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Shanghai - The primary sourcing platform for the spring / summer season for the global textile industry wrapped up another successful edition last week. Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition hosted nearly 2,600 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions and 80,533 buyers from 17 – 19 March, with well-received online and hybrid solutions running in tandem with the physical fair.

The main themes emerging from the fair this year included an increase in innovative products resulting from the pandemic, the benefits for both domestic and international companies to have an in-person event, encouraging prospects in the Chinese market as it continues to rebound, and hope that more of the main textile markets will do the same as 2021 progresses.

Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd explained: “Following the two Intertextile Apparel editions in China in the second half of last year, we are delighted that we could offer another hybrid platform with new online solutions for the global industry to utilise this season. It was pleasing to see the number of exhibitors showcasing new products in response to the pandemic, particularly in the Functional Lab and All About Sustainability zones. And there are many positive signs and belief from participants here this week that the post-pandemic recovery in China will maintain its strength this year. We hope that by the Autumn Edition this August more of the global industry can gather here in Shanghai in-person to take advantage of this.”

With consumers’ increasing focus on the health protection their garments can offer as well as the ecological footprint, the fair’s Functional Lab and All About Sustainability zones were must-visits for many buyers this edition, while innovations could be found in other areas also. Just a few of the many exhibitors offering products in response to the latest trends were Alumo AG from Switzerland, with their Alumo & weba brands, who cooperated with HeiQ Viroblock to apply antibacterial and antiviral technology into their fabrics. Biella Manifatture Tessili from Italy showcased their Defender collection, which uses ViralOff technology to reduce the instance of viruses by 99%. Hong Kong’s Hansk New Materials presented their health protection, hygiene protection and anti-insect collections, while Successori Reda from Italy, a manufacturer of sustainable pure Merino wool fabrics, created their S/S 2022 collection in a fully digital manner so as to ensure greater waste reduction.

This edition’s fringe programme featured a number of events touching on innovation and sustainability, as well as opportunities in the current market climate, while the themes in the fair’s ever-popular Intertextile Directions Trend Forum were heavily influenced by how society’s model is being challenged by the pandemic. And rounding out the complete sourcing experience for the textile industry, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics was once again held alongside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value.

Commenting on the show, Ms Zheng Liu, Product Manager, Alumo AG, Switzerland, said: "Amid the pandemic, we collaborated with HeiQ from Switzerland and added their antibacterial treatment to weba’s products to cater to pandemic-related trends. These products are already in use in Europe and the US to make masks for the general public. The fair is an effective, prestigious platform for the industry to receive different customers in a centralized place over a short period of time. We can gather with existing customers while it is convenient for new customers to find us as well.”

Ms Leanne Li, Operations Manager, Celeli (Shanghai) Trading Co Ltd, China, added: "Celeli has joined Intertextile for many years because it is a large-scale, professional exhibition with a good reputation. The fair is an important channel to discover new customers and since the pandemic, it has brought the industry together to create more opportunities for business exchange. As a high-end fabric supplier, we saw that pandemic restrictions had led to the increase of high-end fabrics in China. In the future, I think the domestic demand for imported fabrics will continue to grow and that Asian markets, especially China’s, have huge potential.”

Mr Jackal Tsang, Regional Sales, Orta Anadolu, Turkey, said: "Intertextile is an influential and well-known platform for the industry and we are able to discover the latest trends here. To target the market changes amid the pandemic, we have brought functional products including anti-bacterial viscose fibres and plant-dyed fabrics which match the current industry trends. Our export business is gradually recovering and we are optimistic about the future development of the industry.”

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