FESPA announced the expansion of its textile portfolio with the launch of Sportswear Pro, a new exhibition dedicated exclusively to sportswear manufacturing. The first event will run alongside the flagship FESPA Global Print Expo 2020, from 24 to 27 March at IFEMA, Madrid, Spain.
With a focus on the latest technologies in on-demand and customised sportswear production, Sportswear Pro will bring together suppliers of solutions for three key areas of sportswear manufacture: design (CAD/CAM and 3D body scanning); production (CMT [‘cut, make and trim’], bonding and knitting) and decoration (printing, engraving, embroidery and laser appliqué systems), as well as developers of accessories, smart textiles and printed electronics.
Visitors to Sportswear Pro will be business decision-makers seeking the latest technological innovations as a means to streamline production processes, reduce inventory and waste, and enable on-demand and just-in-time production in response to shortening fashion cycles. In addition to the exhibition, the new event will feature a dedicated conference programme reflecting the business priorities of sportswear manufacturers and designers, such as sustainability and automation.
Michael Ryan, Event Manager for Sportswear Pro at FESPA, explains the rationale for this addition to the global FESPA event portfolio: “Our core FESPA community is heavily engaged in the production of sports apparel, with 80% of textile printers active in this dynamic segment, according to our 2018 FESPA Print Census. But what is clear is that, despite 7% growth in 2018, sportswear producers are not currently served by an event focused on how to optimise their processes and meet the global trends of customisation and speed to market.”
“We believe that FESPA, having established a commanding position as a leading European exhibition for textile and garment printing including direct-to-garment, can deliver an event that informs, educate and inspires sportswear designers and manufacturers with the opportunities being enabled by technology and materials innovation.”
With Southern Europe and North Africa being key regions for the design and production of fashion and textile goods, Feria de Madrid provides an ideal location for the first edition of Sportswear Pro, enabling easy access for decision-makers from Spain, Portugal, France and countries such as Tunisia and Morocco. The Spanish capital is also readily accessible for visitors from other major garment manufacturing centres.
The co-location of Sportswear Pro with FESPA Global Print Expo 2020 allows visitors to move seamlessly between the two events, taking advantage of the array of screen and digital printing exhibits within the FESPA textile halls, and also providing access to the Print Make Wear educational feature. This takes the form of a fast fashion factory, demonstrating a range of garment manufacturing technologies through guided tours, expert chats and catwalk displays.
FESPA CEO Neil Felton concludes: “FESPA’s long heritage in screen and digital printing gives us deep roots in the garment production sector, while recent insights show clearly that sports and active wear is one of the most dynamic segments of this industry. We’re confident that the introduction of Sportswear Pro will add value to our established community, while supporting a wider audience to evolve their manufacturing businesses for a fast-changing market.”