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Functional Fabric Fair Boasts Largest Edition In Its History

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor
Functional Fabric Fair Boasts Largest Edition In Its History

PORTLAND, Ore. — The latest edition of Functional Fabric Fair, held Nov. 1-2 at the Oregon Convention Center, was the trade show’s most successful edition yet, with more than 265 suppliers and 2,000 industry professionals packing the floor for two days.

The trade show, which is powered by PERFORMANCE DAYS®, is the premier sourcing event for the functional fabrics industry in the U.S. and showcases the latest textile development trends for the apparel industry.

This year’s theme was “Evolution and Revolution: From Membranes to the Carbon Story,” mirroring the significant role PERFORMANCE DAYS® and the Functional Fabric Fair have played in educating the textile industry about environmental impact. For example, all exhibitor booths and other elements of the fair were constructed from 100% recycled materials, resulting in a 0% carbon footprint for the show floor.

“Functional Fabric Fair has experienced a notable increase in attendee numbers, with a surge of over 30%,” Steve McCullough, Event Director of Functional Fabric Fair, said. “Post-show surveys, including historic Net Promoter Scores from participants, confirm Functional Fabric Fair’s status as a key gathering hub for the industry. This accomplishment emphasizes the event’s role in bringing together industry professionals and establishes it as a cornerstone for networking, innovation and collaboration.”

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Two notable additions to the show were the Innovation Sphere — a dedicated area where the industry’s top companies could show off the latest innovations — and the Footwear Forum, where leading footwear suppliers showcased their top-performing footwear textiles and accessories. The educational program included 17 sessions on topics ranging from material trends to sustainability to business development.

There are many changes in store for 2024, including a strategic expansion in which the event will diversify into new categories beyond apparel to consist of footwear, bags and tents, reflecting the show’s commitment to encompassing the broader spectrum of functional fabrics and accommodating the industry’s evolving needs.

“Participants can also anticipate dedicated areas on the event floor specifically designed to spotlight innovations,” McCullough said. “These spaces aim to provide a platform for industry innovators, allowing them to showcase their latest developments. By facilitating this showcase, Functional Fabric Fair is dedicated to propelling the industry forward and ensuring that attendees gain valuable insights into the cutting-edge advancements shaping the future of functional fabrics.”

Reach Steve McCullough at Stephen.McCullough@rxglobal.com

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