WTiN opens the virtual doors to Innovate Textile & Apparel

By Fiona Haran 15 October 2020
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The textile & apparel industry’s pioneering virtual trade show, Innovate Textile & Apparel, organised by World Textile Information Network (WTiN) and sponsored by Ricoh, is going live today (09:00 UTC, 15 October) and will run until 30 October.

The Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show provides an opportunity for companies from across the globe to showcase innovation in manufacturing technology and materials, network and forge new partnerships, while respecting travel bans and safety measures brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based around technology and materials, the event has over 160 exhibitors from 26 countries. It will feature manufacturers of textile technology as diverse as manmade fibre production through to garment assembly and finishing, alongside material producers for apparel, sportswear, personal protective equipment (PPE) through to smart fabrics.

With over 10,500 visitors from 50-plus countries, the Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show allows attendees to explore two virtual halls with separate but interlinking themes: technology and materials. The Technology Hall will showcase technological innovations, textile machinery and software, whereas the Materials Hall will display innovations in fibres, yarns, fabrics and apparel.

Exhibitors' virtual booths will contain everything from videos of machines operating to fabric technical specifications, and booth visitors can make appointments or use a chat option to communicate with exhibitors. The platform will allow for lead generation and visitor insight.

Mark Jarvis, managing director, WTiN, says: “The cancellation of live exhibitions this year presents an opportunity to test the effectiveness of a virtual trade show. Visitors need to engage with the exhibitors, and exhibitors need to generate new sales opportunities. The efforts of our exhibitors to provide great content on their booth and to promote Innovate Textile & Apparel has been vital; now we all look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world over the next 15 days.”

As well as a conference and a multitude of seminars, the event will also host daily roundtable discussions with key industry figures across wide ranging topics from biodegradable materials, PPE, and sustainable finishing to reshoring, localised manufacturing and the digitalisation of the textile & apparel value chain.

The event is sponsored by global technology company Ricoh. Tetsuya Morita, corporate vice president, general manager, IP Business Group Ricoh, explains why the company chose to sponsor Innovate Textile & Apparel: “Covid-19 has severely impacted the textile industry events calendar. We all did miss Drupa in June, but now we are an active supporter of WTiN’s Innovate Textile & Apparel virtual trade show. This means Covid-19 also presented us with new opportunities. While at Ricoh we have adapted well to remote working and communicating digitally with our clients, this is our first time at an entirely virtual trade show. I hope we can fulfil the expectations of our international audience.

Platform and Engagement Points

The Innovate Textile & Apparel platform itself was designed and built by WTiN so that a customised, flexible experience can be provided to exhibitors and visitors, along with the best and most reliable technology.

The platform will be live 24/7 for the duration of the show and key aspects of the event will be available in multiple languages including Chinese, English, Japanese, Spanish and Turkish.

Among its many features, Innovate Textile & Apparel will stage a series of online roundtable discussions from industry leaders who bring an informed perspective to market developments, besides more than 100 conference presentations.  

Furthermore, visitors and exhibitors can benefit from Innovate Textile & Apparel’s Engagement Points (EP) feature – an innovative points system that rewards participants for engaging in a wide array of platform activities. Those ranking highly on the EP Leaderboard can be in with a chance of scooping one of three prize packs.

Here, Steve Ayres, WTiN’s head of content and technology, who built the platform, discusses the virtual features in more detail:


By participating in Innovate Textile & Apparel, exhibitors have recognised the value that virtual platforms can bring to the industry – especially during the current global crisis. Below is what a handful of the show’s exhibitors and partners had to say about their reasons for embracing the online format.


Every morning of Innovate Textile & Apparel, WTiN will issue a daily newsletter to keep you up to date on all the latest news from the show. Each newsletter will focus on a specific sector theme so that you can pinpoint the exhibitors within those sectors as well as the key trends and innovations.

Below are the themes to look out for each day: 

For more information please click the above link to WTiN's booth at Innovate Textile & Apparel. 

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