TRADE SHOW REPORTS
Functional Fabric Fair Boasts Largest Show to Date
Powered by Performance Days, the spring edition of Functional Fabric Fair returned to Portland, Ore., April 4–5 to showcase the latest trends and innovations in textile development for the Spring 2024/2025 seasons. Over 200 exhibitors catering to the outdoor and sports markets displayed their latest products, making it the largest show yet. Some 1,100 attendees visited the two-day fair, generating 3,250 leads for exhibiting companies.
Sustainability was a major topic and was woven throughout the show. All aspects of the fair were created from 100 percent recycled materials, aiding in FFF’s commitment to generating a zero percent carbon footprint. Show producers also equipped attendees to put sustainability into action through the 2023 Spring Education Program, consisting of 13 sessions led by knowledgeable industry experts.
Charles Ross from the Royal College of Art in London returned as education moderator for the spring edition, providing valuable insight alongside the roster of speakers. Nora Kuehner presented an in-depth look at color and trend perspectives from a trans-seasonal angle, combining extensive research on sociocultural developments and user mindsets. A panel led by John Frazier, senior technical director at Hohenstein, explored why PFAs pose such a risk to people, planet and brands and how the industry can find solutions.
Two popular show-floor features returned. The Performance Forum created a one-of-a-kind platform where designers and managers could view the latest textile and accessory innovations and trends in active and outdoor apparel, with fabrics divided into 13 main categories in order to serve every need of the industry. The Outdoor Innovators Spotlight, in conjunction with Utah State University, consisted of a gallery that examined the rich history and ingenuity of the pioneers who started the outdoor-fabric industry.
“We were so pleased with the number of attendees and all the positive feedback they have been giving us,” said Steve McCullough, Functional Fabric Fair’s event director. “We were both honored and excited to have return exhibitors and new brands to showcase to the outdoor-textile industry.”