A new sustainability zone will debut at Intertextile's Shanghai Apparel Fabrics show next month - underscoring the fair's eco-focus and rising demand for environmentally-friendly materials.

Recycling is the main theme of the 'All about Sustainability' zone, which Wendy Wen, senior general manager of fair organiser Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, believes will resonate strongly with domestic buyers.

"The issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly important for Chinese consumers as they become more conscious of environmental protection," she said. "This zone, therefore, provides new opportunities for overseas companies that have strong environmental credentials to enter the Chinese market as this trend begins to take off."

Exhibits and displays will also feature some of the world's leading companies in the field of sustainability, including outdoor clothing supplier Patagonia, which uses Repreve recycled fibres from Unifi.

Swedish fashion retailer H&M, meanwhile, will showcase its Conscious collection and Conscious exclusive party wear line - both of which feature garments made from organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel.

Hong Kong-based NGO Redress will highlight its efforts to promote environmental sustainability in Asia's fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, and water and energy consumption, while the Crystal Group will demonstrate its eco-friendly jeans production processes, including laser and ozone bleaching, and denim waste usage.

The latest industry technology will also be on show in the Innotex Space, which is jointly organised by the Department of Science and Technology Development of China National Textile & Apparel Council (CNTAC) and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel (HKRITA).

HKRITA will highlight Nu-Torque cotton yarn production technology, a fabric touch tester, high-performance running and cycling wear, CAD technologies, and melt spinning-produced shape-memory fibre.

CNTAC will present new textile processing technology, eco-textile dyeing and finishing technology, energy-saving textile production technology and a range of cutting-edge materials.

As well as the 'All about Sustainability' zone, the Planet Textiles Conference also runs concurrently with the fair, and features speakers from Europe, the US and Asia.

The Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics China International Trade Fair for apparel fabrics and accessories will take place on 21-24 October at the New International Expo Centre, Shanghai. Click here for more details.