MUNICH FABRIC START Publications
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Made in Europe?! Creativity. Quality. Service – Fabric Markets in change
Dr. Walter Niedermair, Managing Director, Lanificio Moessmer, Brunico (IT)
Horst Harrer, Managing Director, Knopf-Schäfer, Aschaffenburg
Karl-Friedrich Schielmann, Product Manager Brax
Hans-Peter Hiemer, Brand Spokesman, One Touch, Wedemark
Marco Lucietti, Marketing Director, SANKO Holding - ISKO Division, Bergamo (IT)
Michael Werner, Editor-in-Chief TextilWirtschaft
“Sourcing is currently undergoing lasting change. Unfortunately, the price front is not a short-term phenomenon. There will be an end to the importing of deflation from Asia. Social aspirations, above all in China, have changed. In addition, there are less and less migrating workers and strong Chinese brands that are increasingly taking up production volumes. This can mean the end of “cheap”. On top of this are the rapidly rising costs in the procurement markets. Nevertheless, the problem is the trade with its rigid benchmark price points. This means that higher price points require more offensive marketing. The word “value” in value for money must again be placed at the forefront. Is there an alternative to China? It is difficult to cover these volumes elsewhere.”
“In September 2011, the situation with denim has eased slightly, with the result that we are optimistic. Nevertheless, the price of cotton remains difficult. As a result, we had to increase our prices 3 times during the course of the last season. Turkey could become interesting as a production location. 50% of the population are under 29 and well trained, GDP rose by 12% last year. The denim know-how must remain in Europe and must not be sold to China. The first experts from Europe are currently already being hired there.”
“We are witnessing the most extreme rises with wool (40-80%). This naturally also results in higher fabric prices. We cannot amortise this via the margins. And we must slowly get used to this trend and regard it as normal. Higher living standards in Asia as well as raw material prices will lead to a different price structure. I think it will be easier to survive in a niche, as innovation is still important there and this is the only thing that will take the industry forward, not discussions about price and costs. The price must be the consequence of quality and service. This means, the entire textile chain must change and dictation of margins by the trade must be called into question.”
“Cotton has eased. Wool is a horror. We must therefore move away from the valid price positions with wool. Trousers above 100 euros are no doubt not easy for Brax; on the other hand, the benchmark price position above 100 euros must be made suitable for volume business. The Swiss and Belgian markets are proof that this is possible. There, the products in part cost twice as much! At Brax, our plan is to increase our share in the segment above 100 euros to 10% - 15% in the coming years.“
“Ready-to-wear clothing needs more access to space. We must think vertically, but partners must be better integrated. The risk must again be better spread (preliminary stage/procurement, production and trade). We must improve when it comes to entering into partnerships and develop systems together. The trade’s buying is simply not relaxed enough. The changed starting situation must also be made clear to end consumers, because raw materials markets will continue to be affected by major fluctuations. Unfortunately, the clothing industry is always hardest hit by this. Prices in the automobile and food industries are constantly rising; it is only in fashion that prices move downwards.”
“The price development with buttons is also equally dramatic with increases of 70-80%. Prices for horn, polyester, metal, zinc and brass have all shot upwards. And unfortunately, raw materials account for 60% of the price and actual labour just 40%. We can only gain an advantage through creativity, but we are increasingly confronted with the problem of clothing manufacturers buying sample buttons from high-quality Europeans with the aim of then having these produced themselves in Asia.
Time flew by at the MUNICHFABRICSTART AUTUMN.WINTER 12/13 last week. We asked our visitors what they particularly like about the fair.
Manuel Decario: “This is my third time here now and I always liked it. I just like coming here to MUNICHFABRICSTART.”
Label Himalaya: “It’s great that this season the green areas have become even more interlinked. The parties are always super and the BLUEZONE is great.”
Grome Design: “In general terms I like this fair very much. I feel very at home here and always like coming back.”
Enela Mattu: “This fair gets better every year and is now comparable to Paris. I also go there regularly, too.”
Rainer Orlu: “The BLUEZONE looks great! But why only two days? I have been coming here for 15 years now as working here is fun. The Oktoberfest goes down very well and the fair is growing every year. Things are really happening!”
Hasso Schalt: “MUNICHFABRICSTART is very well organised and much more pleasant and friendly than the fairs in Milan or Paris. It has a good working environment, it is very relaxed and people are nice.”
Lutz Keller, Keller Consultant, Paris: “You often arrive at trade fairs very stressed and burnt out due to flight or train delays or whatever. But when you arrive here at MUNICHFABRICSTART you get such a warm reception you forget it all, feel at home and look forward to the coming days at the fair.”
Bruno Joly, Editor-in-Chief at fashionmag.com: “For me the BLUEZONE is a very good trade fair platform. Within two hours you have a good overview of the market and trends. People are very open and you get very good information.”
Berlin textile agency “Lebenskleidung” is causing a stir as the first provider of GOTS-certified silk on the market. Hitherto unique, this silk from India arose out of a cooperation with an Indian fairtrade silk cooperative.
20,000 hand weavers are involved in the project producing fabrics costing between Euro 13 and 23 per metre, available in batches starting at 50 metres. These fabrics will now be on display at MUNICHFABRICSTART.
Lebenskleidung’s entire range comprises approx. 200 GOTS-certified woven and knitted fabrics from India and Turkey. Prints are also part of the portfolio. Specialities continue to delight – like shimmering, GOTS-certified vegetable dyed tassar silk and hand-woven ahimsa silk where the silk worms are not killed before hatching. It is obvious that the four founders and owners of Lebenskleidung, Jan Holzhauer, Benjamin Itter, Christoph Malkowski and Enrico Rima, are committed to a more humane and eco-friendly textile business. And they are likely to cause more of a stir in future.