While Premiere Vision is taking place in these days in Paris, the international textile trade show will be facing an evolution starting from the July 2023 edition.

The SPIN OFF has talked about it with Gilles Lasbordes, general manager, Premiere Vision.

Gilles Lasbordes, general manger, Premiere Vision
Photo: Premiere Vision
Gilles Lasbordes, general manger, Premiere Vision
Premiere Vision will start a series of transformations starting from the July 2023 edition of its Paris edition. Could you please tell us about them?
Starting from our next July 2023 edition, we will be reengineering Premiere Vision Paris. By taking into consideration a series of changes happening in the market we have worked on a new evolution strategy of the show according to four topics: eco-responsibility, a new spatial consideration, a revolution of the organization of the trend forum and information areas, and a new range of services.

According to which criteria did you decide to take these decisions?
There are many signs, aspects and requests we collected mostly from our exhibitors and buyers, but also studies from IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) which made us take these new steps.

Among others, environmental responsibility is now spread across all sectors of the fashion industry. In France, they have approved an environmental signage as mandatory for every company registering an over €50 million yearly turnover in 2023. And as these regulations will also arrive in Europe, sustainability is a key topic for the future, and a driver for the strategy we are going to follow for July 2023.

Are French companies already investing significantly in sustainability?
According to IFM, the top priority for textile and apparel companies investments for 2023 are related to three main areas: the first one is digital; the second one is related to raw materials and sustainable developments and the third one is point of sales attractiveness. Consider that for many years the number one priority had been point of sale attractiveness. Some deep change is happening, along with the important geopolitical changes happening.

Premiere Vision July 2022
Photo: Premiere Vision
Premiere Vision July 2022
What changes are happening in the supply chain?
According to IFM’s surveys, for 2023 most companies answered they plan to stabilize mostly in Europe and in the Mediterranean basin, and stabilize or start working less in Asia. 

I am not sure if this will truly happen, but it gives us a real input on how the supply chain is going to change due to the adaptation not only to the crisis and the increased costs of transportation and overseas production, but also because of the regulations on transparency that are becoming mandatory…

Moreover, when buyers visit our show they prepare their visit in terms of business efficiency, and decide what suppliers they visit not only upon trend aspects, but mostly according to sourcing criteria like sustainability, price, lead time and minimum quantities.

What changes will PV introduce in terms of sustainability?
We are already committed to eco-responsibility first as an organizer of the show. As we are a show organizer, we do build a small “town” during the days of the show and operate in order to be as sustainable as possible.

For instance, we donate food waste to a charity organization, we reduce the use of paper, we recycle as many materials as possible. For instance, we recycle carpets, the fabrics we use and booths (after cleaning them). We also use LED lighting. This way we have been able to reduce our waste of 27%, between July 2018 and July 2022.

Denim Premiere Vision, October 2021
Photo: Nicola Cordi
Denim Premiere Vision, October 2021
What will you do in order to adapt to the new laws like, for instance, the Green Deal 2050 that will become effective in the EU?
As a trade show, we think we need to help and provide a support to prepare the industry to face the new environmental laws that will be coming effective in France and Europe very soon.

For this, we would like to help buyers and visitors become more efficient in sourcing and promote what our exhibitors are doing through specific tools that help to communicate their sustainable initiatives.

We want to provide buyers ESG communication about exhibitors’ sustainable offer and give them visibility about what they have achieved in terms of certification.

How will that happen exactly? Will only certified companies be admitted to participate in the show?
No, we are simply acting in positive terms, not in terms of judgement. Companies that will be interested in communicating the achievements they have reached so far will be able to fill in a specific form. It will not be mandatory. Those who want to communicate about environmental transition, they can now strengthen their collaborative approach and share as much information as possible, with full transparency.

As a true partner for the fashion sector, Première Vision’s role is to make a strong contribution to transforming the relationship between manufacturers and clients. 

This way manufacturers will be able to valorize current and future investments and initiatives and will be able to communicate about sustainable initiatives through specific tools we will provide. 

Along with that, buyers will be able to analyze the sustainability landscape of the industry and its actors. They will be able to source materials and search for committed partners thanks to a simple, clear, serious and certified guide to the sustainable offer on show.

Premiere Vision, February 2022
Photo: Premiere Vision
Premiere Vision, February 2022
How will this exactly happen?
Première Vision has chosen to prioritize six material-related criteria and support a dozen related certifications and labels to provide a simple overview of the various measures manufacturers are taking to become more environmentally and socially respectful. 

The six criteria will focus on topics such as social initiatives, production site impact, supplier production impact, traceability, product composition, product lasting and end of life.

Through a series of pictogram-based guide Première Vision visitors will be able to quickly identify exhibitors’ socially and environmentally sustainable commitments, as well as the eco-responsible qualities of their offer. 

How did you select these criteria?
Since many months we have worked with an external consultant specialized to the fashion industry, Silvie Benard, who used to be LVMH’s CSR director. She has helped us to prepare this.

She made a benchmark of about 400 different labels and certifications that at the end of the process there will be the 12 most solid, clear and independent certifications we will focus on.

Based on the certifications, documents and data we will collect from the exhibitors, we will be able to give information to the buyers about the six pillars that we have recognized and that I mentioned before.

The idea behind this is not to give a reward or a scoring, but to give positive information to those exhibitors who will want to show what they do. And then the idea would be that the buyer who visit the show to meet companies decide some criteria that are important for them–which can be, for instance, one or two…

We do that because many buyers told us that sustainability is very complex, and they don’t know where and how to search for their materials. They asked us to provide them tools that can help them find out what suppliers are doing in terms of sustainability.

Will you filter and prevent companies to exhibit in the show if they don’t meet these criteria?
For the moment is the idea that the exhibitors who want to participate will be able to answer the questionnaire and get the pillars to showcase at the show. If they don’t want to be part of the survey, they are free.

Trend area at Premiere Vision, February 2022
Photo: Maria Cristina Pavarini
Trend area at Premiere Vision, February 2022
And who will test the companies?
Independent specialists will audit the datas that companies will provide. The idea is not to audit 100% of the companies, but to pick a random from 10% to 20% per season. And if you test 20% of them per edition after four editions you will have audited about 80% of the total.

What else will change for the show?
The second key of our evolution is the format. 

After four post-pandemic editions organized in just three exhibition halls, Première Vision Paris once again is expanding its offer to four halls. 

The leather industry again will have a dedicated space in Hall 3. The textile industry will remain in Halls 5 and 6, with reconsidered segmentation based on the supply chain’s major geographical zones. The aim is to let visitors immediately identify geographical areas for sourcing and manufacturing, thus making it easier to respond to new imperatives in supply chain optimization. 

How will this geographical distinction be made exactly?
Hall 5 will host European fabric offers, organized by market destination and product category like shirting, casual wear, knitwear, sports, silks and more. While another area of it will be dedicated to creative textiles from studios and designers in the Designs universe. 

Located in Hall 6, there will be the international non-European fabric supply chain with weavers organized by country. In that same area there will also be yarn manufacturers, with a strong focus on eco-friendly raw materials, and production solutions for garment makers.

A new section we will also introduce in Hall 6 is the Innovation Hub, an area dedicated to eco-responsibility and digital technologies including smart creation, but also the digital and software industry, with the blockchain and scanning technology, plus an upcycling area, together with a space that will host talks and events, and a networking area.

What about services? What new ones will you introduce?
To better serve brands and visitors, whatever the function or size of their company, we have implemented nine new services that we have been implemented progressively over the past year. 

These will be strengthened to enhance the visitor experience at PV Paris. Among others, we will introduce a Fashion Information Desk in Hall 6 to guide buyers in their choice of materials and suppliers; an Emerging Brands Desk in Hall 6 to help young brands organize their visit and guide them in their search for materials, in partnership with the Tranoï team; an Eco Information Desk in Hall 4 to learn more about the show’s sustainable offer and guided tours of the forums in English, French, Italian, and in some new languages like Korean, Japanese and Chinese to improve the visitor experience and facilitate exploring exhibitors’ stands. 

What about other Premiere Vision shows? Will they also be involved in these changes?
This is a global approach for Premiere Vision. We are just working on PV in Paris because it’s a huge work and the sustainable approach we have decided will just start with the weavers, the spinners and the tanners, but this is a plan that is not only going to happen in 2023 but also in 2024.

It will be a gradual change and will also involve sustainability, which is not a fixed subject, but it will adapt also to the evolution of the certifications and the labels that we will recommend. Though it will also be related to the regulations that will become laws.

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