ShanghaiTex is one of the premier textech exhibitions that no one in the textiles-apparel-fashion industry would want to give a miss. Fibre2Fashion gives you a quick rundown of what to expect at the four-day ShanghaiTex 2019 which gets under way on November 25.
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1. Textech Galaxy
ShanghaiTex is introducing its ‘Textech Galaxy’ section which will explore how new technology is transforming different sectors of the fashion industry from the three points of view: artificial intelligence (AI), wearable technology and startups. As the official website proclaims: “It is also a forward-looking international hub gathering people who are interested in exploring textile and fashion possibilities and bridging the gap between the textile, fashion and tech industries.”
2. Concurrent themes
With “Smarter Textile. Better Life” as its watchword, the biennial event that has been organised in Shanghai since 1984 will this time have three other concurrent theme areas: Go Digital, Go Green, and Materials & Cross-Border Innovation. The overarching message is clear: tech / digital will be the driver, green will be the path, and industry will need to work sans borders.
3. Startup Planet
The fashtech boom has already seen a significant rise in the number of startup companies. This trend has also opened enormous business opportunities, and will be highlighted at ShanghaiTex 2019 through the Startup Planet section which would provide a platform for startup companies from across the globe to “showcase a series of textile and fashion related products, which in turn allows the global investors and manufacturers to seize business opportunities.”
4. Market segments
ShanghaiTex 2019 will also focus on four fast-growing market segments which could be most impacted by technology: (i) Spashion, being the cross-over between sports and fashion; (ii) Women, Be Fabulous wherein more R&D has been shifting to in the backdrop of the womenswear and beauty markets continuing to boom; (iii) Wellness for Kids being a new focus area with parents buying more products for their children that are “organic” and harmless; and (iv) Smart Lives for Seniors, which lays utmost emphasis on senior care.
5. Fashtech products
The official website also points out certain fashtech products that are already available in the market: from colour-changing sportswear based on body temperature to children’s clothes with wearable sensors for monitoring respiratory, temperature and human activity, and from apparel inventory management systems to product recommendation engines. This range is expected to expand exponentially in the next few years.
6. AIFT 2019
This ShanghaiTex will also see the 2nd Artificial Intelligence on Fashion and Textile International Conference (AIFT 2019) being held concurrently. AIFT 2019 will look at research, application, popularisation as its core values, aiming to connect researchers and industry practitioners towards exploring new AI applications in the textiles and fashion industry.
7. Design competition
A Wearable Technology & Textile Design Competition (WTTDC) will also be held to encourage young designers to apply their creative thinking on combining textiles with technologies in order to find solutions for a better life.
8. Technology factor
The “technology” factor keeps recurring because it lies at the heart of the event. According to the organisers, “Textile means more than just a piece of clothing today, it has always been closely related to our daily life. Since more consumers are eager to buy unique, creative and functional clothing, innovative technologies are being adopted in a broad range of applications in the textile and fashion market. Fashion and technology are edging closer together to cater effectively for the needs of the consumers.”
Conclusion: ShanghaiTex 2019 promises to live up to its catchword by “leading the change” and “inspiring the future.”