“The global textile market is going through an exciting time! We are finding that there are four key trends, which are evolving very quickly. First of all, there’s sustainability, and in turn traceability, digitalisation and innovation,” says Manohar Samuel, Senior President of Marketing & Business Development at Indian textile company Grasim Industries Ltd, which is part of the Aditya Birla Group. “In recent years, we’ve seen a quantum jump for sustainability from brands across the world. What’s shifted is the traceability of products. (...) Circularity in the textile supply chain still needs to be worked on, but interestingly, we are now seeing all stages of the supply chain working together to be more sustainable. A spinning mill cannot be sustainable by itself. We see it as B2B2C. All of us face the common consumer, because the entire textile supply chain is now visible to them. It’s through meaningful collaboration that we can prove to consumers that a product is fully sustainable, from start to finish.”
And Hervé Denoyelle, Business Development Manager at premium French linen producer Safilin, also sees traceability as one of the key trends in the Chinese textile industry: “A lot of people are now asking for a product that is different, a product with a story, a product that is completely traceable. (...) Usually, when you are a spinning mill, your customers are weaving mills. Today that is changing. We are getting enquiries directly from brands who want to learn more about improving their carbon footprint.” The quest for sustainability is changing the entire sourcing process – this is something that Samuel agrees with, going on to add another reason for the shift in the market: “This sourcing trend is definitely growing, for two important reasons. The first being sustainability – creating an environmentally-friendly product begins with fibre, and brands are increasingly recognising this. The second reason is innovation. In order to create product differentiation, to be more rooted in industry trends, brands are required to collaborate with companies further up the supply chain.”
With regard to innovation, he adds: “The entire industry is going through a metamorphosis. Firstly, there’s e-commerce – yes, it’s known for fast fashion, but the advantage is that each click on a smartphone creates data, which provides a lot of market insights. By aligning with e-commerce brands, we can better understand consumer demand and adjust production accordingly. There’s enough information for us all to innovate and find sustainable solutions. The market is full of innovation now, everyone is focusing on innovation! I’ve been at this fair for eight years, and I feel this trend has shifted a lot in China. Everybody at Yarn Expo is exhibiting something interesting now.”
Bringing together 468 exhibitors and 28,302 visitors, Yarn Expo Spring 2019 took place parallel to Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, PH Value and the China International Fashion Fair (CHIC). The next edition, Yarn Expo Autumn, will be held from 25-27 September 2019, once again at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.
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