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Survey of the European yarn fairs for autumn/winter 2023/24
published in Issue 215, October 2022
The European yarn fairs for the autumn/winter 2023/24 season were held in a hesitant spirit, reflecting economic uncertainties affecting the whole of the textile and clothing industry. The industry has faced persistent disruptions to supply chains caused by lockdowns imposed in major textile and clothing producing countries in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has introduced additional challenges—including difficulties in procuring raw materials and sharp increases in fuel and energy costs. At the same time, calls for the European textile and clothing industry to take action to reduce the damaging impact of its operations on the environment have intensified. It was evident at the European yarn fairs that many exhibitors had acknowledged these calls in the development of their product ranges. Many had turned to using recycled waste materials, such as post-consumer waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles in a bid to improve their sustainability credentials. However, claims made about the environmental sustainability of such materials faced some challenges, given that synthetic fibres are known to be a cause of microplastics pollution. Meanwhile, some exhibitors had implemented strategies aimed at reducing energy and water consumption and others had replaced materials derived from petroleum with natural materials. Yarns made from natural fibres, including merino wool and rare varieties of cotton, were especially popular. In terms of colour, yarns at the fairs were rich and earthy—although there were some exceptions to this trend—and grey was prominent.
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