Photo courtesy of Maroc in Mode—Maroc Sourcing.

Maroc Sourcing, Maroc in Mode, Morocco’s textiles and sourcing event, will hone in on sustainable fast fashion, among other industry initiatives and investments, at its upcoming fall show. The event will take place on Oct. 11 and 12 in Marrakech at Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan.

Centered on two sustainability concepts, the “Circular Textile Cluster” and “Moroccan Denim Cluster,” show organizers said its themes are largely focused on streamlining and improving nationwide manufacturing processes to incorporate new technologies, such as recycled fibers, as well as “make the necessary changes” to clean up its denim industry, among other objectives. Nearly 200 exhibitors will present collections and products across fast fashion, denim, knitting, tailoring, workwear, leather goods, shoes and accessories categories.

Well-known for its cultural history and craftsmanship in textiles, Morocco’s textile industry “serves the entire range of demand, from large vertical suppliers to exclusive collections,” according to show organizers, who also noted that Moroccan producers are regarded as “fast fashion champions.” But the country’s competitive advantage is its proximity to Europe and agile production processes: “Moroccan producers can react quickly to new trends, implement and deliver them. The digital developments and ‘Industry 4.0’ show how important sourcing in Morocco is to optimize the value chain with its expertise in fast-fashion production. Overproductions become more calculable and trend peaks can be reproduced quickly. Fast fashion remains a strategic challenge for retailers and brands to increase competitiveness,” show organizers said.

Photo courtesy of Maroc in Mode, Maroc Sourcing. 

And its location is “geostrategic” for forging business forward between Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Morocco’s economic growth is healthy, increasing at 4 percent on average, with low inflation rates that hover around 1.6 percent. The country’s average foreign direct investment growth, at 15 percent, amounted to $2.66 billion in 2017, which speaks volumes for Morocco’s potential to become an influential center for trade. And its exports to the European Union are duty-free, to further deepen its appeal.

Morocco’s clothing and textile industry accounts for 24 percent of the country’s total exports, which reached 3 billion euros in 2016. And due to the stability throughout the region, specifically in regard to its favorable investment climate, macroeconomic factors and substantial investments from the government toward the industry, Morocco is poised to see growth in production and sourcing, particularly from Mediterranean and North African countries. Morocco ranks eighth among textile exporting countries in the EU and saw an increase in exports of 9.4 percent in 2017. Morocco’s primary trading partner is the EU, as 70 percent of exports hail from the region, all according to show organizers.

Plans for speedy and increased development include investments in training employees with “annual training plans broken down by profile and region,” and some lofty goals: Morocco aims to create 100,000 new jobs; increase export volume by 500 million euros to 4 billion euros, and overall sales to 8 billion euros. And by 2030, 52 percent of the country’s energy needs will be covered by renewable energies, in addition to the development of GIZ-supported vocational training centers for renewable energy and energy efficiency — its first center will be located in Oujda, northeastern Morocco.

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