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Apparel textile industry readies for Functional Fabric

The Functional Fabric Fair Portland will present more than 140 suppliers offering latest textile trends for winter 2021 in Oregon Convention Center from October 22-23. More than 1,500 top designers and product, purchasing & material managers for outdoor, sportswear, workwear, sportive fashion and athleisure apparel companies have registered to attend the fair.

Functional Fabric Fair Portland powered by Performance Days will offer an ‘Expert Talks’ series of complimentary educational programming, matchmaking programmes, multiple networking events and two special displays paying homage to iconic performance garments of the past and shining a spotlight on textile innovations for the next generation of performance apparel.

The ‘Expert Talks’ series will feature industry experts from the Hohenstein Institute and faculty presenters from Utah State University, Portland Fashion Institute and University of Oregon. Topics from a wide range of industry subjects including colour trends, performance technology, fabric sourcing and sustainability initiatives, will be covered.

The inaugural event’s sold-out exhibit hall will showcase more than 140 hand-selected textile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers presenting their functional fabrics, branded technologies, treatments, laminates, paddings, finishes, and accessories.

The Performance Forum – a platform unique to Performance Days / Functional Fabric Fair – will introduce the latest textile and accessory innovations and trends kicking-off winter 2021/22 with an update to spring-summer 2021. Three-hundred fabrics in eleven categories, as selected by an independent jury of industry experts, will be presented on six backlit presentation walls. Each item will have performance codes to simplify the sourcing process by desired applications of the fabric.

The fair’s Archive Exhibit, produced in partnership with Concept III, will present a highly curated selection of iconic pieces, spanning nearly a century, and the story behind each one.  Each garment will be distinguished by its innovation in performance apparel ingenuity for that era. Fair visitors will have the opportunity to see the garments in person while they are displayed on the exhibit floor.

More than 1,500 registered verified attendees represent market leaders, up-and-coming designers, apparel manufacturing veterans and mass merchandisers such as Adidas, Athleta, Brooks Running,  Canada Goose, Columbia, Cotton Inc, Fila, Filson, GAP Inc, Good American, Harley-Davidson, LL Bean, Lululemon, Macy’s, Microsoft, New Balance, Nike, Perry Ellis, Procter & Gamble, Reebok, Smartwool, The North Face, Under Armour, Woolrich and more.

Event organisers will be introducing a university partnership programme to connect future designers of the industry with innovative textile organisations and designers. In addition to faculty presenters leading several education workshops, each university will have a kiosk in the exhibit hall and select students will be able to interact with designers, materials suppliers, and sports/outdoor industry leaders at the fair.  Makell Garrett Richins, a third-year student in the advanced sports design programme of Utah State University, has been invited to showcase her ski and sports apparel portfolio.

Sustainability is a priority message weaved throughout educational programming and underscored by event organisers with an emphasis on green meeting practices, minimising industry waste and boosting efficiencies. Functional Fabric Fair Portland powered by Performance Days will be working with Trees for the Future to plant 10 trees for every attendee. In addition, all exhibits will be constructed of recycled and reusable materials and each supplier will be carefully vetted to meet social and environmental certifications, such as Bluesign, to ensure responsibly manufactured products. The Oregon Convention Center, a Leed Platinum certified facility, is the most sustainable meeting centre in America.

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