The Spring edition of Functional Fabric Fair powered by PERFORMANCE DAYS® is returning to Portland, Ore., on April 4-5 to reconnect outdoor and athletic apparel brands with suppliers showcasing the latest trends and innovations in functional textile development for the Spring 2024/2025 seasons.
The show floor at the Oregon Convention Center will be Functional Fabric Fair’s largest yet, with more than 200 high-quality exhibiting vendors on the scene showcasing innovative textiles and color trends for Spring 2024/2025.
This year’s Spring event delivers a significant emphasis on sustainability, not just in the trade show’s content but also within its physical infrastructure itself. The exhibitor booths and other aspects of the fair are created from 100 percent recycled materials, aiding in the fair’s commitment to generating a zero percent carbon footprint.
“Sustainability in the textile industry is obviously a major focus for this edition of Functional Fabric Fair,” said Steve McCullough, event director, Functional Fabric Fair. “You will see this in many of our education sessions, our Focus Topic and in many exhibitors’ new products and technology. The functionality and performance of textiles is another trend that is apparent in our Expert Talks education sessions, with a masterclass on areas like the evolution of sports clothing and a new fabric technology that is a strain-rate sensitive film for textiles.”
The show floor also hosts the event’s Outdoor Innovators Spotlight, which is a gallery that examines the history and ingenuity of the pioneers who started the outdoor fabric industry. Functional Fabric Fair has teamed with experts from Utah State University so attendees can delve into the evolution of tent design and material innovation.
Every edition of Functional Fabric Fair is highlighted by an overarching Focus Topic designed to address a relevant industry concern. For the Spring event, the Focus Topic pushes to get everyone to use similar sustainability metrics, so that realistic comparisons can be made across companies.
In general, this year’s Focus Topic distinguishes between three separate categories in order to obtain a differentiated overview of CO2 emissions and thereby increase transparency and comparability. These categories are synthetic fabrics, cellulosic and animal fibers.
The Spring edition will offer an education session announcing the color trends for the Spring 2024/2025 seasons, as well as a preview of independent fashion and design consultant Nora Kuehner’s masterclass for international design students.
Additionally, Functional Fabric Fair is also debuting a new panel style on Wed., April 5 at 10 a.m. PT. This panel will be held in a PechaKucha storytelling style, where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each, and will feature three top industry experts: Dr. Kedena Henriques-Thompson, senior product development and supply chain manager at Celliant; Jim Krueger, chair of government affairs at MyProTecht; and Antonio Gatti Balsarri, chief commercial officer and vice president at Schoeller Textile AG.
Last but not least is a crowd favorite—The Performance Forum. This special area intends to uphold its reputation as the ideal platform for showcasing the latest trends and innovations in textiles and accessories. This is where designers, material developers and creatives go hunting for the most forward-thinking and directional developments from exhibitors—companies that constantly push the boundaries of what is possible in eco-performance textiles.
Attendees can browse the forum area to learn, feel and sample the top swatches chosen by the event host’s Performance Forum Jury. The Performance Forum will also get a bit of a face lift, as attendees will see new icons displayed on the fabric labels to help them easily find products that are produced with specific sustainable methods.
The Spring edition will include the return of the Functional Fabric Footwear Pavilion, which was first introduced in the Fall 2022 event. This edition will feature a few footwear designers for attendees to preview. But looking ahead, Functional Fabric Fair expects to expand its show floor to include more exhibitors in the footwear industry for the Fall 2023 event.
Attendees and exhibitors can end Day One of their Functional Fabric Fair experience by coming together with peers, connecting with colleagues, and recharging at a happy hour sponsored by textile technology Drirelease at the Education Stage on Tues., April 4, starting at 4:30 p.m. PT.
The Summer edition of Functional Fabric Fair will take place in New York on July 18-19, 2023.
Click here to learn more about Functional Fabric Fair. Register for the Spring edition here.