At the flick of a switch, today’s textiles industry is now profound in product scope, truly global in reach and always open to trade. In such a fast moving and information rich environment, the opportunities and challenges shift, and so do the means to meet them.
So where do the prizes and pitfalls lie? We look at some of the developments and issues, in addition to the inspirations and solutions that exist within 21st century textiles.
Continued volatility and doubt within the global economy still poses a unique threat, yet this is countered by the sheer interconnectedness of individuals, innovations and trade across the planet, which is at its highest point in recorded history. The power to shape both the micro and macro within our world has never been greater.
The shift from west to east also creates an intriguing new geographical focus and dynamic within an industry based on more traditional beacons and trends. McKinsey FashionScope predicts that in 2018 more than half of apparel and footwear sales will occur outside of Europe and North America, another first for a rapidly evolving and genuinely global industry.
Emerging technologies, such as Nano textiles and AI, present a future of unprecedented exponential growth and innovation; from new product origination and discovery to supply chain and logistics, the business cycle just got a whole lot smaller. And it’s mobile.
Trade buyers and consumers now expect a more personalised, relevant and stimulating journey to a sale than ever before. The days of waiting around for what you need are over; it’s a curated, omnichannel experience these days, and businesses that can offer it are set for serious rewards.
With such an expanse of products, data and relationships to manage, the rise of sophisticated, multi layered platforms within the textiles industry is also no surprise. Increasingly, both buyers and suppliers look to inspire, manage and streamline their projects by using technology to accelerate and enrich the process.
Digital destinations such as Digifair enable access to the world’s fabrics, trades and designers, alongside a suite of bespoke business tools designed to optimise the experience. Industry professionals no longer need to spend traditional time and expense when they can create relationships, expand networks and source or supply exceptional textiles at the touch of a button.
It is clear that a singularity in textiles is happening right now; a point where the world’s buyers and suppliers genuinely converge, a point where truly innovative processes emerge. We’re working to make it happen.