Despite overseas exhibitors and visitors being affected by travel restrictions, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics welcomed nearly 3,400 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions, with visitors filling the International Halls of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from 23 – 25 September. Messe Frankfurt talked to some of the exhibitors about the changes caused by the pandemic and what trends and demands they observed at Intertextile.

Health and hygiene trends prompt innovation at the Functional Lab

Due to the pandemic, many brands reflected that they have made adjustments to their strategies and products because of consumers’ increasing awareness towards personal protection, hygiene at home and public health. Functional Lab exhibitors in hall 4.1 showcased their latest innovations ranging from antibacterial products to fabrics providing comfort, which were well-received by visitors.

Mr Jerry Du, Technical Marketing Specialist, Hyosung: “The impact of the pandemic was huge on us in the first half of the year, but as the world’s largest spandex producer, our recovery was quite fast because we immediately adjusted our strategy. Amid the pandemic, we’ve launched a spandex yarn for personal protection and generated great sales. Besides new products for protection, we also showcased some new products that are antibacterial, deodorizing and for sports.”

A generation of change – Covid-19 spurs demand for sustainability 

Exhibitors view the pandemic as a big opportunity to further promote sustainable and environmentally friendly products. As part of Intertextile’s fringe programme, a product presentation on ‘How to fulfil consumer needs for comfortable and sustainable fashion in the post Covid era’ was delivered by Ms Lily Zhang, Regional Market Leader, Asia, Eastman Chemical to share the company’s latest findings about the behavioural changes of female consumers in regards to sustainable products and their choices of clothing.

Ms Lily Zhang, Regional Market Leader, Asia, Eastman Chemical: “From walking around at the fair, I noticed how our industry is moving more and more towards developing sustainable textile products. It’s quite a big trend now as consumers demand better quality and healthier products to provide them with psychological and physical comfort. Through sharing our research results with the audience, we welcome brands, fabric developers and manufacturers to connect with us more and develop better products together.”

E-commerce: a silver lining during the pandemic crisis?

As more buyers are sourcing online because of the pandemic, exhibitors agreed on the importance of: varieties in style, small quantity orders, stock availability and speedy delivery times. Those who can respond well to these demands and seize every business opportunity, for example the trading and communication platform offered by Intertextile, are more optimistic about the industry’s recovery from the disruption caused by the pandemic.

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