic success will be worse. A profit-oriented corporate management must take this into account in its procurement policy.
          
Which initiatives or instruments at politico-economic level did you welcome for the sector, of which have you been critical?
For many companies, including ours, both - the short-time working allowance and the KfW loans are essential components to secure the company's long-term future. For the first time the retail sector is applying for short-time work. We are critical of the lack of willingness on the political level to enforce the mask obligation and to punish violations of it accordingly. This has been passed on to the retailers and other sectors of the economy with corresponding problems in customer relations.
The interim aid was a great help for many small companies, but unfortunately medium-sized companies were not able to benefit from that. Corona has certainly massively accelerated the structural processes and developments in the retail sector, whereby the one-sided consideration of online sales, as currently can be seen, certainly falls short. It is also a question of the ability to generate profitable sales in normal times in order to build up business substance and also to finance necessary investments.

Did the corona era also have a positive effect, while the sector has brought forward innovations that would have been necessary anyway?
This might have happened in some cases. Especially companies that were not yet sufficiently digitally positioned may have taken action here very fast. In width, however, times of crisis seldom mean large investment periods.

What needs the stationary retail trade has to meet in future, what services must be offered in order to get a stable future?
The retail trade must be more than a place where goods are stocked in large quantities. The internet can do this on a much larger scale. Real customer service will play an increasingly important role, as will the length of stay and the design quality of the retail space. At the same time, it is important to make an optimum use of the digital possibilities. In addition, it is important to curate the product ranges in such a way, that the customers’ respective requirements are matched by an assortment that meets their expectations. Basically, this has been the original task of purchasing for decades. It is frightening to experience the appearance of mask refusers among the customers.
          
Which initiatives or approaches by or for your sector would you appreciate as support for such a future?
The cooperation between industry and multi-label retailers must definitely become more intensively and, above all, faster. Up to now, the possibilities of electronic data processing in a mutual flow of information, have been used by far too little and the corresponding consequences have not been drawn. In addition, the procurement times need to be reduced significantly.  The order and delivery dates must be set much later, and the possibility of using the digital world for ordering must also be implemented, in order to compensate at least the great systemic advantages of the vertical trade and thus also to reduce significantly the rates of write-offs and returns.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on. How must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Covid 19 will not change the big issues seriously, they will remain with us. Possibly the negative labor market situation, which is to be feared, can push them into the background, because if existential needs have to be solved, experience shows, that there is much less attention for the other problems.
 
What are the lessons for the textile retail trade with regard to these goals for the post-corona era?
The long lead times between ordering and delivery must finally be shortened. We have to become faster, better in our product ranges and adopt a more strategic approach. We may not lose sight of our own interests and the overall strategy of a company through the specifications of individual suppliers.
The strategic goal can only be to strive for permanently profitable sales and to implement all necessary measures consistently.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius,
CEO Textination GmbH