The Textile Forum is one of a handful of London textile fairs. A luxury fabric trade show and a widely attended event, this year’s show will be held on 9th and 10th March 2016 at its central London venue, and, as always, will host a fantastic collection of stock and forward-order fabrics from various fabric houses – including Offset Warehouse!
Ethical production has seen a phenomenal rise in the last decade – it’s truly remarkable. As if from nowhere, the market in 2015 was suddenly worth £38 billion! Offset Warehouse is one of the major ethical fabric companies facilitating this shift. We’ve developed a range of the most beautiful organic, hand-crafted and fairly-sourced fabrics, trims and threads from across the globe. Eco fashion shouldn’t be dull, limited and itchy – and it’s far from it! It’s fashion-forward, exciting and surprisingly well-priced – commanding a market which is a staggering 25 times bigger than 15 years ago.
We’re already gearing up for the show this year, and you should be attending it too. Find out more details about the venue and timing here.
If you’re not sure about trade shows, they are a great place to visit for both existing and emerging designers. Here is how you can benefit from them.
Why it is good to go to trade shows?
Trade shows offer budding designers valuable networking opportunities and exposure. Whether you are looking to sell your designs or buy, this is the best avenue to build contacts in the industry. At trade shows, designers can learn about new fabric trends and products, and get a jump on what’s trending for the upcoming season.
Many trade shows also offer educational seminars and workshops, by top names in the industry. So, it is a place where you will find enough inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.
What will be on our stall at the Textile Forum?
I’m most excited to showcase our fabrics crafted from new and unusual materials. Not many people are aware that bamboo, soy, hemp, jute, recycled plastic bottles (RPet) – and even banana plants can be used to make beautiful textiles. It’s a really exciting time to be in the industry and we’ve been blown away by the interest in these fabrics.
What’s so special about these new eco fibres?
In the case of our banana fabrics for example, a whole new sustainable and eco industry has been created from a by-product – the banana stalk – in a vertically integrated factory. The bananas are grown in fields behind the factory. The fruit is harvested and the waste product processed and eventually woven into a beautiful fabric, all on the same site.
One of the main advantages of these new industries is that they provide a living wage for the people who work in them, and that’s very important to us at Offset Warehouse. We try to ensure that everything we sell has been manufactured in a fair, honest and sustainable way.
What are eco fabrics like and what can they be used for?
From extremely fine, untreated, silk chiffons, to heavyweight, hemp canvas, we sell a huge range of ethical textiles in a variety of weights and colours, suitable for all types of applications. Some of our most popular lines are our banana and recycled polyester. Our banana fabric is constructed from thicker yarns and so has a more substantial weight and slubbier texture. It’s ideal for heavier garments, such as jackets and trousers, and also soft furnishings.
This year, we will be featuring the following interesting ethical products:
Banana Fabric: This eco-friendly handmade fabric is made of fibres derived from leftover banana stems. The material is thick, durable and bio-degradable, and can be used in both furnishings and fashion. Find out more about it here.
Recycled polyester: This “green version” of polyester is made by recycling PET bottles into fibres. It is a high-quality fabric, being lightweight, durable and hard-wearing. The best thing about recycled polyester is that it can be recycled any number of times to create newer garments, making it a minimum-wastage product. Find out more about it here.
Tencel: One of the most planet-friendly fabrics, Tencel is soft and wrinkle-resistant. It is made from wood cellulose. The fabric drapes beautifully, is versatile and easy to maintain. Being bio-degradable and strong, apart from beautiful, Tencel is attractive for several reasons. Find out more about it here.