No escaping sustainability

Eco Zone will feature certifiers and certified suppliers of green fabrics.

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 8:55am

Interstoff Asia Essential, a leading textile-sourcing platform, is returning with an exciting range of fabrics, and bringing sustainability to the forefront.

Launching next Wednesday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Interstoff Asia Essential Autumn 2012 will feature exhibitors from Hong Kong, the mainland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Britain and Taiwan. The event has been hosted in Hong Kong for 25 years.

Buyers from around the world will find innovative textiles of the finest quality at the three-day event, ranging from fashionable and functional fabrics to eco-textiles. The trade fair carries accessories such as buttons and buckles, and braids, tapes, hot-fix and woven labels.

Sustainability is the central theme of this year's event. Organiser Messe Frankfurt (HK) is partnering with Global Organic Textile Standard (Gots), an international textile-processing standard for organic fibres, to present the Eco Zone, which will feature certifiers and certified suppliers of green fabrics, and will display organic cotton fabrics, organic garment trims and fashion accessories.

"Our show offers the perfect platform for promoting the trend towards sustainability in the textile industry," says Wendy Wen, Messe Frankfurt's trade fair director. "More buyers from the mainland are coming to our show, where they will meet overseas suppliers and learn about new developments, such as the latest eco-friendly products, types of eco-certification and demand in the international market."

Among the eco-suppliers is Austria-based Lenzing AG, a manufacturer of cellulose fibres that is known for offering products for use in the textile industry. Suzhou China Dragon Textile, which has become certified with the Global Recycling Standard by Control Union, produces rigid and elastic lace fabrics, lace trims, meshes, and printing foil. Its products are used in women's underwear, wedding dresses, leggings, scarves and home textiles.

Japan's Uni Textile creates elegant prints on woven, knitted and dyed fabrics that are used for ladieswear. The made-in-Japan materials include polyester and polyester blends, cotton and silk in the styles of chiffon, satin, jacquard laces and more. Taiwan's Yu Shin Development is a garment accessories and gift packaging supplier, offering tapes, woven labels, ribbons and other accessories. Both companies have obtained the Oeko-Tex 100/1000 Certificate, a label for textiles that have been tested for harmful substances.

Messe Frankfurt (HK) is teaming up with Textile Exchange, Ecotextile News and Planet Textiles to host the 2012 Sustainable Textiles Conference on the second and third day of the trade show. Global brands and key industry players will be present, including Esquel Group, Patagonia, GAP, H&M, Marks & Spencer and Nike.

As part of the fringe programme, exhibitors are contributing their fabrics and accessories to Hong Kong designers Ranee K and Arthur Lam, and fashion design students from the Caritas Bianchi College of Careers in Hong Kong. Their designs will be exhibited on catwalk and static displays at Fabrics to Fashion Walk, offering buyers a chance to find out how the fabrics look and feel.

Fabrics and accessories samples will be displayed to demonstrate the Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 apparel fabric trends. There will be four themes. "Bedrock" features textiles with neutral tones and subdued maroon and mossy colours, with a focus on binding boucle; basket weaves; fibrous; and woolly fabrics. "Illusion" is characterised by romantic and dream-like pastel colours, with a focus on shiny, floral jacquards, soft knits, soothing mohair and fluid silk with textured weeds.

"Masquerade" fabrics have a rich gemstone palette, focusing on taffeta, lacquered jacquards, matelassé and burnished brocade, coated fur and velvet. Bright and vivid palettes are the qualities of the "Revolution" category, with colour blocked and compact jerseys, multicoloured tweeds, vibrant plaids and checks and multifunctional plush.

"We hope our visitors will enjoy the display in all four sections and experience the different scenes that range from natural basics and whimsical fancies, to mysterious darkness and vibrant fusion," says international trend forecaster Sachiko Inoue, from I.S. Planning Japan, who will be directing the on-site trend forum display.

Visitors can join seminars on design trends and new textile technologies. Bahar Shahpar, sustainability consultant and brand manager at GUILDED from New York, will speak about the values and trends of sustainable fashion design, while Shirley Han, representative for China, International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard, will discuss the latest developments of Gots.