“Glocal” is in. And as a response to the fashion industry’s growing focus on local manufacturing, trade show organization Messe Frankfurt will introduce its “Local Loft” at the summer edition of Texworld. The event takes place this week, July 23 to 25, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, and is colocated with Apparel Sourcing USA and the Home Textiles Sourcing Expo.
Local Loft, which will be displayed alongside Texworld’s fall 2019 textile offerings, presents domestic and local sourcing options for attendees and is a collaborative effort between Fashiondex and Messe Frankfurt. “The goal of Local Loft is to feature domestic suppliers within a global platform,” according to show organizers.
The genesis of Local Loft stemmed from a conversation between Jennifer Bacon, the Texworld show director, and Andrea Kennedy, Fashiondex’s founder and sustainability ambassador, who told Bacon that her firm saw a growth in domestic contractor directories at each Texworld show. Kennedy also noted that attendees were increasingly more curious about domestic and local supplier contact details. In addition to her role at Fashiondex, Kennedy is a sustainability and fashion professor at LIM College.
Bacon and Kennedy then sought to create a “micro-show” at Texworld to underscore local and American suppliers and various niche production services. Local Loft will be built by LIM students, who designed the space as a one-room, boothless sourcing pavilion, built from 8-inch beams and fabric panels. The students said the space will be “lofty, fashion-forward and enticing” for attendees.
A digital model of the Local Loft was created in SketchUp by visual merchandising students Maggie Canty and Abigail Daigle; fashion merchandising students Junbeom Chun and KiBeom Kim together are cutting, painting, and building the entire loft space, the firm said. LIM professors Grailing King and Pati Jordan will oversee the students’ work.
Kennedy said, “With speed-to-market and sustainability increasingly urgent and necessary in today’s market, designers and brands are looking for more same-hemisphere and local-based partners in which to work with for value-creation and a place-based edge. Companies are seeking to bring more small batches back to the U.S., as production and transport time is saved, carbon footprint is decreased and, in today’s uncertain import market, tariff worries are eliminated. Local Loft focuses on these critical issues and allows attendees to meet smaller-scale suppliers and source right here in their own backyards.”
Twelve companies will be highlighted in the Local Loft, including Aetna, a cut-and-sew shirt factory based in Baltimore; Suuchi, a technology and vertical manufacturing factory in New Jersey; Mountain Meadow, a sweater and custom knitwear company that works with Wyoming-grown wool; New York-based apparel factories Vishal and MCM Enterprises; product development and tech services Suite Creative and Nightwear Studios, and AGH, a domestic zipper company. Additional suppliers include Whispering Spirit, which hand-crafts customized styles from alpaca fiber and Solid Stone, a company that offers domestic digital printing, cutting and sewing.
In the spirit of expansion, the show will feature Shenzhen’s Underwear Association, which will be hosting a catwalk to display a collection of intimates, Bacon said. Also of import is the return of its Home Textiles Sourcing Expo, which will showcase international exhibitors across bed, bath, floor, table, window and upholstery — the event is the only trade event in North America that focuses solely on home textiles and finished soft goods, the firm said.
Additional offerings for HTSE include a presentation and panel discussion, “The New Home Textiles Landscape — What’s Needed to Survive and Thrive Tomorrow,” as well as various educational events centered around translating fashion to the home, the global home textiles landscape, sustainability and upcoming home furnishings and color trends, according to the firm.
Bacon added, “Home Textile Sourcing offers panel discussions with topics of interest to importers, product developers, marketers, sourcers and creatives — allowing them to gain more knowledge on the ever-evolving home textiles industry. We are also pleased to welcome a few new exhibitors to the show floor for summer, including Lyndale Textiles Inc. specializing in inherent fire-retardant fabrics widely used in hospitality, Bountiful Goose Bedding, specializing in luxury bedding and more.”
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