Milano Unica Feels Coronavirus, Australian Bushfires Pinch

MILAN — The mood was uncharacteristically gloomy at the latest edition of textile trade show Milano Unica, which closed here last week registering a 2 percent contraction in the number of visitors compared to the same edition in 2019. Textile entrepreneurs voiced their concerns over the coronavirus outbreak that could potentially impact sales of end products and consequently fabrics and the Australian bushfires and drought conditions that are expected to damage the quality of wool, especially in the second half of the year. According to preliminary figures released by Confindustria Moda, the textile sector is expected to post a 4.7 percent contraction in sales to 7.57 billion euros in 2019 impacted by a flat internal expenditure and decreased exports, down 3.8 percent. “We’re not kicking off the new year enthusiastically as we do not expect better perspectives in 2020,” said Ercole Botto Poala, the outgoing president of the textile trade show. During the inaugural ceremony it was revealed Alessandro Barberis Canonico, chief executive officer of the namesake textile firm, will succeed Botto Poala in the role. “The Australian fires and coronavirus emergency are both linked to environmental and social sustainability issues,” continued Botto Poala, urging the industry to start assessing its effort rather

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