First ATS in Berlin gets mixed reactions from organisers and exhibitors
From 11-13 September, a new textile trade show opened its doors at Estrel Berlin hotel and congress centre in Germany. The organisers behind Apparel Textile Sourcing Germany were satisfied with the first German edition, whilst exhibitors would have liked to see more footfall.
The ATS sees itself as a link between the apparel industry and the entire global supply chain. After hosting fairs in Toronto and Miami, this was the first step towards establishing a new permanent location for the trade fair in Berlin.
“There are many fashion trade fairs for wholesalers and retailers. In Berlin there was a gap for an event catering for companies of all sizes, including micro-brands and small fashion labels," said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP Communications.
200 exhibitors, around 1,000 visitors and over 20 speakers from both Germany and abroad joined the event over the three day period. The list of manufacturers, many of them coming from China, Bangladesh and Mauritius, presented fabrics, performance clothing, home textiles, leather, natural and synthetic fibers, ready-to-wear and fashion accessories.
In an interview with FashionNetwork.com, ATSG manager Sal Khokha explained what makes the Berlin event different from its international counterparts: “The theme of the fair is sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It’s about the environmental footprint of companies and their ethical standards. We believe these values are particularly important to German buyers.”
The China Textile Brand Show (Berlin) sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) was held in parallel with ATS. Over 150 Chinese manufacturers presented their collections to German and European buyers, and a group of Chinese government official and international delegates participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Visitors could also benefit from a content programme that featured over 20 seminars and a series of runway shows by Berlin brands including Damur, Danny Reinke, Aline Celi, Yoona Tech and as well as thirteen Asian brands.
“The number of visitors was restrained - and so was feedback from our exhibitors. But the people who did attend showed interest. On the first day there was very little going on, while the second day was stronger thanks to the fashion shows, seminars and speakers,” Khokha concluded.
On the last day of the event, exhibitors also said the number of visitors was too low.
Jannatun Naem, head of design at Silver Line Group, said: “We are from Bangladesh and are exhibiting for the first time in Europe. Unfortunately, there were fewer customers than expected. We had four or five buyers who were very interested in our fabrics.”
F.M. Zaman, deputy managing director of Bangladesh's Fakir Knitwears, had a similar response. “Our experience over the past three days was below our expectations in terms of visitor numbers. I think [organisers] should have done more to advertise the fair. Of course, coming from Bangladesh we expected more.”
Sal Khokha said the fair wants to stay in Germany for the long term, and that it needs to build its reputation first. “I think the fashion shows, exhibitor line-up and especially the speakers have been a great success and we are looking forward to coming back next year. We would also like to collaborate with fashion schools and give students the opportunity to showcase at the fashion show and attend seminars.”
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