On October 16th and 17th, 2019 the 7th annual Interfilière New York took place, connecting intimate apparel, swimwear and sportswear brands with a curated selection of the most innovative mills, accessory suppliers, and sourcing companies from around the world. During this 2-day trade show at the Javits Center, 65 top international mills exhibited, offered an unrivalled view of the sourcing market. Returning for her 7th year, Jos Berry inspired attendees with a Creative Trend Lab focusing on materials, colours and prototype displays. Additionally, there was a VIP conference including an overview of Spring/Summer 2021, with exclusive themes, colours and fabric selection. The event shed light on a number of key fabric innovations and trends in the industry, notably: Sustainable Materials, Quick Drying Fabrics, Isothermal Innovations & Crossover Hybrid Trends.
Sustainability as innovation
Sustainable and eco-friendly materials were the stars of the show, as discussion around the fashion industry’s high contribution to the environmental crisis took center stage. The topic became the focal point of recent Innovation Panel, moderated by Stephanie Muhlenfeld, Founder of The Squad, and featuring Laura Madden, Director of Apparel & Bra Development at Brooks Running; Chris Moore, Owner of Digital Print Solutions; EgemenIzci, Raw Materials Innovation Manager at Lululemon; and Stephanie Benedetto, Co-Founder of Queen of Raw.
Prompted by several sustainability-focused questions by the audience, the experts discussed the growth of recycled materials as a solution for fabric mills that rely on plastics, as well as the viability of natural fibres, biomimicry, and efforts to change consumer mentality. The latter was addressed in the context of longlasting, multi-use pieces — even for intimate apparel.
“Be able to address durability and be very upfront around what your expectations of the product should be, how you need to care for it as the consumer, and then end-of-life options,” was one recommendation from Laura Madden, Director of Apparel & Bra Development at Brooks Running. “Then, recently, sustainability students from LIM College presented in-depth research on sourcing, transportation, packaging, social rights, costing, and marketing. The one-hour presentation and Q&A was designed to offer actionable recommendations for brands and fabric mills in the room.
Recycled materials and organic fibres
68 percent mills who exhibited at IFL New York have woven environmental commitments not only into their materials — which are sourced by the world’s most esteemed body-wear brands — but also into their company ethos. One such mill is Iluna, a global leader in sourcing sustainable fabrics. Iluna offers a GRS-certified “Green Label,” which its partner lingerie brands can leverage for eco-friendly lines. With its «Green Label» offering, Iluna set the industry’s highest standard for recycled textiles, including both ecological and social criteria. D2P Billon, a French knit specialist, showcased a very light and natural knit created on a fine-gauge machine using Fulgar Group’s EVO®, a new “plant-based,” polyamide made from castor oil.
“As consumer demand continues to reflect growing environmental concerns, we expect the interest and experimentation with natural and plant-based fibres will continue to expand,” Raphael Camp, CEO of Eurovet Americas said. In fact, Solstiss — a major French lace manufacturer that supplies lace for designers like Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and others — will be launching a 100 percent pure organic cotton lace collection next month.
François Damide President of Solstiss said, “It was my first time showing at Interfiliere NY, and I was impressed by the quality and the mix of the exhibitors, the amazing space with magnificent views to the Hudson River. Thanks to this show we discovered some news contacts, from startups to established companies, along with great press.”
Nancy Miller – Director of Design for Cupid Intimates said, “The intimate setting in a large space was quite nice. As a designer it was very inspirational in this setting to see new ideas & applications. Sustainability was definitely a strong theme & I appreciated that!”
What’s in is out — the growing popularity of the crossover bra
Recently, Jos Berry, CEO & Co-founder of Concepts Paris®, spoke to the changing trends in the world of intimates, swimwear and athleisure. Notable trends included an increased demand for crossover, hybrid and comfortable intimate apparel that reflects what Jos describes as four key needs of the modern woman: The need to move and be active; the need to discover and travel; the need to relax and revive; and the need to experience nature.
Many active-wear brands are incorporating touches of lace, netting and unique design elements that offer the functionality of a sports bra, while capturing the pleasing aesthetic of streetwear, and even the sensuality of lingerie. Berry also talked about the return of florals, pastels and more neutral colours that allow for versatility, and that represent gardens and nature.”
Functionality & Innovations
Another notable innovation showcased at IFL was the Swim x Sport x Innovation hub in partnership with LIM College. The emergence of functional fabrics and accessories was showcased: Quick-drying, isothermal, UV protection, muscular compression, and chlorine resistance. In addition, recycled, organic and biodegradable materials were presented to offer sustainable solutions mainly for active-wear brands, such as La Lame mills (US) which offers a fabric made with recycled plastic bottles via REPREVE fibre. This hub was complemented by a new technical offering with US-based garment testing entity, Vartest Laboratories. And Polygiene AB (Sweden) showcased their efforts to minimize the environmental footprint of garments and gear with its Polygiene Odor Control Technology that allows garments to be used several times before washing.