Texworld USA continues to evolve in line with the textile and apparel industries’ progress toward making sustainability a core tenant of successful business practices.
The show, which will take place Jan. 21–23 at the Javits Center in New York, will boast a wide variety of textile options designed to meet consumer demand for fashion that not only looks good but also is good for the planet. The offerings will include fabrics and trims made from recycled, organic and sustainable fibers as well as those created using forward-thinking processes that are easier on the environment.
Jennifer Bacon, show director for fashion and apparel, said the steady increase in sustainable textiles on the market only makes sense given the way consumers eat, work and live today.
“This goes beyond being ‘green.’ It is everything environmental, economic and social—from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to the cars we drive,” she said. “Simply put, consumers have become educated.”
And what shoppers want is clothing that performs, lasts and looks great—all without putting a strain on the planet or their wallets. To answer the demand, the textile industry is continually developing new ways of creating goods with the goal of offering the same or better quality, hand feel and performance attributes as conventional fabrics. And while these innovations can push prices up, Bacon said if the industry stays the course, she can foresee a day when that may not be the case.
“Although pricing for sustainable pieces may come at a slightly higher price now, the increasing demand and continued improvements in the manufacturing process will assist in keeping costs down in the future,” she said.
Attendees in search of products that check all of the necessary boxes will find eco-friendly exhibitors from around the globe—many of which have credentials to back up their sustainable claims. Taiwan-based Everest Textile, for instance, is blue sign certified and offers functional fabrics made from bio-based materials for partners like Nike, Patagonia and The North Face. Similarly, Sarasavi Exports of Sri Lanka, South Asia’s second largest sock and tight manufacturer, holds the BSCI certification for social compliance as well as Oeko Tex certifications for socks and hosiery, reflecting the company’s commitment to develop innovative manufacturing solutions. Mahmood Textiles of Pakistan, which owns the largest cotton ginning factory network in Asia, holds numerous certifications for keeping environmentally unacceptable effluent discharge in check.
In addition to the products themselves, Texworld USA will feature a range of resources that will enable both exhibitors and attendees to become more educated on the latest practices and policies related to environmentally responsible sourcing and garment production.
The show’s Resource Row will feature organizations like Helpsy, a B-corp that has collected 20 million pounds of clothing for reuse and recycling; Global Fashion Exchange, which encourages consumers to swap rather than discard; and Fashion Revolution, a global organization that works to promote the need for a circular apparel industry.
Additionally, the show will once again host a robust roster of panels and seminars to provide inspiration and insight into the ways in which the entire supply chain can band together to effect change. Elana Taylor of research and testing facility Hohenstein, the U.S. representative for OEKO-Tex, will lead things off with a look at how brands, retailers and suppliers can meet their 2020 goals around zero discharge and eliminating hazardous chemicals. Also, a panel of industry insiders, including representatives from Lenzing Fibers, Thr3efold and Wearable Collections will highlight the latest recycled and upcycled materials replacing traditional inputs in apparel collections. Finally, Textile Exchange will lead a session focused on how fiber and materials selection can drive value in the supply chain.
While she admits the industry still has more to achieve in the area of sustainability, Bacon said its clear textile and apparel firms are taking responsibility for cleaning up the industry and creating a future in which environmentally-friendly products will be mainstream.
“Organizations that are active in promoting sustainability, fair trade and ethical sourcing specifically related to the fashion business are a big factor in advancing awareness and realize it is fundamental for long-term success,” she said.