Rising global demand for luxury products is driving a new direction at the Materials, Manufacturing and Technology (MM&T) trade fair, which is launching a dedicated 'Sourcing Luxury' platform to help buyers find new top end fabrics.

The dedicated area was unveiled in Hong Kong today (28 March) and is aimed at making it easier for firms to track down suppliers of a range of leather and other luxury materials which would normally be sourced separately.

Cashmere, vicuna and pineapple and banana silk are among the fabrics being highlighted, as well as stag, ostrich, crocodile, alligator and python leather.

The trend towards luxury is seen as a direct result of the global economic slowdown, which has prompted increasing numbers of shoppers to invest in quality products that offer value for money and longevity.

"We are hoping to recruit these luxury suppliers and build up our roster of luxury exhibitors starting in 2013," explains Michael Duck, director of event organiser APLF Limited.

According to the organiser, the MM&T event has attracted 1,255 exhibitors from 50 countries, including Brazil, Italy, France, Turkey, the UK and the US. The biggest delegation, with 300 companies, is from China.