It’s tough out there in the retail landscape. Thanks to the Internet there are more competitors than ever, creating a consumer base that’s more fractured and less loyal. But not all ills facing the industry are external; some were self inflicted, namely racks of uninspiring product and seemingly endless promotions.
The result has been a sea of sameness and an unprecedented escalation in the price wars.
“There’s been a great lessening of the quality of so many fashion products because they’re trying to cut costs and be competitive with discounters,” said Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, a consulting firm focused on affluent consumers. “That’s hurt the whole industry.”
But while everyone else is going low, some brands have chosen to go high, opting for quality ingredients that they hope speak for themselves. By co-branding with premium fibers, retailers are finding a way to connect with those consumers who can see past the sale signs in search of true value.
Through the softness and longevity of Supima, the stain resistance and moisture wicking of Nanotex or the comfort and sustainability of Tencel, stores are creating a draw that—unlike 1-day sales—boost rather than eat into margins.
“Retailers need to be more clever. We are not in Kansas anymore,” said Randy Rubin, CEO of Crypton, makers of Nanotex. The only way for merchants to rebuild after the disaster that’s hit the apparel category especially hard, she said, is to give consumers a reason to buy. “If you don’t have a point of difference, you really are shooting yourself in the foot.”
That’s more than just opinion, recent findings from Deloitte Consulting illustrated Rubin’s point. The company’s Retail Volatility Index showed that differentiation, whether its through experiences or product, pays off. Retailers that manage to do both benefit the most, though even stores that only execute one of the two reap rewards.
“Our data shows the companies that have differentiated on product—[without] any differentiation with experience in store and online—are able to get a 6 percent revenue growth and a 2.5% EBITDA growth versus those that don’t differentiate based on product [which] are only getting a 3.5% revenue growth and negative EBITDA growth,” said Paul Reiner, Deloitte Consulting managing director.
While Deloitte doesn’t have data to indicate the impact fibers specifically might have on buying decisions, Reiner said the Internet has intensified the need for unique assortments in general. “Now there’s significantly more transparency via e-commerce, the web and social that consumers can immediately understand materials, the comparative pricing so as a result, you have to find specific reasons to differentiate the product,” he said.
These have made brands more receptive to adopting a premium fiber story today than they had been when registers were ringing more regularly, according to Buxton Midyette, vice president of product and promotions at Supima. “It’s a very challenging time for many of our retailers so to sell at a higher price point you can’t just put [product] on the shelf and hope it sells,” he said.
With branded fibers, consumers receive tangible benefits that separate ordinary products from those with special attributes. But with higher quality comes higher prices, which could be a challenge in a time when our collective favorite pastime as consumers seems to be price shopping.
But our discount-obsessed mentality is a symptom of the sameness plaguing the industry, Reiner said, and not an indication that we won’t pay more. And fiber companies and retailers agree: premium fibers provide a reason for consumers to invest.
“Prices have been dropping at least 1 percent a year because brands have been engineering out product quality and you see the results of that. The product doesn’t last,” Midyette said, adding that consumers are starting to catch on that you get what you pay for. “People have learned that being ‘smart’ shopper doesn’t always work out.”
Ultimately, it’s up to retailers to convey the product attributes to consumers so they understand the price difference.
“Consumers will pay more if they know why they should pay more,” confirmed Tricia Carey, director of business development for Lenzing, makers of Tencel, Modal and Viscose. “They want fashion and function with a distinct story.”
The popularity of activewear and its performance characteristics is driving this expectation across all categories, according to Rubin. “There are so many technologies with athletic wear and athleisure wear,” she said. “Then you get to a pair of pants in the men’s department, and it doesn’t have any bells and whistles on it.”
Read More at Sourcing Journal
Home Textiles Sourcing Expo Returns to the Javits Convention Center in July 2017 With Over 125 International Exhibitors
Returning to the Javits Convention Center in New York City, Home Textiles Sourcing Expo will open its doors to business on Monday, July 17th through Wednesday, July 19th. As the only event in North America dedicated to home textiles and finished soft goods for all home applications, Home Textiles Sourcing Expo showcases products across 6 categories, including: upholstery, bed, bathroom, table, window and floor. The summer 2017 edition promises to be the most exciting yet, with the largest exhibitor group in show history, several dedicated country pavilions, and brand new exhibitors from Lithuania, Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
Once again co-located with Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA, Home Textiles Sourcing Expo will feature over 125 international exhibitors representing 8 countries. The returning India, Pakistan and Turkey pavilions will feature suppliers specializing in handloomed rugs, pillows and accent pieces, and premium towels and bedding. In addition, new exhibitors from Lithuania, Korea and Taiwan will showcase premium bedding and drapery on the show floor.
Noteworthy new exhibitors include USA manufacturer Hentex Outdoor Leisure Products, who will showcase high-end outdoor living covers, and Nostra Textile Import Export, who will bring its OEKO-Tex Standard 100 recognized raw and finished goods to the Home Textiles Sourcing show floor.
As an exciting addition to the show floor, the Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) will sponsor a live handlooming demonstration for visitors to learn how high-quality Indian rugs are handwoven. The quality standards and craftsmanship that goes into each rug will be on display in what is sure to be an educational and interactive experience.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Korea and Taiwan to the Home Textiles Sourcing show floor”, said Jennifer Bacon, Show Director. “These exhibitors are known for their high-quality down-feather products and drapery and will be a great addition to the already stellar group of suppliers we’ve assembled from around the globe.“
Texworld USA Returns to the Javits Convention Center in July 2017 with Largest Group of Exhibitors in Show History
Following a successful January 2017 edition, complete with record- breaking attendance, Texworld USA will return to New York City in July 2017 for the summer season. The show will open its doors to visitors and exhibitors alike on Monday, July 17th and will continue through Wednesday, July 19th. Over three days, visitors will have the opprtunity to connect directly with a record-breaking number of international fabric, trims and accessories suppliers from across the globe, attend a multitude of free educational sessions and network with industry peers – all under one roof. In addition to taking advantage of this one-stop-shop business platform, visitors and exhibitors will also have direct access to curated color, fabric and apparel trend areas, new industry resources, and a brand new, co-located digital printing focused trade event Avanprint USA.
Texworld USA’s Summer 2017 edition will feature over 540 international exhibitors who will present their newest in-demand and affordable textiles, trims and accessories in 16 categories. The record-breaking group will represent 13 countries, including: Canada, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, USA, and more. As always, China will be well represented on the show floor, with a large showing of established and trustworthy textile suppliers from several regions. New representation from Israel, Egypt and Haiti will round out the diverse summer 2017 exhibitor group.
“Over the last 10 years, Texworld USA has become the premier textile event in North America because we consistently deliver a curated group of international exhibitors that specialize in what our buyers want and need”, said Dennis Smith, President, Messe Frankfurt North America. “We deliver the trifecta season after season: quality products from trusted suppliers at a great price point.“
Taiwan and Turkey will both return to the Texworld USA show floor with pavilions showcasing suppliers who specialize in high-end cotton, knits, functional fabrics and lace. The expanded Korea pavilion, presented in partnership with KTTA (Korea Textile Trade Association) and KOTRA, will showcase fabric mills known for their expertise in high-quality knits and performance fabrics. The long-standing Pakistan pavilion will also return with exhibitors focusing on high-quality cotton and knits. Finally, the Lenzing Innovation pavilion will once again take its place at the heart of Texworld USA with a group of exhibitors focused on incorporating sustainable fibers into a wide range of product categories.
In addition to 6 international pavilions, visitors will also be able to explore a new Resource Row section, a value-ad for attendees searching for complimentary industry resources, including business development tools, recycling solutions, 3D printers, and textile education materials. Confirmed resource partners for summer 2017 include: Fashiondex, FabScrap, Gowanus Print Lab, Heisel, AboutSources, FIT Bookstore, Trend Council, Queen of Raw, Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, Thr3efold, and more.
Visitors searching for inspiration and trend information will want to stop by the Texworld SHOWCASE and the Apparel Sourcing USA SPOTLIGHT display areas on the show floor. The SHOWCASE will once again serve as an artistic representation of the best of Texworld’s 16 product categories and will focus on textile color and material trends, while Apparel Sourcing USA’s SPOTLIGHT will highlight both textiles and finished apparel from suppliers across both shows along a dedicated seasonal theme. This season’s SPOTLIGHT theme will give a nod to the resurging consumer interest in both casual and formal shirting and suiting.
Lastly, visitors interested in the convergence of fashion and technology will have the unique chance to connect directly with digital printing pioneers and learn about the latest in digital textiles at the newly co- located trade show Avanprint USA. In partnership with World Textile Information Network (WTiN), Avanprint USA will showcase the latest innovations in digital textile printing technology, including machinery, inks, software, services, and more. Registered Texworld USA attendees will have complimentary access to Avanprint USA and the Print Park, the digital textile trend area.
“We are laser focused on creating a comprehensive industry event that can help our visitors save time and efficiently source their fabrics and services.“ said Jennifer Bacon, Show Director. “Fashion seasons are moving faster than ever and more collections are being produced each year, so we understand how strapped for time our buyers really are. With the addition of Avanprint USA to the line-up, we are creating one of the most comprehensive sourcing destinations in the country – a true one-stop-shop for the industry.”
NYC Textile Week is approaching! Check out pavilions from around the world and discover some of the latest fabric innovations without ever leaving New York City. Pavilions from Taiwan, Korea, Turkey and Mexico will all make an appearance at Texworld USA. Taiwan, a longstanding heavyweight in the manufacturing sector for both apparel and textiles, “is known for having particularly functional and high performance materials,” says Caitlin Barnes, Sales Manager at Texworld USA. Korea, well-known for their high-quality products across a variety of groups including knits, functional fabrics and lace is welcoming the first-ever KOFOTI sponsored Korean pavilion to the Texworld USA show floor. And come see what’s been going on in Turkey! Turkey has become a mainstay sourcing destination for the industry, and the country which offers ranges in cotton and cotton blendknits and wovens, will showcase higher-end, unique fabrics at this year’s event.
Also returning to Apparel Sourcing this season is a pavilion featuring 40 exhibitors from the Jalisco region of Mexico, which is known for high quality manufacturing. “With speed-to-market becoming more and more important to the industry, exhibitors in this pavilion will provide a fantastic sourcing alternative for the North American market” says Jennifer Bacon, Texworld USA Show Director. And be sure not to miss the Lenzing Pavilion, which has been at the heart of Texworld USA since it’s inception, and is set to display knits and wovens from 17 mills spanning across Korea, Taiwan, China and the USA. Also on display will be the Inca Indigo collection, which includes TENCEL®, from WTS (World Textile Sourcing) of Peru. The Inca Indigo collection is 100% Peruvian with the unmatched softness of TENCEL®, and includes apparel for both men’s and women’s in tops, bottoms and dresses. The Lenzing Pavilion has something for everyone, and the team continues to bring innovative, quality exhibitors to the show floor year after year.
Some Seminars To Highlight –
Be sure not to miss Instant Fashion: How has and will the move to in-season, buy-now, wear-now fashion shows impact the textile and sourcing supply chain, moderated by Arthur Friedman (Senior Editor, WWD). And how exactly do we measure touch? Find out at Measuring Softnessabout the exciting new machine designed to test the level of softness in textiles. This year’s new kid on the block is Textile Talks. Developed by Tricia Carey, Director of Business Development at Lenzing Fibers and, whose global sourcing experience assists brands and retailers in evaluating supply chains, this season’s seminar will feature a new platform to exchange ideas. Held on the show floor, these insightfulcasual discussions have been added to the circuit, and include industry experts in the field of fibers and fabrics.
Check out more here:
Waste Not, Want Not! Check out what FABSCRAP Founder Jessica Schreiber has to say about reusing and recycling. Featured on Project Runway Fashion Startup, FABSCRAP provides convenient pickup and recycling of textiles for businesses in New York City.
Also new this season to the Apparel Sourcing USA show floor, is the SPOTLIGHT display area. This area provides a preview of the season’s focus on activewear and functional fabrics by highlighting the best textiles, finished apparel and manufacturing capabilities available. The Texworld USA Showcase, which was formerly known as the Trend Forum, has been revamped to place a heavier emphasis on showcasing the best of what can be found on the show floor across all 16 product categories..
Some Other Things to Check Out at NYC Textile Week –
Don’t miss the Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fair, which is taking place January 24th – January 26th in NYC. This tradeshow curates some of the most forward thinking brands and brings them together with the industries top buyers. The blend of commerce and creativity introduces a new era in trade events and delivers the best of what’s new in the industry.
Check out more here:
MRket, taking place at the Javits Center January 23rd – January 25th, is a sophisticated fashion event for discerning menswear brands. It’s also the only show in the U.S. to spotlight such a diverse and large grouping of international sections, such as “Made in Italy” and “Brits in New York”. MRket offers an elevated experience to its brands and attendees, highlighting a mix of refined tailored sportswear and accessories collections.
Check out more here:
And last but not least, PROJECT, happening in New York January 23rd – January 25th, is the premier fashion exhibition for men’s advanced contemporary, premium denim, and designer collections. This expertly merchandised men’s fashion experience allows retailers to accessorize their menswear collections in one place, at one time.
Check out more here:
With so much to do and see, no wonder it’s the city that never sleeps!
The textile industry has a waste problem and FABSCRAP aims to be an easy and creative solution. Founded by Jessica Schreiber, a contestant on Project Runway Fashion Startup, FABSCRAP provides convenient pickup and recycling of textiles for businesses in New York City.
The process is simple: Companies fill reusable bags (black for proprietary materials and beige for everything else) and calls or e-mails to schedule a pick-up. FABRSCRAP collects the fabric scraps, cuttings, headers, mock-ups, samples, overstock, production remnants and other unwanted excess fabric, and then stores the waste at its sorting center in Queens.
Students, artists, crafters, quilters, teachers, and other designers can shop the warehouse to reuse the scraps, while some larger pieces are sold online. Small scraps and all material from black bags are shredded to create products like insulation, carpet padding, and furniture blankets.
“My hope is that FABSCRAP becomes a one-stop resource for both brands and designers looking to recycle and the creative community wanting to reuse material,” Schreiber said.
We caught up with Schreiber to learn more about her vision for FABSCRAP and how she supports sustainable fashion.
Texworld: Who can benefit from FABSCRAP?
Jessica: For the recyclers, I would like to be able to provide service during both the design and production processes. Hopefully they can redirect all requests for excess fabric to FABSCRAP, which can provide a selection of reusable fabric from numerous companies at once. For the reusers, I would like to not only provide fabric in a sustainable manner, but create stories around the awesome, innovative projects happening in New York City. For both groups, I hope I’m a resource for information and data on commercial textile waste and creating transparency around the current challenges, exploring all potential solutions. In the next few years I would love to develop FABSCRAP in Los Angeles, where there is also a hub of design, manufacturing and artisans.
Texworld: Which brands are leaders in sustainability?
Jessica: Patagonia is really making a business case for sustainable choices in sourcing and production. Eileen Fisher has some of the highest standards for environmentally responsible materials. Mara Hoffman is making huge strides in the sustainable world as well.
Texworld: Where do you shop for sustainable apparel?
Jessica: I know this isn’t the answer most people want to hear, but I actually try to avoid shopping. I’ve been mindful about purchasing pretty standard or classic pieces, so that I can wear them longer and in different ways. I still wear clothing that I’ve had since I was in grad school. If I have to have something, I try to research options first, and choose independent, local designers whose values match my own. I now buy things expecting to keep them for years and years, so I want to make sure they are made to last.
Texworld: Where do you go for information on sustainability?
Jessica: I try to work with, speak with, and meet people who are working in or studying sustainability. There is only so much research you can do on your own! Surrounding myself with people who are seeking answers creates a network of information. Even hearing others thoughts and interpretations of the same figures can bring about new insights. But more specifically, for fashion I read Magnefico, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (Higg Index), Cradle 2 Cradle’s Fashion Positive Initiative and Ethical Fashion Forum. Some of my favorite books are: Overdressed and Travels of a T-shirt. For waste and recycling, I read Waste Dive, Waste 360, SMART (Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles) and EPA. Some of my favorite books are: The Story of Stuff, Recycled Reconsidered, Waste and Want. For New York City and New York State specific information, I turn to DSNY, NYSAR and The Manhattan SWAB.
Texworld: What do you do in your everyday life to be more sustainable?
Jessica: I’m one of those people who will carry paper and plastic bottles around until I can find a place to recycle them. I’m working on separating my food waste and bringing it to the green market for composting. Obviously I make sure any clothing I no longer want is donated or recycled. In general, I try not to buy or use things I don’t really need. It’s easier being in NYC where I can walk to most places and public transportation is the expectation.
The Doneger’s Group, Director of Creative Services Kai Chow sat for an interview with Texworld USA to discuss 2018, upcoming trends and beyond…
- Tell us a bit about your background and your role as Director of Creative Services at The Doneger Group.
After working in the apparel manufacturing sector of Hong Kong, I moved to London and then Paris to pursue my fashion design career. I later joined Here & There, a trend forecasting company in New York and became President in 1994. In 2006, The Doneger Group acquired Here & There and I became Director of Doneger Creative Services in 2014, coordinating with a talented design team on predictive research and forecast development for a wide variety of product subscriptions, projects and client types.
- What are some of the most important fabric and apparel trends you’re seeing for 2018 and beyond?
Fashion is no longer solely about status, there is a democratization that embraces personalization and exclusive touches, thus setting a new standard. In a highly diversified social culture, there is no longer one look. We are going to see a lot more innovative mixes and styling, creating eclectic hybrids from tailored menswear, romantic lingerie, ethnic prints/patterns, functional utility and high-tech activewear. On the other hand, fabric mills are paying more attention to the new technology in design process. Not only for functional purposes, but also creating new dimensions and effects with texture, developing compositions and finishes for better hands and appearance. Trading up the old for the new, classic fabrics return with fresh spins and embrace a modern lifestyle.
- How have fashion and trend forecasting changed over the last twenty years? What has stayed the same?
Instant Internet accessibility has completely changed our concept of design. Beyond travel, today social media is our biggest source of direction. It constantly feeds us new ideas and information both on design and business around the globe. The only common denominator is the forecaster’s experience, taste level and ability to determine those future directions/items that have credibility amidst shifting consumer tastes.
- What are some of your favorite resources for inspiration and trends?
Social media, flea markets, art galleries, architecture, home décor and street art.
- How can The Doneger Group help apparel and fashion companies? Where can attendees find out more about your services?
The Doneger Group is the global leader in creative, merchandising and business strategies for the retail and fashion industries. We provide clients with a fully integrated services approach including design inspiration, product development, merchandising direction, business strategies and consumer trends. Attendees can find out more about the services by visiting www.doneger.com , or contacting Roberto Ramos at email@example.com or Thomas Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twice a year, during the third week of January and July, various textile shows pop up in New York City, and NYC Textile Week is where you can find out about all of the shows, plus take advantage of the incredible connections the city offers visitors.
Texworld USA is the sponsor of New York City Textile Week, and the USA Apparel Sourcing, Liberty, MRket, City Source and Texworld USA shows will all be part of the event at the Javit’s Center Jan. 23-25, 2017.
“NYC Textile Week’s mission, at its core, is to establish New York City as a premier destination for all textile and sourcing professionals in the global fashion, home and related industries,” said Dennis Smith, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt North America. “We want to shed light on the incredible opportunities that can be found in New York City for all industry professionals. By doing so, we’re not only hoping to draw attention to our New York City events and business platforms, but to this flourishing local industry as a whole.”
As New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo stressed in his endorsement of New York City Textile Week, gathering global buyers in the city is key to uncovering new sourcing opportunities.
“With a world of fabrics, trims, and accessories at hand, this show will introduce participants to the latest trends, innovations, and cutting-edge technology which, in turn, will help to develop commercially appealing and viable products for market,” Cuomo said.
Lenzing, an international wood-based cellulosic fiber producer, has been involved in NYC Textile Week since its inception.
“While manufacturing has spread around the world, New York City remains the global center for apparel and sourcing decisions for leading brands and retailers. There is an unparalleled energy in New York City bringing the creative and business elements of apparel industry,” Tricia Carey, Lenzing’s director of global business development, said. “There is no better place to meet combining textiles, culture and people.”
Seconding that sentiment, Edward Hertzman, founder and CEO of Sourcing Journal, the media sponsor of NYC Textile Week, said New York City remains a vital hub for sourcing.
“Major players and decision makers in global sourcing are based in New York City, and those that aren’t still flock here to find out what’s new and necessary,” Hertzman said. “Having all of these shows in one place at one time means their already demanding roles are made simpler.”
Design your New York experience with the 2017 Delegate Discount Pass.
Available to all Texworld USA attendees, exhibitors, meeting planners and event staff, the Delegate Discount Pass from NYC & Company provides delegates the opportunity to taste, see and enjoy the wonders New York City has to offer during their stay at discounted prices.
From iconic New York eateries like Tavern on the Green and new favorites like The Meatball Shop, the pass includes discounts and offers at more than 75 member restaurants, attractions, museums and retailers.
With the pass, tour and explore the city’s trendy neighborhoods, or shop your heart out (and save 10 percent) at Macy’s in Herald Square. Stay warm in one of New York’s world class museums, or catch a performance at the Roundabout Theatre Company or the New York Philharmonic—all at a discounted price.
View everything the 2017 Delegate Discount pass has to offer here. Don’t forget to redeem offers by showing a printed or mobile version of the pass in its entirety to participating members.
The Winter Return of Broadway Week and Restaurant Week – Exploring The City While In Town For NYC Textile Week
The possibilities of things to do in New York City are endless. In the city that never sleeps, how do you experience it all? To make it easier, we’ve narrowed down a few things to check out while in town for NYC Textile week. As they say, when in Rome…
Sit back, relax, and catch a Broadway show! Broadway week, which offers amazing deals on shows and musicals, is back just in time for Textile week. January 25th through February 5th, take advantage of two-for-one ticket sales to some of the best dramas, musicals and limited-run performances (many of them Tony Award Winners!) that the city has to offer. Laugh with some Cats or sing along with A laddin. Whichever you decide, it’s surely a night to remember.
Fill up at Restaurant Week. Arguably one of the greatest things to happen to New York City since the Holland tunnel, Restaurant Week celebrates fine dining at an affordable price. January 23rd through February 10th, participating restaurants throughout all boroughs will offer three-course specially priced prix-fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner at various well known restaurants. New Yorkers themselves rejoice during this time of the year. After all, where else can you get a three-course dinner at the best restaurants in the city for $38?
Dinner and a show, the quintessential New York night out, somehow just got better.
Coordinated by Lenzing Innovation, the educational seminar series at Texworld USA is back again to address current trend, sourcing, innovation, and sustainability topics in the market. This international business platform offers a wide product range covering the entire fabric spectrum. From casual to function fabrics, sophisticated knits to intricate laces, season-to-season attendees discover textiles of innovative structures, material mixes, and surprising color palettes.
Developed by Tricia Carey, Director of Business Development at Lenzing Fibers and, whose global sourcing experience assists brands and retailers in evaluating supply chains, this seasons seminar will feature a new platform to exchange ideas. Textile Talks which are to be held on the show floor, are brand new casual discussions added to the circuit and led by industry experts in the field of fibers and fabrics. “We wanted to bring the seminar experience closer to buyers and exhibitors for education and connection”, says Carey. Featuring speakers from the Better Cotton Initiative, World Textile Information Network, and Textile Insight publication, discussions will focus on global supply chain engagement, and sustainability related issues for the textile supply chain.
Integrated and web connected systems make customers the creators of their own apparel these days, creating a paradigm shift in production and supply. Among many other things, Textile Talks aims to bring light and knowledge to consumers and manufacturers alike to educate all on growth opportunities before powerful technology companies move to occupy the space. Sure to be a crowd favorite, Textile Talks is a must-see for anyone interested in trends, sustainability, and new fiber development, as well as a salvation for small brands just getting started on the road to building an apparel empire.