The Editor's Page:

By Max W. Sung

ITMA and education: This year, from November 12 to 19, ITMA will be holding its 17th edition in Milan, Italy, at the Fiera Milano Rho. ITMA, the world's largest textile machinery show, is owned by CEMATEX, an association of nine European national textile machinery associations, and currently managed by MP Expositions. Since its debut in 1951 ITMA has been held quadrennially. The previous ITMA, in 2011, was in Barcelona, Spain, which also marked the 60th anniversary of the show. In celebration, the 2011 ITMA incorporated a series of new conferences and events which expanded the scope of the show to beyond the business of exhibiting machines and facilitated exhibitor-client interactions. The conferences were well received and attended by some 700 participants; they offered opportunities for exchange of ideas for participants from different disciplines as well as education for students at all levels. In comparison, 100,067 visitors from 40 countries attended the ITMA 2011.

The question for ITMA after the 2011 show was whether or not the 2015 show will continue the sponsorship of new conferences and events. Charles Beauduin, the president of CEMATEX, has stated: "We have adopted the theme "Master the Art of Sustainable Innovation' for ITMA 2015." A review of the special events planned for ITMA 2015 indicates these special events will continue in one form or another.

World Trade Summit (WTS): In 2011, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) held its annual meeting just before ITMA and collaborated with CEMATEX, MP International and WTiN in a one-day World Trade Summit with the theme "New Paradigms in the Global Textile Industry." WTS 2011 brought together highly respected speakers from the textile and textile machinery industries as well as from the retail industry, and Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United Nations, as the keynote speaker. For 2015, CEMATEX, MP Expositions and WTiN will again team up together to hold WTS as a one-day event on the second day of ITMA. It will also have the support of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Textile Institute and the Better Cotton Initiative. Going beyond the agendas of other textile sustainability conventions, WTS 2015 will explore issues that really matter to strategic decision makers. They include returns to be expected from capital investment in clean technologies, establishing and monitoring a sustainable supply chain, and market opportunities for clean production and sustainable materials.

Textile Dyestuff and Chemical Industry Leaders Forum: In 2011, leaders from international dyestuff industry associations in China, India, Latin America as well as the Society of Dyers and Colourists, supported by dyestuff associations from the United States, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Taiwan, came together to exchange views and collaborate for the industry's sustainable future. For 2015, the Forum will continue but rebranded as the Textile Colourant and Chemistry Industry Leaders' Forum. Alessandro Gigli, a board member of the Association of Italian Textile Chemists and Colourists who will chair the Forum's program committee, said: "Topics to be covered include the chemical/colourant suppliers' response to current environmental issues, updates on REACH regulation, new dyeing and printing technologies and their impact in a more sustainable supply chain."

Sustainable Textile Leaders Roundtable Dialogue: In 2011, CEMATEX and MP in partnership with Textile Exchange brought together representatives of major textile producers to discuss issues impacting global textile sustainability. The program was fully registered in advance, with students making up more than 50% of the attendees. For 2015, CEMATEX has launched an award program as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage and recognise outstanding industry members and post-graduate students for their contributions to the sustainable development of the global textile and garment industry.

Nonwovens Forum: Last year, the International Association for the Nonwovens and Related Industries (EDANA) and MP Expositions signed a memorandum of understanding to support the organisation of a conference on nonwovens during ITMA 2015. This reflects a growing interest in nonwovens and technical textiles following the inclusion of fibre and yarn as a separate chapter at ITMA 2011. The Nonwovens Forum at ITMA 2015 will address pertinent issues, challenges and opportunities in the rapidly evolving field of nonwovens. Research and Education (R&E) Pavilion: At ITMA 2011, the R&E Pavilion offered a venue where work done by universities and institutions of higher learning were acknowledged and supported. A total of 45 universities and institutions from 20 countries participated in the R&E pavilion, and 24 technical papers were published in the R&E Speakers Platform. CEMATEX, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of ITMA, awarded grants to all the participants in the pavilion. For ITMA 2015, the R&E Pavilion will continue to provide opportunities to universities and higher institutions of learning to share their achievements in research and development as well as current and future projects with the industry. The European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (Textile ETP), which was established by EURATEX, TEXTRANET and AUTEX as a non-profit organisation, will showcase its key projects at the R&E Pavilion.

CEMATEX will continue to provide grants to all participants as well as subsidies to cover at least 50% of the cost of the exhibition booth. Jeroen Vits, the secretary general of the Belgian Textile Machinery Association who chairs the R&E committee, had previously stated, "We believe that businesses must continue to invest in developing innovative processes, products, and manufacturing capabilities. Also, human capital must be developed to the fullest."

ITMA offers remarkable opportunities for education and investments in human capital. We applaud its continuing efforts in this regard.











Special Reports

  • Rana Plaza victims' class action raises moral and legal issues: Canadian fashion retailer Joe Fresh, owned by the grocery chain Loblaw, was one of the overseas customers of garment factories operating in the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that collapsed in April 2013. Some 1,130 workers, most of them women, were killed, and more than 2,510 seriously injured in that incident. Loblaw and Joe Fresh were among the first responded to tragedy and said to have spent five million Canadian dollars on relief and compensation to the workers. Joe Fresh is also the only Canadian clothing company that has signed the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, thus pledging to be more vigilant in making sure that factories it places orders with were built and maintained according to building codes and are regularly inspected to ensure safety. Still Joe Fresh and Loblaw are facing a two-billion-Canadian-dollar class action lawsuit. The claim suggests that given the fact there were previous workplace tragedies in Bangladesh, Joe Fresh should have known that their subcontractors were paying "extremely low wages" and, therefore, aware of the dangers the workers faced. The moral and legal issues the lawsuit raises are not clear-cut.

    By Swee C Goh, Ottawa

  • Feel-good mood is spreading among US apparel shoppers: The latest Lifestyle Monitor survey of the Cotton Incorporated has found that consumer spending on apparel shopping is increasing in the United States as the economy is becoming healthier. There have been a few encouraging indicators lately. The unemployment rate has gone down to seven-year low of 5.4%; Dow Industrial Average hit an all-time high recently; housing sales have increased, Along with that the apparel import volumes have also increased. In March, the volume increased 24% for all apparel and more than 20% for cotton-dominant apparel. Naturally, shoppers are in the feel-good mood. Consumers saying that they "love or enjoy" clothes shopping also increased from 49% in 2011 to 53% now.

  • East Asia replaces China as top importer of cotton: Cotton imports globally are projected to decline 13% in 2014-15 as China continues to curtail imports of the fibre. The decline could have been worse if imports by East Asian countries had not increased. As China's began reducing imports cotton intake of East Asian countries have been rising. Their imports in 2014-15 are projected to rise 12% - thus replacing China as the top market for cotton - and go on growing by an additional 3% in 2015-16. By then, China and the East Asian countries would have almost switched between them the positions they held as cotton importers five years ago.

    The top cotton buyers among the East Asians will be Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia, due to the continued growth in their spinning sectors that rely primarily on imported cotton.

  • Shifting trend in textile machinery shipments: The latest annual survey of textile machinery exports conducted with the cooperation of 110 manufacturers has found that exports have declined, reports the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). This 37th annual survey compiling export figures for the International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) covered six segments of textile machinery - spinning, draw-texturing, weaving, large circular knitting, flat knitting and finishing. The survey was conducted in cooperation with some 110 textile machinery manufacturers.

Regional Notes

From A.H.H. Saheed, Colombo

  • Garment exports up: Garment exports from Sri Lanka increased 9.8% last year, totalling, in value, US$4.7 billion. Export of other textile products amounted to $248 million. Thus, total textile sector exports were worth $4.93 billion. Together, textile sector exports represented 44.3% of the country's total exports during the year.

  • Hirdaramani's 21st plant: The Sri Lankan garment manufacturer, the Hirdaramani group, has opened a production plant in the war-torn northern part of the country. This is its 21 production facility across the nation.

Exhibitions and Conferences

  • ITSH shows 4 home textile themes in Aug: 'Dream Up!' It's the name for the four home textile themes that the autumn edition of the Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles (ITSH), the China international trade fair for home textiles and accessories, plans to present in the 3-day fair in August with some 1,400 exhibitors. Additionally, two Japanese designers will add an Oriental flavour to the trends. The show will be at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai from August 26 to 28, this year.

  • Cookies Show during Berlin Fashion Week: The Berlin Fashion Week that will take place early next month (July 6-10) will include a new addition, a three-day exposition called Cookies Show which will focus on children's fashion.

  • Lingerie sourcing fair in India:Galleria Intima, a major sourcing fair in India centred on intimate apparel is to hold its fourth edition at the Crowne Plaza in New Delhi on August 26-27 this year.

  • In Style Hong Kong Expo in Jakarta: The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is organising a mega fair called 'In Style Hong Kong' Expo in Jakarta from September 17 to19 this year.

  • The HUB moves to Shanghai: The HUB Hong Kong which is regarded as Asia's premier fashion trade show for designers and brands is moving to Shanghai for its 5th edition where it will be held from this coming October 13 to 15 at Central Studios, a short stroll from the main Fashion Week happenings in the Xintiandi area.

  • ICA sets annual event in Frisco: The Liverpool-based International Cotton Association's (ICA) will hold its annual trade event on October 30 and 31 this year in San Francisco. It is open to anyone with an interest in the cotton trade, and more than 700 delegates are already expected to participate.

  • Sourcing fair in Colombo: A sourcing fair centred on yarn, apparel fabrics and clothing accessories, is in the making in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. It is called Intex South Asia.

  • German textile conference: The annual Aachen-Dresden International Textile Conference that the textile research institutes of the regions of Aachen and Dresden have been organising jointly since 2007 will become the Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf International Textile Conference starting November 2016 with a new partner, the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research, Denkendorf (DITF).

  • It's now JEC World in a new venue: The composites event JEC Europe Show and Conference, which the JEC Group organises annually, will be called JEC World starting its next edition scheduled at the Paris Nord Villepinte from March, 8 to 10, 2016.

  • Dyes fair in Turkey: Interdye & Printing Eurasia, a trade fair focused on textile dyes, textile printing inks and dyeing technology has scheduled its 3rd edition from March 10 to12, 2016, at the Istanbul Expo Center.

  • Surtex next May in New York: Surtex, the annual trade show for the surface design industry, including textile design, is slated for May 15-17, 2016, at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

  • Textile machinery fair in Turkey: A textile machinery exhibition in Turkey called KTM Textile Machines Show that was debuted last year with 267 exhibitors from 21 countries and attracted 7,891 visitors is to hold its second edition next April .

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