As fabric is the starting point of most fashion designs it seemed appropriate that the first IRL fashion-related trade shows held in New York City since the outbreak of Covid-19 were textile ones.
Both Première Vision New York and Texworld New York City held physical editions in Manhattan last week and the two competing events were delighted to welcome back visitors and exhibitors who seemed to really appreciate the return to face-to-face meetings and the chance to touch and see the thousands of new fabric swatches for a/w 2022-23 on display.
The former show ran July 20 and 21 at Center415 on Fifth Avenue in midtown while Texworld took place July 20-23 on the ground floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building in West Chelsea. Unlike PV NYC, which was entirely physical with 58 exhibitors spanning the Accessories, Designs, Fabrics, Manufacturing and Leather categories, Texworld blended physical and virtual aspects and featured a virtual Sourcing Showroom where visitors could browse and touch more than 5,000 samples from international exhibitors and then scan a code to be put in touch with the mill via the Texworld NY app. According to the event’s producer, Messe Frankfurt Inc, more than 2,000 visitors attended and over 30,000 products were scanned over the three-day run.
Okan Toklucu from Palmiye explained that the company has just implemented new more sustainable manufacturing techniques within the last year which include recycling 70% of waste water and getting 25% of its factory’s energy from newly installed solar panels.
Advance Denim hawked its Bigbox Dyeing process that it implemented a year and a half ago and which reduces the normal 8 to 13 boxes of indigo used in traditional dyeing to a single one and saves 95% to 98% of water. In addition, its BioBlue line of denim emplys a treatment that is free of harmful sodium hydrosulfates and has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, its Botanic Dyes collection gets its color from biological sources such as nuts and flowers and its three-year-old Cottonized Hemp range is an innovation it developed with Levi’s. Advance’s rep, Mark Ix, was glad to meet in-person again. “It’s great,” he said. “After a year and half you tend to lose that momentum because people can’t touch. Or you send 70 garments to Abercrombie & Fitch and get nothing back.”
Likewise, Freedom Denim also boasts numerous certifications–11 in total–and has a wide array of offerings that are recycled, biodegradable, natural or use cellulosic fibers and/or eco chemicals. It also has a current recycled water rate of 42.5% and a recycled water consumption of 6.4 liters/yard per year.
PV’s trend and color display area on the ground floor also spotlighted sustainability. “Ecological necessity demands virtuous, solidarity-based collaborations, drawing on complementary skill sets across the industry. Taking a product’s entire life-cycle into account is vital to achieving ecological success,” read one wall card. “Minimizing the negative impact of industrial production requires a collective approach, transparent partnerships and a local and global commitment from all industry players.”
Although far from front and center, sustainability was also on display at Texworld. The trend area, created in collaboration with The Doneger Group and Tobe, focused on four themes: Quiescent (a balance of dark and light), Dissonance (kitsch and weird), Remoteness (country life and nature) and Visualize (virtual aspects and technology). The latter’s “Sharp” subcategory showcased artificial fibers including recycled polyesters.
Texworld also featured an in-person section of five local sourcing companies including a label maker and felt loomer. Among the many virtual seminars and presentations the show mounted was one on Tuesday morning called “Climate Change–The Challenge of Our Time” moderated by John Mowbray, the founder and director of MCL News and Media, the publisher of EcoTextile News.