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Wendy Friedman

Expert Opinion

27th July 2018, New York, NY

Sustainable innovations on show at Functional Fabric Fair

The inaugural Functional Fabric Fair powered by Performance Days kicked-off earlier this week at the Javits Center in New York City in a small, exclusive venue, separate from where the Texworld USA and Apparel Sourcing USA trade shows where being held.

The more intimate show featured 75 high-end material manufacturers and service providers displaying the latest technological innovations and trends in functional and performance fabrics. 

Fabric samples at Functional Fabric Fair powered by Performance Days. © Wendy Friedman

The trend area was neatly divided into focused sections for base, mid, and soft-shell layer materials as well as high-tech down and water-proof options. A tightly curated selection of high-density, lightweight windbreaker materials in marbleized prints and neon colours stood out.  Denim-look weaves in merino/polyester/spandex blends, some accentuated with reflective threads, offered new proposals for mid-layers and bottoms.

E-Dye. © Wendy Friedman

One of the show’s standout exhibitors was E-Dye, inventors of a sustainable, solution dyed polyester colour system. A completely waterless process, E-dye is able to put colour directly into the yarn during the extrusion process allowing for more stable and consistent colour as well as helping to minimize the overall environmental impact of fabrics made from their yarn-approximately 50% energy savings and a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions.  They offer a range of 3800 beautiful stock-service colours with low minimums and can use recycled PET upon request.

E-Dye. © Wendy Friedman

Other eco-friendly companies include California-based ReDown, which recycles down and feathers from post-consumer goods to be re-used as new fillers in apparel, sleeping bags and other bedding products.  Re-down also up-cycles materials, which are not suitable for commercial products into organic fertilizer. 

Fabric samples at Functional Fabric Fair powered by Performance Days. © Wendy Friedman

Several mills featured materials made from Unifi Repreve yarns; Mark Miller of Miller Textiles features “Yori Rec,” a 190gsm material spun in Vietnam offered in 21 vibrant in-stock colours which can be used for both swim and performance sports apparel.Fabric samples at Functional Fabric Fair powered by Performance Days. © Wendy Friedman

12 keynote educational sessions led by industry experts addressed topics ranging from fashion trends in reflective materials to advances in e-textiles and wearables.  Cooling solutions in performance fabrics as well as ways to incorporate sustainability practices were also discussed.  At the end of each day, attendees and exhibitors were treated to live music and light refreshments to encourage networking.

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