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Social network presence to offer Filo higher visibility
Started in 1993 in Italy, Filo is an international yarns and fibres exhibition, which organised its 50th edition in Milan in September. Its 51st edition is scheduled in February 2019. Manager Paolo Monfermoso speaks to Fibre2Fashion on the fair and its future plans.
What was the theme and focus of Filo 2018, the 50th edition?
The theme of the 50th edition of Filo was 'Routes'. In the edition that celebrated 25 years of Filo, we wanted to stress the path that had been travelled together until now and also the path expected for the future, to be in line with challenges that the textile-apparel system will have to face globally.
How many exhibitors and visitors participated in the 50th edition?
In the last edition, we registered a rise in the number of exhibitors, just as it has been for several editions. The 50th edition hosted 115 companies. The number of visitors was in line with the last editions.
However, for a B2B niche fair like Filo, absolute numbers have a relative importance. What is important-and it represents the reason for our success over time-is that Filo is the unique international fair where supply and demand of high quality for yarns intended for top-range products meet together. Quality makes the difference and makes us unique for both exhibited products and buyers.
Which geographies did the exhibitors and the visitors hail from at Filo 2018? Which new countries participated in this the recent edition?
Filo is an international fair. Exhibitors are mainly European, especially Italian, but 30 per cent of them come from non-European countries like Turkey, Japan, Egypt and China. For the first time, a delegation of Belarus exhibited its products at the 50th edition. As far as visitors are concerned, percentages are similar: 67 per cent of buyers are Italian, while 33 per cent come from European and Asian countries. Making Filo more international is one of the main goals we have pursued over the past few years and we will continue to pursue that even in the future. In carrying out this activity, we have always been supported by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and Sistema Moda Italia. Thanks to their collaboration that in each edition of Filo, we host a delegation of international buyers selected on the basis of the indications we receive from our exhibitors and from ITA offices spread worldwide. At the 50th edition, the delegation was made up of buyers from EU countries (France, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Portugal) and from the United Kingdom, Norway, Russia, Belarus, Turkey and Japan.
What was the business generated at the recently held show?
I don't have the detailed data on contracts and orders signed during the fair as Filo ended a few days ago, but I can reveal that all the exhibiting companies confirmed their satisfaction over the performance of the two-day fair, the quality and the awareness of buyers who visited the stands.
What is the USP of Filo?
Filo is a pure B2B fair within the trade fair panorama. It is the unique yarns' exhibition for weaving addressed to the top-of-the-range products. Our first watchword is exhibiting yarns of absolute excellence. The other two words that distinguish us since the very beginning are professionalism and concreteness considering that Filo is above all a business platform where supply and demand meet together. In addition, there is a huge attention for research, innovation and sustainability, along the whole textile supply chain. Our commitment to make even stronger the cooperation with ITA, Sistema Moda Italia and Milano Unica derives from awareness that today it is important to act keeping in view the supply chain.
Which natural and alternate fibres will replace cotton and man-made fibres in a big way?
Just because Filo is a fair for yarns for weaving intended for top-of-the-range, proposals of our exhibitors are mainly made of natural fibres. Blends with artificial or synthetic fibres are used for fancy yarns or to make materials even more performing. However, noble fibres are the most exhibited at Filo. Obviously, research continues and it is also possible to find hemp, bamboo or ramie's yarns at Filo.
Companies from which region are investing heavily in circular economy and sustainable manufacturing processes?
There are no substantial differences among Italian regions or European countries. All companies exhibiting at Filo use eco-friendly production processes. First of all because they are mainly European companies that are subjected to strict EU rules on this issue and on the safeguard of workers and consumers' health.
Some of our exhibitors have gone even beyond, for example, experiencing innovative and certified production processes, especially focusing on saving water, while others published an official sustainability budget together with the financial one. On the other hand, Filo has always focused on sustainability since it has become a crucial point for the success of the companies along the supply chain, driven by the needs of final consumers.
What new can be expected at Filo 2019?
In 2019 Filo will continue its path of ever-internationalisation, on the side of both exhibitors and visitors. For the 50th edition we added a foreign city, Paris, to our usual tour of presentation of the next edition in the main Italian textile districts. It was a success, much beyond our expectations. Even the presence of Filo in the trend area of Milano Unica has had interesting consequences on our fair. As far as communication is concerned, we are working to give Filo an increasingly higher visibility: its recent arrival on the main social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) is part of this strategy.
In 2019, we will continue to work on these directions and we will try to strengthen even more the relationships with ITA, Sistema Moda Italia and Milano Unica, since the success of a fair like Filo can be consolidated only through teamwork. (HO)
Published on: 22/10/2018
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.
Divisional Chief Executive
ITC's Lifestyle Retailing Business Division
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