A new Internet site hopes to revolutionize the textiles industry by offering a single access point to a global trading tool for the buying and selling of fabrics. TextileSolutions.com ― which is backed by Arkwright Capital, Kjell Spangberg of Emerging Technology Ltd and a Swedish state pension fund ― aims to ensure faster delivery by slashing lead times by up to two weeks per order and cut transaction costs by at least 30 per cent.Worth an estimated US$115 billion in Europe alone, the textile market is highly fragmented with over 120,000 buyers and suppliers of fabrics. TextileSolutions will allow buyers to search for a specific fabric, order a sample, negotiate with the seller, place the full order and transportation and track the order to actual delivery. Fabric suppliers can promote products and negotiate with a global audience, and consolidation of trading processes obviously presents significant time and cost savings for buyers and suppliers alike.Tommy Lowback, managing director of TextileSolutions, says: “The UK textile industry is facing two key challenges: competition from the Far East and decreasing lead times to get new lines into the shops. Manufacturers need faster and faster access to fabrics from around the world. There is no standard ordering process in the UK and it’s very expensive and time-consuming for buyers and suppliers to find each other.”This view is supported by Dave Binns, head of UK sales, who adds: “You are not restricted to suppliers you know about; you can search for new ones and order samples. It gives you more options because buyers have access to a huge number of suppliers, and suppliers can offer their fabrics to buyers anywhere in the world. You can trade at any time, from anywhere and because TextileSolutions handles the entire transaction, through negotiation to payment to delivery, it’s faster, more efficient and therefore much more cost-effective.”

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