The 35th IAF World Fashion Convention

12. November 2019 – 13. November 2019 all-day

The 35th IAF World Fashion Convention will be held in Lahore, Pakistan on November 12 -13, 2019

During a press conference at the TEXPO Fair in Lahore, Pakistan on April 12th, The International Apparel Federation (IAF) and Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) announced the holding of 35th World Fashion Convention in Lahore on November 12th and 13th.

This convention is a unique fashion industry event bringing the topics that matter and the speakers that count together with both sizeable parts of the supply and demand side of the fashion industry. Every year, the quality of the speakers is high, featuring a mix of c-level speakers from brands, retailers, manufacturers and associations and top class suppliers to the industry. Previous speakers came from PVH, H&M, Hugo Boss, Desigual, Disney, VF, Zegna, Esquel and Escada, as well as McKinsey, BCG, the ILO, the World Bank and the OECD. The Convention is held at a different location every year (Istanbul, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Porto and Maastricht in the previous years). It draws on average 300 delegates usually coming from over 20 countries.

The IAF Board of Directors has chosen Pakistan as the 2019 host of the 35th IAF World Fashion Convention because it has significant textile and apparel industries, because the potential for further growth is large and because our Pakistani member association, PRGMEA has been considered an active and capable partner.

The theme of the 35th edition of the IAF Convention is ‘Let’s Grow Together for a More Prosperous and Sustainable Future’. The IAF is a global platform, uniting apparel buyers with manufacturers. This crucial relationship will be at the heart of the conference, as we focus on global collaboration to create stronger, smarter and more sustainable supply chains. We will cover a broad range of crucial apparel industry issues, including trade and investment policies, new business, digitization of the industry, raw material innovation and retail developments.

The Government of Pakistan has assured full support for convening this event in Pakistan. Mr. Razzak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Industry has welcomed holding of this event and has assured full support and cooperation from the Government of Pakistan.

The IAF’s 35th World Fashion Convention will be organised together with IAF member PRGMEA (Pakistan Readymade Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) on November 12th and 13th 2019 in Lahore, Pakistan. IAF and PRGMEA have chosen the theme ‘Building Competitive Supply Chains Together’. New technology is changing the industry, but often it only works if several players in the supply chain are collaborating to implement the technology. In this Convention, brands, retailers and manufacturers from the fashion industry are gathering in a country that is one of the world’s main suppliers of garments to discuss in detail how we can all collaborate to build the most competitive supply chains.

The Convention: a major international event

In Lahore, the IAF Convention will therefore be a major international event, bringing together some of the best and biggest companies making up Pakistan’s strong apparel industry, including many world class manufacturers. In addition to this national group of Convention delegates, international visitors, often industry leaders from over 20 different countries from all continents will join.

IAF Conventions are traditionally a mix of gathering insights at the conference and extending one’s network at the social events and this Convention in Lahore will be no exception. The IAF Golf Tournament, a festive fashion dinner and a facultative study tour will be part of the program.

22nd European Forum on Eco-innovation: Closing the Loop – delivering circularity in the textiles sector

Well-established evidence suggests that the textile industry in Europe has a high environmental footprint. It is a large economic sector, with an annual turnover of EUR 181 billion, which puts great pressure on the use of resources (water, energy and raw materials) with negative consequences for the environment. While the EU applies strict environmental and social regulations, unsustainable productions, wasteful consumer behaviour, and linear disposal methods, such as the low level of recycling and reuse, are all part of the problem. It has been estimated that on average and worldwide one truck full of textile waste is incinerated or landfilled every second (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). This indicates that in the textile industry and in textile consumption there lies considerable potential for innovation and numerous business opportunities.

The industry has started to change. Many companies are transforming themselves through designing/thinking their products, production methods, business models and end-of-life practices to better deal with environmental and social challenges. However, the change is uneven across companies, geographic locations and sub-sectors, and the potential for new opportunities remains large.

Existing European and domestic policies on the circular economy and innovation have already started to address the transition in a series of sectors. Governments, together with the European institutions need to continue their drive in the coming years and focus on barriers that are specific to the textile sector. Accompanying the textiles industry in the transformation would bring huge sustainability benefits while making significant positive economic contributions as well.

Networking and exploring new business opportunities

This IAF Convention offers a unique opportunity to visit and discover a very important and sometimes underestimated apparel production country. It enables participants to efficiently meet (potential) business partners at a high level event in a safe environment. For anybody already doing business in Pakistan or exploring to start to do so, we highly recommend you to join us, November 12th and 13th in Lahore.

Travelogue Matthijs Crietee

‘I visited Lahore Pakistan April 8th-12th to prepare for the 35th IAF World Fashion Convention there in Lahore. IAF’s Pakistani member association the Pakistan Ready Made Garment and Exporters Manufacturers Association (PRGMEA) was a great host and we were able to cover a lot of ground together, creating a strong conference program under the theme ‘Let’s Grow Together for a More Prosperous and Sustainable Future.’ In the coming weeks we will invite and secure our speakers and sponsors and we aim to open the registration for international delegates in May. Most likely, the Convention will be held at the Pearl Continental hotel, in which I stayed and which was excellent, with truly outstanding conference rooms and foyer.

At the same time, I visited the Texpo Fair, which was also held in Lahore and which brought together hundreds of apparel and textiles people from all over the world. The Texpo Fair was a success; it was very well organized and the fair buzz was there. The highlight was a formal dinner in the gardens of (Punjab) Governer’s House, with an opening speech by the President of Pakistan, Mr. Arif Alvi.

Naturally, safety is an issue that cannot be ignored when organizing a convention in Pakistan and the decision to come to Pakistan was never taken lightly. Undoubtedly, Pakistan has made big progress in bringing terrorism under control, particularly in the eastern province of Punjab. And,understandably, the reputation of the country does not improve as fast as the actual safety situation. The concept of the IAF convention is to travel the world and to give member associations, particularly of the main apparel countries in the world, the chance to host an IAF Convention. Pakistan, close to the top 10 exporter of apparel in the world and with a population of just over 200 million certainly fits the bill. In the light of geographical changes of apparel production, Pakistan’s apparel industry also now has the potential to grow fast. In any case, my experience in Lahore was a very positive one, feeling safe and seeing that a large group of foreigners from all over the world did too.’