When editing back from Textile to California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles, clothing manufacturers and creatives were welcomed back to the show for inspiration after the event’s hiatus, which began after its March 2020 edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During September 29-Oct. 1 event, 1,500 attendees and 130 exhibitors from 18 countries gathered to discuss textile sourcing options.
In addition to networking and purchasing opportunities, LA Textile offered a comprehensive program of information sessions which provided expert analysis regarding sourcing, production and design trends. On September 30, the event hosted an intensive one-day sustainability certificate workshop presented by Fashiondex.
In the city of Seattle, Irena Zilina was visiting LA Textile to source silk and find color inspiration for her business, Lingerina Zilina, which had evolved and changed during the pandemic. Zilina started out as a lingerie maker, but made the switch to silk masks, scrunchies and headbands in 2020. Now ready to return to the brand’s roots in lingerie, Zilina was preparing to present the lingerie whose loyal customers of Lingerina Zilina wanted.
“Some colors are popular because of specific areas. I’m from the Northwest, and it’s all about gray, beige, navy blue, and black. If you go to Los Angeles, it’s floral prints in pink, turquoise and light colors, ”Zilina explained. “Young customers like neon colors, but customers my age like silk and luxury. I wanted to meet in the middle. Luxury in neon.
Visiting LA Textile for the first time, Zilina was happy to connect with suppliers and peers in person after a year defined by home orders and Zoom meetings.
“My main objective is to find suppliers of silk and Pantone color swatches, which is great for custom colors, ”Zilina said. “There are networking opportunities. I have a great time because it was hard to stay motivated when we weren’t seeing a lot of people and you felt isolated.
In addition to the joy of meeting associates in person, another byproduct of the pandemic has been the increased interest in local resources as nearshoring becomes more popular. Faced with supply chain challenges, many players in the apparel industry are now looking for options to diversify.
“We have a lot of people who want their products made in America,” said Albert Huh of Vernon, Calif. Royal Textile Printing, Inc. “It goes well. This is our first year here. It went pretty well.
Although there is currently an increasing demand for domestic sourcing, Huh noted that the trend to divert the supply chain overseas has had an impact on his business. Huh hopes that interest in products made in the United States will create a slight uptick in its flatbed textile printing segment.
“Textile printing in the United States has died out a lot. Most of the industry has moved overseas to China, even south to Central America, ”Huh explained. “It’s an effort we’re making to market ourselves, to have people make their products more in the United States and print in the United States. ”
Many exhibitors and visitors highlighted the emphasis on green options, with 73% of companies presenting sustainable offers. Visiting the show for the first time from Greenville, SC, Matthew Moreau, Creative Director of The Landmark project, which celebrates public lands such as national parks through different products, including clothing, was looking for heavier, durable materials as the brand prepares to expand its clothing line.
“The heaviest durable materials are really hard to come by. At this point, organic cotton gets really expensive. We are looking for blends of 200 grams and more to make sweatshirts and fleeces, but still have a history of durability, ”said Moreau. “Some of the factories we work with can’t even find this, so I came to find it myself. I am also looking for good flannels. We hope to make wool or wool blend flannel in 2023. “
As a buyer who typically attends outdoor lifestyle trade shows, Moreau was impressed with the options available to a business the size of The Landmark Project. There was a sense of optimism attending a textile fair that leveled the playing field for operations of any size.
“You can be a small brand and it still concerns you,” explained Moreau. “Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has really created a process that helps people who are just starting out, whether it’s easy to make samples, low minimums, store tissue, things like that. . ”
At Rex fabrics booth, the Los Angeles textile company saw local buyers and those from Texas and the East Coast, including New York City. Representatives Jay Wetherald and Rachel Ratonel expressed their interest in sustainable fabrics.
“For us, we are definitely more into athleisure and environmentally friendly fabrics with recycled polys. Muted earth tones and rose golds are always the thing, ”Wetherald said. “[At this show,] you can find trims, fabrics, supply sources, you can find it all. It is one of the rare salons where you can find everything on the same floor for small manufacturing. The local manufacture is very hot.