Fashion and textile industry has never been in a more interesting spot ever before. When human imagination and innovation is taking industry and businesses to a new height with the help of cutting edge technology, fashion and textile industry is also being a part of it. 2016 seems to be a benchmark year for the textile and fashion industry paving the way for new opportunities.
Technology to play a pivotal role
With some trendsetting changes taking place in technology sector, fashion and textile, like all other industries is witnessing a major impact on what we produce and conceive. Smart fabrics, interactive fabrics, 3D printed fashion and many other innovations have opened up a whole array of possibilities that will have a huge impact on the world of fashion as we know it. However, it is technology coupled with innovation that is setting the trend for fashion in 2016. Young designers, entrepreneurs and forward thinking brands that explore the boundaries of fashion are now conceiving alternatives to traditional materials and fabrics that we know today.
Innovations in sustainability to trend in 2016
Continuing with increased environmental awareness the major trend for the sector would be significant innovations in sustainability – reducing water and energy consumption, which are vital developments for the benefit of the environment and saving costs. Environmental and economic considerations go hand in hand, and have been the driving force for the last few years. Even in areas such as finishing, where water consumption and pollution was a particular issue. Another important development is the rise of digital printing, which doesn’t require water. Digital printing is not only an environmentally friendly technology, it also offers opportunities for reshoring because it can produce small lots of printed fabrics. The impact of this new technology will be very important for the downstream industry.
Emergence of technical textiles to grow robust
In recent years, technical textile has become a major segment globally because of several advantages like functional requirement, health and safety, cost effectiveness, durability, high strength etc. The global technical textile industry has witnessed an increase in consumption from 25 per cent in 1998 to 37 per cent 2010. The largest segments are Mobiltex, Indutex and Sportex which contribute to about 55-57 per cent of the total Technical Textiles globally. In the US and Western European countries, there is legislation for mandatory use of such products which has further fuelled growth in demand. China, Brazil and Canada are some other countries to play important role in shaping the technical textile industry in 2016.
Spinning sector to see smaller order sizes
In 2015, spinning industry witnessed a trend of smaller order sizes which is likely to continue in 2016. The combination of high demand and decreasing raw material costs has also provided spinners with the opportunity to enhance margins, which have historically been very thin for this industry. Perhaps the biggest change in 2015 over past periods of sustained prosperity is the size of orders. Orders are relatively small, at least for most specialty spinners, and the variety of yarns spun is on the rise.
Inking and coloring the efficient way
The overall printing industry across the globe is estimated to be about one trillion US dollars, out of which textiles is about $150 billion constituting about 15 per cent of total value. A major area which is promising for technical innovation is ink, which has the ability to get better and print on more types of fabric. With a Silicon Valley-based company such as EFI getting deeply involved in textiles, the market is going to see a very meaningful innovation in software applications, helping colour to be accurate and improving efficiency in the printing process to save customers time and money. There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for innovation in the textile industry. Industry 4.0, the concept of interconnected production chains with the potential for cloud or mobile- based management – speaks to the evolution path of technological innovation that textile professionals need.
Sustainability- Global business to continue focus on green initiatives
With the world on one page on the need for environment consciousness and eco friendly way of living, the fashion and apparel industry is expected to witness ‘sustainability’ as a major trend in 2016. With a global market size of $3 trillion, the industry’s environmental responsibility is massive.”
With the world on one page on the need for environment consciousness and eco friendly way of living, the fashion and apparel industry is expected to witness ‘sustainability’ as a major trend in 2016. With a global market size of $3 trillion, the industry’s environmental responsibility is massive. Year 2015 has seen global bands, apparel manufacturers and retailer buckling up to draw a serious plan for action to reduce carbon emissions significantly. And the effort will continue to see a bigger impact in 2016 setting a trend globally.
Growing concern over fashion’s carbon footprint
The fashion, apparel and textiles industry accounts for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, being the second largest industrial polluter, after oil. According to Eileen Fisher, a clothing industry giant, fashion is a complicated business which involves a long and varied supply chain, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and ultimate disposal of the garment. She opines fashion’s carbon footprint is huge and a assessing how much it is; by itself is an overwhelming task. A general assessment needs to take into account the obvious pollutants like pesticides used in cotton farming, toxic dyes used in manufacturing and great amount of waste discarded clothing creates while also looking at the extravagant amount of natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing and shipping. Moreover, organizations like the ‘Greenpeace Detox’ campaign, has challenged some of the world’s most popular clothing brands to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals.
COP 21’s impact and global initiatives in 2016
Growing concerns over alarming level of pollution generated by fashion and textile industry has prompted developing nations to ink a deal to reduce environmental risks. December 2015 witnessed a landmark agreement between representatives of 195 countries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, the COP21 deal, which comes into effect in 2020. It aims to ensure that global warming does not exceed 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, with an additional aim to cap this at 1.5 degrees C. A temperature rise of 2 degrees C could result in catastrophic environmental changes, such as extreme weather, accelerated melting of the polar ice caps and dangerous rises in sea levels.
Balancing environmental responsibility and business growth
The carbon footprint generated by the production of raw materials like cotton and cashmere is massive as they consume huge amounts of electricity and water. The materials sourced from those regions of the developing nations that can face the early adverse impacts of any environmental change, such as flooding and droughts. Even production of rayon and viscose can lead to deforestation and companies must take note of these climatic changes to save the planet. Experts suggest the players to make use of alternative eco-friendly fuels while transporting goods to reduce pollution. Simultaneously, there is also a need for the end consumer to accept the individual responsibility towards environment to reduce carbon footprint that can be achieved only when there is an increased awareness about it and the consumer is encouraged to care for eco friendly products.