Industry Focus: Textiles, Fiber & Yarn – Textile Experts Weigh In on Sustainability and Circularity, Transparency and Accountability

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Every garment starts with a choice about its fabrication. The story of a collection is told by the commitment to a specific textile that uses specific fibers. From the early days of design and conceptualization to the arrival of finished apparel in stores or on a customer’s doorstep, fabrics define how a piece of clothing will be received during each step along the production process, in addition to how they will be received once released on the runway, to buyers at trade events and, ultimately, to the public.

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While the heritage of quality and classic elements in textiles is enduring—transcending generations and seasonal style shifts—even the most venerable names in fabrics recognize the most important changing trends. These changes can have an impact on the industry’s direction, regardless of whether they are in fiber, texture, or sourcing.

With the second half in 2022 quickly entering cooler months, it is possible to see the promise of a brand new year with new ideas in fashion. California Apparel News We asked experts in fiber, yarns and fabrics: What trend in textiles will have the greatest impact on designers and brands as they plan their 2023 collections?

Ramin Daneshgar

Sales Manager

Cinergy

Cinergy knows that supply chain can be a problem for customers. Our strong, low minimum, in-stock programs are key towards this pain point so they can respond to immediate demands.

We are responding to a particular demand for solid fabrics. However, prints and novelties still have traction. We are now focusing on stocking 100% cotton fabrics or cotton blends in the grass, gauze and poplin categories. We also stock a lot of stripes and herringbones.

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Nelson Jaffery

Assistant Vice President of Design

Birla Cellulose

We are now in the recovery phase following the COVID pandemic. Although it is a difficult process, the transition is an opportunity for us to take control and create consciousness. We are aware that there needs to be changes in how we consume, produce and develop ideas for future growth.

In 2023, consumers are hungry for products that improve their well-being. They also want timeless wardrobe items that can be worn over and over. Responsible fashion is changing the game, and designers are leading the way in the quest for sustainability and longevity.

There are many options for closed-loop, recycled and regenerated fabrics, but good design is essential. Good design ensures that products and processes are long-lasting, traceable, and sustainable. Brands are adapting to changing lifestyles and textiles are used in innovative and unexpected ways to bridge this gap.

The immersive nature and technology of nature will influence new otherworldly aesthetics. New designs can be inspired by dreamy digital worlds and bioluminescent ocean life, barren Mars-like landscapes, and bioluminescent oceans.

Joy will be treated as an active ingredient in the products—not as a novelty but as a way to bring positivity into the everyday. Minimalist designs are complemented by a sense of fun and creativity. Uncertainty and discovery are encouraged as essential sparks in the design process.

Designers will collaborate to create simpler and more effective products and services in this age of intentional creativity. Design that is meaningful, nurturing, and thoughtful will be a major focus.

We will see a demand for multipurpose and flexible products. “go anywhere” products that are made for—or inspired by—nomadic lifestyles, both traditional and contemporary.

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Ron Kaufman

Sales Manager and Director of Products Development

Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Sustainability, sustainability, sustainability! We are working closely with our mills in order to offer more fabrics made of organic and BCI-certified cotton, hemp, recycled synthes and Tencel, cupro, among other options. Digital printing is also becoming more popular. This allows brands to create smaller collections and test new ideas. Customers still demand high-quality performance such as stretch, recovery, wicking, and UV protection.

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Yves Klinger

Product Manager

KBC Fashion

KBC’s key words are sustainability, reliability, and proximity. Our offerings include a large selection of sustainable fabrics. A wide range of prints are made with cellulose, including linens and cottons with timeless resonance. They bring summer joy and sensuality. The appeal of the material has led designers to the roughness of textures—the imperfection of patterns in BCI cotton or certified GOTS, the sense of handmade linen structures and vibrant recycled polyester. The eco-responsible method is applied literally. The archives consulted provide new plant interpretations.

These colors are a beacon of tranquility and quiet, while they sparkle. As a striking color, mid-tone greens are emerging. Lavender tones are on the rise. The rising colors are energizer red and hyper pink. Blue shades are linked to sustainability and natural elements. They can be used to create a sense of calm and relaxation. Dark browns can be as simple as unbleached white shades. The subtle art of the print is in the new collections proposed—tie-dye, retro, bohemian, cashmere, tropical—oriented toward naturalness, optimism, softness and lightness with that special KBC twist.

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Hoi Kwan La

Executive Vice President and Chief Market Officer

HeiQ

Two trends are what I am seeing that I would like to highlight. Number 1 is circularity—it’s all about raw materials and the end-of-life destiny of textiles. We’ve created continuous cellulosic yarns like HeiQ AeoniQ as a climate-positive, continuous-cellulose-filament yarn. Our proprietary manufacturing process is capable of reproducing properties of nylon and polyester yarns that are not currently possible by other cellulosic fibers. Each ton of HeiQAeoniQ is made from sustainable raw materials like circulose and sustainably managed forests, alga, bacteria, or cellulose extracted form preconsumer waste or textiles. This can potentially allow for five tons of CO.2 emission reduction. HeiQ AeoniQ textiles do not require any agricultural land, pesticides, or fertilizers.

Recyclability is a topic that has been discussed for less than ten years. HeiQ Q AeoniQ is biodegradable and designed to promote circularity. HeiQ AeoniQ yarns are synthetic fiber compatible and designed for closed loop circularity. They also maintain consistent fiber quality.

Functionality is number 2. In order to reduce the environmental impact of the supply chain, millennials and Gen Z are cutting down on the number items in their wardrobes. This may not be financially sustainable for some of the value chain members. Each item can be valued by adding functionality. A higher willingness to pay by the consumer means that there is a greater share of the sale price for each item. Multifunctional garments are in line with the trend for fewer items. This means that the consumer can use the same item for different occasions. The latest trends include improved stretch, insect repellence, odor control, and dynamic cooling. You can also add textile finishings to make the garment more functional.

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Michelle Lea

Vice President, Global Marketing

NILIT

Sustainability will continue to be a consumer megatrend that will influence the apparel industry for decades. This trend is growing at NILIT as more people learn about the positive impact our industry has on the environment. This direction has been supported by our apparel partners, who have joined us in designing apparel with more-sustainable materials and educating customers about responsible choices.

Consumers are also interested in knowing more about the companies behind the products that they purchase. Today’s conscious consumers expect transparency, corporate responsibility and accountability so it is important for companies throughout the global apparel supply chain to present themselves honestly and ensure reliable information is available to consumers who seek it.

NILIT has focused for many years on this sustainability megatrend. In response to growing concerns about the planet’s health, we are accelerating initiatives to make nylon more sustainable, with a focus on manufacturing and product development. We published our corporate sustainability reports last year. A follow-up will be available to show progress against the goals. Many of our goals were well ahead of schedule.

We offer premium Nylon 6.6 products at an industry-leading price that empower designers to make responsible apparel. SENSIL ByNature, our most recent product, is a revolutionary nylon 6.6 that uses biomass ingredients instead of fossil feedstocks. SENSIL ByNature instantly reduces apparel’s carbon footprint without giving up the performance, aesthetics or longevity for which SENSIL premium Nylon 6.6 is so well known. Companies who understand today’s conscious consumer know that quality is the first step toward a more sustainable apparel industry.

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Cindy McNaull

Director Brand Business Development

CORDURA Advanced Fabrics

What we’re hearing most from our customers is that even though the economy appears to be contracting consumers are still willing to pay for differentiated, advanced fabric solutions—products that are built to last that offer multipurpose functionality.

CORDURA Advanced Fabrics believes in long-lasting, durable products that are performance-driven. This is a market reality and we continue to work with our valued authorized mills, brand customers, and designers to push the limits in durability for today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.

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Celeste Ramsey

North America Manager Business Development

Trevira

Functionality and performance are two key words that highlight today’s expectations of apparel and fabrics. Customized yarns are made to meet specific needs and add value to fabrics, apparel, and the wearer. The textile value-added supply chain has allowed mills to create unique, functional, and attractive fabrics. Garment evolution has been rapid over the past few decades.

This development begins with the initial yarn producer. Indorama’s LifeStyle Business Unit represents the collaborative business of numerous Indorama Ventures Limited Group companies. It was established in 2020 and includes 13 production sites in nine different countries. The fully integrated polyester production process, which includes polycondensation, chip production, yarn dyeing and beaming, spinning, texturing and twisting, as a well as the production of staple fibers, is all done in-house. This strategy enables Indorama’s LifeStyle Team to offer global, solution-driven and customized products not only for apparel but also for the home and automotive-interior textiles industries.

Indorama LifeStyle offers a variety of products. PLA yarns are also available in the extensive yarn portfolio. They are made from 100% renewable raw material and are industrially compostable.

Moisture control for sportswear, odor-reduction yarns for activewear, and durable, sustainable and sophisticated yarns for high-end fashion and the woven-labels industry are but a few examples of Indorama LifeStyle’s offerings. CoolVisions is a unique, dyeable, disperse polypropylene that customers can benefit from. CoolVisions is also the lightest commercial yarn. It is quick drying, has excellent moisture management properties, and retains all the inherent characteristics of polypropylene.

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Erica Redd

Business Development Manager

Lenzing Fibers Inc.

Fashion trends are often thought of as styles that will only last for a season, which can lead to a decrease in sustainability. We love trends that promote sustainability and circularity. Consumers are requesting more transparency and sustainability from textile brands. This includes raw materials that can be traced and, even more importantly, that are circular. Circularity is a popular trend across the industry. This is especially true as brands discover creative ways to communicate circularity via their marketing strategies.

Some great examples of transparent marketing from 2022 are Timberland’s Luxe Comfort, Parade’s New:Cotton and Hanky Panky’s ECO Rx lines, all made with TENCEL x REFIBRA and with their own avant-garde marketing campaigns. The impact of a traceable raw material made with 30 percent upcycled cotton is high on those consumers’ lists who are actively seeking more-sustainable options and overall transparency from brands. Designers and brands should embrace the circularity trend to meet consumer demand and implement more sustainable products and communication. I support the trend of sustainability and circularity. This is a way to help the planet and make a positive change in the industry towards more sustainable practices.

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David Sasso

President

DNY

We see sustainability as a major trend in the apparel supply chain. The fiber segment is no exception. Soluble fiber Solucell is made to be used in a variety textile applications. It is formulated to dissolve with simplicity, and it’s environmentally friendly and made with circularity in mind.

The typical applications for apparel include improved softness, thermal functionality, and a lower weight. The spin limits for yarns have been increased. In some cases, it is possible to reduce costs. Fabrics are naturally comfortable and natural in terms of their functionality, hand feel, and drape.

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Pierette Scavuzzo

Design Director

Cone Denim

For 2023 collections, fabrics that tell a clear story will be important. This is a crucial aspect of denim and has pushed the textile and garment industry to make better investments to help consumers and brands achieve these components.

Cone has a way to make sure transparency is achieved for all its products across all platforms. We use Oritain cotton tracking, which is grounded in forensic sciences and ensures that our cotton is not grown with unethical methods.

Another important pillar would be innovation and circularity within that space. To address this, we launched the Nothing Goes to Waste initiative. This is a call to actions to encourage the design community as well as brands to embrace the Zero Waste philosophy. We created a product capsule using 100 percent recycled fiber. The colors are made from the fabric scraps, which eliminates the need to add dye. Our Color Revive collection is another product capsule that captures this spirit. This yarn is made from our internal dye waste. It eliminates the need to dye and results in significant chemical and water reduction.

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Kimberlee Schreiner

Founder

KMS Group LLC

For Fall/Winter 2023–24, the three key trends are innovation, disruption and comfort. As fabric manufacturers have had the opportunity to evaluate their place in sustainability over the past couple of years, the conversation about sustainability continues to evolve.

New innovations fall into three categories—new natural fibers, recycled fibers and science-based developments. These new natural materials are found in sources such as kapok, seaweed and nettle. They can be applied to knits and wovens, as well faux leather.

Another category of fabric is recycled. Manufacturers are finding new ways to degrade synthetic and blended materials. Knits and weaves can now use agricultural waste and post-consumer recycled blends. Recycled cotton from previous years and plastic are still on our radar. New fabrics can be made using bio-based technology, which allows for the creation of new fabrics with the same high performance properties as synthetics. These fabrics can also be used as outerwear and activewear.

This new innovation is disrupting the industry and forcing us to rethink how we use materials. However, you can also see it in new ways that are adapted to traditional tailoring. Unexpected bright colors, patchwork, and stripe patterns are broken up by unexpected bright colors. They add a new dimension and dimension to fabrics. This is also evident in distorted prints that have been digitally digitized.

Comfort is a key trend for this season. Comfort is a key trend for this season. We have experienced a lot of change over the past few years. You can achieve this by using lofty fabrics such alpaca or cashmere wool outerwear and thick-gauge sweaters. The quilting techniques used for outerwear are still very important. However, they have been modernized by using softer fill fabrics and knits with brushed finishes or peached finishes to create the pillow effect.

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Mike Simko

Marketing Director, Textiles

Hyosung Global

I’ve been to six trade fairs in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in the past two months. I believe there is increasing brand interest in biobased materials. Brands are seeking to build deeper trust and connections with consumers who are concerned about the impact of the products they love on the environment. They want to be sure that these materials have been backed by documented claims and can be passed on to maintain consumer loyalty.

As a sustainable-textile-solution provider, it’s very important for us to provide brands with the necessary support they need to tell these stories. One reason we certify sustainable fibers is because they are certified. Our creora Bio-Based Spandex received eco-product certification from Standard Global Services in Switzerland. This means that the fiber is made with plant materials and is produced in an eco-friendly manner.

Creora bio-based spandex, which provides the same ultra-stretch quality and recovery as Hyosung’s creora Powerfit spandex, is made by replacing 30 percent of petroleum-based resources with bio-based raw materials derived from industrial field corn, or dent corn. A third-party LCA has shown that creora biobased spandex produces 23 percent less carbon than regular spandex.

The fiber is also made from sustainably grown feedstock. This is done by farmers who are responsible for their efforts to conserve the land, water, and air.

In the next two-three years, there will be technologies that can be commercialized that will allow us increase the bio-based content by at least 70%.

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Deana Stankowski

Strategic Marketing Director

The LYCRA Company

We can see many trends influencing the industry in 2023. One of the key trends is to add functional performance benefits such as cooling, warming, and durability to garments. Although garments are increasingly focused on their performance, comfort is still a key focus for consumers. The lingering effects of the global pandemic are driving consumers’ expectations that their clothing be as comfortable as it can be, providing ease of movement as they go about their day, whether at home, on the go or back at the office.

We are also looking to offer sustainable solutions across all categories of garments as retailers and brands that we work with are seeking long-lasting, low-impact solutions. Patent-pending LYCRA ADAPTIV fiber allows garments to adapt to different body shapes and offers a wider fitting window. LYCRA XTRA LIVE fiber resists chlorine damage on vacations. LYCRA Black technology protects clothes from sun and sweat damage and helps to keep them looking their best. These fiber solutions allow garments to last longer.

Our EcoMade family of fibers spans our top three brands and are made with recycled content to reduce waste and a garment’s environmental impact. COOLMAX, THERMOLITE EcoMade fibers made with 100 percent textile waste are our most recent offerings. They lay the foundation for a circular design and provide temperature comfort.

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Katie Tague

Vice President of Denim Marketing & Sales

Artistic Milliners PVT LTD

While we’ve seen a rebound from the pandemic days, and the rise of trends like Y2K, we think in the upcoming year the pendulum will swing a little bit more back toward essentialism both in sustainability and versatility. Conscious consumerism isn’t just a trend anymore, and it’s in every aspect of the way we make our fabrics and garments.

This fine focus on essential products means that consumers will buy only what they really need. This will affect how fashion looks, feels, is made. It needs to fit the way we live now—and flexibility is the main demand. ArMill has been launched to offer performance and non-denim fabrics, as well as our Artistic Millliners denim. We are also looking at less-treated fabrics. These fabrics will include natural or recycled fibers and natural tints. We’re well equipped to fulfill this ask thanks to our class-leading proprietary fiber-recycling facility, Circular Park, as well as with our investment in waterless and chemical-free finishing and natural dyes.

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Carolina Wilches

Senior Application Developer

Eastman Naia

Two main trends emerge for me: celebrating life after COVID, and sustainability as a key driver of fashion. Three years after COVID began, we now see new collections showcasing clothing that reflects fantasy, party, sparkle and shine while also highlighting the importance of sustainability for consumers.

These consumers want to know where the clothing is produced and what materials it’s made of. They are now more informed about the sustainability of clothing and how it can be recycled. The clothing’s composition is usually more simple, with only two or three different fibers per fabric. Fashion brands are looking for fibers with high versatility and strong sustainability profiles such as Eastman Naia cellulosic fibre. This fiber can be blended with natural fibers such cotton and linen for summer and with warming fibrous such as recycled wool in winter.

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Sherry wood

Director of Merchandising

Texollini

Texollini is making sustainability the norm in the U.S. textile sector. We have established ourselves as a top mill for high-performance fabrics in activewear, swimwear and athleisurewear. Our brands continue to use more-sustainable fibers in the creation of their collections. This encourages us to source new fibers around the globe. Our brands are leaders in their markets and require support with the right fabrics at an appropriate time. The advantage of being in the U.S. is that consumers have high expectations for brands to deliver performance and inclusiveness.

We want the fabrics to offer comfort, durability, and longevity when we are merchandising new collections. The 2023 collection features many new recycled natural and artificial fibers, including wools, blended recycled cotton blends, and organic cotton. To round out the collection, we’ve added novelty stitches such as jacquards, ribs and ottomans. Blister knits and exaggerated raised surface textures, micro-denier interlock knittings, including styles that were sueded or brushed are all examples. We’ve also added novelty stitches such as jacquards, ribs, and ottomans.

Knitwear continues its rise as the market is dominated by wellness, work-life balance, the outdoors, and innovation. Texollini has always looked towards the future. This keeps us inspired and compelled to offer more unique fabrics. We consider all current trends when creating new styles. Not only do we incorporate them into the fabrics but also in modernizing our fully vertical facility. This ultimately reduces our carbon footprint.

See our for more information from the industry leaders in the Fiber Yarn and Textile community. Industry Focus: Denim, starting June 30, 2022


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