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ETHICAL FASHION FORUM: in Hong Kong for Interstoff

Last week the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) went to Hong Kong to visit the Interstoff trade fair, a textiles sourcing trade show which exhibits suppliers predominantly from Asian countries such as China and Korea.

 Picture of Hong Kong (air view)

Interstoff Hong Kong is one of Messe Frankfurt’s major exhibitions within its ‘Textile Fairs Worldwide’ portfolio, which also includes among many others, key trade shows TexWorld Paris and Intertextile Beijing.

“Messe Frankfurt positions its textile trade fairs worldwide and occupies markets of decisive strategic significance. Around 30 events in Europe, Asia and America every year form the global links between trade and industry.”

 sourcing image, samples seen at Interstoff textile fair

[Messe Frankfurt website] 

 The EFF @ Interstoff


 The EFF held a seminar on ‘Eco Fashion Leaders and Pioneers’ lead by our Director Tamsin Lejeune. The seminar discussed best practice amongst brands, from new up-and-coming designers, (for example our INNOVATION winners) to the biggest luxury brands and retailers. The focus was on practices these brands were undertaking that support greater sustainability in the fashion industry.

 Why is Interstoff a key trade show? Interstoff brand

As one of the Messe Frankfurt trade shows it has considerable global links and a reputable standing in the fashion industry.

Interstoff markets itself as a trade show that is ‘The Home of Cutting Edge Textiles.’ Its use of ethical suppliers allows an innovative dimension to the provision it offers to buyers and retailers. This year at Interstoff Hong Kong, 44 ‘Eco suppliers’ exhibited; this represented 44% of all suppliers.


Ethical                   44%Functional              17%Taiwanese suppliers  6%Chinese suppliers     35%Japanese                5%Korea                          21%


Interstoff’s Parisian counterpart TexWorld, held in September this year exhibited 102 ‘eco suppliers’ as it sought to meet the anticipated surge in demand for ethical fashion, as reported by EcoTextile News in this report.‘Eco Supplier’

To explain the ‘eco supplier’ label, Messe Frankfurt uses a categorisation system using four different labels. To read more on their ‘Eco-textile labelling guide’booklet click here (originally published October 2008).

In summary:

The Green Label – raw materials focus- which includes certified organic, natural fibres, biodegradable fibres, recycled fibres etc.The Brown Label – fair trade, CSR certifications or reporting standards.

The Blue Label- fabrics manufactured by optimised dying and finishing processes.

The Silver Label- where items meet criteria in Green, Brown and Blue label groups.Interstoff is now forging a reputation for itself as a place to go for sourcing ethically as it increasingly introduces, supports and promotes sustainable suppliers. The ‘eco supplier’ sections within both TexWorld and Interstoff are noticeably expanding. As EFF Director Tamsin Lejeune acknowledges with reference to the Interstoff textile fair:

“Eco is growing faster than functional in terms of exhibitors”

If you wish to know more about sourcing ethically, attend our Global Sourcing Marketplace event.

Global sourcing marketplace image, stack of fabrics

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