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Finding new Suppliers: The Importance of Fashion Exhibitions

Fashion Exhibitions

Fabrics, Trims & Findings: It’s Sourcing Time!

First stop: Choosing Fabrics! The fabric may represent 70% or more of your garment! Choose Fabric Wisely 🙂

If you are new to this industry and you would like to get your sourcing done all at once, participating in a fair is a great option. There are many different trade shows relating to textiles and fabrics, in terms of the assortment of suppliers (fabrics, trims, origin, etc), organization, internal structure, and more.

There are Trade Shows that have suppliers specialized in just a type of fabric, while other trade shows have many different sourcing areas and allow you to find any kind of suppliers for not only fabrics but also, buttons, ribbons, tags.  Some fairs just accept providers originally from a continent and others which have a worldwide assortment.

In fewer words, there is a trade show for every need!

In case you still have not decided what raw materials to use for your upcoming collection, our suggestion is to attend a fair that hosts all sorts of providers. In this way, you can have a taste of everything and make sure you are evaluating all your possibilities. Otherwise, if you are already very clear on what you are looking for you can opt for a specific trade show and just find the perfect match for you.

Selecting the perfect fabric/trim provider is very important, so make sure you do not underestimate this key passage. Having trusted providers that you can trust and build a pluriannual collaboration with them is a real game-changer and will help your brand grow strong.

Main Fabric Trade Shows

Fabric Rolls

Check the list below with the main trade shows to which participate in to find the perfect fabric/trim supplier

We understand that visiting a Trade Show is a huge investment of money, considering the time, flight tickets, accommodation, fair entry, and more, especially if you are a small new brand trying to take off.

This is why in case you would like our specialized Sourcing team to take care of this for you, we will be happy to support you. Our Team participates in the main events around the world to find the newest textiles and trims.

Contact Us Today

How to face the fair and not get lost among buttons and ribbons?

Ribbons Exhibition

Attending to sourcing fairs for the first time can be overwhelming. Here some little UrthTips to make sure you’ll have found all that you were looking for at the show ends and succeed in your mission.

BEFORE THE FAIR

  • Check the fair website and really understand what is its purpose
    • When and where is the fair held?
    • What items will you be able to find?
    • Which providers are participating (Where are they from? How big they are? etc)?
  • Organize your trip with advance to avoid unforeseen events during your stay and dedicate all your time to the trade show!
  • Study and select in advance your preferred providers (basing your research on the past edition participants)
  • Contact the selected providers 3-4 weeks before the beginning of the fair, introducing yourself, explaining what are you looking for and maybe schedule a meeting during the trade show.
    • In this way, the provider can prepare you a special assortment based on your needs and you do not lose time during the event.

DURING THE FAIR

  • Wear comfortable shoes because you will never stop walking around!
  • Essential tools/materials you need to have at the show
    • Your brand business card with all your contact information (name, email, telephone number, shipping address, website, extra)
    • Lookbook or any other material on your collection to help the provider understand what you are looking for to achieve – in case you haven’t emailed it already
    • Notebook + Pen + Staple + Scissor
    • Binder with plastic bags to gather all providers’ materials (Try to be organized when inserting the material  _ this will save you a lot of time after the fair!)
  • Keep an eye on the watch and stay on schedule.
  • Walk row by row, section by section, and floor by floor. You do not want to miss anything!

AFTER THE FAIR

  • Re-organize all material collected during the fair. You can find our suggestions below:
    • Put all materials from a singular provider in one plastic bag
    • All providers supplying the same article should be put placed close – for easy comparison.
  • 5-7 days after the fair end, contact the providers that you met to make sure they are preparing the assortment of selected samples.
  • Follow up with them regularly!
  • Not all providers will cover the shipping costs, so make sure you have a shipping account. Otherwise, the supplier will just bill you the shipping amount and you can pay it by bank transfer.
  • Once received all materials, have fun selecting your preferred ones.
  • You are finally ready to proceed with sampling/producing.

Manufacturing Partners and where to find them

Garment Factory

Once your collection ideation, sourcing, and strategy are defined you will need to face another big question mark. Who will manufacture my collection and help me get to market fast and with quality products?

Selecting a manufacturer partner is very delicate and a key moment, that will really make a difference and will certainly affect your success or your failure.

Garment manufacturer specialized fairs are fewer in respect to the raw materials sourcing oriented ones. This is why often happens that big trade shows have several sections, including sourcing and manufacturing. The majority of them take place in Asia.

Check the list below with the main exhibition to which participate in to find the perfect manufacturer

How to make sure you return home with a trusted manufacturing team?

Trusted Supplier

How to find the perfect Manufacturing partner at fairs?

Here some little UrthTips to make sure you’ll have found all that you were looking for at the fair end and succeed in your mission.

BEFORE THE FAIR

  • Check the fair website and really understand what is its purpose
    • When and where is the fair held?
    • What manufacturing services will you find?
    • Which providers are attending (Where are they from? How big they are? etc)?
  • Organize your trip with advance to avoid unforeseen events during your stay and dedicate all your time to the fair!
  • Study and select in advance your preferred manufacturers (basing your research on the past edition participants)
  • Contact the selected companies 3-4 weeks before the beginning of the show, introducing yourself, explaining what are you looking for and maybe schedule a meeting during the fair.
    • In this way, the provider can prepare you a special assortment of past produced items, based on your needs.

DURING THE FAIR

  • Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking a lot!
  • Essential tools/materials you need to have at the show
    • Your brand business card with all your contact information (name, email, telephone number, shipping address, website, extra)
    • Lookbook or any other material on your collection to help the supplier understand what you are aiming to achieve.
    • Notebook + Pen + Staple + Scissor
    • Binder with plastic bags to gather all manufacturer materials (Try to be organized when inserting the documents  _ this will save you a lot of time after the fair!)
  • Keep an eye on the watch and stay on schedule.

AFTER THE FAIR

  • Re-organize all material collected during the fair. Below are our suggestions:
    • Put all materials from a singular manufacturer in one plastic bag
    • All possible manufacturers supplying the same service should be put placed close – for easy comparison.
  • In case a supplier is meant to send you samples, 5-6 days after the fair end, contact them and make sure they have all your information and are preparing your package.
  • Follow up with them regularly!
  • Not all suppliers will cover the shipping costs, so make sure you have a shipping account. Otherwise, the supplier will just bill you the shipping amount and you can pay it by bank transfer.
  • Once received all materials, have fun selecting and comparing them.
  • Once selected your preferred future partner you’ll be finally ready to proceed sampling/producing with them.

Finding the perfect supplier can be really challenging. We suggest you check our Manufacturing section, in which we explain how our production process works. Maybe this will help you get a little bit more prepared for your next meeting!

Wholesales & Retails: Buyers and Designers, check this out!

Retail Exhibition

Whether you are a Designer or a Buyer you’ll probably want to check out the list below, in which we have inserted the best shows to attend.

Check the website of each one of them and select the ones that would suit your needs at best!

If you have participated in one of the trade shows enlisted above and you want to share your thoughts/feedback with us, contact us here.

Also, if there are other fairs you want to suggest, do not hesitate to contact us.

How to face the fair? Best UrthTips

Fabric Fair

In this section, you can find UrthTips to make sure your participation in the fair is profitable. If it is the first time you participate, both as a buyer or as an exhibitor,  I strongly recommend you read through it.

If you are an exhibition DESIGNER:

  • Contact the shows’ organizers and gather as many info as possible such as
    • The type of buyers participating
    • The target price you need to achieve
    • How many competitors you have? – Who are your competitors?
    • Historical data from past editions
    • Any further info they can share with you / further guidance?
  • Make sure you have some visual material (the lookbook, or the line sheet, or the website, etc) to show to the fair representative.
    • Having this type of material will improve your presentation and, for this reason, the sales representative will be more willing to help you.
  • Organize your trip in advance and make sure you ship your collection on time (in case you are not taking it with you in a BIG suitcase – new, small brands normally do so!)
  • Find accommodation located nearby the show venue.
  • Do not underestimate the building up time: it is always time-consuming!
  • Try to be in two at the stand. In this way, you can do shifts, keep yourselves company and make sure you are not losing a possible buyer because you are alone and already talking to someone else.
  • Must have material at the show:
    • Your complete collection (All styles, in all colors, in FSR, would be ideal. If this is not possible just try to take with you a complete and cohesive assortment).
    • LookBook, line sheet, and price list
    • Business cards
    • Sales orders receipt book
    • Take-away gifts, buyers love them! So, if you have the time and finance to prepare something cute and related to your collection, it would be ideal!
    • General office stationery (notebook, binder, pens, staple, tape, scissors, etc)
  • When no buyers are at your stand do not sit and do nothing, or worse, play with your phone. Be proactive and try to attract new buyers! It is fundamental you make the most of your stay there!

If you are a BUYER: 

  • Contact the shows’ organizers and gather as many info as possible such as
    • The brands participating
    • The target price of the exhibitors attending the show
    • Which are the other buyers attending?
    • Historical data from past editions
    • Any further info they can share with you / further guidance?
  • Organize your trip in advance
  • Arrive at the trade show with very clear ideas of what you are looking for – this will vertiginously increase your productivity at the fair!
  • Must have material at the show:
    • Business cards
    • Purchase orders receipt book
    • General office stationery (notebook, binder, pens, staple, tape, scissors, etc)

Finally ready? Smile and good luck 🙂

Contact Us here for further Consulting!

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