Functional Fabric Fair Reveals the Shape of Things to Come in the Outdoor Sustainable Space
Nature presents us with ever-changing environments—from frosty snow to arid desert, humid jungle to storm-tossed sea—requiring clothing that can wick moisture and cool you down in one situation and retain heat in another.
The latest innovations in outdoor and sporting apparel were on full display at the fall edition of the Functional Fabric Fair. Powered by Performance Days, the show was held in Portland, Ore., Oct. 26–27 and revealed the shape of things to come in a sector of the apparel industry where fabric innovation is at its most dynamic.
The show floor was larger than ever, with over 180 exhibitors, including drirelease, Polartec and Gore Tex. Over 1,100 attendees helped generate over 3,600 leads for exhibiting companies. “We were humbled by the number of attendees that visited the event and the number of exhibitors who participated,” said Functional Fabric Fair Event Director Steve McCullough in a release. “Post-COVID events like this have been slow to recover, and we found this to be such a positive reinforcement of successful times to come.”
Not surprisingly, given the focus on the outdoors, sustainability was a significant factor. Exhibitor booths and all other aspects of the show were created from 100 percent recycled materials, aiding in the show’s commitment to achieving a 0 percent carbon footprint.
The Focus Topic area provided data and knowledge about how best to measure and manage material production, with guideposts to achieving planet-positive results. Sustainability was also a key theme throughout the Fall Education Program and a main topic of discussion in most of the 15 education sessions led by industry experts. The CEO and VP of Sales & Marketing for Evoco, for example, led a discussion about how plant-based materials can increase both performance and sustainability in the fashion industry.