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Promises kept. As Frédéric Bougeard, President of Messe Frankfurt France, told us in an exclusive interview a few weeks ago, Texworld Evolution celebrated its 25th anniversary with an impressive focus on sustainability. The Green Transition that is being drawn up in the European Commission is well worth doing our homework before the qualifications arrive.
We enter Texworld Evolution and we are surprised by the staging. The entrance to the exhibition has been perfectly decorated with a natural garden in which the statues (mannequins) wear black fabrics. We are happy to note that the change of location of the fair (from the Parc des Expositions de Paris Le Bourget to Porte de Versailles) is accompanied by a clear statement for sustainability. In this regard, loyal collaborators of Texworld – such as the China Textile Industry Sub-Council; the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the French Republic; the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association; and the CTIC (China Textile Innovation Center)– assure in the press conference that they are working tirelessly on it.
More than 1,350 exhibitors from 26 countries participate in the event, with an increased participation of Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Korean, Vietnamese, Ghanaian and Ethiopian manufacturers. Before taking our tour to discover the latest innovations in sustainable materials, we look at the program. Inclusive fashion, the role of women in the fashion sector, digital fashion and trends towards better fashion follow one another.
In a very interesting exclusive conversation with Mr. Frédéric Bougeard, president of Messe Frankfurt France, he explained the importance of this event: "This is a new chapter for Texworld Evolution. We are celebration our first edition in Porte de Versalles, our 25th anniversary and the coming back of the Chinese Industry after almost three years closing. During the time of Covid, the Chinese industry has been accelerating sustainability and creativity in creating products."
Without a doubt, this new chapter of Texworld Evolution impressed us with the well-curated staging: a precious and naturalistic decoration, most recreated trends forums, an interesting female-powered program, fantastic uniforms of the stewardesses... "Is Texworld going to be so bold in the next editions" – we ask –"Of course, but let's be honest. The exhibitors and the buyers come for the business, and they find here the business. In this show you find 99% of non-European exhibitors, it is the most international show in France. Why?Because this is the market, fashion is made in these countries".
"This year, we decided not to promote any certification or label on sustainability, we are here to promote companies and textiles innovating in sustainability. I really think the evolution of sustainability will be faster than others. So it is the business. We need to be sustainable. The real reason is the economy. The second is that in some countries the Governments are pushing. For instance, in China, sustainability will be a standard. In the future if you are not sustainable you will not be able to export, because if you are not sustainable, you will not sell your products and your business will fall".
"That means the price of sustainable textiles will get more affordable, am I right?" – we ask – "Previously, these companies did not want to communicate or create sustainable textiles because they were afraid of losing buyers who are focused on low prices. Now buyers are telling them that if they don't have sustainable fabrics, they won't buy from them. That is why it will be a big acceleration in this regards" – answers Mr. Bougeard.
In the fashion talks, the main thread is what to do to improve the fashion industry. Everyone generally agrees: we need to start with education, move on to changing the ways companies make fashion by regulating processes, push for legislation to help, demand more transparency from companies, and being more inclusive.
Some of the statements that were made during these made us think:
- “In the moment that you include craftsmanship in your collection you have a story to tell” - Carla Hanekom, CEO at HANEK.
- “When we use leather we are upcycling. We are using waste from the food industry to create new products in the footwear or bag industry. We are taking the first step towards a responsible industry”. –Nerisha Jairaj, from SAFLEC.
- “If you buy African products you will know that you are buying from resilient designers. People who do not see challenges as an excuse but as a normal way of living.” – Nerisha Jairaj.
- “My goal is producing something that is durable enough. Lots of my efforts go to denim, because denim looks better with the time.” – Thando Munkus, founder of fashion brand Munkus.
- “Will we have water in the future? Will we have flowers at home? Will the fruits ripen in summer? Think about it...." – Louis Gérin, Premiere Vision Art Director.
- “Most of the people in the World do not fit in all the shopping offer out there” - Mathilde Alloin, The Woman Project.
- “In fashion there is a change of generation. Now we think, why do I have to look like that person if they don't have my bodyshape. Now we want to dress what we are.” - Melody Thomas, Author, Journalist & Teacher.
- “You cannot put a sticker in your shop window saying "we are disability-friendly" and then not have a changing room adapted for disable people, because then your brand will not be credible. These things happen because there are no disabled people in the decision making of the brand”. -Emma Butler, from Liberare.
In the Agora we find the first innovations. At ReSources, five companies propose new innovations for a more sustainable future in the fashion sector. We are especially surprised by Synovance.
Synovance, from France, purpose-built secondary genomes that facilitate the bio-production of high value chemicals and enzymes and proposes bio-produced indigo using microorganisms and fermentation.
Natural Indigo, from Finland, produces natural dyes on an industrial scale. The contract farmers supply the woad, from which they produce Indigo color with extraction technology. They produce colors from industrial by-products such as onion shells and willow.
Refact is a highly scalable recycling technology that turns used textiles into new apparel. What makes it unique is that they a mixture used and worn-out textiles without needing them to be sorted before processing. The technology can recycle complicated blends, multi-coloured textiles and clothing with zippers and buttons, one of the main challenges in the recycling process.
The German company Vretena is a fashion brand with garments with a circularity ID to enable and support the circularity, durability and recycling of garments. Maeko Tessuti & Filati Naturali produces high quality natural fabrics with a controlled supply chain.
Near the space we find Mrs Valentine Silvin Collon, Co-founder of Redonner, the digital solution for fashion brands and retailers who want to give a new life to all the textiles their customers no longer wear. How do they do that? Through an App, consumers of their brands can see where is the closest used clothing container. "There they take a photo while they deposit the clothes and, in exchange, they receive a discount coupon of 10 euros." Redonner currently collaborates with 30 fashion brands.
In the trend area we find more and more sustainable fabrics and materials. They are all well differentiated by a green label that makes the search easier for the designer.
+ All Images: © Courtesy Messe Frankfurt France