Today, while cleaning out an overstuffed shelf, I came across an old issue of Textile Insight Magazine dated November/December 2009. Thumbing through it, I started to read an article called "10 Top Trends Worth Watching in the Year Ahead". Focusing on the textile industry, the staff compiled a list of what they thought would be trends in a variety of segments from "consumer confidence to trade show turbulence". Now, almost a year later, I thought it would be interesting to list these predictions and ask if and how they apply to your business.
#1. Business: Flexibility in Uncertain Times ~ Fabric is ordered closer to the necessary delivery and in smaller runs.
#2. Trade: What Impact China ~ Increased price consciousness drives sales in China.
#3. Retail and Apparel: A Changing Terrain ~ Price, performance, are no longer the only factors in retail purchasing. Enter the Conscious Consumer who also takes into account various environmental, ethical, social, and political factors.
#4. Production: Keeping U.S. Manufacturing Alive ~ Closer-to-home manufacturing offers lower transportation footprint, quick turn around, and local social and economic benefits.
#5. Consumer: What Do Shoppers Want? ~ Trends in fabric include soft to the touch, comfort, and drape. Spandex for shaping is also popping up everywhere. Other trends of note are are lightweight and layered fabrics.
#6. Textile Shows: Shake Out and Survival of the Fittest ~ While attendance and participation were down in 2009, the outlook is good for 2010. Well seasoned shows will be successful while smaller, not as well known shows will fall to the wayside. Co-locating between various shows will be a trend.
#7. Research: Front and Back Burner? ~ Even in tough economic times, textile companies will continue to focus on research and development; focusing on innovation and product development.
#8. Sustainability: A World-Wide Effort ~ The will be a growing understanding and desire to create sustainable textile products on a global scale.
#9. Education: Universities Play major Role ~ Universities will play an active role in innovative textile research.
#10. Design: Technical Simplicity ~ Eliminating the "noise" and letting the product be king is a strong trend in textiles and apparel.
So, there you go. A list of what was expected to drive the industry in 2010. Well, how, if at all, did these projected trends apply to your business? Do tell.