Thank you to Sourcing Journal reporter Sarah Jones for featuring brrr° Founder & CEO Mary-Cathryn Kolb in their Material Innovation 2020 report, which explores emerging trends in the textile industry!

brrrJones asked several executives from companies including The North Face, DuPont, Schoeller, Lenzing Group and brrr° to share their thoughts on what fabric innovation will look like in 2021 — especially in light of changing consumer needs and wants since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The responses were far-ranging and diverse, which was very refreshing and encouraging to see.

Textile executives touched on things as varied as the role e-textiles could play in capturing vital statistics like pulse rate and oxygen levels; advances in sustainability and traceability throughout the supply chain; and demonstrating the benefits of advanced fabrics through testing and scientific study.

Kolb said one major development she expects to see in 2021 is more demand from retailers and consumers for advanced products that do something to help people feel more comfortable. She also expects to find greater efficiencies in production and supply chains to give retailers more flexibility on order sizes as they test new products. 

“Retailers are increasingly looking for technological advances to differentiate their products and entice customers to spend, especially in the post-COVID environment,” Kolb said.

“Fabric performance is at the top of that list, and consumers are willing to pay a premium for it. We think 2021 is going to be a year of major advances in cooling technology. Finding more efficient ways to produce the yarn and fabric. Being able to make smaller and more frequent orders in a more nimble way.”

Subscribers to Sourcing Journal can download the full report here.