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Textile Shows in NYC Attract Business With Sustainable Options

From July 16 through 25, New York City was home base for an array of different textile shows. During these summer events, attendees showed consistent interest in materials that can support a sustainable business.

Planet-care and color consciousness at Première Vision

The North American installment of Première Vision was held July 16–17 at Manhattan’s Pier 94, showcasing Fall/Winter 2020–21 trends. During this edition, the focus was on natural fibers to create ecologically sound textiles with a softer hand, said Deputy Fashion Director Julie Greux.

Exhibiting her Brooklyn, N.Y.–based Sogé Studio brand of colorful prints that can be applied to designs in a variety of categories, including swimwear, athletic wear and women’s contemporary, Stephanie Ogé is a regular exhibitor at the show. Tie-dye patterns in different applications were still trending, she said, as were florals and scenic prints.

“We do the show to pick up new clients or see out-of-state clients who might attend the show, and we placed orders and sold prints,” she said. “It’s still one of the shows at the forefront in terms of apparel and design.”

Nikki Martinkovic founded her eponymous New York company with her husband, Kyle Naughtrip. She exhibits here due to the show’s connection with trends in an elevated atmosphere. She recognized “dark, moody, floral” themes similar to those from her own recent collection in the “Magical Nights” section of the show’s trends area.

“Première Vision has picked up the concept of sharing color, which is important and captivating for a lot of attendees and exhibitors. We are definitely a color-focused studio,” she said. “It was refreshing for Première Vision to share their color vision.”

In January, show organizers are planning a major change for 2020 when Première Vision will move from Pier 94 to Center415, said Vice President of Operations Thierry Langlais.

Functional Fabric Fair grows and expands

This year’s Functional Fabric Fair expanded in many ways for its July 22–23 show. Organizers reported an increase in exhibitors, growing from 66 to 131 and 1,100 attendees to 1,600 during its Javits Center show.

“We do booth packages for all of our exhibitors. We wanted to leave the smallest carbon footprint of any trade show,” said Event Manager Steve McCullough. “And we used Veloce, which is made from recycled materials.”

This year, many attendees and exhibitors were focused not only on sustainable fabric sourcing such as recycled fibers but also eco-friendly finishes for apparel.

Working with the Functional Fabric Fair team, from partner and Performance Days organizer GmbH Textile Consult, General Manager of Design and Development Marco Weichert said that the trend is not simply about sustainability.

“This is such a curated show with a lot of content,” said Weichert. “A lot of the work and presentation goes into explaining technology with sustainability. This edition went beyond the sustainability conversation of the past.”

The event’s growth isn’t limited to the New York edition’s attendee and exhibitor numbers. Launching this fall, Functional Fabric Fair will find an additional home in Portland, Ore., Oct. 22–23.

Texfusion—New York adds seminars to push sustainability

Following its debut in January 2019, the John Kelley–produced Texfusion—New York hosted a summer event July 24–25 at the Penn Plaza Pavilion to showcase Spring/Summer 2020 collections. During this second edition of the New York event, sustainability took center stage.

“There is more attention by the industry about the impact of production on the environment,” saidGenny Cecchini, organizer for Texfusion. “The buyers are looking for sustainable products and ask for certification from the exhibitors.”

Explaining the sustainable focus of the mostly European exhibitors, Cecchini noted that demand was strong for raw materials such as certified-organic cotton, recycled materials, biodegradable products and intensive fibers such as linen, hemp and bamboo in addition to green production practices. These eco discussions took place on the show floor and moved into information sessions—including “Design for Sustainable Manufacturing” and “How Brands Are Marketing Their Sustainability Story”—which are a new offering of Texfusion—New York.

“The core of the show remains the trade, however this July we have introduced a series of seminars,” said Cecchini. “The panel of speakers was international, and the central topic was sustainability within the fashion industry.”

DG Expo offers a diverse sourcing selection

At Hudson Yards for the first time, DG Expo ran July 22–23 to accommodate buyers who were searching for fabrics, trims and accessories without the requirement of high minimums.

“It’s always a little concerning moving to a new venue, but I think it worked well,” said Trish Concannon, director of communications for the American European Textile Network and DG Expo Corporation. “Regarding the attendee numbers, we were pretty equal to January and up a bit from last July.”

Focused on North American and European collections, DG Expo saw attendees from companies big and small, including Walt Disney, Anna Sui and several fabric retailers.

One of those attendees was Marcy Tilton, owner of MarcyTilton.com, whose business is headquartered near Cave Junction, Ore. She was looking for colorful, higher-end, fashion-forward Fall fabrics that will serve her clientele who create women’s clothing.

“I do a lot of buying through the DG show. The vendors are great,” she said. “It is set up for smaller quantities, and I see this apparel world shrinking with the state of ready-to-wear now with the tariffs. I am always looking for fabrics for my customers, and this is a great way for me to meet with a diverse group of vendors.”

Exhibitor Sally Gordon, head of merchandising at her family’s 60-year-old business, Gordon Fabrics, traveled from Vancouver to exhibit. She mentioned that buyers from New York and the West Coast were excited about the brand’s offerings.

“We have a lot of washed linens in our collection that we’ve been doing really well with,” she said. “Customers were excited to see that.”