Intertextile Apparel’s Hybrid Platform Showcased The Latest In Post-Pandemic Innovation And Sustainability Last Week

HONG KONG — March 24, 2021 — The primary sourcing platform for the spring/summer season for the global industry wrapped up another successful edition last week. Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition hosted nearly 2,600 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions and 80,533 buyers from March 17-19, with well-received online and hybrid solutions running in tandem with the physical fair.

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

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

Innovative and sustainable products in high demand

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

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

Exhibitors’ responses

“Intertextile is the industry’s most important trade fair in China, so we’ve been participating for many years,” said Guanlian Yuan, Chinese Agent, Design Union, UK. “We have brought the latest prints sent over from London to showcase at the fair. Today the visitor flow is high and we’ve seen a lot of brand designers and fabric directors, who are all decision-makers.”

“Celeli has joined Intertextile for many years because it is a large-scale, professional exhibition with a good reputation,” said Leanne Li, Operations Manager, Celeli (Shanghai) Trading Co Ltd, China. “The fair is an important channel to discover new customers and since the pandemic, it has brought the industry together to create more opportunities for business exchange. As a high-end fabric supplier, we saw that pandemic restrictions had led to the increase of high-end fabrics in China. In the future, I think the domestic demand for imported fabrics will continue to grow and that Asian markets, especially China’s, have huge potential.”

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

“We have brought our new S/S 2022 collection including our main hemp based range to the fair,” Jackal Tsang, Regional Sales, Orta Anadolu, Turkey. “We have focused on hemp because it is a sustainable material and naturally has anti-bacterial properties, making it a globally popular product right now. Because of the relatively quick recovery and rebound in the Chinese market, we have focused on the domestic market over the past year.”

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

“Our embroidery products have been particularly popular this year, and we have already received orders of more than 1,000 yards ready to be produced,” said Robert Wang, Senior Manager, Wedtex Industrial Corp, Taiwan. “Our customers all placed orders directly and we received orders with a total of around RMB 200,000. We welcomed about 30 groups of customers, and among them 12 groups were new.”

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

“Many brands that sell online, offline or both, and including some well- known domestic brands for ladieswear have already visited our booth. Our latest products include a lot of eco-friendly fabrics, as well as fabrics that absorb sweat and are thinner and breathable,” said Jing Ren Li, Department Head, R&D Textile Co Ltd, Korea. “We participate in Intertextile every year and have noticed a rebound of customers at this edition. Overall our booth has been popular with both new and existing customers, so we are satisfied.”

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

Buyers’ impressions

“As a supplier of mid to high-end women’s clothing brands, we have specific requirements for fabrics,” said Lin Chen, Fabric Developer, Brand Retail Division, Ever-Glory International Group Corp, China. “Intertextile offers a rich variety of fabrics and gathers many outstanding exhibitors, which helps us achieve our goals easily and efficiently. So far, we have met several suppliers whom we would like to place orders with. With the increase of healthy lifestyles due to the pandemic, recycled, environmentally friendly and antibacterial fabrics will become major trends for the industry.”

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

Speakers’ thoughts

“The fair is very influential within the industry, so I hoped that by presenting I could understand the awareness for sustainable fashion in the Chinese market,” said Karen Du, Director, Sustainable Fashion, Impact Hub Shanghai / Managing Director, R.I.S.E. Sustainable Fashion Lab, China. “It is clear that the booths at Intertextile have become more and more ‘green’, which is great. The forum had a full house so the fair’s platform must be reflecting the feelings of everyone within the industry, with more and more businesses paying attention to sustainability issues.”

Seminar attendee feedback

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

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

Posted March 24, 2021

Source: Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd