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The Rupp Report: IMB - Global Platform (Not Only) For The Apparel Industry

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

The global textile industry is heading toward more vertical companies. Therefore, it is of utmost interest to know the latest trends not only in machinery manufacturing, but also in further fabric processing. And Cologne, Germany, is again the place to meet for the international apparel society: It's IMB time.

The organizers, Koelnmesse GmbH, will present IMB - World of Textile Processing April 21-24 in Cologne. IMB is without any doubt the most important trade show for processing of all kinds of textiles - not only apparel, home textiles and upholstered furniture, but also technical textiles in all their forms. This year, IMB will again present an extensive spectrum of products and services that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Full Range To Be Seen

IMB 2009 will present to its visitors from all over the world the most extensive range of high technology and information technology solutions and services for the flexible materials processing industries. Suppliers from nearly 40 countries will present their latest developments and refinements for nearly every step along the textile value chain, fulfilling the individual needs and requirements of day-to-day production.

Suppliers and customers also will focus on more in-depth tasks. The worldwide rise of production and transport energy prices, raw materials shortages, and concern for the health and safety of workers will be important elements of planning and construction. Germany is one of the leading nations in Europe for energy saving, preserving natural resources, and human ecology; and is therefore the pioneering supplier in the area of machine and plant construction.

This future mega-trend also is the topic of "Future Talk" at the IMB Forum 2009, whose motto is "Future Opportunities: Ecology and Sustainability." Koelnmesse, is cooperating with IMB's conceptual sponsor, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) Garment and Leather Technology Association, to address these topics. The topics will be covered in all the presentations, but the organizers are aware that it will only be possible to provide impulses rather than offering the audience finished solutions.

Environmental Protection Implemented
In the apparel industry, environmental protection has been implemented for years. For example, the amount of certified organic cotton in clothing collections is increasing (See " The Rupp Report: In Search Of New Business," April 7, 2009). Fair trade is not just a marketing instrument, but a serious voluntary obligation to pay real market prices for good work and products. For example, sustainability through the use of renewable raw materials includes using kapok, whereby some of the sales revenues from these products fund environmental projects like reforestation of the rain forests. Other clothing manufacturers give some of their revenues to various eco-activists' projects instead of merely increasing the earnings of top models.

Elgar Straub, managing director of the VDMA Garment and Leather Technology Association, said IMB is still the most important platform for exchanging ideas: "Where else can market participants find the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss feasible future concepts at a high international level, than at IMB?"

Against The Negative Trend
More than ever, an intensive exchange of information and knowledge is essential to face the actual difficulties. Therefore, Koelnmesse sees IMB 2009 as the ideal tool for exhibitors to successfully counteract the negative tendencies caused by the current economic climate. "Trade fairs are an anti-cyclical marketing medium. They are especially important during unfavorable economic conditions, as they provide the necessary opportunity to exchange ideas and try to find solutions for the future together," the organizers said.

The Supporting Program
Presentation topics will cover all areas of the textile value chain and will range from software parameters for the creation of sewing patterns and insights into product lifecycle management, right through to the trendy topic of radio frequency identification. An outline of the program with times, topics, and speakers is available online at www.imb-cologne.com/thefair/speakers_corner.php.

When IMB 2009 opens its doors in Cologne, trade visitors from around the world will use the leading sector platform to exchange information and engage in important discussions about the current challenges the textile processing industry is facing.

For more information, visit www.imb-cologne.com.

April 21, 2009