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Insights from Intertextile: first-hand trade fair experiences from the last eight months

28 giugno 2021

With three Intertextile Apparel editions in Shanghai and Shenzhen already completed since the pandemic brought in-person trade fairs to a halt in early 2020, clear trends are emerging about the apparel industry, the Chinese market rebound and the importance of in-person trade fairs to assist in business recovery.

First-hand accounts from exhibitors and buyers from the Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics editions in September 2020 and March 2021, and Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics in July 2020 help paint the picture ahead of the Shanghai Autumn Editions taking place from 25 – 27 August.

More than a year on from the start of the pandemic, what’s changed in the industry?

Quality over quantity and a demand for new, unique products are the stand-out changes from the past year. Accompanied by an increased popularity for pandemic-related products such as anti-bacterial, hygiene-focused and sustainable fabrics and solutions, the Chinese market has observed several shifts since the start of the pandemic, providing greater opportunities for suppliers.

“The Taiwan Pavilion is quite crowded because everyone is looking for new and interesting products. Because of the pandemic, anti-bacterial, anti-virus and other health concepts are popular. Also, environmental protection is certainly a hot topic, including recycled, sustainable and organic products. I think China's demand for interesting and unique products moves very fast.”
Mr Tianzhong Dong, Vice President, Hua Mao Nano-Tech (Shanghai) AN Office, China

“Buyers want to come to this fair to see what’s new. We have noticed more people will order small quantities. They will also order more patterns, brands and categories. In terms of consumer trends, people are now paying more attention to functional fabrics, such as anti-bacterial and sustainable products, which I think will prove to be even more popular in the future.”
Mr Hui Zhang, Regional Sales Manager, Beijing Vitality Textiles Co Ltd, China

“Domestic customers who want to find European imported fabrics will come to Intertextile. The pandemic has accelerated Chinese consumers’ high requirements for product quality and they are more concerned about product safety.”
Mr David Chu, General Manager, Shanghai Baosai International Trade Co Ltd (agent for Lanificio Fratelli Cerruti SpA), Italy

“As the industry is paying more attention to regenerated, natural, eco-friendly and protective products, I also observed that more suppliers at Intertextile are beginning to invest in sustainable products. I think these trends are bound to be the future direction of China’s market.”
Ms May Wu, Fabric Purchaser, CPAX Ltd, China

Recovery in China evident at March’s Intertextile Apparel

Fairgoers at the latest Spring Edition in March this year observed high footfall, numerous enquiries and orders, along with an overall optimism of the market’s rebound. The overriding feeling that the textile industry is recovering and progressing in China dominated conversations at the fair amongst the nearly 2,600 exhibitors and 80,000-plus buyers.
“Right now all eyes are on China as it is undergoing quick recovery from the pandemic. I’m very impressed with the visitor flow here, and we’ve been in contact with over 160 clients so far. Given the huge prospects in the domestic market, we have already signed up for the Shanghai and Shenzhen Editions of Intertextile later this year.”
Ms Rosalyn Chen, Area Manager, Sidogras S.A., Spain

“The number of visitors is higher than last September and overall our booth has proved more popular too, so we have certainly seen a rebound of customers. So much so that we are expecting our domestic sales to have increased by about 30 – 40% compared to last year.”
Ms Jing Ren Li, Department Head, R&D Textile Co Ltd, Korea

“The market in China picked up quite quickly after the disruptions last year, we noticed recovery and rebound in the market around May 2020. This is why we’ve become more focused on the domestic market over the past year.”
Mr Jackal Tsang, Regional Sales, Orta Anadolu, Turkey

“I think we have more visitors here compared to the 2019 edition! We’ve been very busy these two days meeting with many trading companies, fashion brands and designers.”
Ms Coco Gao, Global Marketing Key Account Manager, Ideal (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd, Hong Kong

“Our exhibition results are better than my expectation, and are even better compared with previous years. We’ve seen a lot of active participation from many visitors and have met nearly 1,000 customers.”
Mr Li Changde, Planning Director, Hong Kong Yifang Textile Co Ltd, China

“We didn’t have very high expectations for this edition because of the pandemic, but our booth had an estimated 300-plus visitors yesterday, so we are very happy. Intertextile Apparel is very effective for promoting our brand.”
Mr Yonghui Zheng, Manager, Shanghai IRIS Garment Accessories Co Ltd, Japan

“This edition, we have brought with us the latest prints sent over from London. Today the visitor flow is quite high and we’ve seen a lot of brand designers and fabrics directors, who are all decision makers.”
Mr Guanlian Yuan, General Manager, Design Union Agent, UK

Flexible options for in-person and virtual participation

It’s not too late for international suppliers to take part in August’s Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition. Chinese representatives of overseas brands are welcome to participate in the fair’s International Hall. But for those companies unable to participate in-person, a Hybrid Exhibition package is available which includes an onsite showcase to display products physically, while exhibitors can also access interactive platforms such as Connect PLUS and the fair app for AI driven business matching and to schedule video meetings with buyers.

Read a detailed case study about the Hybrid Exhibition package and reports from exhibitors and buyers here.

Exposure for international brands through product zones and pavilions

Intertextile’s curated product zones connect exhibitors with their target buyers to provide the ideal gateway into the Chinese market. These include:
• Accessories Vision
• All About Sustainability
• Beyond Denim
• Digital Printing Zone
• Functional Lab
• Premium Wool Zone
• Verve for Design

Various country & region pavilions and zones are also available, attracting buyers sourcing quality, innovative and sustainable overseas products. These include SalonEurope and pavilions from Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and elsewhere.
Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition will take place alongside Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition, Yarn Expo Autumn, CHIC and PH Value, from 25 – 27 August 2021 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). Intertextile Shenzhen Apparel Fabrics will run from 3 – 5 November 2021 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, concurrently with Yarn Expo Shenzhen, CHIC and PH Value.
The fairs are organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Textile Information Center. For more details, please visit: http://www.intertextileapparel.com/. To find out more about all Messe Frankfurt textile fairs worldwide, please visit: www.texpertise-network.com

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