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(c) Toray
23.11.2021

Toray Industries: A Concept to change Lives

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

The fibers’ and textiles’ business is both the starting point and the foundation of Toray's business development today. We started producing viscose yarns in 1926 and conducted our own research and development in nylon fibers as early as 1940. And since new materials usually require new processing methods, Toray also began investing in its own process technology at an early stage. On the one hand, we want to increase our sales, and on the other hand, we want to expand the application possibilities for our materials. For this reason, Toray also began to expand its business from pure fibers to textiles and even clothing. This allows us to better respond to our customers' needs while staying at the forefront of innovation.

Over the decades, Toray has accumulated a great deal of knowledge in polymer chemistry and organic synthesis chemistry - and this know-how is the foundation for almost all of our other business ventures. Today, we produce a wide range of advanced materials and high-value-added products in plastics, chemicals, foils, carbon fiber composites, electronics and information materials, pharmaceuticals, medicine and water treatment. However, fibers and textiles remain our most important business area, accounting for around 40% of the company's sales.

What understanding, what heritage is still important to you today? And how do you live out a corporate philosophy in the textile sector that you formulate as "Contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies and products"?

Toray has consistently developed new materials that the world has never seen before. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. For textiles, this means we use new polymer structures, spinning technologies and processing methods to develop yarns with unprecedented properties. We always focus on the needs and problems of the market and our customers.

This approach enables us to integrate textiles with new functions into our everyday lives that natural fibers and materials cannot accomplish. For example, we offer sportswear and underwear that absorb water excellently and dry very quickly, or rainwear and outdoor clothing with excellent water-repellent properties that feature a less bulky inner lining. Other examples include antibacterial underwear, uniforms, or inner linings that provide a hygienic environment and reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria. People enjoy the convenience of these innovative textiles every day, and we hope to contribute to their daily comfort and improve their lives in some way.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 sustainable development goals – simply known as the 2030 Agenda, which came into force on January 01, 2016. Countries were given 15 years to achieve them by 2030. In your company, there is a TORAY VISION 2030 and a TORAY SUSTAINABILITY VISION. How do you apply these principles and goals to the textile business? What role does sustainability play for this business area?

Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the world today - not only in the textile sector, but in all industries. We in the Toray Group are convinced that we can contribute to solving various problems in this regard with our advanced materials. At the same time, the trend towards sustainability offers interesting new business approaches. In our sustainability vision, we have set four goals that the world should achieve by 2050. And we have defined which problems need to be addressed to achieve this.

We must:

  1. accelerate measures to combat climate change,
  2. implement sustainable, recycling-oriented solutions in the use of resources and in production,
  3. provide clean water and air, and
  4. contribute to better healthcare and hygiene for people around the world.

We will drive this agenda forward by promoting and expanding the use of materials that respond to environmental issues. In the textile sector, for example, we offer warming and cooling textiles – by eliminating the need for air conditioning or heating in certain situations, they can help reduce energy costs. We also produce environmentally friendly textiles that do not contain certain harmful substances such as fluorine, as well as textiles made from biomass, which use plant-based fibers instead of conventional petrochemical materials. Our product range also includes recycled materials that reduce waste and promote effective use of resources.

The TORAY VISION 2030, on the other hand, is our medium-term strategic plan and looks at the issue of sustainability from a different angle: Toray has defined the path to sustainable and healthy corporate growth in it. In this plan, we are focusing on two major growth areas: Our Green Innovation Business, which aims to solve environmental, resource and energy problems, and the Life Innovation Business, which focuses on improving medical care, public health, personal safety and ultimately a longer expectancy of life.

Innovation by Chemistry is the claim of the Toray Group. In a world where REACH and Fridays for Future severely restrict the scope of the chemical industry, the question arises as to what position chemistry can have in the textile industry. How do chemistry, innovation and sustainability fit together here?

The chemical industry is at a turning point today. The benefits that this industry can bring to civilization are still enormous, but at the same time, disadvantages such as the waste of resources and the negative impact on the environment and ecosystems are becoming increasingly apparent. In the future, the chemical industry will have to work much more towards sustainability - there is no way around it.

As far as textiles are concerned, we believe there are several ways to make synthetic materials more sustainable in the future. One of these, as I said, is materials made from plants instead of petrochemical raw materials. Another is to reduce the amount of raw materials used in production in the first place – this can be achieved, for example, by collecting and recycling waste materials from production or sales. Biodegradable materials that reduce the impact of waste products on the environment are another option worth pursuing, as is the reduction of environmentally harmful substances used in the production process. We are already looking at all of these possibilities in Toray's synthetic textiles business. At the same time, by the way, we make sure to save energy in our own production and minimize the impact on the environment.

Toray's fibers & textiles segment focuses on synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and acrylic, as well as other functional fibers. In recent years, there has been a clear trend on the market towards cellulosic fibers, which are also being traded as alternatives to synthetic products. How do you see this development – on the one hand for the Toray company, and on the other hand under the aspect of sustainability, which the cellulosic competitors claim for themselves with the renewable raw material base?

Natural fibers, including cellulose fibers and wool, are environmentally friendly in that they can be easily recycled and are rapidly biodegradable after disposal. However, to truly assess their environmental impact, a number of other factors must also be considered: Primarily, there is the issue of durability: precisely because natural fibers are natural, it is difficult to respond to a rapid increase in demand, and quality is not always stable due to weather and other factors.

Climatic changes such as extreme heat, drought, wind, floods and damages from freezing can affect the quantity and quality of the production of natural fibers, so that the supply is not always secured. In order to increase production, not only does land have to be cleared, but also large amounts of water and pesticides have to be used to cultivate it – all of which is harmful to the environment.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are industrial products manufactured in controlled factory environments. This makes it easier to manage fluctuations in production volume and ensure consistent quality. In addition, certain functional properties such as resilience, water absorption, quick drying and antibacterial properties can be embedded into the material, which can result in textiles lasting longer in use.

So synthetic fibers and natural fibers, including cellulose fibers, have their own advantages and disadvantages – there is no panacea here, at least not at the moment. We believe: It is important to ensure that there are options that match the consumer's awareness and lifestyle. This includes comfort in everyday life and sustainability at the same time.

To what extent has the demand for recycled products increased? Under the brand name &+™, Toray offers a fiber made from recycled PET bottles. Especially with the "raw material base: PET bottles", problems can occur with the whiteness of the fiber. What distinguishes your process from that of other companies and to what extent can you compete with new fibers in terms of quality?

During the production of the "&+" fiber, the collected PET bottles are freed from all foreign substances using special washing and filtering processes. These processes have not only allowed us to solve the problem of fiber whiteness – by using filtered, high-purity recycled polyester chips, we can also produce very fine fibers and fibers with unique cross sections. Our proven process technologies can also be used to incorporate specific textures and functions of Toray into the fiber. In addition, "&+" contains a special substance in the polyester that allows the material to be traced back to the recycled PET bottle fibers used in it.

We believe that this combination of aesthetics, sustainability and functionality makes the recycled polyester fiber "&+" more competitive than those of other companies. And indeed, we have noticed that the number of requests is steadily increasing as companies develop a greater awareness of sustainability as early as the product planning stage.

How is innovation management practiced in Toray's textile division, and which developments that Toray has worked on recently are you particularly proud of?

The textile division consists of three sub-divisions focusing on the development and sale of fashion textiles (WOMEN'S & MEN'S WEAR FABRICS DEPT.), sports and outdoor textiles (SPORTS WEAR & CLOTHING MATERIALS FABRICS DEPT.) and, specifically for Japan, textiles for uniforms used in schools, businesses and the public sector (UNIFORM & ADVANCED TEXTILES DEPT.).

In the past, each division developed its own materials for their respective markets and customers. However, in 2021, we established a collaborative space to increase synergy and share information about textiles developed in different areas with the entire department. In this way, salespeople can also offer their customers materials developed in other departments and get ideas for developing new textiles themselves.

I believe that the new structure will also help us to respond better to changes in the market. We see, for example, that the boundaries between workwear and outdoor are blurring – brands like Engelbert Strauss are a good example of this trend. Another development that we believe will accelerate after the Corona pandemic is the focus on green technologies and materials. This applies to all textile sectors, and we need to work more closely together to be at the forefront of this.

How important are bio-based polyesters in your research projects? How do you assess the future importance of such alternatives?

I believe that these materials will play a major role in the coming years. Polyester is made from purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which again consists of paraxylene (PX) and ethylene glycol (EG). In a first step, we already offer a material called ECODEAR™, which uses sugar cane molasses waste as a raw material for EG production.

About 30% of this at least partially bio polyester fiber is therefore biologically produced, and the material is used on a large scale for sportswear and uniforms. In the next step, we are working on the development of a fully bio-based polyester fiber in which the PTA component is also obtained from biomass raw materials, such as the inedible parts of sugar cane and wood waste.

Already in 2011, we succeeded in producing a prototype of such a polyester fiber made entirely from biomass. However, the expansion of production at the PX manufacturer we are working with has proven to be challenging. Currently, we are only producing small sample quantities, but we hope to start mass production in the 2020s.

Originally starting with yarn, now a leading global producer of synthetic fibers for decades, you also work to the ready-made product. The range extends from protective clothing against dust and infections to smart textiles and functional textiles that record biometric data. What are you planning in these segments?

In the field of protective clothing, our LIVMOA™ brand is our flagship material. It combines high breathability to reduce moisture inside the garment with blocking properties that keep dust and other particles out. The textile is suitable for a wide range of work environments, including those with high dust or grease levels and even cleanrooms. LIVMOA™ 5000, a high quality, also demonstrates antiviral properties and helps to ease the burden on medical personnel. The material forms an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses and is resistant to hygroscopic pressure. Due to its high breathability, it also offers high wearing comfort.

Our smart textile is called hitoe™. This highly conductive fabric embeds a conductive polymer – a polymer compound that allows electricity to pass through - into the nanofiber fabric. hitoe™ is a high-performance material for detecting biosignals, weak electrical signals that we unconsciously emit from our bodies.

In Japan, Toray has developed products for electrocardiographic measurements (ECGs) that meet the safety and effectiveness standards of medical devices. And in 2016, we submitted an application to the Japanese medical administrative authorities to register a hitoe™ device as a general medical device – this registration process is now complete. Overall, we expect the healthcare sector, particularly medical and nursing applications, to grow – not least due to increasing infectious diseases and growing health awareness among the elderly population. We will therefore continue to develop and sell new products for this market.

In 1885, Joseph Wilson Swan introduced the term "artifical silk" for the nitrate cellulose filaments he artificially produced. Later, copper, viscose and acetate filament yarns spun on the basis of cellulose were also referred to as artifical silk. Toray has developed a new innovative spinning technology called NANODESIGN™, which enables nano-level control of the fineness and shape of synthetic fibers. This is expected to create functions, aesthetics and textures that have not existed before. For which applications do you intend to use these products?

In NANODESIGN™ technology, the polymer is split into a number of microscopic streams, which are then recombined in a specific pattern to form a new fiber. By controlling the polymer flow with extreme precision, the fineness and cross-sectional shape of the fiber can be determined much more accurately than was previously possible with conventional microfiber and nanofiber spinning technologies. In addition, this technology enables the combination of three or more polymer types with different properties in one fiber – conventional technologies only manage two polymer types. This technology therefore enables Toray to specify a wide range of textures and functions in the production of synthetic fibers that were not possible with conventional synthetic fibers – and even to outperform the texture and feel of natural fibers. Kinari, our artificial silk developed with NANODESIGN technology, is a prime example here, but the technology holds many more possibilities – especially with regard to our sustainability goals.

What has the past period of the pandemic meant for Toray's textile business so far? To what extent has it been a burden, but in which areas has it also been a driver of innovation? What do you expect of the next 12 months?

The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: In the financial year 2020, Toray's total sales fell by about 10% to 188.36 billion yen (about 1.44 billion euros) and operating profit by about 28% to 90.3 billion yen (about 690 million euros). The impact on the fiber and textile business was also significant, with sales decreasing by around 13% to 719.2 billion yen (approx. 5.49 billion euros) and operating profit by around 39% to 36.6 billion yen (approx. 280 million euros).

In the financial year 2021, however, the outlook for the fibers and textiles sector is significantly better: So far, the segment has exceeded its goals overall, even if there are fluctuations in the individual areas and applications. In the period from April to June, we even returned to the level of 2019. This is partly due to the recovering sports and outdoor sector. The fashion apparel market, on the other hand, remains challenging due to changing lifestyles that have brought lock-downs and home-office. We believe that a full recovery in business will not occur until the travel and leisure sector returns to pre-Corona levels.

Another side effect of the pandemic that we feel very strongly, is the growing concern about environmental issues and climate change. As a result, the demand for sustainable materials has also increased in the apparel segment. In the future, sustainability will be mandatory for the development and marketing of new textiles in all market segments. Then again, there will always be the question of how sustainable a product really is, and data and traceability will become increasingly important. In the coming years, the textile division will keep a close eye on these developments and develop materials that meet customers' needs.

About the person:
Koji Sasaki joined Toray in 1987. In his more than 30 years with the company, he has held various positions, including a four-year position as Managing Director of Toray International Europe GmbH in Frankfurt from 2016 to 2020. Since 2020, Koji Sasaki has been responsible for Toray's textile division and serves as acting chairman of Toray Textiles Europe Ltd. In these roles, he supervises the company's development, sales and marketing activities in the apparel segment, including fashion, sports and work or school uniforms.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing partner Textination GmbH

(c) Fraunhofer ITWM
27.07.2021

Simulation Software TexMath - Simulating Technical Textiles realistically

From high-performance textiles to compression and sportswear: The modular software program »TexMath« of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM enables both the simulation of mechanical material properties and the optimization of textile products.

Accelerated development and optimized design of technical textiles while reducing experiments? The demand for techniques that can realize this is especially high in areas such as the sports, medical, and clothing industries. The »Technical Textiles« team of the  »Flow and Material Simulation« department at Fraunhofer ITWM has taken up this challenge and is developing simulation methods that allow efficient prediction of textile behavior under stretching, shear, bending, torsion, or compression. It is also possible to simulate wrinkling under stretching as well as shrinkage of yarns or critical shear angles throughout the manufacturing process.

From high-performance textiles to compression and sportswear: The modular software program »TexMath« of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM enables both the simulation of mechanical material properties and the optimization of textile products.

Accelerated development and optimized design of technical textiles while reducing experiments? The demand for techniques that can realize this is especially high in areas such as the sports, medical, and clothing industries. The »Technical Textiles« team of the  »Flow and Material Simulation« department at Fraunhofer ITWM has taken up this challenge and is developing simulation methods that allow efficient prediction of textile behavior under stretching, shear, bending, torsion, or compression. It is also possible to simulate wrinkling under stretching as well as shrinkage of yarns or critical shear angles throughout the manufacturing process.

The »TexMath« simulation software they developed ensures that process chains in production can be adapted to new materials in advance. Complicated patterns and layers can be mapped with the help of the software and a direct connection to the textile machine can be made. Desired woven, knitted and warp-knitted products are accurately simulated with the software and their material properties computed. In addition to evaluating a particular textile design using simulation, the tools also provide optimization of performance characteristics for different design variations. The goal of the software, according to team leader Dr. Julia Orlik, is to »realize the design according to product properties and target criteria.«

TexMath consists of several components: »MeshUp«, »FibreFEM« and »FIFST«. Each of the components included in TexMath has its specific field of application. In addition, the tools have interfaces to each other as well as connections to the software »GeoDict®« of the Fraunhofer spin-off Math2Market, which can be used, for example, to perform fluid mechanical simulations on the textiles.

One area of application for the TexMath software is the optimization of compression textiles for the medical sector or for sports. For optimal effectiveness, the fit of the material is particularly important. For example, the knitting process can be simulated with TexMath to create a bandage with predefined compression properties and thus design the optimal knitted fabric. This virtual bandage is then loaded in another simulation and put on a virtual arm or leg. Thanks to TexMath, the calculated pressure profile makes it possible to evaluate the compression properties of the bandage in advance and also to directly control the knitting machine according to the optimal design.

»TexMath can also be used to design spacer textiles, such as those used for the upper material of sports shoes and for the production of high-performance textiles, and to optimize them in advance in terms of structure and fluid mechanics,« say Dr. Julia Orlik and department head Dr. Konrad Steiner, naming further areas of application for the software.

The newly developed input interface is particularly user-friendly. The textile class (i.e. knitted, warp-knitted, woven and spacer fabrics) can be easily set. The new graphic interface allows simple and fast configuration.

MeshUp for Structure Generation of Woven Patterns and Stitches
Knitted and woven fabrics are produced with the aid of knitting or weaving machines. Each textile is based on a looping diagramm, which is read into the machine or is firmly pre-defined in the machine. MeshUp is the software module of TexMath, in which looping diagramm for various woven and knitted fabrics with different types of binding, the yarn path and all contact points between different yarns are created, graphically displayed and translated into the corresponding input formats for further simulations in TexMath with FISFT and FiberFEM. In addition, MeshUp also provides the geometry as volume data (voxel format) for calculation tools such as GeoDict and FeelMath.

FiberFEM to Calculate Effective Mechanical Properties of a Periodic Textile Structure
With FiberFEM, woven and braided textiles, spacer fabrics, scrims and trusses can be calculated and optimized regarding their effective mechanical material properties. A special feature of FiberFEM is that, in addition to tensile and shear properties, effective bending and torsional properties of textiles can also be determined based on their textile structure and yarn properties.

As input variables FiberFEM requires the microstructure description from MeshUp, the fiber cross-section geometry, as well as mechanical fiber properties such as tensile stiffness and friction. As output the effective mechanical textile quantities are calculated. Besides the calculation of the effective mechanical material properties for already existing woven or knitted textiles for technical and medical applications, the approach also offers the potential for the targeted design and optimization of new textiles with a given mechanical property profile.

For example, the relaxation behavior of a textile can be determined from the weave or knit pattern and the yarn relaxation times for viscoelastic yarns. Coefficients of friction between the yarns are also taken into account and are directly included in the simulation of the effective properties or identified from the experimental validation with the fabric.

FIFST to Calculate the Deformation and Load of Textiles
The tool FIFST is specialized for dynamic simulations of stretchable knitted fabrics and teir production. For example, the knitting process can be simulated, the pull-off from the knitting machine, the shrinkage to a relaxed textile and also the further deformation during tightening can be calculated. This means that the design of the knitted fabric can also be adapted to predefined tension profiles and individualized machine control is possible for the production of personalized textiles or product-specific designs.

The numerical implementation uses the finite element method with non-linear truss elements, which has been extended for contact problems by an additional internal variable - the sliding of threads at contact nodes. The friction law is implemented with the Euler-Eutelwein model, which was extended by an additional adhesion term. Adhesion thus allows different pre-strains in the respective meshes. The elastic energy is calculated directly from the yarn force-elongation curves.  

One of the most important unique selling points of FIFST is the special technology of assigning several elements to specific threads and their arrangement in the thread as well as the simultaneous contact sliding at millions of nodes. Thus FIFST enables multi-scale simulation of large knitted or woven shell components, taking into account the local textile structure.

Another functionality of the software is to virtually drag textiles over a surface triangulation given in STL format. In the video, woven mask (knitted is also possible) is extended in the plane at 6 points and pulled against the face surface. Its knots are projected onto the face and continue to slide on the surface until the mask is fully in place. If you know frictional properties of yarns on the face, you can investigate further folding formation and also influence it specifically. As a further potential for optimization, FIFST allows to minimize pore sizes of dressed textiles on particularly curved surface areas. This can be achieved by increasing the pre-tension in yarns or by modifying the lapping diagram or the binding cartridge.


For a Test demoversion, please contact

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM
Fraunhofer-Platz 1
67663 Kaiserslautern

Phone: +49 631 31600-4342

texmath@itwm.fraunhofer.de    

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

(c) Hochschule Niederrhein
06.04.2021

120 Years of Textile Training in Mönchengladbach

The Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein is celebrating a double anniversary this year. Firstly, the Hochschule Niederrhein will be 50 years old. Secondly, the Prussian Higher School for the Textile Industry was founded 120 years ago. This later became the Textile Engineering School, which was then integrated into the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein in 1971. 

This year's Master Congress on April 23, 2021 embraces this double anniversary. The Congress is entitled: NOW AND THEN - MG CREATES CAREERS.

The Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein is celebrating a double anniversary this year. Firstly, the Hochschule Niederrhein will be 50 years old. Secondly, the Prussian Higher School for the Textile Industry was founded 120 years ago. This later became the Textile Engineering School, which was then integrated into the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology at the Hochschule Niederrhein in 1971. 

This year's Master Congress on April 23, 2021 embraces this double anniversary. The Congress is entitled: NOW AND THEN - MG CREATES CAREERS.

“Textile education in Mönchengladbach has a significant historical legacy of which we are very proud," comments Professor Dr Lutz Vossebein, Dean of the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology. With over 2,000 students and more than 30 professors, the Faculty is now one of the largest educational institutions in the field of textiles and clothing – even on a European scale.

“The Master Congress is aimed at students and partners of the Faculty as well as of the Research Institute for Textiles and Clothing from the fields of business, research and teaching as well as politics. As always, current topics will be presented at a high level by the aspiring engineers," says Prof. Dr. Maike Rabe, who initiated the Master Congress five years ago. This year's keynote speaker is Dr Uwe Mazura, Managing Director of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry in Berlin. One of his topics will be corporate due diligence or, in short, the Supply Chain Law. “This is what the future and seasoned professionals in the industry have to get to grips with," explains the planning team with Oliver Heß, Dr Esther Rohleder and Iris Siebgens.

On April 15, 1901, the green light was given for textile education and training in Mönchengladbach. On this day the Higher Vocational School located on the Mönchengladbach / Rheydt city border welcomed its first students. This event was preceded by the growth of the textile industry in the 19th century, which was driven by the development of industrial spinning, weaving and finishing machines, and which led to an increase in the demand for skilled workers and managers, particularly in Mönchengladbach and the surrounding area.

The Mönchengladbach school was special as it united several departments under one roof. In addition to textile production, from 1912 there was a clothing department, which was expanded with time. Classes subsequently taught students about women's outerwear, lingerie, workwear and sportswear. The "Prussian Higher School for the Textile Industry", at that time unique in Germany, combined a wide range of subjects in the field of textile and clothing technology.
 
Due to the large number of students in the clothing departments, in 1932 the school was renamed "Higher Clothing Vocational School”. It was the first educational institution in Germany to be authorised to train clothing engineers. This upgraded the school to an engineering school, adding subjects such as costing, business organisation, performance and work planning.

The Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology, which came into being when the Hochschule Niederrhein was founded in 1971, united the expertise of the former Textile Engineering School in Mönchengladbach – but also of the schools in Cologne, Bielefeld, Aachen, Wuppertal and naturally Krefeld. Krefeld, also a textile location with a long tradition in the region, was compensated for the departure of textile training to Mönchengladbach by the fact that the administration of the new University of Applied Sciences came to Krefeld.

One of the pioneers for the foundation of the University was Prof. Dr. Rolf Klinke. Fifty years ago, he was Chairman of the Planning Committee and then, as Vice-President of the young University of Applied Sciences and at the same time the first Dean of the Faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology, he was a central figure in the founding years. On the occasion of the Digital Master Congress 2021 he will be a guest of honour and will hold a talk about this time. The Master Congress is free of charge and will be held on Friday, April 23, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 4.15 p.m. For the full program and registration form visit: www.hs-niederrhein.de/ftb/#c129082

09.03.2021

Functional Textiles Shanghai by PERFORMANCE DAYS celebrates its Chinese premiere

Design & Development GmbH Textile Consult, founder and trade fair organiser of PERFORMANCE DAYS in Munich, is eyeing the new year with a lot of hope. After the launch of Functional Fabric Fair by PERFORMANCE DAYS in New York City and Portland together with Reed Exhibitions, PERFORMANCE DAYS is further expanding its portfolio. In cooperation with Tengda Exhibition, the foundations have been laid for a new trade fair for functional textiles in Shanghai. On the 28th and 29th of September 2021, the FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS will premiere at the renowned Shanghaimart Exhibition Center, offering ample space for future trends displayed by more than 100 exhibitors.

Design & Development GmbH Textile Consult, founder and trade fair organiser of PERFORMANCE DAYS in Munich, is eyeing the new year with a lot of hope. After the launch of Functional Fabric Fair by PERFORMANCE DAYS in New York City and Portland together with Reed Exhibitions, PERFORMANCE DAYS is further expanding its portfolio. In cooperation with Tengda Exhibition, the foundations have been laid for a new trade fair for functional textiles in Shanghai. On the 28th and 29th of September 2021, the FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS will premiere at the renowned Shanghaimart Exhibition Center, offering ample space for future trends displayed by more than 100 exhibitors.

As the new year is entered, the PERFORMANCE DAYS team looks forward with great optimism and confidence to the launch of the new fair for functional textiles - the FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS - in Shanghai. China counts as one of the fastest growing and more important future markets worldwide, especially when it comes to functional apparel. The oriental gateway is proving to be innovative, trendsetting, and more recently, increasingly sustainable.

This development is also reflected in the activities of yarn and fabric producers, with local sportswear brands enjoying significant growth. One can be particularly proud of the cooperation with Tengda Exhibition, which is renowned for providing professional services for manufacturers and trading companies in the textile, fibre and various apparel segments. Their services range from fairs to sourcing events in China, Japan, Spain, Great Britain and Turkey.

The premiere of FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS will be held at Shanghaimart Exhibition Center on the 28th and 29th of September. Here too, a conscious decision was made for specifically choosing it as an influential trade fair and trading centre. At present, almost 1.000 companies from more than 20 countries and regions have set up offices and showrooms on site, most of them renowned industry experts from the textile and fabric branches.

Qualitative, informative & innovative: Shanghai fair borrows from the Look & Feel of PERFORMANCE DAYS
The FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS event team will transfer the already established concept of PERFORMANCE DAYS from Munich to Shanghai. This will lend the fair in China not only the Look & Feel of a familiar concept, but above all the same aspirations in terms of quality. And indeed with a total of 5.300 square metres, more than 100 Chinese and international exhibitors will have sufficient exhibition space. In line with this, the fair organisers wish to guarantee industry visitors to the fair a balanced assortment of top brands from the world of functional textiles.

The fair will focus on the latest trends and innovations from the world of textiles, yarns, membrane technologies and accessories for functional sportswear, workwear, performances wear and lifestyle wear. Demand is accordingly high, with top manufacturers such as Romrol, Sanchuan and Winsun confirming their participation along with other well-known brands such as Anta, Bosideng, Decathlon, Descente, Eral, Fila Hotwind, Icicle, Jeep, Kailas, Kappa, Li-Ning, Peace Bird, Peak, Semir, Skechers, Toread, Uniqulo, Zuczug and 361°, to name a few.

As is usual at the trade fair in Munich, there will also be an informative supporting program with exciting expert talks and discussion panels on sustainable and industry-relevant topics. The centrepiece of the fair, the PERFORMANCE FORUM, rounds off the comprehensive package. Materials from exhibitors curated on-site will be displayed on this specially designed platform. Trade fair general manager Marco Weichert had this to say: “We are thrilled to be starting the new year with such inspiring new projects. The launch of FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS in September is the result of many years of monitoring of the Asian market and its increasing demand for curated and high quality sustainable offerings. We are especially pleased about the partnership with Tengda Exhibition, who are real professionals in this field. We are absolutely convinced that the PERFORMANCE DAYS concept, which we will adopt in Shanghai, will be very well received by local trade fair visitors and exhibitors.”

Noel Tian, Managing Director, Tengda Exhibition, adds: “The functional apparel market in China is growing so fast, the brands here need one professional, focused and high class platform for functional textiles just like PERFORMANCE DAYS. We are really excited to launch FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS while adopting 100% the PERFORMANCE DAYS concept in the special new year 2021. It is a great honour to have this partnership with Design & Development GbmH Textile Consult and their world famous trade fair brand.“

FUNCTIONAL TEXTILES SHANGHAI by PERFORMANCE DAYS
September 28-29th, 2021
Shanghaimart Exhibition Center No.99 Xingyi Road,Chang Ning District,Shanghai China
Contact:
info@functionaltextilesshanghai.com or +86-21-60493344.

Source:

PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair

07.07.2020

Mayer & Cie.: “COVID-19 - A Challenge without a Blueprint”

Interview with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG will start the three-part series. The world market leader for circular knitting machines, founded in 1905 in Albstadt / Baden-Württemberg, employs around 400 people worldwide and today offers an international network of more than 80 sales and service representatives.

Interview with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG will start the three-part series. The world market leader for circular knitting machines, founded in 1905 in Albstadt / Baden-Württemberg, employs around 400 people worldwide and today offers an international network of more than 80 sales and service representatives.

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 is a challenge without a blueprint. Because it is not an economic crisis as previously understood we have no tried and tested solutions with which to react to the situation. Nevertheless, and this is my personal opinion, there is never only a downside even though the pandemic situation has, of course, had the worst conceivable effect on our order intake.
A positive aspect is that we are forced to deal with issues we would otherwise have put off until the future. Web meetings and virtual trade fairs instead of travelling half way round the world. We can use the time gained to optimise our processes.
When the lockdown began I personally had more time for myself and a few hours more sleep than otherwise. But that positive side effect is already history.    
          
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
Let me go back a little further. The trade dispute between the United States and China and many other, smaller local conflicts led to the textile machinery market having faced an understandably most reluctant client base since 2018. After this rather lengthy lean period we noted from the beginning of 2020 a growing inclination to invest once more. Of course, corona abruptly interrupted that trend. So the pandemic hit us at a time when the industry was recovering. We now have a steady order intake once more, but at a lower level than we need if we are to fully utilise our production capacity. So after the summer holidays we will switch to short-time working until the situation is back to normal.
 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
Contact and travel bans have not only shown us how useful video conferences are; they have also demonstrated most vividly how important digital solutions are – and that we need to work on them intensively. Prior to the corona outbreak, we invested a great deal of time and knowledge in this area so that we were able to unveil knitlink at the 2019 ITMA 2019.
A Web shop for spare parts and our new service approach are both based on knitlink. Using a ticket system that we are developing from our CRM system along with digital measures in service support we can assist our customers faster and at less expense than previously. In addition, our customers will in future be able to record and analyse the production data of their Mayer circular knitting machines.

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
We as suppliers noticed at the outset of the corona crisis in March that the desire for short supply chains on the part of clothing manufacturers was leading to more orders from countries closer to Europe. Now that the situation is hopefully starting to ease off, this trend is still apparent.
As for our own supply chain, throughout the entire lockdown phase we have had gratifyingly few problems and no downtimes whatever.
 
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future?
Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?

Cooperation arrangements can be a great enrichment. For over a year and a half we have been collaborating with a design studio in Amsterdam. Our partner Byborre not only develops designs of its own; it also supports sportswear and clothing manufacturers step by step in developing their textiles.
The customer uses his own partners and suppliers while Byborre supplies the machinery and parameters needed to manufacture the desired fabrics.
Byborre could be described as a kind of “translator,” interpreting between us, the machine manufacturers, and those who use the fabrics that are made on our machines.
We as engineers know of course what our machines are capable of accomplishing. Jointly with Byborre we coax new designs and uses out of these capabilities.
Apart from that we cooperate in various bodies such as the VDMA’s Marketing and Trade Fair Committee.
These, however, are not cooperation arrangements arising from or as a consequence of Covid-19. We have no such cooperation to report.

What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
A positive mention must be made of offers by the state government to assist with digitisation projects that we must all take forward.
A strengthening of regional production would also be desirable. That said, even I cannot imagine how that could be achieved other than for high-quality or niche products.

What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry?
Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?

Although “textile” is part of our description as textile machinery manufacturers, our actual home is in the second part of the name – in mechanical engineering. Its status in Germany is, as is known, very high.
That of the textile industry is, from my external vantage point, unchanged. At the beginning of April, when face masks were desperately sought, there were many good intentions, but German firms that offered to manufacture them were refused long-term assurances by the government.
So naturally nobody invested in the idea and everything will probably remain as it is, with the price reigning supreme and competition continuing unabated.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on.
Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The overriding issue right now is Covid-19, and everything else is subordinated to it. At the same time it functions like a magnifying glass. Take precarious jobs, for example. The high rates of infection in abattoirs have meant that they can no longer be ignored. Covid-19 has also created facts in respect of environmental protection. Next to nobody is flying, people are working from home and doing less shopping. That leads to lower emissions. The ailing global economy is a blessing for the planet. Germany too is likely to be on climate target for 2020; without corona we would have failed to do so. As for globalisation, it is at least marking time as regional production fills part of the bill.
How long that will continue to be the case remains to be seen, of course, but it is clear that we can be extremely flexible if we need to be.
 
What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
There is unlikely to be a “post-corona era” inasmuch as we will no longer get rid of the virus. We must learn to cope with it.
The virus or rather the restrictions it has imposed on us have forced us to be creative. We must deal with existing processes differently – both in private life and professionally. By that I mean such everyday activities as shopping as well as Web meetings and working at home, which was not previously a widespread option at our company. They have certainly made us more efficient.
Another realisation applies to us as an SME just as it does to politics. We have an opportunity to master the crisis and maybe even gain in strength and size from it. But only because we have invested sensibly when times were good and above all managed our business soundly and solidly.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Source:

Textination GmbH

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.

WHERE I BELONG: Heimtextil stellt die Designtrends für 20/21 vor © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera
24.09.2019

“WHERE I BELONG”: HEIMTEXTIL PRESENTS THE DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2020/2021

„Heimtextil will launch the new 2020/2021 trend season with the general theme “WHERE I BELONG”. For the official Heimtextil Trend Preview, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam director Anne Marie Commandeur introduced the new design themes. The presentation in the run-up to Heimtextil (7-10 January 2020) took place at the Textile Museum’s Textile Lab in Tilburg, the Netherlands on 11 September 2019 and was streamed worldwide.

This season, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam is responsible for the Trend Book content and Trend Space implementation at the upcoming international trade fair for home and contract textiles. Alongside Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, London-based studio FranklinTill and Danish agency SPOTT trends & business contribu¬ted to the 20/21 global forecast for perspective-related interior design. Together with the Heimtextil management team, these Trend Council participants gave insights into future styles during a workshop.

„Heimtextil will launch the new 2020/2021 trend season with the general theme “WHERE I BELONG”. For the official Heimtextil Trend Preview, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam director Anne Marie Commandeur introduced the new design themes. The presentation in the run-up to Heimtextil (7-10 January 2020) took place at the Textile Museum’s Textile Lab in Tilburg, the Netherlands on 11 September 2019 and was streamed worldwide.

This season, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam is responsible for the Trend Book content and Trend Space implementation at the upcoming international trade fair for home and contract textiles. Alongside Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, London-based studio FranklinTill and Danish agency SPOTT trends & business contribu¬ted to the 20/21 global forecast for perspective-related interior design. Together with the Heimtextil management team, these Trend Council participants gave insights into future styles during a workshop.

At the annual international Trend Council workshop, identity was an ever-present topic: part of a broader discussion on gender and cultural diversity, on tolerance and curiosity. Today, the self-identification process seems more complex than ever. Identities are now formed through experiences that take place simultaneously, on different levels. Locally, nationally, globally, both online and offline. Identity therefore can consist of many different layers. In fact, individuals can all have multilayered identities.


Making Room for the Multifaceted Self
As an overarching theme, “WHERE I BELONG” addresses layered identities via the five diverse Heimtextil 20/21 trends. “Maximum Glam” turns the glamorous life tech-savvy, “Pure Spiritual” finds balance in nature and mysticism, “Active Urban” values utilitarian, adaptable solutions, whereas “Heritage Lux” celebrates rich historical legacies and “Multi-Local” embraces global cultural influences.

Reflecting on this year’s Heimtextil trend “WHERE I BELONG” shows one size does not fit all. To unravel and reveal the layers of our identities in an informative and inspiring way, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam invited four design studios and two photographers to capture the core of each theme. Each creative was assigned a theme matching their philosophy, practice and methodology, enabling them to bring a personal and authentic aspect to the stories.

Establishing five worlds as spaces to experience, made for with and of exhibitors’ products, the Trend Space will also realise 2D visualisations from the book as 3D spaces. Conceptual installations will actively engage visitors and motivate them to share their experiences by creating dynamic settings all about performance and interaction. Settings can be bizarre, beautiful, and at times bewildering: it’s now up to the visitors to define where they and their target customers belong.

Future Materials Library
A highlight of the Heimtextil Trend Space 2020 will be the Future Materials Library curated by FranklinTill, presenting emerging sustainable material innovation to the interior textile industry. Focused on material composition and manufacturing innovation, the library exhibits will provide invaluable insight and inspiration for visitors and exhibitors alike, complementing the curated showcase of aesthetic design and colour trends. Each showcased sample will feature on-point information about each material’s raw origins, manufacturing process and potential afterlife.

Material Manifesto
Heimtextil and the international trend team created a Material Manifesto outlining how to manage resources used during the event and avoid using new materials that can end up as waste when the exhibition closes. Through intelligent material choice, Stijlinstituut Amsterdam will reduce material impact to create an immersive forum with a minimal footprint.

Filling the 2,000 sqm Trend Space over four exhibition days is a challenge that the Heimtextil and Stijlinstituut Amsterdam teams must collaborate on to make a forum built primarily of textiles and inflatables with materials that can be reused after the event. Working according to the principles of circularity, these textiles fit for reuse will be combined with Messe Frankfurt stock components and rented and loaned materials. These installations go beyond decorative backdrops: they will tell distinctive stories representative of this year’s trends while meeting Heimtextil’s commitment to sustainability.

MAXIMUM GLAM
Pleasure seekers revel in layering theatrical influences and glamorous showtime aesthetics, forging a fantastic marriage between the crafted and digitally rendered. Textiles show a ‘more is more’ attitude through a mash-up of glam, gradients and spectrums, fake fur, pile and fringe, jacquard weaves and fantastic prints. The flashy, kitsch colour range becomes brutally glam thanks to electric sheen, synthetic shimmer, digital glitch and artful blur. A riot of clashes and rebellion.

PURE SPIRITUAL
Idealists seek perfection and purity, restoring equilibrium by connecting with the uber-natural. They embrace technology for good while shifting between realism and mysticism in pursuit of a personal haven. To address a renewed bond with nature, organic matter, raw materials and pure textiles are selected which show nature’s traces, organic structures and irregularities. Shades are created from the earth and cultured by man. An elemental and pure range reflects the source of their existence.

ACTIVE URBAN
Urban dwellers confront the challenges of the fast paced, shape-shifting, man-made environment by searching for utilitarian, adaptable solutions. They value tech performance while making smart use of available and renewable resources. Functionality is prioritised, while looking cool and working well remains key. Interior/sportswear hybrid textiles show smooth surfaces and a fun mash-up of graphic textures. The palette shows uniform blue, asphalt grey and caterpillar yellow.

HERITAGE LUX
Preservers of historic legacies treasure sensuousness alongside the uncanny, enlightenment together with darkness, for a whole new immersive experience. This new narrative translates to a love for luxury and splendour, decoration and embellishment. Finding beauty in history and nature through ornamental patterning and alluring surface enhancement. Reflecting on ancient history results in a palette featuring enigmatic blood red, sapphire and a lustrous mother-ofpearl.

MULTI-LOCAL
Hyper-locals go global, celebrating inclusivity over appropriation, honouring traditional craftsmanship and adjusting the world’s gaze to embrace exchange, creative integrity and diverse identities. Indigenous style meets global influences. This is a celebration of crafted and decorative pattern, from tribal and folkloric to geometric and abstract. Textile colours become part of a wider cultural narrative, linked to local community, cultural heritage and private identity.

Photo: PREMIÈRE VISION
16.07.2019

PREMIÈRE VISION PARIS IN 09/2019: SPORT, PERFORMANCE AND FASHION

THE INSEPARABLE TRIO UNVEILS ITS NEW STRENGTHS
The next edition of Première Vision Paris, taking place from 17 to 19 September 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte, will present the new materials and creative stimuli for the autumn-winter 2020-21 season.

This major event for all fashion industry players brings together, twice a year, the six principle activities in the upstream sector: yarns, fabrics, leathers, designs, accessories and clothing. 

THE INSEPARABLE TRIO UNVEILS ITS NEW STRENGTHS
The next edition of Première Vision Paris, taking place from 17 to 19 September 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte, will present the new materials and creative stimuli for the autumn-winter 2020-21 season.

This major event for all fashion industry players brings together, twice a year, the six principle activities in the upstream sector: yarns, fabrics, leathers, designs, accessories and clothing. 

In the spotlight: the pinnacle of sportswear, its influence on collections and the development of accompanying technological innovations and technical materials. To address these issues, which now permeate all of fashion, Première Vision’s Sport & Tech sector will be prominently featured at the next show. Located in the textile universe of Première Vision Fabrics, in Hall 6, it will bring together 80 exhibiting weavers - including 8 newcomers - to accompany brands and designers looking for inspiration. Their new products will be unveiled in a dedicated space, the Sport & Tech forum, designed around a core theme of «A matter of protection» (protection and innovation).
 
Sportswear gains ground, playing a major role in collections
The global sportswear market grew steadily between 2011 and 2016, reaching $280 billion in 20161. It has entered into consumer habits and is synonymous with comfort and technical expertise, as well as style and creativity. And France is no exception: according to a recent study2, French consumers wear sport clothes 1 day out of 5, and 25% of consumers see the latter as a «trend». This growing phenomenon has a significant influence on the industry and on those who design and produce clothing and accessories, whether fashion brands using technical materials for their ready-to-wear collections or sports brands developing lifestyle lines. It was to best support these brands that Première Vision developed an offer specially focused on this area within its flagship event: Première Vision Paris.
     
Protection and insulation: technological contributions
Each edition, the Première Vision teams identify a strong theme based on their international research. As sport wear collections grow increasingly popular, the added performance and technology in these product lines is becoming ever more critical. Consumers have been able to try out the innovative features integrated in their sport apparel for several years now, and expect the same functionality in their everyday clothing. «A matter of protection» has thus been selected as the season’s theme for the Sport & Tech sector. A fashion theme that will be particularly highlighted in the dedicated forum, which will present a broader offer of fabrics and high-performance materials from the show’s weavers, knitters and finishers to meet the needs of industry professionals.

Marguerite Coiraton, Show Manager of Première Vision Fabrics and in charge of the Sport & Tech trail, added: « The September 2019 edition is particularly interested in how clothes are used to protect against the elements, a theme which will certainly dominate the autumn-winter 20-21 collections. This concept encompasses, for example, insulation, with the development of thermo-active materials, fabrics and fibres equipped with nanotechnologies, and intelligent augmented protection».

In addition to the dedicated sector within Fabrics, Première Vision also offers a Sport & Tech itinerary - available on the show app - bringing together nearly 700 exhibitors specialised in sports and technical materials who can be found at the show. This complete panorama comprises spinners, weavers, knitters, tanners, accessory makers, textile designers and fashion manufacturers.
 
SPOTLIGHT ON: A preview of a selection of Sport & Tech exhibitors

  • Polartec: an insulation solution used by outdoor sports enthusiasts for nearly twenty years, Polartec® fabrics come in a variety of textures and weights and are specifically designed to improve performance in a wide range of environments;
  • Pontetorto SportSystem: founded in 1952, Pontetorto offers a wide range of products from polar fleeces to stretch fabrics, including multilayers, windproofs, waterproof membranes and breathable materials;
  • Schoeller textiles: a Swiss company specialised in developing innovative textiles, especially warm and resistant fabrics. ‘Cosmopolitan’, its multifunctional collection, perfectly meets the growing demand for high-performance style, with fabrics where outstanding performance features do not preclude a natural feel and perfect comfort;
  • Swing by Gruppocinque: an Italian fabric manufacturer using innovative technologies and finishings such as resins, membranes and high-performance treatments;
  • Mackent: has an offer of highly original textiles with a focus on shock-absorbing spacer knits for lingerie/ ready-to-wear pieces;
  • Sportwear Argentona: a Spanish brand specialising in fabric manufacturing, is presenting its ‘2.0 fabrics’ with excellent breathability and high comfort. These are adaptable, lightweight, elastic, compressing with an innovative aesthetic.
  • Global Merino: a maker of technical textiles using merino wool as a base product. It identifies the performance requirements of the item to be created and develops the fabric according to the end use;
  • Shepherd: a vertically integrated producer of merino knits and apparel, including the world’s finest 13.5-micron merino fabric.

New performance codes to better identify innovation
4 new Performance Codes will be introduced at Première Vision Paris in September 2019:  

  • Downproof, to indicate which fabrics will properly block feathers in quiltings;
  • Multilayer, used very often for fabrics for the world of sports performance;
  • Washable, for wash-resistant leathers;
  • Ultralight, used exclusively for accessory components.

A varied and experiential Sport & Tech universe
A.    A virtual reality experience so visitors can fully immerse themselves in the theme

To offer visitors a live experience, Première Vision has designed a digital animation about the theme of protection. Using virtual reality, it is designed to expose visitors to a variety of environments and external elements (cold, wind, etc.).

B.    Dedicated fashion information
Protection doesn’t preclude creativity and style, in fact quite the opposite is true. This season will be marked by fantasy, with materials combining strong colours, prints, motifs and shine. Visitors will thus find an exclusive and creative Sport & Tech forum, built around the following 4 themes: Tech Tailoring, Ski Touring, Soft Outdoor and Snow Fun. It will bring together samples, components and clothing prototypes.

C.    A comprehensive and high-level conference program to help guide visitors in their choices
This edition, the conferences will be held in very central locations at the show. A space in Hall 3 will host the conferences focusing on innovation, and a space in Hall 6 will be reserved for conferences on fashion trends.

Here are some of the upcoming presentations dedicated to the world of Sport & Tech (Hall 6 conference space) taking place at Première Vision Paris September 2019:

  • A conference by Pascal Monfort, founder of the REC trendsmarketing consulting firm, on the theme «The sport & fashion couple: more than ever inseparable!»;
  • The presentation of a study on sport and fashion conducted in the French market by Union Sport & Cycle, which assessed the expectations of 12,500 consumers;
  • Conferences decoding the fashion trends: « Performance, the challenge in fashion » and «Fashion & Sports major influences and innovations for AW 2021» including exhibitors’ pitchs to present their latest innovations.

Sources : 1: Euromonitor International, 2: « Union Sport & Cycle » Study

18.06.2019

BERLIN FASHION WEEK: 01 – 06 JULY 2019

After just a few seasons (since the founding of MBFW), Berlin has established itself as one of the top 5 fashion sites worldwide with up to 70,000 visitors, more than 30 fashion shows during the Fashion Week as well as numerous trade shows, events and showrooms.
In 2018, around 200,000 people came to visit the Fashion Week, further fueling the city’s economy with up to 120 million euros. The broad range of Berlin’s fashion sector offers everything. from high-end couture and tailoring to eco-fashion and streetwear, from single pieces to collections. Green Fashion and Upcycling are becoming increasingly important; more and more fashion labels in Berlin concern themselves with production according to ecological standards. Neonyt as well as other major trade shows are showcasing numerous brands of the Eco-Portfolio.

 
 

MBFW

After just a few seasons (since the founding of MBFW), Berlin has established itself as one of the top 5 fashion sites worldwide with up to 70,000 visitors, more than 30 fashion shows during the Fashion Week as well as numerous trade shows, events and showrooms.
In 2018, around 200,000 people came to visit the Fashion Week, further fueling the city’s economy with up to 120 million euros. The broad range of Berlin’s fashion sector offers everything. from high-end couture and tailoring to eco-fashion and streetwear, from single pieces to collections. Green Fashion and Upcycling are becoming increasingly important; more and more fashion labels in Berlin concern themselves with production according to ecological standards. Neonyt as well as other major trade shows are showcasing numerous brands of the Eco-Portfolio.

 
 

MBFW

In July 2019, MBFW will showcase its fashion-focused, approachable concept according to the new claim „Follow MBFW – Focus Fashion“. Within the modern and digital format that successfully launched in 2018, Mercedes-Benz and creative agency NOWADAYS band together to further strongly promote Berlin as fashion location and offer an attention-drawing platform for upcoming designers as well as established fashion brands to present their collections twice a year. The collections for Spring/Summer 2020 will be presented at ewerk located in Wilhelmstraße, Berlin-Mitte. With its raw industrial look, the location offers excellent conditions to create an authentic atmosphere where high-end fashion is the centre of attention. Within the new concept, MBFW focuses on remarkably staged presentations by a selected number of designer labels and brands in one location. Fashion interested end-consumers have the chance to watch all MBFW shows live at the forecourt of the venue or follow via digital channels like the website www.mbfw.berlin or on Instagram: @MBFW.berlin.

Monday 1.7.2019 – Wednesday 3.7.2019
LOCATION ewerk Berlin
Wilhelmstraße 43
10117 Berlin
CONTACT buero@mbfw.berlin
WEB  www.mbfw.berlin    

PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLATFORM FOR ADVANCED CONTEMPORARY FASHION

Begun in January 2019, the focus this season continues to be on the restructuring of the halls. The goal is to amalgamate the theme areas more precisely and make it easier for visitors to gain an overview, as well as to inspire them and appeal to their emotions. The exhibitors will present key looks rather than huge collections.On top of this we see the recurrence of a trusty PREMIUM theme: sustainability. As a result of this, there will be no plastic in the catering areas; a strong focus on rubbish sorting; and specific promotion of eco-brands.

PREMIUM has been the leading trade show among the most important international trade events since 2003, as well as the most relevant business and networking platform for advanced contemporary fashion. PREMIUM continually aims to inspire, strengthen business relationships and promote discussion across disciplines. B2B services are constantly being perfected and developed together with the key players in the industry.


Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–5pm
LOCATION STATION-Berlin
Luckenwalder Strasse 4–6
10963 Berlin
CONTACT PREMIUM Exhibitions GmbH
 +49 (0) 3062 908 50
 info@premiumexhibitions.com
WEB www.premiumexhibitions.com
www.facebook.com/PREMIUMBERLIN
www.instagram.com/PREMIUMBERLIN
www.twitter.com/PREMIUMBERLIN    

PANORAMA BERLIN
PANORAMA EXPEDITION

PANORAMA BERLIN is the groundbreaking meeting point for decision makers in the fashion and lifestyle business. Since its premiere in January 2013, it has become one of the most relevant European fashion platforms and, as the leading trade fair for Berlin Fashion Week, represents a comprehensive overview of national and international women & menswear.
Twice a year, together with the Tradeshow for Quality Garments SELVEDGE RUN & ZEITGEIST and the sustainable fashion show XOOM, PANORAMA BERLIN is an "all-in-one event" for international brands, which are divided into various sectors: smart formalwear, casual and sportswear, contemporary styles, denim, heritage and streetwear, accessories and shoes as well as sustainable fashion and lifestyle products.
Following the realignment in January 2019, PANORAMA BERLIN will be taking place from 2 to 4 July 2019 under the motto "BERLIN VIBES" and will focus on the topics of infotainment, eventisation and matchmaking. The concentration continues to target brands with relevance and clear messages. More sophisticated presentations, trend capsules and limited editions, which can only be found in Berlin, stage fashion in an exciting lifestyle context. From furniture to beauty products: In new, central concept store areas in halls 1 to 4, brands and products are presented in a new exciting relationship, providing a wealth of inspiration in terms of presentation and composition. Under the motto "Knowledge to go", PANORAMA BERLIN will be presenting a wide-ranging lecture program with leading keynote speakers in the Retail Solutions Hall on a wide range of future topics relating to international trends in retail, marketing, e-commerce and digitization.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION PANORAMA BERLIN
ExpoCenter City
Eingang Süd/Jafféstraße
14055 Berlin
CONTACT PANORAMA Fashion Fair Berlin GmbH
+49 (0) 3027 595 604 0
office@panorama-berlin.com
WEB www.panorama-berlin.com
www.facebook.com/panoramafashionfairberlin
www.instagram.com/panoramafashionfair

 SHOW & ORDER X PREMIUM
TRADE SHOW FOR FASHION, LIFESTYLE & EXPERIENCE

Thanks to the special department store concept, SHOW&ORDER X PREMIUM is different to other trade shows. Buyers gain inspiration and stories not only from the family atmosphere, but also from the spacious Experience Floor. In addition, the Beauty Lounge will be there again: the place to go to enjoy a quick freshen-up during the hustle and bustle of Fashion Week. It’s not just the KÜHLHAUS itself that has lots to offer again in July 2019 – the Outside Area, too, will be equipped for hot summer days with a beach lounge, bar and mouth-watering catering. Trade show for fashion, lifestyle & experience Over six partly open, gallery-like floors around 200 fashion brands will be exhibiting alongside beauty products, interior and design pieces, stationery, books, art, music, fragrances and magazines, as well as innovative food concepts, located in various experience spaces on the different floors of the KÜHLHAUS. The building is situated on the STATION-Berlin premises very close by to PREMIUM.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–5pm
LOCATION Kühlhaus
Etage 1–5
Luckenwalder Strasse 3
10963 Berlin
WEB www.showandorder.de
www.facebook.com/ShowandOrder

#FASHIONTECH BERLIN

#FASHIONTECH BERLIN, held twice a year during Berlin Fashion Week, is the leading tech conference for the fashion industry, discussing topics around digital transformation, innovations and disruptive technologies. Featuring keynote presentations with international experts on stage (#LISTEN!), interactive masterclasses to boost your specialist knowledge (#LEARN!) and the Exhibition Area, where visitors will be introduced to the latest developments, products and innovations on the market (#EXPERIENCE!), #FASHIONTECH Berlin has evolved to become a leading European content hub for technology, digitalisation, sustainability and innovation.
#FASHIONTECH BERLIN also creates the stage for interdisciplinary exchange between different industries. The networking areas give visitors the opportunity to network with the speakers, industry insiders and entrepreneurs, as well as to seek out new business partners and generate business leads. Since digitalisation has affects every aspect of modern lifestyle, FASHIONTECH BERLN is looking into the latest trends that shape our lives.

TOPICS OF OUR TIME IN THE ERA OF DIGITALISATION

  • DIGITAL BUSINESS
  • STREET CULTURE
  • E-SPORTS & GAMING IN FASHION
  • SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

 

Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–6.30pm
LOCATION Festsaal Kreuzberg
Am Flutgraben 2
12435 Berlin
CONTACT Michael Stracke
hello@fashiontech.berlin
WEB www.fashiontech.berlin
www.facebook.com/FashionTechBerlinConference
www.instagram.com/Fashiontech_berlin/
www.twitter.com/fashiontechber

FASHIONSUSTAIN BERLIN

Technology, sustainability and innovation are important drivers of the fashion and textile industry that will revolutionize the sector and its processes and production methods. On Wednesday and Thursday, 3/4 July 2019, the international conference format Fashionsustain is dedicated to precisely these topics.
The up-coming edition of Fashionsustain will be dedicated to the subject of water – from microplastics to water stewardship. Highprofile speakers from innovative companies will be presenting visionary approaches to help preserve this vital resource. In addition, the summer edition of Fashionsustain focuses on retail. This involves margins, assortments, collections, POS solutions and the communication of sustainability issues.
And the topics discussed on the conference stage will be brought to life in the “Showcase of Change” exhibition area. But taking place before that, from 1 to 2 July 2019, is the Thinkathon – a space for open dialogue and creative thinking processes. Fashionsustain is part of Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation (2 to 4 July 2019) – organized by Messe Frankfurt.


Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–6pm
LOCATION Kraftwerk Berlin
Upper level
Köpenicker Straße 70
10179 Berlin
CONTACT Falco Fuchs
Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
+49 6975 755 938
falco.fuchs@messefrankfurt.com
WEB www.fashionsustain.com
www.facebook.com/FashionSustain
www.instagram.com/fashionsustain.berlin 

SEEK – A COMMON GROUND FOR INDIVIDUALS IN FASHION

The concept of the Trade Union, which was developed by SEEK Director Maren Wiebus and her team, will continue and will be polished from time to time.        
The bringing together of pioneers and industry visionaries will continue to have its dedicated space for promoting discussion, inspiration and food for thought. SEEK goes charity again! After the overwhelming success of the first initiative with One Warm Winter in January, SEEK and the Berlinbased NGO are planning to collect sneakers for the homeless this summer in front of the location during the show, but also before and after by collaborating partner stores. The project is supported by Sneaker Freaker.
Many reasons to celebrate: 60th birthday of Alpha Industries, 100th birthday of Champion and Farah plus a special Event OVERKILL x ASICSTIGER x SEEK Block Party Vol. 2 Fashion. Trade. Show. Each season, SEEK, the Voice of Street Culture, presents selected streetwear and urbanwear pieces that translate the current lifestyle trends for the industry. SEEK stands for democracy and fairness, clarity, friendliness and honesty, in keeping with the motto of “what you see is what you get”. The focus is on carefully selected style tribes that embody the modern zeitgeist and guarantee SEEK’s visitors valuable inspiration.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION ARENA Berlin
Eichenstrasse 4
12435 Berlin
CONTACT info@seekexhibitions.com
WEB www.seekexhibitions.com
www.facebook.com/seekberlin

SELVEDGE RUN & ZEITGEIST

The show will be all about quality and trust.
After the successful merger with Panorama Berlin, the architecturally impressive hall at the south entrance of the Berlin Expo Center is the new home of Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist. As an integrated part of Panorama Berlin, the tradeshow for quality garments and crafted goods presents a unique exhibitor mix of the latest streetwear topics, which are highly relevant for the market, such as: denim, craft, current and outdoor. The brand list of Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist includes international iconic and heritage brands and distinctive products, some of which can only be seen in Europe exclusively in Berlin.
In July 2019, Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist will again be the hot spot for the community, offering a meeting place with like-minded people and food & drinks to discover the best quality brands and meet buyers from all over the world. In the integrated "Marketplace" you will find curated concept brands that can be ordered as well as bought directly.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION PANORAMA BERLIN
ExpoCenter City
South Entrance/Jafféstrasse
14055 Berlin
CONTACT info@selvedgerun.com
+49 (0) 3027 595 604 0
WEB www.selvedgerun.com
www.facebook.com/selvedgerun
www.instagram.com/selvedgerun
www.vimeo.com/selvedgerun

NEONYT – GLOBAL HUB FOR FASHION, SUSTAINABILITY AND INNOVATION

Changing fashion together. Through collaboration, communication and entrepreneurship. That is the vision of Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation.With its hub concept, Neonyt combines the most important elements of the fashion industry – style, business, inspiration, knowledge, fun and community – in a neo-new way. The hub is made up of the Neonyt Trade Show, the conferences Fashionsustain and the design-thinking format Thinkathon, showcases, the influencer and blogger event Prepeek, networking events and, last but not least, the Neonyt Party.
The Neonyt Trade Fair will present a good balance of leading brands and newcomers – from contemporary, casual and urbanwear to denim, streetwear and sportswear down to business outfits. In addition to men’s, ladies’ and kidswear, the assortment of products on show also includes outdoorwear, shoes, accessories, jewellery and beauty. Neonyt is organized by Messe Frankfurt.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION Kraftwerk Berlin
Köpenicker Straße 70
10179 Berlin
WEB www.neonyt.com
www.facebook.com/Neonytberlin
www.instagram.com/neonyt.berlin

More information:
Berlin Fashion Week
Source:

Berlin Fashion Week

Photo: pasja1000 Pixabay
19.03.2019

SRI LANKA'S APPAREL AND TEXTILE EXPORTS RECEIVE A BOOST

  • Modernization of production facilities required

Thanks to the reactivated GSP import status of the European Union, Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and expects better sales opportunities abroad.

The textile and clothing industry is of macroeconomic importance for Sri Lanka. The sector accounted for almost 43 per cent of the country's total exports in 2018 and provides employment for nearly 350,000 workers in the formal sector and about twice as many in the informal sector. In total, this is about 33 percent of all jobs in the manufacturing industry. The majority of employees are women.

  • Modernization of production facilities required

Thanks to the reactivated GSP import status of the European Union, Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and expects better sales opportunities abroad.

The textile and clothing industry is of macroeconomic importance for Sri Lanka. The sector accounted for almost 43 per cent of the country's total exports in 2018 and provides employment for nearly 350,000 workers in the formal sector and about twice as many in the informal sector. In total, this is about 33 percent of all jobs in the manufacturing industry. The majority of employees are women.

The textile and clothing industry contribute around 6 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). "In view of the development of other sectors, it is very unlikely that another industry will reach this level of performance in the short to medium term," Jeevani Siriwardena, head of the Export Development Board (EDB), said in an interview with Germany Trade and Invest. The textile and clothing industry will continue to be an important sector for the Sri Lankan economy.

Short to medium-term prospects are good
On May 18th 2017, the European Union (EU) reactivated the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status for Sri Lanka after a seven-year time-out. This means that when goods are exported to the EU, the island state is exempted from customs duties on more than 66 percent of customs tariff lines. "Without GSP status, Sri Lanka's export losses are said to have cost around 32 billion between 2010 and 2017," stressed Ravindi Ranaraja, Deputy Head of the Export Service Division of EDB, in a GTAI interview. In particular, the strongly export-oriented clothing and textile industry will benefit from the regained GSP status. Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and also expects better sales opportunities abroad.

Sri Lanka's textile and clothing exports to the EU and Germany in 2018
(in USD million; change year-on-year in %)  
HS-Code Definition
 
EU
 
Change
 
Germany *) Change
 
61 Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted 1,177 0.7 232.55 9.6
62 Garments and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted 874 7.6 151.59 18.1
63 Other made-up textile articles; sets worn clothing and used textile articles 52 18.2 7.8 13.5
Total   2,103 3.9 391.92 12.8

*) Estimation
Sources: Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association; press releases; calculations by Germany Trade & Invest; Destatis, February 2019

Positive impulses are already visible. According to the latest foreign trade figures available, Sri Lanka was able to increase its total exports of textiles and clothing (HS codes 61, 62 and 63) by almost 4.8 percent to approximately USD 5 billion in 2018. Exports to the EU increased by 3.9 percent to USD 2.1 billion. Exports to Germany were able to recover a plus of 12.8 percent.

It is not yet certain that Sri Lanka will be able to make up for the losses of the past. In the meantime, countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which have already enjoyed tariff concessions in foreign trade with the EU for the entire current decade, have passed by the island state. Bangladesh in particular, recorded a strong increase in its clothing and textile exports compared with Sri Lanka..

Sri Lanka textile and clothing exports 2018 (HS codes 61, 62, 63)
Country In USD million 1)
China 172.4
Vietnam 36.0
Bangladesh 32.9
India 20.9
Indonesia 2) 14.0

1) Estimation; 2) Forecast
Sources: Press Releases; Calculations Germany Trade & Invest, February 2019

Sri Lanka focuses on higher quality products
Numerous domestic textile producers are switching to the production of higher-quality garments in order to maintain their competitiveness. "In Sri Lanka, the focus is not on mass but rather on higher quality products," confirmed M. Raghuram, Chief Executive Officer of Brandix, one of the country's largest clothing companies, in an interview with GTAI. The island state concentrates on the production of just a few product categories such as underwear, sportswear or lounge wear..

Sri Lanka has become a location for the manufacture of high-quality garments. This is also confirmed by the World Bank. In its 2016 study "Stitches to Riches" (website), it found that Sri Lanka outperformed its competitors India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in terms of quality, delivery times, reliability and sustainable social responsibility.

Sri Lanka serves fastidious international companies such as Victoria Secrets, GAP, Nike or Marks and Spencer. According to expert estimates, the production of the top 10 Sri Lankan textile and clothing companies accounts for around 85 percent of the industry's total exports.

The ambitious goal is to increase the garment industry's export revenues to USD 8 billion by 2025, which will require an annual growth of 6 percent. For this Sri Lanka must improve capacity, technology and resource problems. "It is becoming more and more difficult to find suitable personnel. For many young people working in the garment and textile industry in Sri Lanka is simply unattractive”, Nilanthi Sivapragasam, Chief Financial Officer of the conglomerate Aitkence Spence, told GTAI. The training of the workforce is also a major challenge. "Training new employees is very time-consuming and labor-intensive," confirms Sivapragasam.

Imports of German machinery decline
In addition, Sri Lanka's textile companies must modernize their machinery and expand their capacities in order to further increase productivity and added value. Accordingly, there is a great demand for technically sophisticated textile machines in the country. This offers good opportunities and chances for machine suppliers. According to experts, the demand for textile printing and dyeing machines, stenter frames and finishing technology will develop particularly dynamically in the future.
 
In Sri Lanka itself only relatively simple machines are being produced. High-end technology is mainly imported. China is the most important supplier of textile machinery, accounting for about one third of all imports. India has also been able to significantly increase its machine exports to Sri Lanka in recent years. In 2017, India achieved exports of USD 6.3 million, an increase of 46.7 percent, compared with exports of USD 2.6 million in 2010.

German machine exports suffered enormous losses. Sri Lanka's imports of textile machinery from Germany amounted to USD 16.5 million in 2017, a decrease of 54.2 percent. Over the past years, Germany has lost share of its deliveries. According to industry experts, this trend will continue: Made in Germany stands for quality and continues to be very popular in Sri Lanka; however, German machine manufacturers are often unable to keep up with the low-cost products from China or India.

Sri Lanka's imports of textile and clothing machinery
(SITC 724; USD million) 
Country 2016 2017 Change
China 56.3 51.8 -8.0
Japan 26.6 18.3 -31.1
Germany 36.0 16.5 -54.2
Singapore 13.6 14.5 -6.8
India 4.3 6.3 46.7
Total 192.8 155.3 -19.5

Source: UN Comtrade, March 2019

Contact addresses
Title Internet address Remark
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/srilanka Foreign trade information for the German export industry
AHK Sri Lanka http://www.srilanka.ahk.de Contact point for German companies
Sri Lanka Export Development Board http://www.srilankabusiness.com/edb State organization responsible for the development and promotion of exports in Sri Lanka. 

 

More information:
Sri Lanka
Source:

Heena Nazir, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Foto: Pixabay
17.12.2018

PRICE WAR ON POLAND'S CLOTHING MARKET GETS TOUGHER

  • Online sales increase

Warsaw (GTAI) - More and more clothing and shoe companies are merging in Poland. Demand is growing, but the price pressure is increasing. Customers appreciate the quality of German brand products.
Sales of clothing and footwear in Poland are rising steadily. However, the price war is becoming increasingly fierce: off-price shops offering branded goods at low prices, online shops and outlet centers are putting pressure on retailers and lowering the average returns.
Demand will receive an additional boost at the end of the year, as clothing and shoes are popular Christmas gifts. According to a survey by the consulting firm Deloitte, Polish families want to spend an average of EUR 271 on the occasion of the 2018 season, - 6 percent more than in 2017. German branded products are highly valued for their quality.

  • Online sales increase

Warsaw (GTAI) - More and more clothing and shoe companies are merging in Poland. Demand is growing, but the price pressure is increasing. Customers appreciate the quality of German brand products.
Sales of clothing and footwear in Poland are rising steadily. However, the price war is becoming increasingly fierce: off-price shops offering branded goods at low prices, online shops and outlet centers are putting pressure on retailers and lowering the average returns.
Demand will receive an additional boost at the end of the year, as clothing and shoes are popular Christmas gifts. According to a survey by the consulting firm Deloitte, Polish families want to spend an average of EUR 271 on the occasion of the 2018 season, - 6 percent more than in 2017. German branded products are highly valued for their quality.

Sales of clothing and footwear in Poland (EUR billion)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
6.9 7.4 7.7 7.8 8.4

Source: Euromonitor International

The US chain TK Maxx already operates 43 off-price stores in Poland. The assortment includes various goods - from household goods to clothing - which are greatly reduced. Neinver from Spain currently operates four outlet centers under the name "Factory" in Poland. There are two in Warsaw and one each in Krakow and Poznan.
Neinver plans to use the commercial park Futura Ursus in Warsaw commercially in the future. In total, there are a good dozen outlet centers in Poland. On the site of the Galeria Rumia shopping center in the town with the same name northwest of Gdynia, the Pomerania Outlet center is planning to open at the end of 2019 with 80 shops.
The German online retailer Zalando is with its shopping club Zalando Lounge for special offers present in Poland, It has set up a logistics center in Olsztynek (Hohenstein), primarily for further expansion in Europe with this concept. Discount chains such as Biedronka and Lidl are also offering inexpensive clothing.

Sector consolidates
The growing pressure of competition and prices is leading to further consolidation among domestic companies in the sector. Various mergers are emerging. The Vistula Group will take over its competitor the men's outfitter Bytom already in 2018. The antitrust authority UOKiK has already approved the merger. From 2020 on the Group expects this to generate additional revenue of around EUR 1.9 million to EUR 2.3 million annually.
The acquisition of the apparel company Simple Creative Products S.A. (Gino Rossi Group from Slupsk) with its brand Simple for upmarket women's clothing by Monnari Trade S.A. cracked in November 2018. Simple is represented with 63 salons and Monnari with 163 stores in Poland.
OTCF, a company specializing in sportswear, owns the sports brand 4F with over 200 stores in Poland. OTCF has a strong presence abroad. Gino Rossi owns a total of around 90 shoe salons in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Market leader LPP expands
The largest clothing company, LPP from Gdansk, continues to expand. It opened its 20th store in September 2018 with the name of its largest brand Reserved in Germany. The LPP's shops are located in the capitals of the federal states and other commercial metropolises. LPP has set up its latest store in the Zeil shopping mile in Frankfurt. According to its deputy chairman, Slawomir Loboda, LPP with Reserved generated higher revenues abroad than domestically in the second quarter of 2018.
LPP not only wants to open further stores in Western Europe, but is also aiming for other markets. In November 2018, first sales salons of the LPP brands Reserved, House, Mohito and Sinsay followed in Almaty in Kazakhstan. These brands can be purchased in Germany via online trade. The German market is LPP's fifth largest foreign market in terms of turnover.

Revenues of the largest clothing and shoe companies in the first half of 2018 (in EUR million, change to the first half of 2017 on a Zloty basis in %)
Name of company Revenue Change
LPP 844.3 18.0
CCC (shoes) 471.0 9.6
Vistula Group 82.4 14.8
Redan 63.5 -1.0
TXM 38.4 0
Monnari 24.9 5.9
Wojas (shoes) 24.4 -3.1
Bytom 22.1 12.3
Gino Rossi (shoes) 1) 20.5 -8.4
CDRL (Coccodrillo chain for children's clothing) 2) 15.6 3.0

1) without Simple; 2) in Poland
Source: Company data according to daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita

CCC does not rely on the online segment only
The country's largest shoe company, the CCC Group, which is also expanding strongly abroad - including Germany - already achieved a fifth (19.8 percent) of its turnover with its online trade in the first half of 2018. The online sales were very successful: In the first three quarters of 2018 the revenues on a zloty basis rose by 59 percent compared to January to September 2017 to EUR 150.3 million.
An important platform for CCC online trading is eObuwie.pl, in which CCC holds a 75 percent stake. There are plans to place eObuwie.pl at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. eObuwie.pl intends to use the result to expand and strengthen its logistics. At its location in Zielona Gora (Grünberg), eObuwie.pl is building a modern, automated warehouse.

Online shoe trade relies on 3D models of feet
According to eObuwie.pl chairman Marcin Grzymkowski, who holds 25 percent of the shares the platform wants to use the esize.me scanner in order to motivate more Poles to buy shoes online. This scans feet and creates accurate 3D models of them. Based on these, virtual shoes will be selected that guarantee the best possible fit. It is planned to place such scanners at around at 40 locations in shopping centers. So far, according to estimates by eObuwie.pl, only 10 percent of Poles buy shoes online, as the daily Rzeczpospolita reports. In spring 2019 eObuwie.pl plans to establish an e-shop for high-quality clothing.
CCC already ordered shoes from Gino Rossi to distribute them through eObuwie.pl. Now the group wants to offer these articles also in stationary shops at home and abroad. Therefore CCC intends to acquire approximately 120,000 pairs of shoes from Gino Rossi in 2019 and approximately 180,000 pairs in 2020. After all, orders are expected to increase to around 500,000 pairs per year. Gino Rossi has factories in Slupsk and Elblag.

CCC will also acquire the license to use and sublicense the Gino Rossi brand name. The group may design its own shoe models under this brand name. Special collections are to be sold in around 200 selected CCC stationary stores among other countries in Poland and the Czech Republic. Through the agreement with CCC, Gino Rossi plans to earn an additional EUR 3.5 to 4.2 million in 2019 and EUR 8.4 to 9.3 million in 2020.

 

 

 

More information:
GTAI Polen
Source:

Beatrice Repetzki, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

06.02.2018

POLES ARE INCREASINGLY BUYING CLOTHING ONLINE

  • Retail consolidates 
  • Market leader LPP continues to expand

Apparel and footwear sales in Poland are rising by around 5 percent annually. An increasing proportion of sales is generated online. The German discounter chain KiK is spreading successfully. There are market niches for high-quality fashion from Germany. The leading domestic retail chain LPP is expanding at home and abroad. It not only invests in new designs but also in the online segment. The retail structure is becoming firmer.

The Polish retail trade in clothing and footwear is consolidating. The number of stores drops by about 1,000 a year. The main reason, according to the daily Rzeczpospolita, is the growing online trade. For large retail chains, active in both local and virtual trading, this trend is not negative: they are even opening up more traditional sales stores and increasing their sales.

  • Retail consolidates 
  • Market leader LPP continues to expand

Apparel and footwear sales in Poland are rising by around 5 percent annually. An increasing proportion of sales is generated online. The German discounter chain KiK is spreading successfully. There are market niches for high-quality fashion from Germany. The leading domestic retail chain LPP is expanding at home and abroad. It not only invests in new designs but also in the online segment. The retail structure is becoming firmer.

The Polish retail trade in clothing and footwear is consolidating. The number of stores drops by about 1,000 a year. The main reason, according to the daily Rzeczpospolita, is the growing online trade. For large retail chains, active in both local and virtual trading, this trend is not negative: they are even opening up more traditional sales stores and increasing their sales.

Sales of clothing and footwear in Poland (EUR billion)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 *)
6.9 7.4 7.7 7.8 8.4

*) Estimation

Source: Market research Company PMR

Small businesses do not have these options. They have difficulties to survive in the tough price competition and are in part pushed out of the market. Additional competition is coming d from discount and hypermarkets that are further broadening their apparel range. These include not only large grocery chains such as Biedronka, Tesco and Lidl, but also the specialized textile discounters Pepco with almost 780 and KiK with over 200 clothing stores. They are also pursuing further expansion plans.

Number of shops for clothing and shoes
2016 2017 2018 *)
39,000 38,000 37,000

*Forecast

Source: Euromonitor International

According to a report by the market research firm Gemius apparel and accessories form the product group that Internet users most frequently order on the net,. By contrast shoes occupy only the seventh place. In Poland, however, only a few percent of the sales of clothing account for the Internet. The growth potential therefor is still considerable. Large companies could double their online sales annually.

Online purchases of individual product groups by Internet users 2017
Product group Entries in %
Clothing, accessoires 72
Book, CD 68
Small electronic devices 56
House, audio-, video equipment 55
Cinema and theatre tickets 54
Cosmetics, parfumes 51
Shoes 49
Computer and similar devices 48
Sportswear 46

Source: Gemius

So far, auction platforms have played the biggest role in online apparel purchases, according to Instytut Badan Rynkowych i Spolecznych (IBRiS, Institute for Market and Society Research) in a survey of Internet users for Rzeczpospolita..

Proportion of online procurement sources of clothing in Poland (in %)
Auction platforms Brand stores Stores with many brands Others
39.2 38.2 13.7 8.9

Source: IBRiS

LPP opens 50 sales salons

Notwithstanding the e-commerce boom, the leading retailer LPP, which includes the brands Reserved, Mohito, Cropp, Sinsay and House is continuing to expand its retail space. This contains already a total of just over 1 million square meters. By mid-2017, LPP owned 1,710 stores in just under 20 countries. In September, the company from Gdansk opened the first Reserved boutique in the United Kingdom on London's Oxford Street. LPP revenue increased on a zloty basis in by 17% in 2017 to almost EUR 1.7 billion.

LPP wants to expand further in 2018, according to its Deputy Chairman Przemyslaw Lutkiewicz. The chain plans to open around 50 new sales stores at home and abroad. New markets are to be developed: Kazakhstan, Israel and Slovenia. In the future, LPP wants also to be represented with its most important brand Reserved in Paris and Milan. In addition to an internet shop since mid-2017, the company already operates 19 sales salons in Germany.

LPP is constantly bringing new products to market. According to its chairman, Marek Piechocki, the company aims to have 2,000 people working on its research and development (R & D) projects by the end of 2018. That would be a number of 800 specialists more than in autumn of 2017. The research and development budget should be increased to EUR 48 million and will be used especially for the design of new clothes.

So far, 810 fashion designers have been designing around 40,000 garments annually for LPP. The shops are staffed by 40 architects and coordinators. About 250 programmers introduce new technologies, especially in the field of e-commerce. LPP wants to triple the number of IT experts in a medium term. In fall of 2017 the share of online sales of LPP brands was 4 percent. It should even double by 2020.

Premium brands are increasing

The Spanish company Inditex with its brands Zara, Oysho and Pull & Bear is not missing in any shopping center in Poland. It should therefore continue to expand there as well. The Swedish H & M is developing not only its online business but its retail business as well and will open a new store in Tychy in March 2018.
In view of the increasing employment rate and the purchasing power of the Poles, the sales opportunities for high-quality clothing from Germany are also rising. Among other things the potential can be seen in the domestic Grupa Vistula, which increased the Polish retail space of its elegant brands Vistula, Wolczanka, Deni Cler and W.Kruk in 2017 by 9 percent to almost 33,500 square meters. Additional space is added on a franchise basis. The men's outfit Bytom, whose merger with Vistula persist in persistent rumors, is expanding its trading base.

Footwear company CCC is growing abroad

The Polish shoe group CCC, consisting of the largest domestic shoe manufacturer and the operator of the CCC retail chain, generated revenues of more than EUR 984 million in 2017. This was around EUR 235 million more than in 2016. The stationary CCC stores earned EUR 796 million (+24 percent on a zloty basis).
The group wants to expand accordingly. Among others seven stores should be opened or expanded in Austria in 2018 while three new branches will be set up in Croatia and Slovenia. CCC operates more than 900 shoe stores in 16 countries, including 77 in Germany and 45 in Austria.
In September 2017, CCC secured EUR 127 million from investors for the expansion of its online activities through the issue of new shares at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. In some markets, such as Greece, CCC is exclusively virtual on a customer hunt. In Poland e-commerce is also picking up its speed: the online business of the eObuwie.pl group increased its revenue in 2017 by 111.5 percent over the previous year to more than EUR 142 million.

Performance Days November 2017 © Performance Days
28.11.2017

NEW RECORDS SET AGAIN AT PERFORMANCE DAYS IN MUNICH

The recently concluded trade fair once again demonstrates: The PERFORMANCE DAYS concept works! At the 19th edition of the trade fair for functional fabrics and sport accessories, new top ratings were achieved in all areas.

The recently concluded trade fair once again demonstrates: The PERFORMANCE DAYS concept works! At the 19th edition of the trade fair for functional fabrics and sport accessories, new top ratings were achieved in all areas.
Innovation is the specialty at PERFORMANCE DAYS. The functional fabric trade fair has a reputation for being the first to show the newest trends way ahead of the other trade fairs and industry gatherings. The fair offers several unique tools such as the Focus Topic, the PERFORMANCE FORUM with the PERFORMANCE TABLES and the PERFORMANCE WALL, the PERFORMANCE AWARDS, the comprehensive presentation and workshop program as well as the guided tours. What makes this fair so special? Not only the free admission to the fair, but all of the top quality programs are also free of charge! So much commitment to service and trend scouting pays off: The recent trade fair held on November 8-9th, 2017 at the MTC in Munich once again broke all previous records!

Visitor and Exhibitor plus
The halls of the MTC were filled to maximum capacity and recorded significantly more visitors than the previous fair last April and even more than the fair in November 2016. The number of trade visitors rose from 1868 in November 2016, to 2001 breaking the 2000 mark for the first time. This growth corresponds to a 7.1 percent increase. In comparison to the previous year, the number of exhibitors was also greater in autumn 2017, registering a 9.9 percent increase. A total of 177 exhibitors from 23 countries occupied all of the halls to capacity, confirming the decision to relocate to the halls of Messe München, which is scheduled for November 2018. Even now, shortly after opening the exhibitor registration period, demand is already higher than the number of available spaces.

The move to Riem
When the doors of PERFORMANCE DAYS open next year on November 28-29th, 2018, the trade fair will be celebrating not only its 10-year anniversary, but also the first edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS at the new location. In the future, one of the large halls on the exhibition grounds in Munich-Riem will be provided twice a year for functional fabrics. For the debut, it will be located in Hall C1, with easy access via the north-west entrance from the west parking garage.

All highlights also provided online
As usual, when the most recent exhibit comes to a successful close, a special service is made available to all those who did not have enough time: All the highlights and important information like the presentations (also as a podcast!), as well as all the fabrics at the Forum will be available directly at www.performancedays.com. Even more interesting for you: Samples of all featured PERFORMANCE FORUM fabrics can be ordered online, which means direct sourcing of materials is now possible from the comfort of your office.
A special highlight of the past exhibition was the Focus Topic "Thermal Technologies – From Fibre to Smart Textiles." The topic covered the entire spectrum of heat retention and generation in sports clothing, as well as the ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD. The award winner was Pontetorto for the development of the first fleece to be produced with a brushed inside and with particles and fibers that are biodegradable even in sea-water. This innovation was a joint development between Vaude and Lenzing. The workshop presented by Ana Kristiansson about the possibilities of founding a sportswear brand was also very well received.
Besides the familiar exhibitors like Invista, Cocona/37.5, Lenzing, Microban, 3M, bluesign, Burlington, Dyneema, Nilit, Outlast, Pertex, Polartec, Pontetorto, PrimaLoft, Schoeller, Singtex, Sympatex, Südwollle, Toray, and YKK; the Messe welcomed new exhibitors like Freudenberg Performance Materials, Clo Insulation, Flying Textile, Inuheat Group, ISKO ARQUAS, Manifattura Effe Pi, The Woolmark Company, and Tough Knitting Enterprise.

About PERFORMANCE DAYS
PERFORMANCE DAYS — The “functional fabric fair” launched in 2008, is the first and only event created especially for functional fabrics for sports and work clothing. The aim of the semiannual trade fair is to give leading and innovative textile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers the opportunity to present their functional fabrics, membranes plus treatments, laminates, paddings, fin-ishes, and accessories such as yarns, tapes, prints, buttons and zippers.
The industry experts who come to this fair – the sports fashion designers, product managers, and decision-makers (see online: Visitor List) represent almost every European active clothing and func-tional wear manufacturer – can find a complete selection of high quality materials available at just the right time in April/May and November. The dates are intentionally scheduled early thanks to our expertise in functional fabrics and are optimal for summer and winter sport collections. (All trade fair catalogs from past events are available online at Catalogs as well as a listing of current exhibitors at Exhibitor List).
 
The relaxed and focused workshop-like atmosphere at PERFORMANCE DAYS differentiates it from the other fairs which are often unmanageable and more stressful. That is one of the reasons why the Munich trade fair at the heart of the European sportswear industry has become one of the top addresses for new fabrics, innovations, and is the preferred meeting place to conduct business.
In the unique PERFORMANCE FORUM of PERFORMANCE DAYS, the visitor receives an inspiring and well-grounded overview of the new materials, trends, and innovations of the exhibitors. The PERFORMANCE AWARD and the ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD are also presented here. Qualified guest speakers present special topics and their collaborative ventures in guided tours, workshops and presentations to complete the range of information provided at PERFORMANCE DAYS within the Program (see after the fair online in the Presentation Library).
No entry fee and free admission to all events for industry visitors.

The Polish clothing sector is facing mergers © Erwin Lorenzen / pixelio.de
01.08.2017

THE POLISH CLOTHING SECTOR IS FACING MERGERS

  • Competition is tough
  • Demand is growing

Warsaw (GTAI) - The dynamic demand for clothing and shoes in Poland is unbroken in 2017. The clothing sector, which is in a tough price competition, consolidates itself through mergers. A merger between the two large men’s outfitter Bytom and Vistula is due. In the case of women's fashion, the trend is towards timeless quality goods, which also opens up opportunities for German suppliers. Retail sales of textiles, clothing and footwear are the fastest growing of all product groups in Poland. According to the Central Statistical Office (CIS) in the first five months of 2017 the real growth was 16.1% above the value of the previous year's period. The total retail sales increased by 6.9%. For the full year 2016 these growth rates were 16.4 and 5.7%, respectively.

  • Competition is tough
  • Demand is growing

Warsaw (GTAI) - The dynamic demand for clothing and shoes in Poland is unbroken in 2017. The clothing sector, which is in a tough price competition, consolidates itself through mergers. A merger between the two large men’s outfitter Bytom and Vistula is due. In the case of women's fashion, the trend is towards timeless quality goods, which also opens up opportunities for German suppliers. Retail sales of textiles, clothing and footwear are the fastest growing of all product groups in Poland. According to the Central Statistical Office (CIS) in the first five months of 2017 the real growth was 16.1% above the value of the previous year's period. The total retail sales increased by 6.9%. For the full year 2016 these growth rates were 16.4 and 5.7%, respectively.

The in spring of 2016 introduced children's allowance and the fact that many Poles spend their summer holidays in Poland are stimulating the demand even more. This also results in additional supply chances for German suppliers. However, they are in an intense competition with domestic manufacturers and dealers. Sector experts have calculated that the stock exchange listed companies for clothing and footwear could have increased their revenues by an average of 16% in the first half of 2017. The CCC shoe chain was the most successful company with an increase of one third.

Revenue from domestic companies for clothing and footwear in the first half of
2017 (in ZI million Zl, change compared to the first half of 2016 in%) *)
  Revenue Change
LPP 3,069 15.0
CCC 1,845 32.3
Vistula 308 112.4
TXM 165 -2.0
Gino Rossi 141 10.5
Bytom 85 22.6
Wittchen 76 21.0

*) preliminary data
Source: Company data

The positive development is mainly attributable to the increased number of chain stores, the expansion of sales areas and the increase in online trading. Now the sector wants to strengthen its position through mergers.

Vistula on expansion course
The two men’s outfitter Bytom and Vistula want to use synergy effects and operate more successful on the market by merging. Since the middle of April 2017 they are negotiating about this step which could be completed by the end of the year. According to market observers, Vistula should have to issue new shares in order to be able to take over Bytom. The merger would end the tough price competition of the two competitors in formal clothing. They would be able to arrange joint purchases and coordinate their logistics.

Number of shops of trade chains for elegant men's wear
March 2014 March 2015 March 2016 March 2017
618 676 757 810

Source: Market research company PMR, 2017

According to own data Vistula had 366 own shops with a total area of 30,500 sqm. in 2016, Bytom 111 sales salons with 12,690 sqm. The revenues of the Vistula Group were with ZI 599 mio in 2016 (around EUR 137 million, 1 EUR = 4.36 ZI, average rate 2016) almost four times higher than those of Bytom with ZI 153 mio. The net profit of Vistula was with ZI 35.2 mio almost three times as high as that of Bytom (ZI 12.4 mio).

Vistula owns more clothing brands like Wolczanka and the noble mark Lambert as well as the brand Deni Cler for ladies fashion of the high-end segment.The jewelry manufacturer W.Kruk is also part of the group. Industry experts see Vistula continuing to expand.

A further possible takeover candidate is the brand for chic women's wear "Simple" with the same name trade chain and an online business, which is currently owned by Gino Rossi. Simple had recently weakened and is currently being restructured to get better results again. The chairman of the Vistula Group, Grzegorz Pilch, sees opportunities for a takeover of a company for women's clothing in 2018 at the earliest.

Also the manufacturer of ladies wear Monari is looking for take-over candidates. The competition in this segment is the largest. According to the Gino Rossi chairman Tomasz Malicki customers are increasingly looking for high-quality clothing with simpler cuts, that can be worn for longer than a season. Another large garment company, Prochnik, is considering investing in an online business.

LPP stays with casual everyday fashion
Unable to withstand the competition was the brand Tallinder, which was introduced for elegant men’s wear by the market leader LPP in 2016. The shops had to close again. LPP, on the other hand, is successful in casual everydays fashion, often sewn in the Far East. The company sells its five brands Reserved, Mohito, Cropp, House and Sinsay in a total of 1,704 stores in 19 countries, including Germany. Demand is developing dynamically for example in Russia.

In Poland itself there are around 1,000 shops, the number of which could drop in the future with a simultaneous enlargement of the sales areas at the individual branches. This was said by the chairman of LPP, Marek Piechocki, to the daily Rzeczpospolita. The total LPP sales area should increase by about 10% until 2021 and the company's sales should increase by 15 to 20%. At the end of 2017 LPP is planning to operate 19 Reserved stores in Germany.

One of the leading exporters is the company Redan, which is well represented in Central Eastern Europe. It sells brands such as "Top Secret", "Troll" and "Drywash". Redan owns the TXM discount chain which includes around 380 stores locally and abroad as well as an online shop. The company OTCF with its brand for sportswear "4F", has a wholesale network in more than 30 countries.

In addition to the large chains, numerous Polish fashion designers create their own designs. In the premium segment, the brands "La Mania" by Joanna Przetakiewicz and "Emanuel Berg" by Jaroslawa Berg-Szychulda can be found in foreign fashion centers. In several Polish cities the chain Hexeline is represented with its own sales saloons, which produces high-quality women's fashion in its own studio in Łódź.

With the "Product Warmia Mazury" award, which special products from Warmia-Masuria can receive, the fashion designer Barbara Caly-Jablonska can provide her hand-sewn wedding, evening and cocktail dresses as well as stage costumes. Their creations are inspired by the traditions of the area.

According to its deputy chairman Marcin Czyczerski the sales area of the shoe chain CCC will be enlarged by around 100,000 m² in 2017. In March 2017 the chain owned 870 stores with a total area of 471,300 sqm. In the first quarter alone, eight sales salons with 12,700 sqm were added. CCC needs to increase the profitability of its activities in Germany and Austria.

Even though it is not easy for Polish suppliers of clothing and footwear to gain a foothold in Western European markets, they are still exporting to there, especially to Germany. More than half of the in Poland produced textiles go abroad, almost half of their clothing. Fashion and accessories are shown in Poland at numerous trade shows. The next Poznan Fashion Show  (http://www.targimodypoznan.pl/pl/) will take place from September 5th -9th 2017.

 

Source:

Beatrice Repetzki, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Chinese Clothing Buyers Become More Selective © Marko Greitschus/ pixelio.de
20.06.2017

CHINESE CLOTHING BUYERS BECOME MORE SELECTIVE

  • Foreign companies should adapt their fashion to Chinese needs
  • Increasing health awareness strengthens sportwear market

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese clothing market is one of the largest in the world and is developing rapidly. From the lower mass volume over the in quality and optic pretty products in a midprice segment to luxury and haute-couture the range of products in the sectors is constantly expanding. In addition to the tendency towards recognized brands an increasing individualization of consumption can be observed. What is needed, what fits well is liked and moreover is somehow "special".

According to the Chinese Statistical Office (NBS), the retail sales of clothing increased in 2016 to more than USD 150 billion (these figures include companies with annual sales of over USD 3 million in their main business). This makes the Chinese clothing market to one of the largest in the world.

  • Foreign companies should adapt their fashion to Chinese needs
  • Increasing health awareness strengthens sportwear market

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese clothing market is one of the largest in the world and is developing rapidly. From the lower mass volume over the in quality and optic pretty products in a midprice segment to luxury and haute-couture the range of products in the sectors is constantly expanding. In addition to the tendency towards recognized brands an increasing individualization of consumption can be observed. What is needed, what fits well is liked and moreover is somehow "special".

According to the Chinese Statistical Office (NBS), the retail sales of clothing increased in 2016 to more than USD 150 billion (these figures include companies with annual sales of over USD 3 million in their main business). This makes the Chinese clothing market to one of the largest in the world.

The Chinese consumer desires are increasingly demanding, differentiated and personalized. The new possibilities of the Internet, including the booming e-commerce, are changing the purchasing behavior drastically. The level of information has risen significantly, especially as a result of visits abroad. Customers are increasingly aware of prices that have to be paid outside of China. Too high price increases are therefore perceived as discrimination and damage the image of brands.

"The success is not decided by online or offline trading or whether it is a local or international company, but whether the supply meets the demand," Liu Xiaolu, founder of the popular underwear brand Neiwai says.  Essential are the right materials and a quick response to the changing needs of the customers. Finding the right piece online can actually be difficult. A number of hitherto exclusively online offering vendors such as Miss Rhino have recently opened additional conventional stores in order to provide a better advice to customers.   

Fashion must meet Chinese expectations

This makes the sector division representative for the entire Chinese fashion market: the products must be liked and should fit. From the customers' point of view, it is important to find the balance between foreign flair and local characteristics. Not without a reason the 345 yuan (RMB, around 52 $, 1 USD = 6.6442 RMB, as annual average price 2016) for expensive model O2bra "Naja Nina", is one of the bestsellers of the Neiwai brand in Shanghai. It unites Chinese and Western elements: from the outside plain black, decorated inside with erotic motifs from classical Chinese painting.  In general, the underwear sector within the fashion market is considered to be the least saturated and segmented. The Chinese retail trade sold women's underwear at about USD 20.1 billion in 2016. It is estimated to reach USD 25 billion in 2017. For 2020 Euromonitor International predicts sales of USD 33 billion.    

The top ten producers share 13% of the market only. The bulk of this is due to thousands of hardly known companies selling their products at low prices. The prices for a bra range from RMB 50 piece from the Chinese mass producer Cosmo Lady to one hundred times higher Italian brand La Perla. In order to benefit from the more demanding wishes of the Chinese women's world, for example Victoria's Secret from the USA opened its first subsidiary in the People's Republic in Shanghai in March 2017 - a four-storied flagship store.

According to the industry in the long term it hardly will be possible to bring for Western women designed goods to China.  Although in the medium to long term the Chinese ladies statistically seem to become larger and more corpulent, but the purely physical differences will still remain considerable. According to the China Physical Fitness Surveillance Center, women aged 20 to 24 in 2000 were 158.6 cm tall in average, their breast circumference was 82 cm, ten years later they were measured 159 cm respectively still 82 cm. Women of the age of 25 to 29 years measured in 2000 about 158.7 cm / 82.5 cm and in 2010 at 158.2 cm / 83.4 cm. At this background, the companies need not only to develop appropriate fit-sizes. They also have to accept that Chinese women have a more functional or conventional attitude than, for example, women from the USA. This is not least true for swimwear also.

The market for sportswear is growing strongly

According to taobao.com, the largest online platform in the country, more than 21 million bikinis and bathing suits are being sold annually. It is true that every third piece is a bikini, but according to Taobo Chinese women generally prefer to dress more covered than the Western ones. Preference is given to models made with a lot of fabric, looking often much like skirts. Leading are the local companies Hosa, Heatwave and Zoke with prices between RMB 400 and 500. However, many younger Chinese prefer more likely to shop on foreign websites.

Given the strong growth in beach and spa tourism, the demand for swimwear in China will grow at an above-average rate. In general, the sporting goods sector is predicted to get an above-average growth together with increasing health awareness. According to Euromonitor International, sales of sportswear in China are expected to grow to around RMB 281 billion by 2020, of which about RMB 20 to 30 billion will be spent on sports underwear. In total, an estimated value of RMB 170 to 180 billion of sportswear will be sold in the PR China in 2016. The sector is happy and looking forward to a growth of around 10% per annum.

Korean Sportwear Market with above-average Growth © Kunstzirkus/pixelio.de
13.06.2017

KOREAN SPORTSWEAR MARKET WITH ABOVE-AVERAGE GROWTH

  • Korean sportswear market with above-average growth
  • International companies expand / Brand awareness boosts consumption

Seoul (GTAI) - While consumption in Korea (Rep.) is generally weak, some segments show relatively high growth rates. Sales of sportswear have risen steadily over the past few years and are likely to rise in the future. Great sport events and the enthusiasm of the Koreans for prestige items are driving the segment, of which international companies benefit also. The market for outdoor clothing, on the other hand, has already reached its peak.

  • Korean sportswear market with above-average growth
  • International companies expand / Brand awareness boosts consumption

Seoul (GTAI) - While consumption in Korea (Rep.) is generally weak, some segments show relatively high growth rates. Sales of sportswear have risen steadily over the past few years and are likely to rise in the future. Great sport events and the enthusiasm of the Koreans for prestige items are driving the segment, of which international companies benefit also. The market for outdoor clothing, on the other hand, has already reached its peak.

The sportswear market in Korea (Rep.) is developing dynamically. According to estimates by the market research institute Samsung Design Net, the segment premium sportswear reached a growth of Won 4.8% to 6.6 billion in 2016, (circa EUR 5.1 billion, 1 EURO = roughly 1.284 Won, - in the yearly average of 2016). As a result of this positive development, more and more international companies are pushing on the Korean market, thereby expanding the range of goods available for local customers. So far, a large proportion of orders has been sold via large international shopping portals. In the future, the local presence will gain in importance.

International companies are pushing on the market

The American manufacturer Under Armour started direct sales in 2017 with its first own store in Korea (Rep.). In January, after Dependance in Shanghai the company opened its worldwide second largest store in the nobel part Gangnam in Seoul. So far Under Armor had operated its sales mainly through smaller stores in partnership with a Korean retailer. For this reason four additional flagship stores as well as numerous shop-in-shops are to be implemented in during the year of 2017.

But other sector companies are also attracted by the Korean market, such as Lululemon Athletica, a Canadian company specializing in apparel for yoga. Lululemon has opened its first Asian branch in Seoul in 2016. Meanwhile a second store has been opened in Seoul, a third store is to follow later in the year 2017.    

German companies are well positioned

The German company Adidas also was able to generate very good results in the past on the Korean market. Despite a sluggish economy and weak consumption, the company turnover in Korea (Rep.) rose by around 15% in 2016. According to media reports, Adidas predicts a sales upturn of around 10% for 2017.

According to Eddie Nixon, CEO of Adidas Korea in the daily newspaper "Korea Times", the growth in 2016 was reached due to a high demand among young consumers, children and streetwear. The turnover of Adidas in 2016 reached around Won 1 billion in nearly 800 shops around the country. Most of them are managed on a franchise basis. For the Korean market therefore can be said, the population is more active and fitnessoriented than in other Asian countries.

Puma, on the other side, concentrates in Korea (Rep.) in addition to football articles mainly on its female clientele, which accounts for about 55% of its sales. According to Puma CEO Rasmus Holm in the "Korea Herald", this percentage is expected to rise even further as the market for sportswear is increasingly fashion-conscious. Also the influence of the entertainment sector on the segment is becoming increasingly apparent, which is why Puma is cooperating with K-Pop stars in the marketing sector.

According to Holm, the sportswear market in Korea (Rep.) is in a good growth phase. In the short run Puma will primarily focus on optimizing its existing shops. In future, an expansion of the business will be envisaged also, although no figures or timetables have been mentioned. However, the Korean market is not easy. The environment and competition are highly competitive. In addition to numerous international sector companies, local competitors are also well positioned.

"Korean Wave" as a location factor

Representatives of companies also refer to the appeal effect of Korea (Rep.) itself on other Asian countries in a consequence of the so-called "Hallyhu" - the "Korean Wave" of TV series, music and fashion. Numerous consumers in the region orientate themselves on developments in Korea (Rep.); the country is regarded as an international trendsetter in the cultural segment. Fashion and brands that are successful here often spread with a short time delay throughout Asia.

A very positive effect on the local sporting goods and clothing market, Korea (Rep.) will get through the two major sports events of global importance which will happen within ten months. In May and June 2017, the FIFA U20 World Cup will take place in six cities in the country, including a participation of the German team. Manufacturers can present their products to a global audience as well as at the Olympic
winter games, which will be held in Pyeongchang from February 9th to 25th 2018.

Boom at outdoor clothing fizzles

The KOFOTI (Korea Federation of Textile Industries) is more critical about the sector's prospects and forecasts a declining sales trend for 2017. However, this is partly due to the fact that the Korean market for outdoor clothing has shown a declining rate following a boom in the beginning of the decade. Until 2014 the sales of outdoor clothing reached double-digit growth rates partly of more than 30%.

The market was driven by a growing sense of leisure and a great passion of the Korean people for hiking. Between 2005 and 2012, the number of sector enterprises jumped from 30 brands to around 170. However the growth rates have declined gradually since 2012 and the market is estimated to have stagnated at a volume of Won 7.4 billion in 2015, some sector companies have already suffered high sales losses in a double-digit range.

For 2016, there are still no concrete figures for the overall market, but different indicators point to declining sales. So the import of footwear fell by 41.5% in 2016, imports of clothing made out of felt, fleece and PVC went down by 21.7%, anoraks and wind jackets for men declined by 5.4%. According to media reports a number of companies are already withdrawing from this segment due to market saturation. Others are orienting towards expanding areas such as fitness, running sports accessories as well as for yoga and golf wear.

 

More information:
Korea Outdoor Sportwear
Source:

Alexander Hirschle, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Belarus is expanding its textile and clothing industry © Florentine/pixelio.de
28.03.2017

BELARUS IS EXPANDING ITS TEXTILE AND CLOTHING INDUSTRY

PLANNED ABOLITION OF EU IMPORT QUOTAS ALLOWS MORE FOREIGN COMMITMENTS

Minsk (GTAI) - The textile and clothing industry of the Republic of Belarus faces great challenges. It has to become more efficient, should produce more market-orientated and make greater use of its export potential. The sector has great hopes on the by the European Union planned abolition of quotas for Belarusian textiles and clothing products. There are then more than ever good opportunities for the subcontracting finishing process.

PLANNED ABOLITION OF EU IMPORT QUOTAS ALLOWS MORE FOREIGN COMMITMENTS

Minsk (GTAI) - The textile and clothing industry of the Republic of Belarus faces great challenges. It has to become more efficient, should produce more market-orientated and make greater use of its export potential. The sector has great hopes on the by the European Union planned abolition of quotas for Belarusian textiles and clothing products. There are then more than ever good opportunities for the subcontracting finishing process.

The textile and clothing industry has traditionally been one of the most important sectors of the manufacturing industry in the Republic of Belarus. As a result of the sharp decline of the local purchasing power and of the main export market Russia, the sector has suffered a severe setback in the years 2013 to 2015. Since the second half of 2016 it is on an upswing again. According to preliminary data, the output has risen in 2016 by 4.6% to EUR 1.41 billion compared to 2015. Produced were 146.8 million sqm. of fabrics, 40.4 million pieces of knitwear, 147.0 million pairs of stockings and 19.9 million sqm. of carpet products.

Nevertheless the textile and clothing industry continues to suffer from a weak capacity utilization, an inadequate management and marketing as well as from a considerable backlog in the technological renewal of the equipment park. The implementation of an industry support program for the period from 2016 to 2020 should provide for a remedy. The program comes from the Belarussian State Group for production and sale of goods of the light industry Bellegprom. (http://www.bellegprom.by).

Sector program shows planned projects until 2020

Under the umbrella of the State Group 17 textile, 12 knitting and 21 garment companies are active. With an output of just under USD 0.9 billion, these manufacturers were involved with nearly three-fifths of the total output of the Belarusian textile and clothing industry in 2015. The companies have exported goods for nearly USD 500 million in 2015. The main customer was Russia (USD 357 million). The investments of the Bellegprom companies are expected to reach a volume of at least EUR 250 million in the years 2017 to 2020.

The envisaged projects for this period include:

  • the continuation of the comprehensive modernization of the Orschaer linen combine Orscha (production of linen yarn, -fabrics and finished products, processing of imported raw materials);
  • technological renewal in the company OAO Mogotex, Mahiljou / Mogilew (spinning and textile finishing);
  • the development and production of new competitive wool and wool blended fabrics in the company OAO Kamwol, Minsk;
  • the expansion of the production of hosiery, including an enlargement of the assortment of medical hosiery in the company SOOO Conte Spa, Grodno;
  • the commencement of production of seamless underwear in the company OAO Kupalinka, Salihorsk and
  • Investment in the production of fine thread Ajour-fabrics in OAO Switanak, Shodsina.

 

Selected characteristic data of the Belarusian textile and clothing industry
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Number of companies1) 1,577 1,605 1,693 1,715 1,671 1,552
Number of employees
(in 1,000 persons)1)
104.2 102.5 100.3 94.9 87.2 75.5
Production (in Mio. Euro)   1,440.7 1,654.3 1,673.7 1,663.0 1,499.7 1,181.8
Real change compared to previous year (in %)2) 13.5 6.8 1.4 -2.7 -2.4 -14.0
Share of production of the total manufacturing industry (in %) 3.8 3.4 3.2 3.6 3.4 3.2
Gross facility investment (in EUR mio) 103.8 114.0 96.4 125.2 177.6 76.1
Average monthly wage (Euro) 210.0 216.3 256.8 315.7 318.0 257.3
Production of selected products   
Fabrics, total (sqm. mio) 147.0 177.2 183.9 181.0 166.5 155.2
Fabrics made out of chemical fibers 65.8 82.3 83.8 80.5 67,4 69.5
Cotton fabrics 52.9 65.5 68.6 69.7 71,6 58.8
Linen fabrics 24.3 25.3 27.4 26.8 24.6 25.0
Woolen fabrics 4.0 3.2 3.1 3.5 2.5 1.6
Knitted goods (pieces mio) 63.7 64.2 62.8 61.2 51,1 42.2
Hosiery (pairs mio) 119.0 129.5 133.6 137.0 140.2 138.6
Carpets and floorcoverings (sqm. mio) 10.0 12.2 12.9 15.4 18.7 18.6

1)  Without regard to micro- and other small enterprises; at the end of 2015 225 textile and clothing companies were active in Belarus, the average number of employees in these companies was 58,800 persons per year;
2)  in terms of the national currency of Belarussian Ruble
Source: National Committee for Statistics, calculations by Trade & Invest in Germany.

In order to create complete value chains, it is envisaged to set up joint ventures between manufacturers of fabrics as well as producers of finished products. The Bellegprom Group is keen to focus the expansion potential on the production of linen fabrics and high-quality finished linen products.

Belarus is one of the world's five largest linen producers. For 2017 a volume of 55,000 tons is expected. In the year 2016 29 companies have processed flax straw into fibers. Of the in these factories installed 54 processing lines only ten are considered to be highly productive. According to the administration of the Mahiljou region, a Chinese investor wants to set up a factory in the region for the processing of flax for semi-finished and ready made goods in the near future.

Abolition of EU quotas planed

The EU plans to abolish the since 2010 existing autonomous quotas as well as the contingents for passive finishing processing for Belarus. The restrictions currently apply to a variety of textile products, including cotton and linen yarn as well as garments made out of cotton and woolen fabrics. Market observers agree: the abolition of the quotas with the related bureaucratic procedures would provide a solid basis for stimulating foreign investments in the Belarusian textile and clothing industry.

Belarus has many advantages: geographical proximity to the EU market, a well-developed infrastructure, long-standing industrial traditions, available production capacities, skilled labor and, last but not least, favorable labor costs. In a first phase of cooperation with Belarusian partners, the interest of foreign companies is likely to focus more on subcontracting. There are already successful projects that use the favorable framework conditions for this business model.   

The German Langheinrich Vertriebs GmbH, for example, produces high-quality table cloth and bed linen for the contract area in the small West-Belarussian town of Diwin (Kobryn district, Brest region). According to the director general of Langheinrich Konfektion GmbH, Walentina Paschkewitsch, the company, founded there in 2005, employs now between 90 and 120 employees depending on the order situation. Sales in 2016 amounted to around EUR 1 million. The in the company paid wages and the additional granted social packages are the guarantor of a very low fluctuation of the workforce. Among the companies from neighboring Lithuania, which are producing textiles and clothing in Belarus, the leading Baltic manufacturer of sportswear Audimas stands out.

 

Central America imports more textile machinery © Oliver Brunner/pixelio.de
07.03.2017

CENTRAL AMERICA IMPORTS MORE TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Large-scale projects in Honduras
  • More vertical integration strived

Following the US President's decree against the Pacific Pact TPP, Central America's textile and clothing industry counts for its main market on further tariff advantages compared to the Asian competition. Next to the so far dominating subcontracting work the sector wants to intensify the production of pre-products, what requires more and better textile machinery for this purpose. Guatemala is already investing, while Nicaragua will continue to stay mainly with sewing and tailoring. The largest technology market was lately El Salvador.

  • Large-scale projects in Honduras
  • More vertical integration strived

Following the US President's decree against the Pacific Pact TPP, Central America's textile and clothing industry counts for its main market on further tariff advantages compared to the Asian competition. Next to the so far dominating subcontracting work the sector wants to intensify the production of pre-products, what requires more and better textile machinery for this purpose. Guatemala is already investing, while Nicaragua will continue to stay mainly with sewing and tailoring. The largest technology market was lately El Salvador.

Honduras wants to expand its textile and clothing industry strongly. The aim of the "20/20" program is to significantly increase exports and with it new jobs. One focus should be the production of sportswear and other synthetic clothing, including pre-products. Central America's "largest factory for polyester yarn" (DTY) went into construction at the end of January 2017 in Choloma. It is expected to cost USD 73 million and produce 25,000 tons per year. According to Mario Canahuati, a Honduran shareholder of the investor United Textiles of America, an additional USD 120 million factory for synthetic materials and garments should be added later.

Observers believe the sector's expansion plans are realistic because it can stem the relatively large investment in the synthetic fiber production. In the Honduran textile industry there are many joint ventures with US partners which can raise capital in North America. In the other countries of the region the sector companies are more strongly medium-sized. They are depending more on the local capital market with its high interest rates and restrictive banks.

Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador invest

According to a machine representative the textile manufacturers in Guatemala will invest more in dyeing machines in order to become more independent from suppliers and keep the quality better under control. According to Invest in Guatemala the sector there delivers higher quality end products than the competition from El Salvador and Honduras, on the US market clothing from Guatemalan is almost twice as expensive.

The textile industry in Guatemala and El Salvador is more vertically integrated than in Honduras: it produces relatively quite a lot of yarn and fabrics by itself and is less dependent of the typical subcontracting (Maquila) method, which only imports textiles and re-exports them as finished clothing. Honduras mainly processes imported synthetic fiber yarns, which the country - like El Salvador - manufactures partly by itself.

The best market in Central America for a large German textile machine manufacturer is currently El Salvador, which imports the most technology in the region. The customers are quite innovative and work more concept orientated, which makes the cooperation easier. Due to increased yarn prices, some weaving companies are currently investing in spinning machines, a machinery salesman says. According to the Central America Strategic Sourcing Review, more than 20% of the factories are "vertically integrated".

In the opinion of machine representatives, Nicaragua is still concentrating on subcontracting. Investors are reluctant to spend larger sums which would be needed for modern textile  manufacturing. In addition there is a lack of good specialists for the foreseeable future, the level of training is only sufficient for easier sewing and clothing manufacturing. In Panama the textile industry does not play a nameable role; in Costa Rica, which is also relatively prosperous, the sector is larger, but exports little.

Central America’s textile and clothing industry

Indicator Guatemala Honduras El Salvador Nicaragua
Number of manufacturers 215 125
(2015)
n.a. n.a.
Employees (direct) 90,000 (2013) 99,100
(2015)
75,000
(estimation)
70,000
(estimation, 2014)
Clothing exports to the USA
(2016, bn. US$) *)
1,380 2,554 1,941 1,472
Production of synthetic fibres
(2016, 1,000 t)
0 26,5 17,2 0
Installed capacity (2015, 1,000 Units)
Spindles 153 n.a. 250 40
OE-Rotors 21 n.a. 1.4 n.a.
Weaving looms 3.9 n.a. 3.2 0.65

*) Costa Rica 29 Mio.; Clothing = almost total industry exports; 80% of exports are for the US; data from US import authority. Source: ITMF; national associations and authorities; Press

Central America Textile companies are usually located in a free zone and produce for export, mainly the US. In Honduras, according to a study by the Central Bank, Maquila - with textile / clothing as the largest segment - produced 36% of pre-products for other contractors and 64% of final products, which in turn were exported up to 99%.

US protectionism could even help

The protectionism, which is announced in the main market USA, develops some optimism to Central America's textile industry. As listed in “Honduras 20/20” it now can deliver more cheaply to the US than the competition from China or Vietnam because of existing trade agreements. At an - now not targeted anymore - omission of cutting US customs duties for Vietnam, it would be much more expensive. In addition, a garment factory in Honduras is able to deliver to the US in two days, a delivery from Vietnam requires twenty days. In the today so very fast fashion world, this is the main reason why Wal-Mart & Co. are ordering massive masses in Central America.

Until now, Central America has been supplying mainly cheap clothing for the US mass market, but, as a German machinery exporter is hoping, they will try to settle themselves against the Asian competition with higher valuable goods. For this the Central American manufacturers would need better technology, which preferable comes from Europe. In the view of other representatives Central America will need in future productive machines that are cheap at the same time. Chinese machines with European components are a big competition.

Machinery imports rising

Central America Imports of textile machinery and sewing machines have risen by one-third to over USD 130 million between 2013 and 2015. In addition, according to the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), Honduras has imported 170 round knitting machines in 2014 and 2015, Guatemala only 26, El Salvador 23 and Nicaragua ten. Germany was the fifth most important delivery country. Leading supplier was the USA. For Guatemala, with its many Korean-owned textile companies, Korea (Rep) was the main supplier.According to ITMF, Central America will shift its investments somewhat away from the clothing area towards the textile sector. Already today, the representative of a German manufacturer says: "We are currently selling very well in Mexico and Central America." 

Central America‘s1) imports of textile machinery (bn. US$) 2)

SITC Product group /Country / Country of delivery 2013 2014 2015 20163)
  total 97.5 116.0 131.6 70.8
72472) Machines for washing, drying, dying a.o. 25.7 27.9 35.4 9.4
724.35 Other sewing machines 21.0 24.2 29.2 18.8
7245 Weaving looms and knitting machines 21.7 23.7 28.8 20.9
7244 Spinning machines 11.5 21.7 19.8 11.6
7246 Auxiliary machines 14.4 12.8 13.8 8.1
72492) Parts 3.1 5.7 4.6 2.0
  USA 32.5 33.4 27.9 12.7
  Italy 8.8 10.6 20.8 17.5
  China 9.1 12.1 15.4 6.6
  Korea (Rep.) 6.2 9.5 12.1 0.5
  Germany 9.6 4.0 10.9 6.9
  Japan 3.9 7.2 7.7 6.0
  El Salvador 48.5 55.4 70.9 70.8
724.35   12.9 16.4 20.5 18.8
7245   7.0 11.7 16.1 20.9
72472)   11.3 12.0 12.9 9.4
7244   6.5 5.1 11.2 11.6
7246   9.4 8.6 7.9 8.1
  Guatemala 28.9 32.6 44.8 n.a
72472)   5.3 6.2 12.4 n.a.
7245   8.9 8.3 11.2 n.a
7244   3.5 4.9 7.2 n.a
724.35   5.8 5.9 6.8 n.a
7246   4.4 3.7 5.5 n.a
  Costa Rica 13.9 21.3 10.2 n.a
72472)   5.2 5.0 5.7 n.a
7244   1.4 11.4 1.3 n.a
7245   5.1 3.0 1.2 n.a
724.35   1.4 1.2 1.2 n.a
  Panama 6.1 6.8 5.8 n.a
72472)   4.0 4.7 4.3 n.a

1) without Honduras and Nicaragua; 2) SITC 724, without household sewing machines, (724.33), household washing machines, (724.71), machines for dry-cleaning(724.72), leather machines(7248), parts for household washing machines; 3) El Salvador only
Source: UN Comtrade

Munich Fabric Start 2017 © munich fabric start
21.02.2017

MUNICH FABRIC START S/S 2018: THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES RECOGNIZED

A stable high number of visitors, the measurable acceptance of all changes and expansions in the Bluezone area and a top level supporting program with a trend lecture by Li Edelkoort and the presentation of the Hightex Award confirm the correctness of the fair concept at Munich Fabric Start. The exhibition time expansion of Bluezone and Keyhouse reflects the success of the Denim segment and the innovation driver in the Keyhouse.

A stable high number of visitors, the measurable acceptance of all changes and expansions in the Bluezone area and a top level supporting program with a trend lecture by Li Edelkoort and the presentation of the Hightex Award confirm the correctness of the fair concept at Munich Fabric Start. The exhibition time expansion of Bluezone and Keyhouse reflects the success of the Denim segment and the innovation driver in the Keyhouse.

Due to the addition of the Catalyzer Hall last fall, approx. 100 exhibitors will present their latest developments in the Bluezone area. The Keyhouse has been accepted as a crystallization point for
trends and innovations and has also been ennobled by one of the rare appearances of the trend visionary Li Edelkoort. At the center are the innovations that have qualified for the Hightex Award and developments in the area of sustainability. The latter were presented under the heading Sustainable Innovations for the first time. There were eight innovative concepts - from jellyfish leather to citrus fibers until fruit leathers - that showed a vision of where textile-technological developments could lead in the future. In the tried and tested format of organicselection, the future theme Sustainability received great attention with the latest developments in sustainable produced fabrics and accessories. Spatially placed around the stele-like structured future visions, highly innovative companies like Schoeller Technologies and various universities showed their novelties. Everything has more of a laboratory character and is therefore more inspiring than commercial, which is effectively underlined by the ambiance of the old industrial structure of the hall. The interest of the visitors shows that it is well received. The trend presentations and expert talks were also held here.

Into the Blue

Across the street in halls 1 to 4, the more basic work takes place. The range is internationally attractive with approximately 1700 collections of about 1000 exhibitors and represents the real happenings in the textile market. Here too the trend fora are well visited. The additionals, as the accessories are called here, received more presence in the trend presentation, which was generally welcomed, as they represent a significant part of the exhibitor portfolio. The details of the presentation themselves however still need to be significantly optimized. It also should be permissible to ensure, that a development of a "two - party society" of this side and the other side of the road, which prefers the special part of the Blues through its concentration of events and visionaries of these halls, should be prevented; knowing that that part is showing a market segment for itself and which hardly mixes with "normal" clothing. An important step however is now the adjustment of the opening days: three equal days for all areas.

Encourage innovation

The Hightex Award was only launched last season. As said by the fair organizers it should promote the "most innovative and forward-looking product developments for fabrics and additionals by the exhibiting companies in the fields of technology, smart fibers, sustainability, resource efficiency, finishing and functionality", as well as the growing "demand for innovation, added value and unique features" in the fashion sector. Sustainability however is only one of the to be considered requirements and is not an exclusion criterion for the pre-selection. Sebastian Klinder, Managing Director of Munich Fabric Start, reported about more than 300 requests in the current season.

The winners of the event were: Place1 Tintex Textiles Portugal, with a breathable, cork-coated Jersey of Tencel / Cotton, followed by Soorty Enterprises from Pakistan, whose bi-elastic denim with a high proportion of recycled polyester (Coolmax) for sportswear convinced the Jury. The 3rd place went to Thermore, Italy, for the development of a heat regulating Inlet from a fiber fleece with a vaporized polymer. The good mood of the entire sector was striking, which obviously did not want to become affected by the worrying environmental conditions in politics and on the export markets.

The platform was used for information and discussions, as the clothing manufacturers are due to missing attractive trends more than ever being asked to filter the right suitable things out of the huge spectrum of materials, colors and patterns, which could be appropriate for them. "For the first time, I am looking pessimistic to the future," the grand lady of fashionable trend forecasts, Li Edelkoort, said. She attributed the most important significance to the parameters of movement and change, which gave her the chance to add to the theme "Transform", free: change – from her point of view an additional facet.