SPINEXPO – New York Featuring Autumn/Winter 2014/15 Collections (05/30/2013)

Updated: 2013/5/30 15:11:00

SPINEXPO is the indispensable meeting place for ready-to-wear brand manufacturers with collections of flat-bed and circular knits, wovens, hosiery and new warp seamless knits. The exhibition features fibres and yarns for knitwear, weaving and hosiery, as well as knitwear collections from the leading international knitwear manufacturers.
SPINEXPO brings to New York and Shanghai the most complete and selective international offer in the field of creative yarns and fibres.

China and other Asian countries have had a bad reputation regarding sustainability in the past, but is this still the case? At SPINEXPO, we have worked with leading spinning and knitwear companies who place sustainability and integrity at the very top of their development pattern. Today they are leading the way to creating better, more environmentally sound and socially responsible textiles.

It has become clear that sustainability and sustainable consumption are not just a fad, but are key issues in today’s textile and apparel business. Every day we are learning new lessons about raw materials, chemicals, and methods of manufacturing in order to improve the sustainable profile of the products we make and sell. But we may be missing a key concept in our efforts: can we reuse more of what we now throw away, and can we change our thinking to design products we are less likely to discard?

In China, the government’s 12th five-year plan has called for the country’s textile businesses to participate in a “circular economy,” which includes water conservation, energy efficiency, alternative bio-based fibres—and producing recycled fibres.
According to a report in Just-Style, China generates around 20 million tons of wasted fabrics annually. Recycling 60% of these fibres would save 4.7 million tons of natural fibres, and 9.4 million tons of chemical fibres.

Closed-loop recycling is not new. In 2000 Teijin Fibers pioneered their ECO CIRCLE™ chemical technology for returning polyester garments back into virgin polymer. Yarns regenerated from natural fibre waste left from spinning and manufacturing processes—wool, cotton, and linen—are enjoying resurgence at the hands of spinners such as France’s Filatures du Parc and Turkey’s Kale Iplik, and have long been a part of the carded wool business in Prato, Italy.

At the retail end, recycling programs such as Marks & Spencer’s Shopping and H & M’s I:Collect are keeping all types of discarded garments out of the landfill with in-store clothing collection schemes. The discards are either sold in charity shops, sent to developing countries to be sold, or broken down and regenerated into yarns to create fabric for new clothing.

But what if garments were developed to be loved and worn for a long time, not to be thrown away? The subject of clothing longevity is being explored by a research team at Nottingham Trent University. Senior Lecturer Helen Hill tells us that the research is examining the reasons garments are thrown away, including consumer attitudes towards fast fashion. She cites a recent report stating that extending clothing life by an extra nine months reduces carbon, water, and waste footprint by 20-30%.

According to Ms. Hill, pilling is often cited as the reason knitwear is discarded, and the development of yarns less likely to pill might prolong the wearable life of our knitwear. For example, Germany Südwolle has been working on small adjustments to its cashmere spinning to make it cleaner, clearer, with less pilling.

SPINEXPO New York will explore this new approach to sustainability with an exhibit developed by Brazilian-born designer Eliana Stefani, using yarns and recycled materials from the spinners Huafu, Novetex and Südwolle. The project is driven by the desire to use natural and recycled materials to create garments and home textiles with both heritage and longevity that will help conserve resources.

Currently living and working in Bali, Ms. Stefani‘s shop “Lawe” includes recycled furniture, rugs, and hand-made textiles. Her focus is on natural dyestuffs and methods used by traditional and primitive cultures; lawe is the local name for the yarn spun from Java’s brown cotton. Ms. Stefani believes that sustainability and creativity go hand in hand. “Every process has to have conscience and requires creativity to deal with issues that come up when we try to follow the sustainable path all the way,” she explains.

Ms. Stefani will be creating a range of products using top-dyed melange yarns, along with organic, recycled, and BCI cottons, and blends of Pima cotton with cashmere, or cotton with wool or linen. “When it comes down to the garments we love the most, they are the ones where the fibres feel right on the body. They are soft and comfortable,” she believes.

The project, which will be introduced at the SPINEXPO New York July edition, continues to evolve, with research into potential collaborators, indigenous techniques, and cultural heritages to be finalised at SPINEXPO Shanghai in September.

SPINEXPO celebrates this thoughtful and sustainable approach to design.

Authority in Charge: China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC)

Sponsor :China Textile Information Center (CTIC)

ISSN 1003-3025 CN11-1714/TS