Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of CEMATEX.
Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of CEMATEX.

In an interview prior to the commencement of ITMA 2019, Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of CEMATEX, shared his insights on the market trends and development of textile industry with CTA.

The increasing digitalization of the textile and garment supply chain and demands for sustainable manufacturing have changed the textile, garment and fashion industry. As a result, Mr Mayer observed, the industry is becoming more globalized, supply-chain based, technology-intensive and data-driven.

Innovation is crucial to the success of the textile, garment and fashion industry,” he underscored.“Adoption of new technologies for manufacturing, as well as transparency in production chain to enhance customer base are important to the success of the industry.”

The trends of shorter cycle times and stronger demand for personalization

Talking about the new market trends, he pointed out that the emergence of fast fashion has given rise to the need to shorten the production cycle times in the garment industry.

This has necessitated the need for automation and the adoption of advanced software and equipment. In this situation, fashion brands can turn around new products in fewer than six weeks from conception to shelf, and their success is forcing the rest of the fashion world to keep up.

 At the same time, the fashion industry has entered a new era of personalization. In the McKinsey’s 2018 State of Fashion report, “personalization” has been put as the number one trend for the fashion industry. Customers now can look forward to a greater variety of customized products and designs, thanks to the new materials and digital technologies.

In short, to stay competitive, he suggested “incorporating new technologies into different stages of the textile supply chain – from manufacturing, distribution to retail, as well as offering innovative and customized products at the right time and place”.

Technical textiles sector continues growing

In the interview, he also analyzed the situation of textile market in the past years. He said, while the global economy is expected to remain volatile, the textile market will continue to stay robust with growth forecasted in technical textiles sector.

According to a Transparency Market Research report, the opportunity in the global technical textiles sector was expected to be worth US$160 billion by 2018. Vast application possibilities of technical textiles have boosted the growth of the overall sector in the past few years.

Another buoyant sector, he mentioned, is the nonwovens sector, driven by demand from emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The global nonwovens market, which reached US$44.37 billion in 2017, is expected to reach US$98.78 billion by 2026, as stated by ResearchAndMarkets.com.

It is driven by a growing demand for nonwovens fabrics for the hygiene, medical, building, roofing, automotive, agriculture and filtration segments.

At the same time, more and more manufacturers are aware of the growing business opportunities in the emerging textile markets. He indicated that the textile machinery manufacturers are particularly interested in Africa, and Central and South America, as well as seeing developments in Uzbekistan.

One of the more interesting markets in Africa is Ethiopia, where brands such as PVH and H&M have made investments. Some Chinese and Indian textile manufacturers have also started operations there,” he added.

Making collaborations to support sustainable development

Commenting on the unstable political environment nowadays, he agreed that, in a globalized world, regional policies, trade pacts and disputes certainly have a direct impact on all businesses, including textile manufacturers and machinery suppliers.

Due to challenges in global textile sourcing, manufacturing and trading, textile and garment manufacturers will need to have more extensive integrations and collaborations, both vertically and horizontally, in order to increase their stability and sustainability in supply chain management,” he advised.