Buyers will be able to witness sustainability in action at the summer edition of Texworld USA.
The trade show, which is co-located with Apparel Sourcing USA, has spotlighted sustainability, and it is continuing its commitment to eco-friendly products and practices by integrating the theme throughout the event, which runs July 22-24 at New York’s Javits Center.
“It’s important to address what’s happening in the industry to stay relevant. This year, sustainability was an obvious choice for our spotlight,” said Jennifer Bacon, show director for fashion and apparel. “It started at the top with major brands working on and measuring sustainable goals. These industry leaders have marketed this aspect of brand identity, which is helping drive the message across consumers everywhere and has inspired other brands. Now, it’s reached a point that it’s too important to ignore.”
To propel the sustainability movement forward, the show will welcome Fashionsustain, a one-day conference that has become a mainstay for the fashion crowd in Germany. The content is designed to inspire industry insiders to shift the paradigm around how clothes are sourced and made, lessening apparel’s global impact on carbon emissions, water usage and chemical pollution. Fashionsustain will host a compelling lineup of dynamic speakers, each providing solution-oriented insights on how the industry can collaborate and innovate. Keynote speaker, Liz Hershfield, head of product development, production and sustainability at Walmart eCommerce, will kick off the event with her unique perspective on the matter.
Olaf Schmidt, vice president of textiles & textile technologies at Texworld USA’s parent company, Messe Frankfurt, said the goal of the conference is to help “revolutionize” the industry, and as such, it’s a global conversation that’s a natural fit for New York City.
Bacon added that the time is right for a format like Fashionsustain given that the U.S. is finally gaining traction in this area.
“We are a German trade show organizer. Germans have been leaders in the market in this arena for the last several decades in terms of green innovation and infrastructure. A lot of European ‘smart cities’ have existed for years, and the U.S. has been way behind when it comes to embracing this concept,” she said, adding there’s hope as long as the entire value chain from suppliers to consumers get behind the momentum.
As an attendee of the German version of the conference, Clare Press, sustainability editor at Vogue Australia and global ambassador of Make Fashion Circular, has found it to be a vital gathering that lays bare fundamental issues in the textile industry.
“As part of the NEONYT Hub in Berlin during Fashion Week, it’s an event that combines ideas with action and beautiful sustainable fashion—a powerful combination. In the same space, you have global-thought leaders coming together to discuss better ways of working, with both emerging and established sustainable brands showcasing new ideas come to life,” Press said.
The sustainability conversation will continue throughout Texworld USA during both the Lenzing Seminar Series and the Textile Talks educational panels and presentations. The programming will center around initiatives like upcycling, circularity and material innovations. Further, Resource Row, will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from and connect with service providers related to recycling solutions, business development and trend forecasting.
Texworld USA is making buying responsible textiles easy by creating a designated trend space for eco-friendly suppliers and indicating likeminded exhibitors with a leaf icon on signage and in the visitor guide.
The vast amount of resources on display at the show highlights the significance sustainability is—and should be—playing at retail, Bacon said. “With the mass amounts of resources and information available showing how the apparel industry negatively contributes to the problem, consumers now know sustainability practices are not just an option, but a requirement in the future,” she said.
In order for the sector to grow, Bacon recognizes that the cost associated with eco-friendly goods will have to come down—but, she said, the problem can be solved through a concerted effort. “With more brands practicing sustainability it will help to leverage costs, but the price point is still not where it needs to be. It is too high and the overall variety of fashion trends into sustainable apparel isn’t fully there yet,” she said. “While some consumers will spend more on sustainable products, the masses won’t.”
As a show, Texworld USA is doing its part as well. The show has cut back on unnecessary printed materials, reduced the amount of carpeting it uses and upcycled banners from previous events into show bags.
Register to attend Texworld USA from July 22 to 24 and Fashionsustain on July 22 at the Javits Center in New York City on the show website.