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Brazilian Fashion Industry Gathers to Plot Post-Pandemic Recovery

Backstage at João Pimenta Masculino.  Sergio Caddah / FOTOSITE
Brazil's fashion industry heavyweights came together for the annual ABIT conference this week, focussed on the future. Sergio Caddah / FOTOSITE (Sergio Caddah / FOTOSITE)

The Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association (ABIT) closed its 5th International Congress Friday, with this edition focused on “Transition in the Global Fashion System”.

The event was held digitally and addressed business areas such as technology, communication, sustainability, and the many new challenges facing the domestic and global fashion industry emerging from the pandemic.

“The sector [is] committed to advancements and reinventing itself by seeking new technologies,” said ABIT president, Fernando Valente Pimentel, adding that, amid the fast-changing realities on the ground, it would be wise to “consolidate the links that constitute the networks of the textile and apparel sectors.”

The event aimed to do just that. Sponsored by industry heavyweights TexBrasil (Brazilian Textile and Fashion Industry Internationalisation Program) and APEX (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency), participants included 35 virtual stands from textile and fashion companies, and entrepreneurs from across the Latin American region, particularly key textile partner countries, such as Colombia and Peru.

Over two days, nine conferences and panels were held by industry leaders, who touched upon subjects including recent shifts in manufacturing, after-sales, consumer behaviours and technology.

In a presentation about adding value to business, Ligia Paes de Barros, head of WGSN Latin America said the most crucial factor impacting the Brazilian fashion industry was how well brands were able to intimately relate to customers and respond to their shifting priorities.

“The merging of convenience and functionality will also need to be ‘fed’ by sustainability; [in order to] serve people the best way possible. Then, [we need to be] looking at the data to adjust our strategies accordingly,” she said.

Other speakers included: Francislei Donati, vice president of sales at C&A; Feijo & Henry Costa, style director and product director, respectively, at leading clothing retailer Renner; and Fabricio Fudissaku head of insights for Facebook Latin America.

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