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Trade Show: Messe Frankfurt France

Global textiles

Free of barriers and international – this is how the international textile industry presented itself once again during the Paris fabric fairs. From innovative, sustainable and avant-garde collections to permanent favourites like denim, through to bulk business suppliers that focus on the mass market, the four order platforms Texworld Paris, Apparel Sourcing, Avantex and Texworld Denim, which all took place at the same time from 11 until 14 February 2018 in Le Bourget and were organised by Messe Frankfurt France, brought virtually all sides of the fashion world together under one roof.

March 2018

It’s difficult to imagine today’s fashion industry without supply chains spread across different continents, a multinational division of labour and mutual trust across cultural borders. From the creativity found by designers all over the world down to the cultural sensitivity so imperative for globally operating fashion brands, the cliché of the global village is actually a reality in the fashion world. In the extremely globalised textile industry, there are few other attributes of trade fairs that are so crucial to them becoming a relevant meeting place for the industry’s decision-makers than internationality.

So it’s hardly surprising that the organisers of Messe Frankfurt France are proud of the final figures of their crowd-pulling events in mid-February: 81 percent of the 13,600-plus visitors came from abroad. And that’s not all, with the above-average increase in the number of visitors from Russia (38 percent), the African continent (26 percent) and Turkey (20 percent), three of the textile industry’s highly significant boom regions are leading the way in the country comparison.

In terms of visitors, leading fair Texworld Paris noticed the attendance of two important groups: the fashion group, with visitors from Spain, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan, the USA and Sweden, as well as visitors from textile-producing countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Portugal and Turkey.

Of the four trade fairs taking place simultaneously in Le Bourget, the most international is always Apparel Sourcing. As well as the two country pavilions, which pooled together exhibitors from Bangladesh and Pakistan and proved to be a reliable visitor magnet, as well as the other classic sourcing countries like China, Hong Kong, India and Turkey, four countries in particular stood out at the most recent edition: Ethiopia, which was in the spotlight as host country with its own country pavilion in cooperation with the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the “Ethiopia on Stage” fashion show; Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan, which were each represented with eight exhibiting companies; and companies from Jordan. In this context, a World Bank regional integration programme for Syrian refugees also attracted a lot of attention.

The two platforms Texworld Denim and Avantex, each with its own clearly defined focus, are taking international networking to a new level. While Texworld Denim created a separate area for suppliers, producers and buyers at its premiere – including a Social Village, round table and catwalk shows – where the unique dynamic of the segment was very much in evidence, the innovative Avantex has become an indispensable trade fair format. The very cosmopolitan visitors of Avantex, primarily designers, fashion houses, ready-to-wear labels, business consultants and future and market researchers, but also weaving mills, textile manufacturers and industry specialists, come here to find product developments ranging from futuristic visions to ideas that can already be implemented today. Three factors are of particular importance for them: innovation, sustainability and networking. And that’s where we come full circle – as neither innovation, sustainability nor networking can be successful if there isn’t one certain prerequisite in place: internationality.

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