Interview with Eva de Laat, Creative Director of Material Experience Center on the Future of the Textile Industry Post Pandemic
Morning Coffee with Eva de Laat, Creative Director of Material Experience Center, on how the 2-year global pandemic has radically accelerated the development of the textile industry, creating a catalyst change in trends, consumption needs, and the sustainable movement.
1. Can you give us a brief intro of MEC – mission, vision of MEC powered by Santoni?
Eva: Knitting machinery leaders Santoni, in collaboration with the designers Eva x Carola, have officially opened their new Materials Experience Center (MEC) at Santo-ni’s headquarters in Shanghai. The new space is a research and inspiration center for leading professionals in the textiles industry to meet clients, research ideas, and work on bespoke projects. It will be a pivotal space for inspiration, ideation, implementation, and knowledge sharing.
Designing the future; MEC is created to meet the needs of today’s consumer, designers and brands
Championing sustainability and futuristic design thinking when it comes to textile, garments and product manufacturing.
A physical and digital space for leading professionals in the textile industry to meet, research ideas and work on bespoke projects. A pivotal space for inspiration, ideation, implementation and knowledge sharing.
Designing the future, MEC is created to meet the needs of today’s consumer, designers and BrandsEva de Laat
1.1. There’s been a significant influence on the knitwear industry during the pandemic. With the impact of smart home-working, creating a stronger need for knitted items and the loungewear trend shifting to a more casual-and-comfort vibe rather than just pure aesthetics. What are the factors that could potentially accelerate the development of the knitwear industry for 2021-2023? And do you believe this trend is just a ‘pandemic fad’ or is it here to stay for good?
Eva: As an industry, we have an issue (ie. sustainable practice) and an opportunity (ie. digitalization). Both these directions were already in place before Covid-19 and have only been accelerating since. We feel both topics are extremely important, and we believe everything we do should be considered smart and functional. What we use and wear should be helping and enhancing the person’s body and their experience. Both sustainability and digitalization can help to support the end consumers’ needs and experience and therefore – no matter the reason – embracing and incorporating into your strategies. Other important directions for us are personalization and partnerships.