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Italian textile machinery manufacturers are gearing up for a significant presence at the upcoming ITM industry trade fair in Istanbul from June 4 to 8, 2024. Turkey, as a key trading partner, holds immense importance for Italy's textile machinery sector, ranking second among foreign markets. In 2023 alone, Italian textile machinery exports to Turkey amounted to a substantial 183 million euros.

At ITM, Italian companies will showcase their cutting-edge solutions, with 16 exhibitors featuring in the area organized by the Italian Trade Agency and ACIMIT – the Association of Italian textile machinery manufacturers. These include renowned names like Bematic, Kairos, and Martex, among others.

Marco Salvade, President of ACIMIT, emphasized the strong partnership between Italy and Turkey in the textile industry, with Turkish manufacturers investing significantly in Italian technology over the years. Salvade highlighted Italy's leadership in supplying advanced technology, particularly in digitalizing production processes, which enhances efficiency and optimization.

The focus at ITM will be on showcasing the latest technological developments aimed at boosting the competitiveness of Turkish textiles. Italian exhibitors are poised to offer tailored solutions that align with the evolving needs of the Turkish market, reinforcing Italy's position as a preferred technology provider in the sector.

 

 

B.I.G. Yarns makes a grand entrance at Clerkenwell Design Week 2024, unveiling a groundbreaking fusion of sustainable craftsmanship, vibrant hues, and innovative design. As a pivotal moment for the design industry, the event serves as a global stage for B.I.G. Yarns to redefine the future of spaces with their eco-conscious yarn materials.

The spotlight shines on their array of future yarns, meticulously crafted from renewable sources and recycled content, including the revolutionary low-impact PA6 carpet yarn. Offering a comprehensive solution, B.I.G. Yarns presents their coveted Eqo-range, featuring the sustainably focused EqoBalance, EqoCycle, and EqoYarn, alongside Solution Dyed BCF PA6 nylon.

Glenn Hyzak, Global Sales Director Yarns, emphasizes the company's dedication to reducing environmental footprint while empowering designers with a spectrum of vibrant hues. At the heart of their ethos lies the belief that sustainability should not compromise artistic expression, evidenced by their eco-friendly yarn solutions that offer unparalleled color freedom.

Clerkenwell attendees are treated to an immersive experience at B.I.G. Yarns' booth, where the Sustainable Yarns platform takes center stage, guiding industry professionals towards responsible manufacturing practices. The Color Studio captivates visitors with a kaleidoscope of sustainable design options, showcasing the seamless integration of design, color, and sustainability.

Belinda Ottevaere, B.I.G. Yarns Key Account Manager, champions the convergence of design and sustainability, foreseeing a future where spaces are tailored to evoke sensory experiences. Initiatives like the 'Catch the Color' event empower designers to curate bespoke color palettes, revolutionizing the narrative from 'form follows function' to 'form follows feeling.'

 

 

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, proudly reports significant strides in its spring production trials, marking a pivotal moment in the company's trajectory towards scaled manufacturing of spider silk. The firm remains dedicated to transparency, ensuring shareholders and the public are well-informed about its achievements and future plans. However, recent scrutiny from the OTC Markets Group regarding its investor relations (IR) program has prompted a review of its practices.

A recent editorial on 24/7 Market News, penned by a third-party contractor under the company's IR team, has garnered attention for its discussion on spider silk production advancements and potential market impacts. While Kraig Labs asserts the publication adheres to truthfulness and factual accuracy, it clarifies its lack of editorial control over the content.

Striving for compliance and transparency, Kraig Labs emphasizes the full disclosure of financial compensation to IR providers and cautions against speculative market predictions. Despite the rigorous adherence to regulatory standards, the company underscores its commitment to enhancing shareholder value through consistent communication and operational progress updates.

Moreover, Kraig Labs reassures stakeholders of its ethical conduct, highlighting no recent trading activities among company officers or third-party providers. The CEO's acquisition of a restricted non-tradable preferred share is duly noted, reinforcing the company's commitment to comprehensive reporting.

With optimism for the future, Kraig Labs anticipates continued growth and innovation in the field of recombinant spider silk, leveraging its recent achievements to propel market momentum and shareholder confidence.

 

 

Designer duo Paolina Russo, recognized in Forbes' 30 under 30 list, unveiled their latest creation, marking a significant step in sustainable fashion. Crafted from a blend of Spinnova fiber and cotton, the outfit showcases a denim-like fabric woven in Finland and dyed using natural pigments sourced from pine and indigo.

Breaking away from the conventional perception of sustainable fashion as muted, the ensemble—a mini skirt, oversized jacket, and jeans—exudes vibrancy and creativity. Each piece is meticulously dyed and printed by hand, ensuring uniqueness.

Lucile Guilmard and Paolina Russo, the innovative minds behind the brand, emphasize the versatility of Spinnova fiber, heralding it as the ideal material for sustainable experimentation. Drawing inspiration from sportswear and folklore, they employed distress weave methods, screen printing, and natural dyes to infuse denim aesthetics with a fresh twist.

Their creation recently competed in the Challenge the Fabric Award, championing the utilization of man-made cellulosic fibers to promote a shift towards bio-based and recycled materials. Unlike conventional man-made cellulosic fibers, Spinnova fiber is produced mechanically, devoid of harmful chemicals.

Tuomas Oijala, CEO of Spinnova, commends the duo's initiative in spearheading sustainable fashion, affirming their pivotal role in reshaping the textile industry. The collaboration underscores a shared commitment to innovation and sustainability, promising a brighter future for fashion.

 

Almost half of UK clothes still end up in landfill despite recycling efforts wrap

 

Despite growing awareness of sustainable fashion, a new report by WRAP, a leading climate action NGO, reveals that nearly half of all used clothes in the UK still end up in general waste bins.

The report, titled ‘Textiles Market Situation Report 2024’, highlights that in 2022, out of the 1.45 million tons of used textiles generated in the UK, a staggering 421,600 tons were discarded in household bins. This translates to an average of 35 unwanted garments thrown away per person every year.

Clogging landfills 

While some of this discarded clothing gets incinerated with energy recovery, a significant portion, around 11 per cent, ends up in landfills. This trend is particularly concerning as it highlights a missed opportunity for reuse and recycling within the textile industry.

The report also points to a decline in the value of donated textiles. Between 2013 and 2023, the price per tonne for donations to textile banks and charity shops has dropped by 57.5 per cent and 41 per cent respectively (not accounting for inflation). This suggests a potential saturation in the second-hand clothing market, calling for innovative solutions to manage textile waste.

“The report's findings highlight the need for a more comprehensive approach to used clothing," says a spokesperson for WRAP. "Encouraging consumers to buy less, buy better quality, and extend the life of their clothes are crucial steps. Additionally, supporting businesses that prioritize reuse and recycling can create a more circular textile system."

With increasing consumer awareness and industry action, the textile industry has the potential to move towards a more sustainable future. However, as the WRAP report suggests, there's still a long way to go before we stop throwing away clothes like yesterday's news.

The report underscores the need for a multi-pronged approach to achieve a more circular textiles system. This could involve encouraging consumers to buy less clothing and invest in higher quality pieces that last longer. Additionally, it highlights the importance of innovation in textile recycling technologies and exploring possibilities for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes, where brands are held financially accountable for the end-of-life management of their products.

“The WRAP report serves as a stark reminder of the significant work that remains to be done in creating a sustainable future for clothing," said an industry expert. "By addressing these challenges, we can move towards a more circular economy for textiles, reducing waste and our environmental impact.”

 

France push for EU ban on used clothes exports a complex issue with no easy answer

 

The fashion industry is a major contributor to textile waste, with Europe alone generating 5.2 million tons annually. France is proposing a ban on EU exports of used clothing, aiming to curb this waste and prevent African nations from becoming dumping grounds for unwanted garments. This proposal has sparked a debate, raising questions about its effectiveness, potential consequences, and alternative solutions.

A mounting waste crisis

Fast fashion, characterized by cheap, trendy clothing with a short lifespan, is a key driver of textile waste. The European Union alone generates a staggering 5.2 million tons of clothing and footwear waste annually, according to the European Commission.  Much of this ends up in landfills or gets shipped to developing countries, particularly in Africa.  A 2023 report by the European Environment Agency found that Europe dumps a whopping 90 per cent of its used clothes in Africa and Asia, raising concerns about pollution and environmental damage.

France's backs responsibility and sustainability

France, backed by Sweden and Denmark, argues that the EU must take responsibility for its waste.  Their environment ministry emphasizes the environmental damage caused by overflowing landfills in Africa, stating, "Africa must no longer be the dustbin of fast-fashion."  The proposed ban aims to incentivize waste reduction and promote a more sustainable clothing industry within the EU.

However, the effectiveness of a ban is debated. While it might reduce waste in Europe, it could disrupt economies in Africa that rely heavily on the second-hand clothing trade.  Opponents argue the ban could potentially harm African livelihoods as millions in Africa rely on the sale of imported used clothing for income. A ban could threaten these jobs. Also, it could stifle domestic industry as some argue cheap used clothing hinders the growth of domestic textile industries in Africa. However, the quality of much of the imported clothing is poor, raising concerns about its overall impact. The ban could also disrupt existing trade agreements. A unilateral EU ban could violate existing trade agreements with African nations. The case of the East African Community's failed attempt to ban used clothing imports due to US pressure highlights this potential issue.

For example, the 2016-2020 trade dispute between the East African Community (EAC) and the US over used clothing imports exemplifies the complexities involved. While the EAC sought to boost domestic manufacturing, US pressure ultimately forced them to abandon the ban. This case demonstrates the potential for unintended consequences and the importance of international cooperation.

Dialogue and comprehensive solutions the way forward

Indeed, a complete ban on used clothing exports might be an oversimplification.  Instead, a more comprehensive approach is likely needed. Experts suggest some possibilities:

Promoting sustainable Production: Incentivize European clothing manufacturers to adopt sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials and designing for durability.

Supporting local manufacturing in Africa: Offer technical and financial assistance to help African countries develop their textile industries and create a level playing field with imported goods.

Improve sorting and recycling systems: Invest in better infrastructure to sort and recycle used clothing within the EU, reducing reliance on export.

Global dialogue: An open dialogue between the EU, African nations, and other stakeholders is crucial to find solutions that address environmental concerns while protecting livelihoods and fostering development.

Certainly, the proposed EU ban on used clothing exports highlights the complex relationship between waste management, economic development, and global trade.  While a complete ban might be a symbolic gesture, it's unlikely to be the most effective solution. A multi-pronged approach that addresses the root causes of textile waste and promotes a more sustainable clothing industry across the globe is likely a more promising path forward.

 

Made in the USA A stitch in time for American apparel

 

The ‘Made in the USA’ initiative for apparel manufacturing has become a prominent thread in the American consumer landscape. It has gained traction due to several reasons.

One primary objective is to revitalize the American textile and apparel industry, which has seen a significant decline in employment since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS], apparel manufacturing jobs in the US dropped from nearly 900,000 in 1990 to around 172,000 in 2022. Also, consumers increasingly value quality and ethical production. ‘Made-in-the-USA’ often signifies higher quality standards and fairer labor practices, fostering trust. A 2020 survey by Cotton Incorporated found 73 per cent of American consumers consider the origin of clothing important, with a willingness to pay more for domestic products. The ‘Made in the USA’ initiative aims to revitalize the American apparel industry, create jobs, and offer ethically produced, high-quality clothing.

Impact on apparel sourcing policy

The initiative hasn't resulted in a complete overhaul of import policies. The US still relies heavily on imports, with data from the National Retail Federation showing apparel imports valued at over $100 billion in 2023. However, there's been a rise in nearshoring, with production shifting to countries like Mexico and Central America. In fact, some brands are cautiously exploring domestic production. Companies like Everlane and American Giant have found success with US manufacturing, often focusing on high-quality, ethically sourced garments. The de minimis provision loophole allows cheap imports to bypass custom duties, giving foreign companies an edge. Perhaps, that is why industry leaders advocate for changes to the de minimis threshold or broader trade barriers to level the playing field.

Then there is the issue of tariffs on certain imported goods imposed under the Trump administration aimed at incentivizing domestic manufacturing. However, these measures also raised concerns about increased consumer costs.

According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, domestic apparel manufacturing jobs grew by 5 per cent between 2017 and 2022. However, these numbers remain a small fraction of the industry's peak employment levels. The movement has led to a more complex supply chain. Domestic production often involves smaller-scale manufacturers, impacting efficiency and lead times.

Highercosts  a possible deterrent

American-made apparel generally comes at a higher price point due to higher labor costs. A 2023 study by Cornell University found that on average, US-made clothing costs 17 per cent more than its imported counterparts. Many brands have struggled with the higher costs associated with US production, highlighting the economic realities of the movement.

Of course, the initiative has had a consumer impact as emotionally, the initiative resonates with consumers seeking ethical and sustainable options.  Commercially, the higher costs can be a deterrent. A 2022 McKinsey & Company report suggests that price remains a dominant factor for most American apparel consumers.

Indeed, the ‘Made in the USA’ movement is likely to continue, but with adjustments. Technological advancements like automation could reduce labor costs and make domestic production more competitive. Additionally, consumer preferences for ethical and sustainable clothing could drive further growth. It's unlikely to replace imports entirely, but it offers a valuable alternative for consumers seeking ethically-produced, high-quality clothing. The future success of the movement hinges on balancing consumer preferences, production efficiency, and a commitment to ethical practices.

 

 

An established apparel manufacturer and exporter, Shahi Exports has partnered with Taiwan-based synthetic sportswear fabric manufacturer, Little King Global to set up a new processing unit for synthetic fabrics in Shimoga, Karnataka. This collaboration aims to boost employment opportunities in Shimoga's manufacturing sector.

To be fully operational by year-end, the production facility will initially produce 500 tons of synthetic fabrics per month. In future, it aims to double its production capacity to 1,000 tons per month.

Besides being committed to continuous improvement, product development and capacity expansion, the company also aims to make a significant contribution toemployment generation across the country," states Ramalingam T, CEO -Knits Division, Shahi Exports.

Founded in 1974 by Sarla Ahuja, Shahi Exports currently operates three fabric processing mills and over 50 apparel manufacturing facilities across eight states in India, employing over 96,000 people. The company is poised to leverage advanced technologies, cost-effective production, and skilled talent at its Shimoga plant. Once operational, the plant will offer recycled, responsive, and resilient services to customers, says Bruce Liao, Vice-President, Little King Global.

Headquartered in Taiwan, Little King Global Co specialises in the manufacture of synthetic, circular knit fabrics for activewear, outdoor wear, and sports clothing. The company also offers services such as yarn texturising, dyeing, knitting, and post-finishing treatments, including lamination, sublimation printing, and digital printing.

 

 

As a part of its efforts of efforts to restructure the company’s European operations, Espirit Europe GmbH and six other German subsidiaries of the fashion group filed for insolvency under self-administration. 

This is the company’s second insolvency procedure in the past four years. Espirit laid off approximately one-third of its workshop during the COVID-19 pandemic besides shutting down 100 branch. In March earlier, it had also filed for bankruptcy in Belgium and Switzerland.

The insolvency is likely to direct impact around 1,500. However, the company’s business operations willl continue until further notice. 

The group has revealed that a financial investor has shown interest in acquiring significant portions of Esprit's assets. Discussions regarding the acquisition of the brand rights for Europe are reportedly at an advanced stage.

 

 

To celebrate the 37th edition of the America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton has introduced a sophisticated nautical-themed capsule collection.

Inspired by yachting motifs, oceanic gear and a blend of sporty chic with cocktail hour elegance, the launch of this unisex collection coincides with the upcoming Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup set to be held in late August in Barcelona. 

The tournament begins with the qualifying match to challenge the current holder, Emirates Team New Zealand. The five challengers this year include: Orient Express Team, France; Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Italy; Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Switzerland; INEOS Britannia, England; and American Magic, New York Yacht Club.

The collection is based on three distinct themes: Riding the Waves, A Day on the Deck, and Elegant Summer Evening. The range based on the theme, ‘Riding the Waves,’ features technical skipper windbreakers and shorts, waterproof canvas keep-all bags and a water-repellent sailor sling in Monogram Storm for women. Central to this theme is the LV Rush sneaker, designed by Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière for the cruise 2024 collection, and Barracuda sneakers in white with a red and black V logo for men.

The range titled, ‘A Day on the Deck,’ includes playful takes on the Damier and Monogram motifs with graphic shirt jackets and reversible rainproofs for men, along with denim shorts and blazers for women.

The third range titled’ Elegant Summer Evening,’ offers chic post-yachting attire with one-strap column dresses held up by leather handles for women, and blazers with gold-finish LV buttons for men.

The collection will be available for purchase starting July 18, with prices ranging from €210 for a tie and €670 for a bucket hat, to €4,500 for a women’s cocktail dress and €5,100 for a men’s blouson with 3D leather detailing.

Primarily featuring red, white, and blue, the collection integrates the America’s Cup logo with a graphic V, originally created by Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the founder’s grandson—perfect attire for Barcelona this fall.

The Louis Vuitton Cup will see challengers racing in 23-m AC75 foiling monohulls with advanced features like wing-like sailing hydrofoils and a soft wingsail. The races will run from Aug 29-early Oct, with the winning challenger facing Team Emirates from Oct 12-27 in a best-of-13 series.

Louis Vuitton has been a key sponsor of the America’s Cup since 1983, the world’s oldest international sporting trophy. This year, Vuitton has elevated its involvement to become a title partner of this prestigious competition. The America’s Cup is notable for having the longest winning streak in history—131 years—after American yachts won the first 23 competitions until the New York Yacht Club was finally defeated by the Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Australia II challenger.

 

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