Sustainability and Storytelling at 10th Anniversary of Texworld USA

NEW YORK—Texworld USA celebrated its tenth anniversary during the fabric sourcing trade show’s July 12–14 run at the Javits Center.

“We’re excited to have had over 485 exhibitors and 15 countries attend this year,” said Show Director Jennifer Bacon, citing Japan, Lebanon, Indonesia and Colombia as well as a new Korea pavilion presented by the Korean Textile Trade Association.

“We’ve been working really hard on diversity and feel we’ve made headway,” she said. 
The show has added several new categories this year—including faux fur, jacquard and shirting resources—while still concentrating on denim and activewear and building its functional-apparel section. The Lenzing Innovations pavilion also returned to the show, featuring 25 exhibitors.

This was the 10th year Design Knit has exhibited at the show, according to Pat Tabassi, marketing and product-development manager for the Los Angeles–based knitting mill. 
“We come here because we want to reach out to our client base and keep that connection,” Tabassi said. “Even if we get [only] one customer, it’s worthwhile.”
Tabassi noted there were several new knit fabric trends, including plays on texture, heathered yarn, ribbing and double-faced fabrics for Fall.

Another growing trend at Texworld USA is eco-friendly fabrics, yarns and fibers, said Bacon, who added that Texworld’s seminars on sustainability are typically well attended each season. 
“We’ve had a lot of growth in sustainability options,” she said, citing 35 vendors offering sustainable products at the trade show. “It’s a really hot topic and something consumers are wanting. Manufacturers are asking us which mills are providing sustainable goods.”

Sustainability is a focus for SG Knits, which runs a knitting mill in Gardena, Calif., and has a sister garment-manufacturing facility and garment dye house in the Dominican Republic.
“We are putting a lot of emphasis on sustainability,” said SG Knits partner Norberto Menendez, who also oversees production at the Dominican Republic facility. “We’re a completely green operation. We’re using yarns that are sustainable and a garment-dyeing process that uses very little water.
We’re conscious about the preservation of water and recycle everything. It’s important for the entire industry to be concerned about sustainability.”

Sustainability is also key for Texollini, a vertical textile knitting mill based in Long Beach, Calif. 
“We’re one of the two vertical mills left on the West Coast,” said Texollini Director of Merchandising Sherry Wood. “Sustainability is very important to us. People are looking for more organic and recycled fabrics. Activewear and swimwear brands are using recycled nylon and polyester, and we use Repreve [recycled-fiber yarns].” 
Show organizers Messe Frankfurt awarded Texollini with the “Best in Sustainability Practices” Cutting Edge Award this year. 
“It’s all about the story,” Wood said. “Through social media and other avenues, consumers identify with the story of where they buy the fabrics and where they manufacture.”

Matin Roshan, sales manager for Vernon, Calif.–based Laguna Fabrics, agreed that sustainability is paramount for a certain subset of the 35-year-old mill’s customers. 
“We have a niche of customers only buying eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics from us,” he said. “I get one email per week asking, ‘Is your dye toxic? Is it eco-friendly?’ They want total transparency.”

Texworld USA and its sister show, Apparel Sourcing USA, will return to New York Jan. 23–25 for the winter 2017 edition at the Javits Center.