Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

CHSI STITCHES 2022 Optimism and strong turnout for Stitches 2022, its first post-pandemic show CHSI Stitches 2022 saw a strong turnout, innovative new products from leading brands and high-profile speakers at its first post-pandemic show at the NEC in February. The show, the first since February 2020, drew leading creative craft brands, showcasing new ranges, many of which were being displayed for the first time in person since the pandemic started. Steve Mitchell, Show Director said: “While video meetings became the norm in the last two years, the enthusiasm for this year’s show reinforces the fact that nothing beats face to face when it comes to creative craft. The way products feel to work with is key to any retailer and end customer, and the show allows visitors to really understand the products they are ordering. This year we invested heavily in our speaker programme, welcoming industry heavyweights from across the marketing and retail spectrum. We’ve had a great turnout to the sessions.” SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS Sustainability was a key theme of this year’s show. King Cole reported a very successful show. Jo Humberstone, UK Sales Manager said: “We’ve made a business decision to be more environmentally friendly and our 100 per cent recycled yarn is part of that. We also have solar panels on our warehouse so that during daylight hours we are using solar power. The recycled yarn is very popular. It’s a great balance of good colours and feel so ticks all the boxes. While being recycled is important to customers, the product still had to feel nice, and these yarns are incredibly soft. We’ve had a great show, we’ve been busy both days meeting new and existing customers. We’ve met new business owners and retailers who are expanding to include yarn in their shops.” Hawthorn Handmade has also been focussing on sustainability. Stephanie Carswell said: “We’re working hard to reduce plastics in all our kits. Where we do use plastic, for instance in our wool boxes which need to be transparent for 32