Amid uncertainty in trade circles led by issues such as the anti-free trade stance of President Trump, China’s evolving status as a sourcing center and ongoing Brexit talks with the European Union, Texworld USA returns to New York’s Jacob. K. Javits Convention Center for three days starting Jan. 22, with more than 240 exhibitors from around the globe.
“There’s concern with everything political going on with trade and store closures and the repercussions on the industry,” said Jennifer Bacon, show director for fashion and apparel for Messe Franfurt USA, which produces the co-located Texworld USA, Apparel Sourcing and Home Textiles Sourcing shows. “I think when that happens people turn to what’s new in the market, technology, sourcing closer to market, sourcing in a sustainable manner, all things that can improve the sourcing and production of fabrics and clothes that are at the heart of the industry.”
Bacon said over its 10-year history, Texworld USA has continued to provide industry experts, designers, fabric buyers, merchandisers and sourcing professionals a special opportunity to meet directly with a wide range of manufacturers and global suppliers from Asia, the Middle East and North America.
“It’s no secret that consumer buying patterns are changing quickly and that the customer is looking for more value than ever when purchasing apparel,” said Bacon. “This is impacting brands and our buyers and therefore, we are focused on curating a group of exhibitors that offer a wonderful product at a great price. Ultimately, our buyers can visit other textile or apparel shows to network and get inspiration on trends, but Texworld USA is the show to find in-demand, on-trend fabrics at realistic and affordable prices. We’re an order writing show, now more than ever.”
The newest country group this edition is Uzbekistan, which has a strong cotton sector, and after instituting reforms over child labor issues, is trying to target the U.S. for expansion.
“We are in an age when conscious fashion consumers want to know the backstory of their clothes, from materials to dyes to the supply chain, manufacturing process and fair treatment of employees,” Bacon said. “This year, delegates from Uzbekistan will be exhibiting and presenting the region’s progress on several issues, including labor practices. Representatives will be participating in the Textile Talks area to address the important topic of ethical production, new market instruments in the agricultural and cotton sphere and successful reforms.”
This season’s material spotlight is on denim, which has been making its way back in market share from activewear, Bacon noted, with several trend areas devoted to the iconic fabric.
“Textile Talks” return with discussions organized by StartUp Fashion and Lenzing Fibers. A new Explore the Floor series will debut allowing attendees to intimately tour the show floor with industry experts.
“We’ve been expanding our educational platforms and the seminars have been really strong with Lenzing’s involvement,” Bacon said. “Last year, we started doing the Textile Talks on the show floor to have an interactive, casual experience and that’s been very well accepted. Now we’ve expanded it by taking people from the seminars to ‘Explore the Floor.”
The “Explore the Floor” series features tours that allow attendees to walk the show floor with seasoned industry experts in an intimate setting. These tours will allow attendees to gain knowledge on different exhibitors that are relevant to what they need and be able to ask questions in an open format.
Texworld‘s educational seminar series, organized by Lenzing Fibers will return featuring sessions hosted by curated panels of industry experts, discussing the global textile and sourcing landscape.
The Seminar Series will feature trending industry topics including sustainability and color and fabric trends presented by 2G2L and the Trend Council.
Among the key issue-oriented seminars are “Supply Chain Traceability & Transparency,” with moderator Jeff Wilson, senior business development manager for sustainability leading panelists Edward Hertzman, president of Sourcing Journal; Leonardo Bonanni, chief executive officer of Sourcemap, and Megan Meiklejohn, sustainable materials and transparency manager for Eileen Fisher Inc., in a discussion of the process of chain of custody and what solutions lie ahead for improvements in credibility, integrity and efficiencies.
“The Importance of a Circular Economy for the Future of Fashion” will have speakers Tricia Carey, director of global business development for denim at Lenzing; Celeste Lilore, director of industry engagement at Textile Exchange; Jessica Schreiber, founder of FabScrap, and Noor Zakka, founder of Noorism, break down the ways companies can bring value making the transition to a circular economy, and what the economic opportunities are with less material and energy consumption.
[Read more about the circular economy: It’s Circular Economy or Bust According to Euro Trade Shows]
There’s also “The Key to Confidence: Consumers and Textile Sustainability” with Oeko-Tex’s Anna Czerwinska, “Microplastics and Environment: Quanifying the Impact with Hohenstein Institute’s Ben Mead and Jan Beringer, and “Position Sourcing for the Next Sustainability Shift: The Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals on Sourcing and Global Supply Chains” with Textile Exchange’s Caterina Conti.
The Lenzing Pavilion will again be a key area at the show, with three new mills from Asia–Vinwell and Lushworld from Taiwan, and Novel Dyeing & Printing Limited from China.
They join key exhibitors Shinjintex from South Korea, which will have some new denim and shirting blends with linen and Tencel and Lenzing Modal, and Mozartex, which continues to have a variety of denim weights in cotton, linen and blends with Tencel fibers, as well as its new filament version of Tencel Luxe lyocell fiber, Carey noted.
“Buhler is again participating and last year, they were acquired by Samil Spinning of South Korea,” Carey said. “They continue to have a strong presence in the market for specialty yarns with an expanded portfolio of functional yarns.”
Lenzing’s latest product innovation is Refibra branded lyocell fiber, made from cotton scraps and wood, which addresses the challenges faced with textile waste.
“We are utilizing the lyocell technology with closed loop manufacturing process that reuses more than 99.5% of the solvent,” Carey said. “Refibra fibers are strong, soft and can be blended with other fibers for knits, wovens and indigo fabrics. With Refibra, we are recycling cotton waste, reusing solvent and reducing environmental impact. Lenzing is the first company to commercially scale this type of innovation for advancement of the circular economy.”
Carey added that while Lenzing headquarters is in Austria, it has manufacturing in Europe, Asia and the U.S. In 2019, the fiber gaint will expand its Mobile, Alabama facility with a $295 million investment and add more than 120 jobs.