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The third edition of Cashmere World, a trade fair dedicated to cashmere and other fine fibres has commenced in Hong Kong today. It’s organised by the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA) and UBM Asia. This year, companies from Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, India, Mongolia, and Thailand have returned to Cashmere World. The event is on till September 27 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The continuing tight supply of cashmere has kept prices high with production of raw cashmere in China apparently stabilised at a lower level compared to three years ago. This has encouraged traders to seek supplies from countries such as Afghanistan whose cashmere industry is in a development stage with financial aid from the United States, in an effort to create more jobs and help stabilise the country’s economy.

What makes Cashmere World unique is its integral nature. The trade fair is complemented and strengthened by the organisation of the Cashmere World Forum held during the first two days of the fair. The speakers at the forum include international authorities on the subject and this year the keynote address will be delivered by Karl Spilhaus, President of the Cashmere & Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, USA, on ‘The Development of Objective Methods for the Identification of Cashmere’. Other subjects covered include ‘Branding Fine Fibres: the example of the Mohair Mark’ and ‘Retailing Cashmere: Trends Forecast & Innovation’.

Cashmere World is being held alongside Fashion Access, an exhibition focused on garments and fashion accessories.

Interstoff Asia Essential-Autumn 2014, Hong Kong and Asia's popular trade fair kicked off on at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Held concurrently with two ‘Fabrics to Fashion Walk’ fashion parades, five renowned Hong Kong designers and brands are showcasing their creative works at the Trend Forum, using fabrics sponsored by exhibitors. The first parade was held on the first day of the event featuring Harrison Wong and Peter Lau, while Flux by Sandra Chau, Modement by Aries Sin and Yeung Yau will be featured in the second parade held on Friday.

Buyers also gain design inspiration from the four signature Design and Trends seminar sessions, hosted by leading fashion forecasters from Italy, the US, Mainland China and Germany. Moreover, the Designers’ Studio will feature women’s wear, men’s wear and children’s wear from 10 well-known designers from Mainland China, exhibiting for the first time.

Other than for sourcing the latest fabrics and garment accessories, the fair is also well-known for promoting the most advanced technologies in the industry. The Research and Education Zone welcomes three partners this year, namely the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) and the Korea High Tech Textile Research Institute (KOTERI). Among them, PolyU and HKRITA will focus on fibres that protect against radiation and high-tech functional fabrics such as self-cleaning textiles, intelligent impact protectors based on 3D auxetic fabrics, while KOTERI will display its eco-friendly dyeing processes.

Visitors keen to learn about how to succeed in the luxury industry can join a panel discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities of the retail and fashion industry in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Co-organised by advisory firm People and Projects and supported by the Italian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong & Macau, this session returns once again after drawing positive feedback at its debut appearance last year.

The fair has received confirmation of participation from several buyer delegates from Mainland China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the US.

The Texprint awards were presented by renowned Italian designer Nino Cerruti at Premiere Vision on September 17 in Paris. The prizes are awarded to promising textile design graduates from Britain. They exhibited their creativity at Première Vision. The selected students are given exposure to numerous buyers, press and investors from around the world. Nearly 24 designers were in contention for the Texprint prizes. There were four winners and they were selected under the categories of Color, Pattern, Space and Body. The judges were eminent representatives from the worlds of fashion, interiors, specialist textiles and retailing.

The prize for the most innovative use of color was awarded to Charlotte Beevor. Her large scale paintings have created a positive influence on various environments. The most creative pattern prize was presented to Jane Zhang. The space award for the best fabric design for interiors was awarded to Georgia Fisher. The Body prize for the best fashion fabric design went to Federica Tedeschi. She has interests in science, new technology, art and architecture.

The 2014 edition stood out for the introduction of the Miroglio Texprint Award for Digital Innovation, which seeks to identify the best use of digital innovation in printing. The prize went to designer Charlotte Hetheridge, who won over the jury with her screen-printed designs, created by optimising the natural properties of a range of basic fabrics inspired by symbolic figures such as falcons, lace and ceremonial armor.

China will slash its import quotas for 2015 to boost demand for the domestic fiber. To encourage domestic producers, the government will offer subsidies to provinces in the Yellow River and Yangtze River valley growing areas. China is the world’s top consumer of cotton. It will only provide import quotas next year for the 8,94,000 tons that it is required to offer at low duties under commitments with the World Trade Organisation.

Previously, China has offered another type of quota, in addition to the one compliant with the WTO, but no additional quota would be made available next year. Non-quota imports are subject to a 40 per cent tariff, so the restricted availability of import quotas will inevitably dampen Chinese demand for foreign cotton.

The change in quota policy will hurt major exporters such as the United States where Chinese demand has played a key role in influencing fiber prices. China said earlier this year it would end a three-year long program to stockpile domestic cotton to support local growers and instead offer subsidies direct to farmers.

Stockpiling had pushed prices of domestic cotton well above market prices, creating a demand for cheaper imported fiber. China’s cotton imports dropped by 32 per cent in  2013-2014 owing to weaker demand by the domestic textile sector and mills importing yarn instead of cotton.

Bread & Butter (B&B) held an event to introduce the forthcoming edition of B&B in Seoul. B&B boss Karl-Heinz Müller plans to host the maiden edition of B&B in South Korea’s capital next September. The introductory event saw Müller along with the mayor of Seoul, Won Soon Park and a gathering of around 600 guests at the Floating Islands  on the banks of Seoul’s Han river.

In front of members of the Asian fashion industry and retail scene as well as Korean celebs and journalists, Müller explained his vision of Bread & Butter Seoul that is scheduled to take place from September 3-5, 2015. Explaining the reason behind Seoul as the next destination for B&B, he said that Seoul is being considered by other Asian countries as a window to discover new opportunities arising from foreign countries and serves a role as a hub into the Asian market.

During the last edition of the trade show in July, Müller had announced his plans of shifting the 2015 Berlin show to Barcelona. However, now he has decided to stick to Berlin. Muller had earlier got negative feedback for changing the venue since brand representatives were skeptical about the new location and date and many regular B&B exhibitors claimed that Barcelona was no option for them.

Denim is getting better and better. The original look has new life with the help of modern and sustainable dye methods, ozone and laser finishes. In addition to this are worn, washed and used looks combined with classic twill structures or new knit-style replicas and true knit, imitating traditional denim structures.

Innovative spinning techniques have produced a lighter quality of denim. Stretch denim continues to be in demand. Special treatments, antibacterial denim and combinations of denim and FIR nylon fibers promise function and performance.

Sustainability continues to be a primary topic within the denim industry. After years of excessive water consumption and uncontrolled application of chemicals, today the industry attempts to make good on the environmental sins of the past. The stylish finishes are a result of ozone washes and laser finishes. Recycled synthetic materials are combined with denim. They are said to reduce material weight without changing the durability of the fabric, but most of all minimises the number of washes needed for certain looks.

Indigo continues its dominance as the leading color. Laser finish continues to establish itself in the industry and is becoming a trend. Jeanologia is a pioneer in this sector and uses unique laser systems able to create everything without water and within a few minutes – from simple, small details to aggressive, large-scale designs.

Tengri, a new high-end fashion label using yak's wool, has released its first range of ethical woolens. The name Tengri means pantheon of gods in Mongolian. The brand aims to shake the dominance of cashmere clothing with its alternative soft fabric. Founded by Nancy Johnson, a former charity worker, in March this year, Tengri seeks to highlight the plight of Mongolian yak herders, many of whom can no longer make a living from their traditional, nomadic lifestyle.

Mongolian wool is spun from fleece-bearing animals that live in the geography loosely called Mongolia. Mostly, the fleece is grown on sheep. Johnson is hoping to transform the lives of 1,000 Mongolian families that are currently supplying their yak wool to her social start-up.

Mongolia is the largest exporter of cashmere in the world. Mongolian nomads used to earn most of their income raising goats which produce the soft fibers that are used to make the high-end cashmere sweaters, scarves and coats. Yet they were forced to sell or slaughter their goats because the demand for luxury goods plummeted during the financial crisis. 

The price of cashmere dropped drastically, leading to overgrazing and over herding of the goats to meet demand. Shearing is also impossible as there is almost no electricity on the steppe.

RWTH Aachen University is one of the leading technology oriented universities in Germany. Energy efficiency and environment are strategic key topics at RWTH Aachen University. The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) is the textile division of Aachen. It recently completed 80 years. Research at the ITA covers the complete textile production chain. Four divisions research production technology, develop new materials and discover innovative concepts for technological products. The ITA has about 170 machines at its disposal, ranging from small sewing machines to five- meter-high braiding machines.

ITA does research in fiber processing of thermoplastic polymers. This concerns the process chain from compounding, yarn production (melt spinning) to yarn post processing (drawing, texturizing) until the various techniques of textile fabric production like weaving and non woven. The institute owns several melt spinning plants and its focus is technological development of the machine technology and innovative textile fibers.

ITA has established the world’s first multi-scale system for the production of precursors and carbon fibers to enable small to medium sized enterprises an entry into the growing carbon market. By developing new material technologies, ITA establishes an important link to practical implementation. A new environmentally friendly process management allows 17 pe rcent cost savings in the production of carbon fibers. This new development will have far reaching consequences for applications in the aerospace industry.

Cotton and textile industry play a significant role in Zimbabweans economic growth and development. The International Trade Centre (ITC) a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and United Nations (UN) has announced that Zimbabwe would be launching the Cotton-to-Clothing (C2C) Export Strategy at an indaba in Bulawayo next week.


The strategy is funded by the European Union (EU) under the EU-Africa partnership on cotton. The indaba will be held on September 26. The said strategy aims to revive the country’s cotton and textile industry since more than one million Zimbabweans, including farmers, ginners, and textile producers as well as their families depend on cotton for their day to day livelihoods, said ITC, which developed the strategy together with the ministry of industry and commerce.


The joint strategy is meant to promote the industry in eastern and southern Africa and intends to increase cotton lint production to 450, 000 tons per year. It also aims to increase exports of textiles and garments to $7.5 million by 2019. Mike Bimha, Zimbabwe’s Industry and Commerce minister, Dorothy Tembo, ITC’s deputy executive director and Sindiso Ngwenya, secretary-general of COMESA, will oversee the launch of the strategy at the Bulawayo Clothing Indaba.

Leading international fashion brands such as H & M have indicated that they are willing to pay higher rates for garments made in Cambodia if the government decides to increase minimum wages for garment workers. Eight retailers gave assurance in a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon and to the Chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), which represents garment factory owners in the country.

Meanwhile agitated Cambodian garment factory workers launched a new campaign this week seeking an increase of their monthly minimum wage to $177 from $100 effective 2015. Hundreds of workers carried out demonstrations in their factories during lunch break to highlight their demand ahead of a meeting of the Labor Advisory Committee (LAC), an organization of employers, the government, and unions, on September 26 during which officials will discuss a possible minimum wage increase in January.

A previous demand for a wage hike to $160, had been rejected by employers, who had raised salaries to $100 from $80 this year. “As responsible business, our purchasing practices will enable the payment of a fair living wage and increased wages will be reflected in our FOB prices, taking also into account productivity and efficiency gains and the development of the skills of workers, carried out in cooperation with unions at workplace level," H &M and other retailers Inditex, C & A, N Brown, Tchibo, Next Retail, Primark and New Look said in the letter.

The retailers also said that they expect the government and GMAC to establish processes "to ensure all workers receive the new agreed minimum wage by monitoring wage implementation and policing suppliers that fail to meet the new minimum wage level. This will ensure an equal level playing field and create a competitive advantage for the factories that comply with the new minimum wage."

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