At Market, Textiles Weaves a Story of Wellness and Sustainability – HFN

GHCL’s Rekoop 2.0 program includes these new men’s apparel-style sheets.

NEW YORK—This week’s New York Home Fashions Show was all about wellness and sustainability. New brands or brand partnerships also emerged, and trends centered on new color groups and lots and lots of texture.

From towels infused with essentials oils to weighted throws to bedding made from recycled or upcycled materials, textiles manufacturers continued to innovate and inspire the industry with products that hold out the promise of better sleep, better relaxation or better stewardship of the earth.

Loftex infused towels

Products infused with essential oils and other substances are a big trend, including those incorporating encapsulated CBD (cannabidiol) oil, which is derived from the hemp plant and a component of marijuana but does not create a high. Manufacturers of all kinds of products are crediting it with numerous therapeutic effects, though they are not proven and it is unregulated. Nonetheless, the textiles industry has embraced it enthusiastically, with CBD-infused mattress protectors from Soft-Tex and WestPoint’s Martex brand; towels from Loftex; and sheets, throws and comforters from Morgan Home, among others.

Some companies are encapsulating and incorporating herbal ingredients, such as lavender or aloe vera, and substances like white charcoal, copper and collagen into sleep-related or bath products to soothe the skin, absorb impurities or reduce anxiety. When rubbed against the skin, the substances are released, and they are said to remain in the towels through scores of washes.

Weighted blankets, from manufacturers such as Welspun and WestPoint’s Vellux (in a partnership with the organization Autism Speaks), for example, are also being touted for their supposed ability to reduce anxiety.

Welspun’s eco-friendly packaging

Anxiety over the planet might be slightly relieved by the newest sustainable efforts being made in the industry. Loftex increased its sustainability credentials with the development of recycled filament yarns used to make throws and bath rugs. It highlighted its collection of cotton and hemp towels that are soft and nonlinting, and introduced towels made from hemp and Gracell, the Chinese-made version of Tencel. The company, which has completed several sustainable initiatives, has just a few more to go, said Gretchen Dale, TITLE, including post-consumer recycling, fully sustainable manufacturing and handling post-consumer waste.

GHCL’s Rekoop 2.0 Polo sheet collection

GHCL unveiled Rekoop 2.0, the evolution of its bedding line made from forensically tagged recycled water bottles. This newest collection makes use of upcycled home textiles—used sheets that have been collected, depolymerized and remade into Rekoop sheets (cotton from the old sheets is transformed into biofuel and the polymers are used as raw material in new products). The company has also blended recycled polyester with sustainable fabrics such as Tencel, modal, linen, bamboo and cupro, a waste product from cotton production.

Similar tri-blends were featured in several other showrooms at market.

Consumers are willing to move away from 100 percent cotton if they feel there are features and benefits to other materials, according to Jen Dombkowski, Welspun’s director of marketing. “They’re definitely open to other materials,” she said. Welspun’s sustainability program includes a partnership with Fashion for Good, a fashion apparel-related think tank focused on innovative and sustainable concepts, its own in-house research department that studies the issue, alternative packaging materials and the Better Cotton Initiative, an effort to source organic and fair trade fibers.

This is Micro Cotton’s second market promoting wellness products, and the message is starting to resonate with the company’s retail partners who are asking how to incorporate the core competencies of a towel such as softness and absorbency with innovative features and benefits like moisture-wicking and infused products, said Gregory Hasson, senior vice president of sales. “The bedding community gets it quickly,” he said. “The bath community needs another cycle.”

WestPoint Home’s Lady Pepperell collection

Several new brand partnerships and revitalized brands debuted at market. WestPoint Home has revamped and updated the Utica and Lady Pepperell names for a new audience and has clearly defined the target audience for each of them, as well as for Vellux, Martex, Modern Living and Flatiron brands; next year it will focus on the Luxor, Grand Patrician and Atelier Martex lines. It partnered with street artist Nick Walker on a bedding line for Utica, introduced Utica Pop bedding and gave a new look to its Izod collection, following looks in men’s apparel for spring.

Iconix is relaunching the Royal Velvet brand with Himatsingka with a focus on the brand’s color authenticity and its traditional/modern aesthetic. Lintex featured a wide range of products through new licensing partnerships with Rong Rong and Bouffants & Broken Hearts, two self-made social media personalities. Creative Home Ideas is giving its Juicy Couture licensed bedding line a more sophisticated, Millennial vibe to widen its appeal but has retained its essential sparkly, bling-y essence. New collections ranged from the more demure, quilted blush pink spread with a subtle Juicy Couture logo to a bold black comforter decorated with images of gold and silver charm bracelets. Creative Home also introduced Nautica window treatments and kitchen textiles. Town & Country Living introduced Elle Décor for windows, modernized the KitchenAid line of kitchen textiles with a cleaner, slightly Scandinavian feel and opened the ED collection, the Ellen DeGeneres line that was previously a Bed Bath & Beyond exclusive, to a wider retail audience. Croscill created new packaging that highlights its heritage but reframes it products in a relevant way. Simple iconography is presented on a light charcoal background accented with gold.

Excell’s botanically themed shower curtain

Croscill broadened its looks for top-of-bed with more contemporary, transitional looks that included gender-neutral colorways, textural stripes and shiny weaves. In its cotton collections it offered a softer color palette that ranged from neutrals to soft sea foams and lavenders. Croscill’s bath collections made use of several fashion trends: hotel looks, distressed finishes, geometrics (sometimes mixed with florals) and feminine vintage. Its Excell bath division featured prairie looks (ruffled prints), street art designs, botany and Cali-surfer motifs.

WestPoint is banking on multicolor products and floral and geo patterns while Town & Country identified a Japanese/ Scandinavian combo look that promotes a streamlined, clutter-free earthy palette; more decorative, painterly looks and metallic finishes for stone-like designs, and a boho southwest trend that blends natural materials with rustic elements for an earthy, casual vibe.

Editor-in-Chief Allison Zisko first joined HFN in 1998 and spent many years covering the tabletop category before widening her scope to all home furnishings. In her current role, she oversees all aspects of HFN, including its print and digital products, and represents the brand at home and abroad through presentations, panel discussions and HFN’s podcast, The Inside Scoop.


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