Colombiatex 2018, considered the largest textile and apparel supply trade show in Latin America, is getting ready to take over the runways of Plaza Mayor in Medellin, Colombia, from Jan. 23 to 25, to showcase its expertise and the breadth of its industry.
Organized with the support and guidance of Colombia government trade promotion agency ProColombia, Colombiatex will showcase its 30th edition as a global stage to connect supply and demand of the textile and apparel sector, affording opportunities for networking between entrepreneurs, buyers and those connected to the Colombia fashion Industry.
“With the theme Open Your Eyes, in 2018 we will seek to test our convictions to find, in that sea of knowledge and information to which we have access today, that fact, moment or revealing process which will connect us to the consumer,” said Clara Henríquez, director of commercial platforms at show organizer Inexmoda.
More than 550 Colombian and international exhibitors, and 22,000 visitors are preparing to attend the event.
“Colombiatex 2018 is considered the main textile and full-package platform to find supply chain top vendors from the Latin American region from yarn to fabric, home textiles to full package apparel, including trims, fabrics and finished product,” said Sylvia Reyes, Textiles and Apparel director at ProColombia USA.
“Colombia is considered a one-stop-shop where you can find all the main supply chain suppliers of the American region, but where you can also connect with finish product vendors of all categories and more than 40 countries,” Reyes said. “It is the hub to extend your production and distribution opportunities in the backyard of the U.S., with an attractive solution for sourcing with the best lead-time in the Americas.”
Brazil will be the guest country, invited to empower the fashion system, get acquainted with the Colombian industry, and generate new opportunities. The participation of Brazil as guest country at the trade show demonstrates the excellent commercial relationship between both countries.
Felipe Jaramillo, president of ProColombia, said, “Colombiatex is celebrating three decades of commitment to implement the best quality, best practices and top variety of excellence in the apparel industry to satisfy and fulfill all the needs of our global markets.”
Jaramillio said in the last five years, buyer attendance has increased about 65 percent, with buyers from more than 60 countries at the last edition.
Over the years, he said the biggest changes have come from the use of new technologies, the implementation of clean and ecofriendly practices, and the importance of corporate social responsibility, which are now key factors in the industry.
Colombiatex is focusing more on “strategically growing in quality” by increasing its local and international innovative offerings. Colombiatex de las Américas has empowered the textile and garment sector creating business opportunities, offering places for interaction, business, fashion, and knowledge and achieving lasting commercial relationships. The continuity of the trade show for 30 years has showed the industry’s weight on the continent, not only for the economy, but also for social and cultural empowerment.
“The Colombian fashion system has acquired greater specialization and recognition in the export of products with higher added value,” Jaramillo said. “In 2015, fashion exports sector reached 108 destinations. In 2016, exports reached 111 destinations,” with the U.S., Ecuador and Mexico combining for 55.2% market share.
Colombia is an important sourcing country for its quality, designs and materials, innovation, but also its strategical geographical location, he said.
“Colombia is also the number one exporter of woven apparel in South America, being a leader in products including bras, girdles and jeans,” Jaramillio said. “We are also the top shapewear exporter In the Americas and third in the world, and we are the number one swimwear, bras and men’s underwear exporter in South America.”
In addition, Colombia is the sixth largest exporter of textiles and footwear, the eighth largest for apparel and the second for leather goods in Latin America.
Colombia will also participate at Magic in Las Vegas next month, Feb 11-14 supporting eleven companies. At Curve, shapewear brands such as Curveez, Tecnomed, Chamela, Fajitex, True SS, and Ellipse Lingerie will exhibit. At Project, it is supporting footwear brand KAANAS, while at Platform, footwear brands Stivali, Tahi Shoes and Sergio Tomani Shoe will exhibit. Textile mill Tejidos Gulfer will show at Sourcing at Magic. ProColombia will host exclusive guided tours of the Colombian companies.