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Middle Eastern Sustainable Materials Exhibited At London's Source Fashion

The Source Fashion trade show, which took place from February 12–14 at the Olympia London exhibition hall, brought together manufacturers, fabric producers, and technology suppliers from all over the world.

Arab News met with Turkish exhibitors, many of whom were attempting to aid fellow countrymen who were suffering in the wake of the tragic earthquake. Faruk Hamud, CEO of DH Group, stated that his firm has formed a special unit to provide polar fleece blankets. Whereas Umut Akar from Filteks Moda revealed that business had been suspended for two weeks while employees assisted in preparing hot meals and provided refuge to the homeless within the plant.

Hyve Group's Source Fashion program brings together prominent retailers, brands, and designers seeking to source innovative items in a responsible and sustainable manner with producers from important global sourcing locations.

Serkan Yarar, Director of Y&B Group Textile A.S., spoke with Arab News and demonstrated his company's extraordinary new fabric, which has the look and feel of leather but is really made of tea. In partnership, the leading producer of tea in Turkey, Aykur Company, supplied a dried form of the tea plant directly from its facilities to Y&B. The "leather" is then created by combining the tea, cotton, and biopeel, with tea making about 60% of the final product.

Yarar remarked that "major companies are seeking sustainable new materials and several have vowed that by 2025 or 2026 they would not use any synthetic fibers or fabrics" and added that "we are giving samples to all of our clients and they are very excited."

Akar from Filteks Moda said, “We are looking at green washing not real sustainability. There is no sustainability at all until we get rid of synthetic fibres.” He warned against the fashion sector making exaggerated promises about sustainability. He added, “We sold 800,000 interlock pieces last season: T-shirts, pants and shorts,” pointing out that interlock fabrics are now in high demand because they are soft, firm, and absorbent, making them perfect for athletic wear. He also said that all materials at Filtex Moda are made in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines. "We wanted to have this" he explained, because of the likely introduction of carbon emission levies in the US and Europe in 2025.

Ahmet Kondur, the founder and CEO of Sheima Lingerie, said that starting in 2024, all of the factory's energy requirements will be fulfilled by solar energy. Customers from the Gulf area are said to desire more "complex, intricate things," according to the firm that conducts significant business with the Middle East.

Even though AW23 is done, Source Fashion will be visiting Olympia again in July. 

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