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Used textiles Photo: bvse textile recycling association
20.05.2020

Corona-virus pushes Used Textiles Industry into Struggle for Survival

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The measures to reduce the propagation speed of the COVID-19 epidemic require hourly new and flexible adjustments to system processes and business agreements. In these difficult times, the waste textile companies rely on a close solution-oriented dialogue with their contract partners.

The initiatives presented a common vision for social protection and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis at the end of April.
 
The members of the board of directors at bvse textile recycling raise the alarm because the economic starting point for companies in the sector pf used textile is getting worse every day.
 
"An increasing number of sorting systems are applying for short-time work due to the corona crisis or are closing the factories completely due to quarantine measures," Martin Wittmann, the bvse vice president and chairman of the bvse textile recycling association, describes the current situation.

The amount of used clothing collected in Germany is declining sharply in many regions along with increasing social distancing, existing or expected curfew and associated closings of collection points and civic amenity sites.

"It looks even bleaker on the sales side. In the meantime, measures ordered worldwide, such as curfews and ban on meetings, prevent the opportunities to even generate any revenue. Due to official orders, second-hand shops have to close everywhere, including in Eastern Europe. This means that the demand for used clothing dries up almost completely.
The African markets are also suffering from the corresponding lack of demand, due to the lack of funds available from local consumers.

The markets necessary for the sale of sorted goods have collapsed globally since mid-March 2020. It is currently not possible to market wearable second-hand clothing, but also products in the recycling and cleaning rag segment. Thus, there are currently no prospects for generating revenue in the end customer area.
Since the transit time of a piece of used textile from the collection to the sorting to the final marketing in one of the global markets can take up to four months, this situation will certainly take just as long because a positive change in the current overall pandemic situation cannot be assumed.

The waste disposal companies active in Germany in the field of used textiles are therefore currently concerned only with maintaining the operational structures in order to find ways at a later time to be able to fulfill the previous agreements.

"What we urgently need now are common, fair and economically sound solutions with all of our contractual partners so that both sides can survive this crisis. The situation in many municipal, charitable and private places currently looks like that we maintain the services of waste collection and recycling at high costs, but currently do not know whether we will be compensated for this due to force majeure,” stated Wittmann.   

As a start, some companies in the industry have therefore already concluded agreements with municipalities. In return for a provisional suspension of payment obligations for the rental of container spaces or collected goods, the private companies want to do everything possible to ensure that the recycling of used clothes and cleaning of the collection points in the interest of the com-mon good, despite their own staff shortages and difficult conditions remains guaranteed.

“At the same time, we would like to appeal to everyone involved that there is understanding for late pick-ups and container empties caused by the crisis. We urge the citizens not to put any collectibles next to the containers. As long as we have enough staff, every container will be emptied,” promised Martin Wittmann, Vice President of the bvse.

12.05.2020

TEXTILE INITIATIVES INVITE GOVERNMENTS AND ENTERPRISES TO ACT

In a joint declaration, ten initiatives and organizations working for better working conditions in the textile industry call on governments and textile companies to take urgent action in the corona crisis.
End of April, the initiatives presented a common vision for social security and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis.
 
In the joint statement AGT, amfori, Better Buying, Fair Labor Association, Fair Wear Foundation, ETI Norway and ETI UK, IDH, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and Solidaridad expressed deep concern for the health and livelihoods of millions of workers in the clothing industry and their families.
 
Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the global textile industry. Most factory workers earned too little to care adequately for themselves and their families. As social security systems are lacking in many countries, the current crisis has hit these people particularly hard.

In a joint declaration, ten initiatives and organizations working for better working conditions in the textile industry call on governments and textile companies to take urgent action in the corona crisis.
End of April, the initiatives presented a common vision for social security and responsible entrepreneurship in this crisis.
 
In the joint statement AGT, amfori, Better Buying, Fair Labor Association, Fair Wear Foundation, ETI Norway and ETI UK, IDH, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and Solidaridad expressed deep concern for the health and livelihoods of millions of workers in the clothing industry and their families.
 
Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the global textile industry. Most factory workers earned too little to care adequately for themselves and their families. As social security systems are lacking in many countries, the current crisis has hit these people particularly hard.

Workers need aid funds
In their letter to the governments in the producing countries, the initiatives and organizations appeal to protect the incomes and health of the workers and to support employers in this task: “The factories must pay wages and salaries on time to ensure the workers who remain actively employed. "

If factories have to close temporarily, it should be a top priority for all concerned to support the workers directly or to help them access financial ressources. This is the only way they can bridge the time while they cannot work.

Governments of the importing countries and multilateral organizations should also act now. In addition to providing support for retail and brand companies, they should also provide aid funds for people in the producing countries.

Seven of the ten initiatives and organizations are member-based and represent around 2,000 retail and brand companies that are currently facing immense challenges. Despite the dramatic situation, companies are required to comply with their due diligence requirements and to find solutions together with their business partners. The declaration contains a list of important points that textile companies worldwide should consider.
This includes:  

  • Companies should support factories to implement the necessary security measures to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Orders that have already been completed and are in production should be paid in full if possible.
  • Companies are advised to avoid the termination of planned orders.
  • They should be flexible when factories have to change delivery times and / or change payment methods.
  • They should not end business relationships without first looking for alternatives with their local partners.

Rehearsal for the future
Urgent action is now necessary in the crisis. But long-term systemic improvements in textile supply chains should already be considered and shaped. Fair payment and partnership-based cooperation between retailers, brands and suppliers should become the “new normal” after the crisis and are just as important as social security.    

"The current situation also offers the opportunity to make social security systems more sustainable so that times of unemployment do not immediately threaten the existence of workers," the statement said. The initiatives and organizations are also working on additional recommendations to support companies and other actors in the post-crisis period.

The text of the declaration is available for separate download.

Source:

Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

Bild: Christine Sponchia auf Pixabay
05.05.2020

COVID-19: German Down and Feather Industry exemplary in Terms of Hygiene

  • Update on the economic situation of the industry
  • Supply availability secured for the next half-year
  • E-commerce wins in the crisis
  • Sector survey of the Association of the German Down and Feather Industry VDFI and Traumpass e.V. on the occasion of the Corona crisis

The corona pandemic not only poses great challenges for each and every one of us, but also for our businesses as an industry. The decisions of the Federal Government and the federal states to close down shops and restrict freedom of mobility have hit the predominantly medium-sized down and feather industry hard, not only on the sales side, but also through their trading partners. The declining demand was compounded by the industry's international dependencies within the supply chains, since the filling material, the covers and the packaging materials are largely imported.

  • Update on the economic situation of the industry
  • Supply availability secured for the next half-year
  • E-commerce wins in the crisis
  • Sector survey of the Association of the German Down and Feather Industry VDFI and Traumpass e.V. on the occasion of the Corona crisis

The corona pandemic not only poses great challenges for each and every one of us, but also for our businesses as an industry. The decisions of the Federal Government and the federal states to close down shops and restrict freedom of mobility have hit the predominantly medium-sized down and feather industry hard, not only on the sales side, but also through their trading partners. The declining demand was compounded by the industry's international dependencies within the supply chains, since the filling material, the covers and the packaging materials are largely imported. The closure of the borders within Europe and the overall tense global logistics situation contributed significantly to the worsening of the situation.
 
In the past few days, the federal and state governments have started cautious attempts to ease the contact bans and to revive the economy with a sense of proportion. The opening of shops and the continuation of business activities prompted the down and feather associations to question the status quo of the sector with an extensive survey.

Although the companies named significant losses in their turnover, they currently still got off relatively lightly compared with other sectors. Two thirds of the companies stated that they had suffered up to 25% sales losses due to the corona crisis. Approximately 17% reported a decline of up to 50%, the ones with same percentage were much harder hit with a decline of up to 75%.

On the occasion of Heimtextil in January 2020, the association's sector statement had described the position of the specialised trade as still stable from the bedding manufacturers' point of view: By expanding the range of services, such as cleaning down and feathers or refilling existing bedding, the local store was increasingly becoming a point of contact for consumers. Supporting the advisory competence and the deployment of sleep experts made an impact. This picture has changed significantly as a result of the contact ban:

The clear loser in terms of demand on the various sales channels, caused by the shop closures, was the traditional retail: 92% of the surveyed manufacturing companies registered declining demand for the retail trade, 90% for the furniture trade and 80% for the specialty stores. Even for the discounters, whose opening hours were not affected, 33% noted a drop in demand; 44% estimated the demand situation as unchanged. The winner in the crisis was the e-commerce, although perhaps to a lesser extent than expected: 45% of the German down and feather producers recorded an increase in demand, 36% estimated the level as unchanged.

In terms of supply capability, the industry in Germany considers itself as well positioned: Two thirds see no bottlenecks for the fulfilment of closed contracts within the next three months, and the majority also offers free capacities beyond that. And 55% guarantee this ability to deliver even for the next six months, including the satisfaction of additional requirements.

While 2019 was a year of consolidation for the German down and feather sector and, after difficult months with sharply increased raw material prices, a calming down on a high level prevailed, good results from the previous year were maintained and, in some cases, even increased, the assessment for 2020 is much more pessimistic.

As far as the price situation for the coming autumn/winter season is concerned, member companies were correspondingly cautious in their forecasts.    
The unresolved and in some cases very fragile situation in the supplier countries currently not allows to make reliable statements. At the earliest in late summer, a well-founded opinion can be obtained. Especially since 45% of the companies expect to be confronted with requests for price reductions.
 
The down and feather industry is a professional when it comes to hygiene. The highest purity requirements are placed on down and feathers: Before being used as filling material, they must be cleaned by thorough water washing and dried at a temperature of at least 100°C, usually higher. This ensures that bedding meets the hygiene requirements of European Standard EN 12935 with reliably killing bacteria, viruses and other germs. In addition to the applicable standards, the companies have taken additional precautions to protect employees, trade partners and consumers.

In addition to the intensive workplace and hand disinfection, which all manufacturers have increased, the companies focused particularly on the equalization of the workforce. 73% designed home office workplaces for employees outside production, 45% introduced strict shift separation, two thirds shifted working hours and changed the use of common rooms in order to have as few employees as possible in the company at the same time and thus minimized the risk of infection. At the same time, many companies started the production of mouth and nose masks and made their sewing facilities available for this purpose. A list of the manufacturing companies is available from the Association of the German Down and Feather Industry VDFI e.V.

With the start of the lockdown, the German government had announced extensive financial aid, which focused on bridging payments for small businesses, granting loans, short-time work and tax deferrals. Improvements had to be made for small and medium-sized enterprises. In the recent weeks, the sector has not primarily addressed the question for bridging loans nor reducing the interest burden; emergency aid in the form of financial injections and non-repayable grants was also of interest only to one third. The majority of the association members concentrated on measures to secure liquidity (45%), tax deferrals and the suspension of advance payments of VAT (73%) as well as the changeover to short-time work (73%) and the accelerated processing and granting of short-time work compensation (45%). Also, two thirds requested binding statements on the easing of the contact ban and on the economic upturn.

An update on the industry survey is planned for late summer 2020.

Source:

VDFI e.V. / Traumpass e.V.

Photo: Pixabay
28.04.2020

Meltblown Productive: Fraunhofer ITWM vs. Corona - With Mathematics Against the Crisis

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

IEspecially in intensive care and geriatric care, disposable products made of nonwovens are used due to the special hygiene requirements. At the moment there are clear bottlenecks in the production of these materials. For the meltblown nonwovens class, however, it is difficult to increase production efficiency because meltblown processes are highly sensitive to process fluctuations and material impurities.
 
Although nonwovens are not all the same, the rough principle of their production is relatively similar to all industrially manufactured nonwovens: molten polymer is pressed through many fine nozzles, stretched and cooled down in an air stream and thus deposited into the typical white webs. "Meltblown" stands for the submicron fiber process whose nonwovens are responsible for the decisive filter function in face masks.
 
With meltblown technology, nonwoven fabrics are produced directly from granules. A special spinning process in combination with high-speed hot air is used to produce fine-fibered nonwovens with different structures. The fibers are highly stretched by the turbulent air flow. During this process they swirl in the air, become entangled and fall more or less randomly onto a conveyor belt where they are further consolidated - a very complex process. Nonwovens manufacturers around the world are striving to massively increase their production capacities.
 
Digital Twin Optimizes Meltblown Process    
This is where the software of the ITWM comes into play. "Our Fiber Dynamics Simulation Tool FIDYST is used to predict the movement of the fibers, their falling and the orientation with which they are laid down on the conveyor belt. Depending on the process settings, turbulence characteristics are generated and thus nonwoven qualities are created that differ in structure, fiber density and strength," explains Dr. Walter Arne from the Fraunhofer ITWM. He has been working at the institute for years on the simulation of various processes involving fibers and filaments.

The methodology is well transferable to meltblown processes. In these processes, one of the specific features is the simulation of filament stretching in a turbulent air flow - how the stretching takes place, the dynamics of the filaments and the diameter distribution. These are all complex aspects that have to be taken into account, but also the flow field or the temperature distribution. The simulations of the scientists at the Fraunhofer ITWM then provide a qualitative and quantitative insight into the fiber formation in such meltblown processes - unique in the world in this form when it comes to simulate a turbulent spinning process (meltblown).

Nonwoven Manufacturers benefit from Simulation
What does this mean for the industry? The production of technical textiles becomes more efficient, but the nonwovens can also be developed without having intensive productions tests in a real facility. This is because the simulations help to forecast and then optimize the processes using a digital twin. In this way, production capacities can be increased while maintaining the same product quality. Simulations save experiments, allow new insights, enable systematic parameter variations and solve up-scaling problems that can lead to misinvestments during the transition from laboratory to industrial plant.

Making a Contribution to Overcome the Crisis With Many Years of Expertise
"We want to demonstrate this in the project using a typical meltblown line as an example - for this we are in contact with partner companies," says Dr. Dietmar Hietel, head of the department "Transport Processes" at the Fraunhofer ITWM. "Within the framework of Fraunhofer's anti-corona program, we want to use our developed expertise and our network to contribute to overcome the crisis", reports Hietel. His department at the Fraunhofer ITWM has been pursuing research in the field of technical textiles for around 20 years. Due to its current relevance, the project not only got off to a quick start, but the implementation and results should now also be implemented quickly: The project is scheduled to run from April 15th 2020 to August 14th 2020. The kick-off meeting took place on April 17th 2020 via video conference.
 
The project "Meltblown productive" and the results are certainly interesting for nonwoven producers. The production of many mass products has often been outsourced to Asia in the past decades; the nonwovens manufacturers remaining in Germany and Europe tend to focus more on high-quality technical textiles. In the medium and longer term, this will also be a scientific preliminary work when production capacities in Germany and Europe are expanded by new plants. One lesson to be learned from the crisis will also be to reduce the dependence on producers in Asia, especially as a precautionary measure for crisis scenarios.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics, ITWM

The Performance days as digital fair instead of conventional event (c) PERFORMANCE DAYS
21.04.2020

PERFORMANCE DAYS: DIGITAL FAIR INSTEAD OF CONVENTIONAL EVENT IN APRIL 2020

  • Staying on the pulse of textile development with the "Digital Fair"
  • The virtual trade fair steps up to the starting block

Although the industry will not be meeting in person to share the latest trends in functional fabrics for the Summer 2022 season on April 22-23 in Munich, PERFORMANCE DAYS is still going to take place — in a new format! The organizers have responded quickly to the new situation and have created a virtual alternative to stay in touch with visitors, exhibitors and partners that enables them to share the innovations in the industry: the DIGITAL FAIR is born.

Even if a personal impression of the latest fabric trends for summer 2022 is not possible this season, interested "trade fair visitors" can still find all the important developments on the website www.performancedays.com.   

  • Staying on the pulse of textile development with the "Digital Fair"
  • The virtual trade fair steps up to the starting block

Although the industry will not be meeting in person to share the latest trends in functional fabrics for the Summer 2022 season on April 22-23 in Munich, PERFORMANCE DAYS is still going to take place — in a new format! The organizers have responded quickly to the new situation and have created a virtual alternative to stay in touch with visitors, exhibitors and partners that enables them to share the innovations in the industry: the DIGITAL FAIR is born.

Even if a personal impression of the latest fabric trends for summer 2022 is not possible this season, interested "trade fair visitors" can still find all the important developments on the website www.performancedays.com.   

Visitors to the DIGITAL FAIR www.performancedays.com/digital-fair.html, can not only see the interesting fabrics at the popular PERFORMANCE FORUM, they can also experience everything a visitor could do at the real fair — just in digital form. Here is an overview:

SUPPLIER WORLD  
Initiating a contact has never been easier than it is now with the exclusive online profiles of each exhibitor. The curated exhibitors show their most important fabrics, as well as brand new videos of their latest products and expanded information. Visitors can get to know the suppliers digitally, make direct contact, and even order fabric samples online.  

COLOR TRENDS
Appropriately matching designer Nora Kühner’s webinar, the new color trends for summer 2022 will soon be available online as "early color information." The color chart for winter 2021/22 trends can already be ordered free of charge on the website.

EXPERT TALK WEBINARS
What about the lectures we look forward to attending at the fair? No problem! The Expert Talks will take place as webinars on April 22 and 23, 2020. The program agenda will be posted on the website soon. The webinars include a presentation of the fabric highlights of the PERFORMANCE FORUM by Ulrike Arlt, as well as a talk on the new color trends by Nora Kühner. If you register in time for the webinar, you will be able to ask questions during the talks. The webinars (less the interactive comment function) will be available online after the fair.

FORUM FABRICS, FORUM ACCESSORIES
The 240 best fabrics are shown by category along with the best accessories: The categories include a range from Baselayer to Outer Midlayer and 3-Layer as well as Safety & Durability fabrics. All products shown in the forum are sustainable — the materials,     
processing, and treatments! The products on exhibit at the PERFORMANCE FORUM have been carefully selected by the PERFORMANCE FORUM JURY, which, because of the current situation, met via video conference link. A written summary of the trends per category provides visitors a quick overview. Fabric samples can be tested and samples ordered all with one click. Two AWARD winners have been chosen and can be found in this area with all their details as well as all Jury Like fabrics and accessories.

FOCUS TOPIC
Visitors interested in the current FOCUS TOPIC can learn virtually about the current topic, which features natural fibers and natural functions like new yarn technologies and treatments. The theme "INSPIRED BY NATURE — FROM FIBERS TO GREEN TREATMENTS" summarizes facts and good-to-know information while letting you read up on the 24 best fabrics for this topic.   

SPORTSFASHION by SAZ
PERFORMANCE DAYS has put together a comprehensive opportunity at short notice so that visitors and exhibitors can get in touch with each other despite all adversity and exchange information about all the latest trends. The magazine SPORTSFASHION by SAZ as partner has produced an online edition of the DIGITAL FAIR that provides more details about the exhibitors and trends and can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF by all trade fair visitors and exhibitors for free.    

The next regular event is planned for October 28th and 29th in Munich.

Source:

PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair

Protective masks for Augsburg University Hospital (c) Fraunhofer IGCV
14.04.2020

Protective equipment from 3d printers

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

Fast communication in the research network:
Production of 3D-printed parts accelerates in the shortest possible time
Without further ado, an internal university group searched for possibilities of manufacturing via 3D printing. Prof. Dr. Markus Sause and Prof. Dr. Kay Weidenmann of the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg immediately agreed and pulled out all the stops to start production as quickly as possible. In order to provide as many protective masks as possible in the shortest possible time, an appeal was also made to existing cooperation partners. They found what they were looking for in their direct colleague Prof. Dr. Johannes Schilp, Professor of Production Informatics at the University of Augsburg and Head of the Processing Technology Department at the Augsburg Fraunhofer IGCV: Max Horn, research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute, and Paul Dolezal from the FabLab (production laboratory) at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences immediately promised their help. "Thanks to the excellent cooperation of our team, the first parts were produced in our laboratory for additive manufacturing just a few hours after the first telephone call," Max Horn recalls. "With the support of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer IGCV, the production capacity of 50 masks per day could be significantly increased," Markus Sause is pleased to report.
          

Printing masks with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was selected as the manufacturing process for the face protection. This means that the mask is created by forcing fusible plastic through a nozzle and applying it in layers in individual lanes. In addition to an extensive laboratory for metal-based additive manufacturing, the Fraunhofer IGCV operates a new laboratory unit with various FDM printers. Due to the simplicity of the process and its great flexibility, it is particularly suitable for prototypes and sample components. "However, the masks produced are by no means only illustrative objects", adds Georg Schlick, Head of the Components and Processes Department at the Fraunhofer IGCV. The team processed durable polymers for the parts, which have good resistance to the disinfectants used in the hospital. This results in high-quality components that are ideally suited for multiple use.
 
Additive manufacturing for flexible production
In the meantime, some bottlenecks have been overcome: The Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg is switching back to production processes for the manufacture of face masks that are better suited for the production of large quantities. "The great strength of additive manufacturing lies rather in the production of very complex components with smaller quantities," explains Matthias Schmitt, group leader for additive manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IGCV. "But 3D printing also enables us to act at very short notice and to compensate for lack of capacity for almost any component as required," Schmitt continues. Thanks to the flexibility, motivation and expertise of all cooperation partners, a complete production and supply chain for the face masks was implemented within a few days. Georg Schlick therefore emphasizes the need for good networking and rapid exchange between the research institutions. "The close networking within the 3D printing community enables short communication channels and fast action. This can save lives in this case."

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV

Foto: Pixabay
07.04.2020

Natural textile sector responds to Corona with creativity and cooperation

While you can read everywhere that the fashion industry is on the verge of collapse and is demanding funding from the government, many textile and leather companies with an ethical background are actively and jointly working on creative solutions so to avoid closing.
It is now becoming clear that smaller sustainability pioneers have some advantages over the retail giants and big brands. Flexibility, a strong connection between suppliers and customers and credibility are now paying off.

While you can read everywhere that the fashion industry is on the verge of collapse and is demanding funding from the government, many textile and leather companies with an ethical background are actively and jointly working on creative solutions so to avoid closing.
It is now becoming clear that smaller sustainability pioneers have some advantages over the retail giants and big brands. Flexibility, a strong connection between suppliers and customers and credibility are now paying off.

Mobility is trump card
The precarious economic situation in the stationary retail sector forces companies to take new and creative paths. Close and emphatic customer loyalty and the flexibility of smaller shopkeepers pave the way. And the ideas and measures are manifold. Some redirect their goods to online trading, offer a delivery service.  Life videos from the shops, which present and explain the goods, or participation campaigns for consumers are further examples. Manufacturers and brands are also rethinking. For example, some companies are producing face masks to cushion the decline in sales somewhat, while others are shifting the short-term production focus to basic products that are easy to market online.
 
Supply chain safety
The leather and textile industry are currently not only facing the problem of falling sales. The fragile global markets, which supply raw materials and services for large corporations, are currently becoming a threat. If the economies in China and Bangladesh come to a standstill, the German fashion market will no longer be able to obtain sufficient goods in the short term. Companies that produce in Germany or in other economically stable countries are now at an advantage.  Some of the companies that purchase raw materials from abroad are already ordering them for the next production cycle, on the one hand to give the supplier a certain amount of security, and on the other hand to be prepared for the post Corona era.

Community spirit
An ethical business practice does not only mean acting in an environmentally and socially responsible manner with regard to supply chains. Credibility, trust and empathy are just as important now if the fashion industry does not want to lose itself in price dumping and fierce competition. The press talks about billion-dollar cancellations, corona bargains and bankruptcies. Many IVN members show that there is another way. Suppliers tell us that they are holding back orders until the end of April in order to give the trade some financial leeway. Retailers usually at least consult with their suppliers if they are unable to call up a complete order. Retailers with online shops spontaneously take in goods from friendly brands, even if the products do not fit into the company's own portfolio. Brands advertise their customers' sales channels in social media, orders are bundled. People talk to each other - the customer with the supplier, but also competitors with competitors.

Slow fashion
Conventional fashion is subject to extremely fast cycles - "fast fashion" is the keyword. To a lesser extent, the fashion industry at least follows the seasonal seasons. Currently, the spring collection is hanging in the shops and cannot be sold in June. This is no different for sustainable fashion. However, the fashion trends are less pronounced, so that the current merchandise can still be worn next spring. The sustainable consumer attaches somewhat less importance to the fashion aspect and green fashion is fashionable but also tends to be more timeless than conventional fashion.

The mood
Naturally, companies from the natural fashion scene are now also forced to reduce their operating costs if they want to survive. This means short-time work, and if the situation continues for a longer period of time, this will certainly include layoffs. And of course, all niche market players are also deeply concerned. But whoever we have spoken to so far, we hear stories of opportunity, gratitude and activity.
Some see an opportunity in involuntary pauses - for example, this forced pause is certainly beneficial to climate protection. There is a very real chance also, that the fashion cycle can now be shifted back a month and thus be brought back into line with the real situation.

Many IVN members are grateful, for example, that they are based in Germany. The health care system is at least still stable at present and the black zero enables our government to set up a rescue fund. Many are also grateful for the solidarity and trust that is shown to them. From the end consumer to the business partner to the landlord, who would rather reduce or suspend a rent claim than lose a long-term tenant.
The mood is battered, but not yet in the basement. It is to be hoped that everyone will soon be able to resume their economic activities in the normal framework and that the privileges and advantages enjoyed by the sustainable fashion industry will be sufficient to ensure that everyone comes through this crisis as unscathed as possible.

 

Source:

Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft e.V.

Foto: Pixabay
01.04.2020

COVID-19 | Strengthening ambulant Home Care

... to relieve the Burden on Hospitals

In order to relieve the clinics in the coming weeks and months in the fight against COVID-19, ambulant care, for example of home-ventilated patients by homecare companies, must not be neglected.

"Homecare companies that provide patients with respiratory therapies, artificial nutrition and other vital medical aids in their home environment are part of the critical infrastructure and must now also be strengthened. We also need a protective umbrella for this ambulant care of seriously chronically ill patients", demanded BVMed Managing Director Dr. Marc-Pierre Möll. Together with 15 other associations, BVMed has presented a corresponding position paper on the topic of "Relieving the burden on clinics through safe outpatient care with medical aids" in the "Interest Group for the Provision of Medical Aids" (IGHV).

The IGHV paper lists the following demands, among others:    

... to relieve the Burden on Hospitals

In order to relieve the clinics in the coming weeks and months in the fight against COVID-19, ambulant care, for example of home-ventilated patients by homecare companies, must not be neglected.

"Homecare companies that provide patients with respiratory therapies, artificial nutrition and other vital medical aids in their home environment are part of the critical infrastructure and must now also be strengthened. We also need a protective umbrella for this ambulant care of seriously chronically ill patients", demanded BVMed Managing Director Dr. Marc-Pierre Möll. Together with 15 other associations, BVMed has presented a corresponding position paper on the topic of "Relieving the burden on clinics through safe outpatient care with medical aids" in the "Interest Group for the Provision of Medical Aids" (IGHV).

The IGHV paper lists the following demands, among others:    

  • Auxiliary means providers must be considered as a central stabilizer of outpatient care when distributing protective equipment.
  • Compensation payments must - analogous to the regulations for hospitals and doctors - also extend to service providers and manufacturers of medical aids.
  • The providers and manufacturers of assistive devices are system-relevant partners of outpatient care and as such part of the critical infrastructure. They must be involved in the corresponding exemption regulations and support measures.

 "Homecare professionals need medical protective equipment because they provide care directly to the patient. It is important to recognize and promote this vital patient care in the home environment or care facilities as part of the critical infrastructure," says BVMed Managing Director Möll.

The homecare companies organized at BVMed are increasingly reporting massive problems in the procurement of the necessary protective equipment such as protective masks and glasses. If the necessary medical devices can no longer be procured, the nursing staff of the homecare companies are thus unable to provide outpatient care for this often-geriatric patient group. "The patients would then have to be admitted to hospitals, which is absolutely counterproductive in the current situation," BVMed already complained in mid-March in a letter to the Federal Government Commissioner for Nursing Care.
The additional expenses for coronavirus-related additional expenses of the providers of medical aids should also be reimbursed to them.

Analogous to the regulations for hospitals, the homecare companies also require a corresponding surcharge for medical protective equipment for cases in which protective clothing must be used due to an infection or a suspected case.

More information:
corona virus BVMed
Source:

BVMed

Photo: Pixabay
24.03.2020

Coronavirus: Cancellations and Postponements of German Exhibitions May Cost up to 3 Billion Euro

  • Calculation by AUMA - Association of the German Trade Fair Industry concerning the macroeconomic impact for Germany based on ifo-survey

Germany as a trade fair venue has already been hit hard by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. Trade fair organisers and service providers like booth constructors are already suffering from heavy financial losses. Many other branches of business are affected as well, especially the hotel and catering industry, the transport industry and numerous local suppliers and contractors. These industries are suffering considerable losses in sales with a direct impact on employees. Due to sales losses the tax revenue will fail, hence cities or regions are directly affected economically.

  • Calculation by AUMA - Association of the German Trade Fair Industry concerning the macroeconomic impact for Germany based on ifo-survey

Germany as a trade fair venue has already been hit hard by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. Trade fair organisers and service providers like booth constructors are already suffering from heavy financial losses. Many other branches of business are affected as well, especially the hotel and catering industry, the transport industry and numerous local suppliers and contractors. These industries are suffering considerable losses in sales with a direct impact on employees. Due to sales losses the tax revenue will fail, hence cities or regions are directly affected economically.

AUMA’s Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry has forecasted the consequences for Germany for the first time based on the calculation of the ifo Institut in regard to the macroeconomic relevance of German trade fairs in 2018.

Thus a loss of about three billion Euro for the national economy is to be expected – just by cancellations and postponements of trade fairs. This affects more than 24,000 jobs and tax authorities will miss over 470 million Euro of tax revenue.

These sums do not include lost sales of companies, which had expected to generate turnover during the trade fair. These figures are many times higher than the above-mentioned sums and can only be substituted to a limited extent through other measures. No other marketing device is able to represent a company and its products as comprehensively as the personal contact.

“Almost all plans for trade fairs during the next months are null and void. Organisers, exhibitors, visitors and contractors are losing any planning reliability. They have high up-front costs without the prospect of any benefit or they suffer from severe and acute loss of sales. The trade fairs’ annual contribution of more than 28 billion Euro to the national economy could decrease by 10%. It has to be made sure that the (German) economy – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises – in future will be able to utilise the highly effective instrument called “Messe” (trade fair) and can continue cooperating with potent contractors. Without governmental support this can hardly be realised, despite great efforts of the exhibition industry itself.”

Germany is number one worldwide in terms of organising international trade fairs. Annually 160 to 180 international trade fairs take place in Germany, with 180.000 exhibitors and ten million visitors. Partners from all over the world meet up on German exhibition sites.

German exhibiting companies are investing almost half of their b2b communication budgets in trade fair participations. The expenses of exhibitors and visitors for trade fairs in Germany result in macroeconomic production effects of more than 28 billion Euro. More than 230,000 jobs are ensured by the organisation of trade fairs. Tax revenues based on trade fairs sum up to approx. 4.5 billion Euro annually.

More information:
trade fairs Coronavirus
Source:

AUMA Ausstellungs- und Messe-Ausschuss der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.

Foto: Pixabay
18.03.2020

CORONA CRISIS: BTE CALLS FOR RETHINKING OF AUTUMN DELIVERIES AND CONCESSION OF LESSORS

The effects of the corona virus on the textile and fashion trade are dramatic. The vast majority of businesses have suffered high double-digit sales losses in recent weeks, which are already leading to initial liquidity bottlenecks. Business closures that have already been forecast or decided upon will further aggravate the situation considerably.
 
At the moment, no one can seriously predict how long the corona crisis will last and whether it will not flare up again in autumn after an interim slowdown. "The entire textile and fashion industry must therefore take precautions now so that there is a chance that trade and industry will return to reasonably calm waters in the second half of the year," recommends BTE President Steffen Jost.

The effects of the corona virus on the textile and fashion trade are dramatic. The vast majority of businesses have suffered high double-digit sales losses in recent weeks, which are already leading to initial liquidity bottlenecks. Business closures that have already been forecast or decided upon will further aggravate the situation considerably.
 
At the moment, no one can seriously predict how long the corona crisis will last and whether it will not flare up again in autumn after an interim slowdown. "The entire textile and fashion industry must therefore take precautions now so that there is a chance that trade and industry will return to reasonably calm waters in the second half of the year," recommends BTE President Steffen Jost.

Because it is already clear that at the end of the spring/summer season there will be high losses and many insolvencies because the actual merchandise can no longer be sold. Jost: "A repetition of this situation in autumn is likely to irreversibly damage the diverse structure of the fashion retail landscape!

In this situation, trade and industry must work closely together and act in partnership. It is imperative that the orders placed a few weeks ago need to be renegotiated. Under no circumstances the situation should arise, that new autumn goods are delivered without consultation, although the retail warehouses are still full of spring goods and at the same time new waves of infection are rolling through the country!
     
BTE President Steffen Jost therefore urgently appeals to the partners in the industry to coordinate the organization of deliveries of autumn goods with the fashion trade already now. "In order not to jeopardize the existence of small, medium and even larger fashion retailers even more, there must be no prohibitions on thinking here." Otherwise, there will be an even stronger wave of insolvencies, which cannot be in the interest of the suppliers either. "A fashion trade, that essentially consists only of verticals and large online retailers, is causing major problems for the vast majority of brand producers".
 
The official business closings in almost all federal states lead many textile and fashion shops to the economic abyss. The top priority now is to cut costs and secure liquidity. In this context, the lessors would also have to pay their share. "Landlords must not ignore the corona crisis and continue to charge their usual rents," says BTE President Steffen Jost.

It would be best if the landlords completely waived their rent claims during the time of the forced business closures. At least a significant cut is absolutely necessary.

"Otherwise, many businesses will not survive the next few months and we will see an explosion in vacancies," warns Jost. This could not be in the interests of the landlords, since empty stores do not generate rental income and even depress the general level of rents.

"Above all, institutional investors and lessors have to put aside their return considerations and save the livelihoods of their tenants in their own interests," warns the BTE President. "Otherwise the landlords slaughter the cow they want to milk!"

 

More information:
Coronavirus corona virus
Source:

BTE e.V.

FULLY AUTOMATED QUALITY CONTROL MAKES HIGH-VISIBILITY CLOTHING EVEN SAFER Photo: LEEROY Agency, Pixabay
10.03.2020

FULLY AUTOMATED QUALITY CONTROL MAKES HIGH-VISIBILITY CLOTHING EVEN SAFER

High-visibility or “high-vis” clothing provides many people safety in their day-to-day work. Fraunhofer IGD has paired with textile service provider MEWA to develop an automated system for inspecting the quality of this clothing faster and more reliably, and thereby guarantee safety. Both companies have filed a joint patent for the system.

High-vis and protective clothing, like the kind worn by road workers, must meet certain standards prescribed by law for the safety of the wearer. Employers are liable for meeting these legal safety standards. On behalf of MEWA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has developed a system to automate and optimize quality testing.

High-visibility or “high-vis” clothing provides many people safety in their day-to-day work. Fraunhofer IGD has paired with textile service provider MEWA to develop an automated system for inspecting the quality of this clothing faster and more reliably, and thereby guarantee safety. Both companies have filed a joint patent for the system.

High-vis and protective clothing, like the kind worn by road workers, must meet certain standards prescribed by law for the safety of the wearer. Employers are liable for meeting these legal safety standards. On behalf of MEWA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has developed a system to automate and optimize quality testing.

Integrated optical quality control
Fraunhofer IGD has developed its quality control system with the assistance of MEWA Textil-Service AG and it will be used daily at two sites starting in 2020.
After being washed and dried, the articles of clothing run through a special photographing box on hangers and pictures are taken of the front and back. Fraunhofer software analyzes these pictures in real time and sends to the result to control software, which sends the clothing to other stations in the quality control process. The results of the inspection are saved in the system a valuable collection of data that is made available to MEWA in order to analyze and optimize the system as well as internal processes, such as the washing process.

Faster and more precise inspection
The high-vis clothing is inspected manually for quality by qualified employees. They inspect the washed articles of clothing for a number of aspects, including brightness and colorfastness of the high-visibility color as well as the integrity of the reflective strips. The automated solution by Fraunhofer IGD can assist employees with this visual inspection while speeding up the process at the same time. “With the help of the automated analysis, we can ensure to an even greater degree and with greater precision that the high-vis clothing meets strict safety standards even after being washed,” said Uwe Schmidt, head of engineering at MEWA. At MEWA’s locations in Schönbuch near Stuttgart and Gross Kienitz near Berlin, Fraunhofer IGD’s system is now being used in trials, with implementation at more locations being planned.

Inspection system is applicable to other industries
Fraunhofer IGD’s inspection system is available for implementation as a software module. This technology could also support other industries: Automated returns classification for the mail-order trade or use in textile recycling would be conceivable, though the technology would need to be seamlessly integrated into existing systems and processes. The development team at Fraunhofer IGD is currently working on quality controls that use not only photographs but also video recordings as well as on analyzing the recordings in real time. The significantly increased number of product views will cover every aspect of the inspection with even greater precision.

About IGD
Fraunhofer IGD is the international leading research institution for applied visual computing — image- and model-based information technology that combines computer graphics and computer vision. In simple terms, it is the ability to turn information into images and to extract information from images. All technological solutions by Fraunhofer IGD and its partners are based on visual computing.

In computer graphics, people generate, edit, and process images, graphs, and multi-dimensional models in a computeraided manner. Examples are applications of virtual and simulated reality.

Computer vision is the discipline that teaches computers how to “see”. In the process, a machine sees its environment by means of a camera and processes information using software. Typical applications can be found in the field of Augmented Reality.

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T © I.S.T Corporation
03.03.2020

INVENTING TECHNOLOGIES NO ONE CAN COPY… I.S.T

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

NEW HIGH-TECH FIBERS AND YARNS FOR THE SPORTS AND LEISURE MARKET 

With its trade fair premiere at this year's ISPO Munich at the end of January, a newcomer in the sportswear and outdoor market has achieved a well-received appearance: For the first time in Europe, the Japanese company I.S.T Corporation presented its new high-tech fiber and a spinning technology with amazing possibilities at their booth with extensive augmented reality technology. In the sports industry, I.S.T is only known to a few, although there have been first cooperations with well-known manufacturers such as Patagonia in the last seasons.

The CEO and president, Ms. Toshiko “Toko” Sakane, answered Textination's questions. She has been running the company - founded by her father - since November 2016. After completing her bachelor's degree in sociology / human sciences, she worked in the office of the House of Representatives of the Japanese Parliament and the former Japanese Minister of Health and Social Affairs. Later she was managing director of the I.S.T Corporation in Parlin, New Jersey, USA, founded in 2000 - a manufacturer of unique, high-temperature resistant resin materials.

I.S.T is a Japanese company with a comparatively young history. Originally founded in 1983 as an R&D company, you are now also based in the United States and in China. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
I.S.T Corporation is an R&D-oriented Japanese material company with the claim to "invent technologies that no one can imitate". What makes us uniquely competent is our integrated process of material development, innovating our own in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. Through this end-to-end cycle, we can achieve various advantages including developing complete original products, securing best quality assurance, and, most importantly, letting us discover new innovations. I.S.T is committed to keep innovating new technologies so they can contribute to enriching people’s lives more.   

Your slogan is: make the impossible possible. In which markets and from which industries do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations for the textile industry do you think you can move the most?
I.S.T’s focus is sporting goods and apparel industry because materials used in this industry demand a wide variety of functionalities and are likely used in extreme conditions. We find it challenging and exciting to offer our advanced innovations. As for the textile industry, we believe our KARL KARL™ spinning technology offers a new great solution for winter active inner wears because it offers all the functions they want, such as warmness, being light-weighted, and easy-care.

A central guideline of the company is the motto "Inventing technologies no-one can copy". Patent protection and a consistent brand policy characterize your activities in the market. But patents can expire and brands can be copied, what makes you uncopiable?
A patent or brand can be copied. However, what makes it impossible to copy us is that our core technologies are embedded throughout our integrated process of material development, in-house production methodologies and advancing production technologies. For example, our KARL KARL™ technology is spinning technology that offers multiple functionalities in one yarn and also can be applied to all different types of and hybrid yarns.
There are some other companies that claim their yarns having a similar function with ours, but those are single function and in a particular type of yarn. This is the most fundamental and significant difference between technologies and competitors. Other companies may be able to copy a single function from us, but it will never be the same as our products that are the results of layers and layers of our integrated innovations.
          
Initially focused on selling technology, you are now a major fiber producer yourself. In addition, you have expanded your portfolio in the past 15 years - for example in the wool market - through acquisitions in Japan and China. Where do you see I.S.T as a player in the textile sector in 2030?
Just as you see a GORE-TEX tag on any outerwear, I would like to see brand names produced by I.S.T on every sports and fashion apparel and people instantly recognize it as the sign of most advanced functional materials.

For the first time you attended ISPO Munich 2020 in January as an exhibitor to present the high-tech fiber IMIDETEX® and new KARL KARL™ yarns to the sporting goods and outdoor industry. What is so special about these two products and what makes them so suitable for use in these markets?  
IMIDETEX®, made of 100% polyimide resin and commonly used in outer space, has possess various advantageous characteristics that other existing super fibers couldn’t overcome, including it being high UV resistant, heat resistant, low water absorption, and has a high tensile strength.
Examples of possible applications for the outdoor market as in composites, would include highly resistive but also durable golf shafts or tennis rackets that can minimize the impact sent to players, and a bicycle that can absorb the shock from the ground throughout a long and competitive race. As for textile, it makes an incredibly durable sail that endures an unforgiving sun. Finally, as yarns IMIDETEX® makes a light-weighted but super strong ropes that people can trust their lives with. IMIDETEX® can provide great performances in extreme natural conditions.
KARL KARL™ is the patented spinning technology that multiplies one core thread with another thread. By expanding the yarn structure itself, it achieves lightness and warmness, which are two seemingly opposite characters to coexist. This technology can be applied to wool, cotton, silk, polyester, nylon … plus there are endless possibilities of developing new yarns by combining different characteristic yarns.
These materials by I.S.T are unrivaled and present infinite possibilities for richer designs in sports fashion scenes.

In a world in which great value is placed on nature and natural materials, man-made fibers are not always welcome. On your website you postulate, I.S.T contributes to the people around the world through chemistry for a better life style. Which aspects make a good case for that?
Our brand-new product, faux-fur, made with KARL KARL™ technology is a good example of our contribution to keep the good balance of natural and synthetic.
The real fur is fashionable but it’s a symbol of animal abuse nowadays. To conserve the nature, our KARL KARL™ faux-fur offers an alternative to fashion, while preventing polluting the ocean from using micro fibers.    

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
We believe that light-weight is a major key factor for better lives and the planet because it allows to save energies and expand the performances.
As the first step, we are bringing in our light-weight technologies, such as IMIDETEX® composites and KARL KARL™ technology, to sporting gears and apparels to support our active lifestyle before extending those technologies to all other markets that can benefit from them.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what activities or certifications do you rely on?
I.S.T's taking this subject seriously in any aspects. We aggressively approach to research and develop technologies and materials that can support human lives and planet, as well as bringing in sustainable methods and materials to our operations. For instance, we are developing a yarn making from cellulose taken out of used papers without using any harmful chemicals to humans. Also, we invested in a state-of-the-art low emission production facility to make Polyimide materials.
We are RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified yarn spinner as far as wool is concerned and we are using RWS certified wool fiber. As for polyester, we are using GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified recycled polyester and as for cotton, we are using organic cotton fiber. Moreover, our company values producing materials that last forever and not to produce any wastes and/or one-time use materials.
          
Where do you get your inspiration from to research certain technologies or products? Which orders or inquiries from the textile supply chain play a decisive role?
You may think that our life is already filled with things and there isn’t a thing that we cannot get in this world. And yes, we have everything. Yet there are some functions you wish you had in addition to full of those things.
The original idea of developing KARL KARL™ technology was that we wanted to adapt functions like lightness, warmness, quick-drying and easy-care that synthetic fibers have, into natural fibers such as wool and cotton because, obviously natural fibers are much friendlier to human and the earth than petroleum-based fibers.
We believe in and keep our corporate missions: “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Handle high-value added products”. Our inspirations for R&D come from our belief, “bringing a wish into a reality”. We do not get an inspiration from others. Our innovations inspire customers and the market.

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Actually, for us, there is no such thing as failed projects because we never give up until each and every project becomes successful.
By carrying on our original corporate missions of “Develop and manufacture products no others have tried before” and “Confront difficulties” that my father, the founder of I.S.T, established almost forty years ago, I.S.T members including myself have learned the joy of overcoming problems and of feeling the victory.
When I took over the business, I have set my goal to “move forward to the global market to inspire the world with our technologies”.
Most recently, by making the decision to enter the sporting gears and apparel market and receiving very positive responses at the ISPO Munich 2020, I’m very pleased that we have made one step forward toward my goal.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
25.02.2020

AUTOMATION PROGRESSES ALONG THE LAUNDRY SECTOR

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 

The productivity of a laundry depends on unbroken process flows and transparent commodity streams. Thanks to increasing digitalisation and consistent integration of data, the through-put of textiles in laundries is being continually improved. The solutions required for automation in the sector are therefore a high priority at Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June in Frankfurt am Main.
 
The be-all and end-all for the laundry sector is the ability to monitor the quantity, quality and storage location of the textiles that are circulating on site, at all times. The data collected form the basis for precise price calculations, throw up any weak points in the system and serve to provide documentation for third parties. But it is only when all the machinery and plant involved in a given textile service are interlinked on a single network that the logistics of the laundry service run seamlessly, with minimal down-time of the machinery, reduced quantities in circulation and the resultant increase in productivity that is closely associated with it.

Transparent tracking for each individual laundry item
Automation in the processing of workwear is already well advanced. As the dirty laundry is sorted on arrival, each item is recorded using an identification system such as a barcode or RFID technology. From this moment on, all the stages that the textiles undergo are controlled. ‘Readers’ or ‘gates’ on the premises enable each item to be recorded as it progresses through the system, right up to the point of order picking; and they monitor whether an item is sent to a repair station or directed into storage. In addition, high-frequency transponders (UHF tags) can monitor the movements of laundry items outside of the laundry: in hospitals, for instance, identification systems have been installed, which record the despatch and return of apparel and enable an extensive process of textile management via data transfer procedures.

Robots for the soiled laundry area
This already high degree of automation in a workwear laundry facility is, however, capable of still further refinement. Artificial intelligence can simplify the ‘dirty’ work in the reception area: robots separate and sort the soiled clothing and x-ray machines, cameras and metal detectors are used to identify any foreign bodies. The advantages of such systems are particularly in evidence in hospital laundries: medical instruments, which regularly find their way into the laundry bags, are automatically separated from the clothing, thus minimising damage to the items themselves and to the machinery. The useful life of the textiles is extended and costs are reduced. Moreover, there is no danger of infection for the staff.

Real-time laundry processes
Whilst individual control and traceability are already widespread in the professional treatment of work apparel, when it comes to flat linen, often only generalisations about quantity, quality and storage location for the textiles are possible. “In order to assess a business’s efficiency, calculate prices and efficiently control processes and procedures, laundries need reliable figures […],” observes Martin Rauch, CSO of the Jensen Group, who operate on a worldwide basis.

In the pursuit of automated production, ultra-modern information and communications technologies assume a key role. They synchronise the machines involved in a given production process and facilitate communication and cooperation between plant, product and the human being. This way, you get self-organising, flexible production with unbroken processes and high levels of utilisation of equipment. With the synchronisation of commodity streams and information flow in the laundry, all items arrive at the right processing station at the appropriate time. A central database controls all the processes in the entire laundry, regulates the machinery and the linked sub-systems, chooses the correct processing programmes and optimises machine use.
 
Data accompanies the laundry throughout
“Trolleys of laundry standing around, waiting times at the machines, excessive buffering and time spent searching for items are all lost capital […],” says Matthias Schäfer, who is responsible for product management, laundry logistics / smart laundry at Kannengiesser (Vlotho).

When data and goods flows are successfully synchronised throughout a flat-linen laundry, each washing station contributes its information along with that of other stations, right from the initial sorting of the soiled linen through to the folding machines. The laundry can, therefore, be monitored throughout the entire operation, as the information from each station is sent on with the item, either automatically or – after the drier – in the form of bar-coded labels. (“Stabilisation of production through the synchronisation of material and production flows.”)

RFID identification systems do indeed enable complete transparency to be built into the passage of goods through the various stages, as each chip or tag carries the necessary information for each individual item. In view of the high cost of the transponders, ‘chipping’ of flat linen is, however, currently an option for only very few laundries. So the textile care sector is waiting on more economical, more functionally reliable solutions from the machinery and plant manufacturers.
 
Smart to the very end of the chain
Further potential for automation resides in the picking and packaging. Collecting together items for delivery manually is subject to error and that leads to customer complaints. With intelligent storage facilities and transport solutions, smart stacking management and the networking of equipment with the laundry’s information system, order picking becomes simpler, quicker and more reliable. To ensure that the integration can function, modern machines are equipped with interfaces, so that each new installation can be linked seamlessly into a laundry’s existing system. The same goes for accessory machines, which exchange all the important information relating to preparation and repair online.

User friendly apps
Digital developments are not only large scale: they are to be found on a smaller scale as well. For launderettes, too, apps provide important information on the status of the equipment, enable operators to see what is going on, even at considerable distances, as well as being able to provide digital payment models. Moreover, in heavily used laundry facilities, they can take on the entire job of time management, as Andreas Barduna, Head of Business Management, Miele Professional (Gütersloh) is very aware.

At Texcare International, from 20 to 24 June 2020, machinery and plant manufacturers from all over the world will be presenting their smart solutions for the laundries of tomorrow. The focus will be very much on artificial intelligence and smart information systems, which will help maximize the degree of automation within the sector.

GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG (c) Weitblick, Gottfried Schmidt OHG
18.02.2020

WE HAVE OUR PRINCIPLES ... WEITBLICK | GOTTFRIED SCHMIDT OHG

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

WORKWEAR AS A SUSTAINABLE TEXTILE LOOP!

WEITBLICK | Gottfried Schmidt OHG with about 130 members of staff in Bavaria and more than 1,000 employees in European production plants is one of the leading German textile companies in the workwear and corporate fashion segments. Originally founded 1931 in Frankfurt / Main, the traditional family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, achieves a medium sized eight figure turnover.

Quick decision-making processes, a familiar atmosphere, production exclusively in Europe, customer-specific innovations and comprehensive sustainability concepts - what does the workwear professional do differently than others?

Sales Director Philipp Hartmann (Sales Support and Customer Service) and Janine Gonglach, Head of Marketing, together with Managing Director Felix Blumenauer, responsible for Marketing, Sales, Logistics and Controlling faced the questions of Textination.

Gottfried Schmidt OHG, a family company that will celebrate its 90th birthday next year, is considered as a professional when it comes to premium workwear. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What makes you unique?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We are a long-established family company that has reinvented itself again and again over the course of history. In the field of workwear, we stand for the highest quality across a wide range of industry segments and attach great importance to sustainability - this is also shown by our long-standing partners who produce our clothing in Europe. With our state-of-the-art logistics center, we prove that digitization and Industry 4.0 are not just buzzwords for us.   

In which markets and by which partners do you feel particularly challenged? And with which product innovations in the workwear sector do you think you can move the most?
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Markets are changing faster and faster and that is a challenge per se. We want to continue to be reliable today and, in the future, that also means continuity for our partners. But how do we deal with ever new requirements from ever faster moving markets?
Focusing on the customer, we cannot remain in rigid structures. We at WEITBLICK achieve this through our corporate culture and our guidelines: courage, strength and confidence.
This culture holds our team together and this enables us to adapt structures more quickly. Due to our personal contact to our partners and our experience as a fourth-generation family business, we enjoy great trust in all markets and this assists us to make quick adjustments and changes without questioning our DNA.
The basis of our products is the quality of the materials used, the processing by a very well-trained staff in our own European production sites and, first and foremost, a team of experts who controls everything in-house from the fiber and the design idea to production and logistics and bring it all together under one roof. So, if you ask me whether all products will be flashing in the near future, the answer is: no. Our strength is the implementation of our customers' wishes and above all we put the brand, the CI of our customers, in the foreground on the product. Because a satisfied employee in the right workwear is the best business card for a company. So, if it should flash in the clothing in the near future, this is not a problem, but we realize ourselves much more concerned with our customer requirements around the products. Based on quality and sustainability we have been driving very well for a long time.

However, services, speed in logistics, controlling, order configurators and budget management as well as interface management are the actual innovations with which we convince our customers and partners today. For some time now, we have been relying on a team of employees who implements precisely these customer requirements across departments. For example, in addition to our own CI Workwear collection, a customer can also receive a protected customer shop from us, where employees can configure the coordinated collection and order according to a defined budget. The customer's purchasing and controlling departments have live insight into costs and inventories. The dispatch including personalization is RFID-controlled in Germany, picked on the carrier and sent all over the world. Does that sound innovative?

Tailor-made or solution for the major customer? The topic of individualization down to batch size 1 is gaining in importance today. How do you manage the balancing act between major customers and individual production - what does this mean for the processes of Gottfried Schmidt OHG? 
Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
Why not the tailor-made solution for major and small customers? Until a few years ago, and even today in some cases, a customer’s logo in the colors red, green, blue and white was of course displayed by fabrics of the same color combined in a four-colored scheme. This is more or less a thing of the past. Nowadays, requests for different colors are additionally solved by the possibility of combining many articles. In doing so, we fall back on thousands of active articles of our own developments and a large selection of ingredients, fabrics and finishing options. CI collections can be produced very quickly in small quantities in our state-of-the-art production facilities. In one of our six European production plants, for example, we only manufacture made-to-measure orders from piece 1. This happens within very lean processes and just takes a few weeks.

At the same time, we have large capacities for the storage of our raw materials and a warehouse for prefabricated parts, which enables us to place them into stock for the customer. Companies are aware of the great importance of workwear and the partly missing transparency in processes or costs. Therefore, it is desirable to be able to order small quantities. We have access to dozens of wearer profiles and millions of wearers from almost all sectors and are able to combine this experience with today's requirements. I don't prefer the word "standard", but the fact is that we already offer our customers a wide range of articles and colors to choose from, as we are constantly releasing new collections for various industries. The processes, scrutinized with the possibilities of new tools and systems, are consistently adapted - the other way around. This enables us to work very automatically from small to large orders and thus process orders via our customer online shops or via interfaces with our customers' order portals. Order picking and logistics from piece 1 with the shipping method of your choice are no problem for us, because we have been operating the most modern logistics center in the industry since 2018.

With WEITBLICK you have chosen the look-and-feel of a German-language brand. What prompted you to take this step and what are the consequences for your international sales?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
The decision was made for WEITBLICK (Engl.: vision, foresightedness) because we always possessed it as a company. Not only the founder Gottfried Schmidt himself had shown vision or foresightedness. Each generation that followed also had and still has visions, that developed the company to what it is today. A company with thought leaders, doers, inventors, critics and perfectionists.
Also, in the future, we will meet the challenge of developing our products and our actions with foresightedness - for the continued existence of the company and for the benefit of our customers.

Philipp Hartmann – Sales Director
We serve a wide range of customers, from craft businesses to large global corporations. So, we have already been internationally active in previous generations. And the name has never been a limitation. Our employees in sales and customer service are trained accordingly, our documents and systems are multilingually available and maintained.

In which socially relevant subject areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director

We see a further growing importance of the topic of “sharing”. With our strong partners in professional service, we have been living this idea for many decades and see increasing importance in society. Clothing remains available in a cycle of the highest quality for many years - for us this is the sustainable counter trend to "fast fashion". In this context we offer digital solutions that satisfy our customers and our wearers and convince them, that WEITBLICK is the right choice.

We will act on these fields and consciously set the right accents – that’s how we understand corporate responsibility towards our employees and our customers.

For decades, the textile and clothing industry has been growing steadily worldwide. In terms of sustainability, to put it mildly, there is a rather mixed feedback for our industry. What is the Gottfried Schmidt OHG focusing on in order to meet its social responsibility?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have long anchored sustainability in our company as one of the most important priorities in our strategy. This becomes apparent e.g. by the use of Fair-Trade cotton, which we bring to the market in large quantities together with other companies and suppliers in the industry. We think sustainability comprehensively. Each area of our company contributes to the fulfillment of corporate responsibility - towards our customers and our own employees.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from local on-site production to the exclusion of child labor etc. What do you do to bring this term to life for your company and what seals or certifications do you rely on?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
We have the highest standards in the entire supply chain, which we implement together with our partners and monitor closely. This includes fair production conditions in Europe with comparatively short distances, which are guaranteed by the internationally recognized SA 8000 seal. The avoidance of unnecessary packaging material, climate-neutral shipping and the reduction of plastic are also a matter of course for us. For example, we are currently working on using recycled polyester in the future. We are looking forward to the Green Button and want to qualify for this state seal of quality.

At WEITBLICK, you have chosen a consciously young form of communication. Whether Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest or relevant business platforms - social media clearly take a central position in your media mix. This is not necessarily standard in the textile rental service. Why did you choose this form of addressing?
Janine Gonglach – Head of Marketing
For us, WEITBLICK - far-sightedness - also means “venturing something new”!
From my point of view, in the digital age, the question for companies is no longer whether social networks should be used or not, but only how and to what extent. With more than 3 billion people who are now represented in social media networks worldwide, we no longer speak of zeitgeist, but of a must-have in the marketing mix. Our communication follows the guiding principle: "We do not conduct a monologue, but an open dialogue at eye level." Social media achieve exactly that! 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy to have made?
Felix Blumenauer – Managing Director
The transformation of our company. With courage, strength and confidence, we managed to reposition our company almost completely within a very short period of time. This includes the modern umbrella brand WEITBLICK, which for us is also an obligation to our actions. But also, the growth that we have achieved in the past four years with around 40 new employees. We have built a new logistics center - with highly modern processes that are largely automated, e.g. with intelligent RFID technology. In doing so, we are trying to take all employees with us on this journey, which is not always easy but the right track. The positive thing about it is that our long-standing as well as our new employees work for us on their own responsibility and with enthusiasm.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

TV TecSTyle Visions proved its status as a leading trade fair of the European textile decoration industry in an impressive way. (c) Messe Stuttgart
11.02.2020

TV TECSTYLE VISIONS: IMPRESSIVE CONFIRMATION OF STATUS AS LEADING TRADE FAIR

  • High internationality and excellent visitor quality ensure top ra-tings

The trade fair combination for visual communication and haptic adver-tising, EXPO 4.0, was an impressive event with 421 exhibitors and 12,518 visitors held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 in Stuttgart:

  • High internationality and excellent visitor quality ensure top ra-tings

The trade fair combination for visual communication and haptic adver-tising, EXPO 4.0, was an impressive event with 421 exhibitors and 12,518 visitors held from 30 January to 1 February 2020 in Stuttgart:
TV TecStyle Visions, trade fair for textile decoration and promotion, enriched the trade fair combination with a top-class exhibitor offering, high internationality and an accompanying programme characterised by innovations and know-how transfer. It proved its status as a leading trade fair for the European textile decoration industry in an impressive way: 262 exhibitors, including all relevant companies from the exhibition segments textiles and technology, mark the importance as a European industry get-together every two years in Stuttgart. The leading trade fair confronts the uncertain European market situation and uncertainties in trade, the number of exhibitors remained almost constant compared to the previous event (2018: 270). The 126 international exhibitors came from 21 countries to Stuttgart. The top 5 countries of origin are Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Poland and Italy.
 
Many decision-makers from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region
Within the framework of TV TecStyle Visions the visitors were particularly interested in the different printing processes, embroidery and textiles. The EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination attracted 17 per cent international visitors from 50 countries to Stuttgart. The appeal of the leading European trade fair is manifested with the top visitor countries Switzerland and Austria. 35 percent of all visitors to TV TecStyle Visions travelled more than 300 kilometres to Stuttgart.

The quality of the visitors has been a reliable constant for years: four out of five visitors are actively involved in purchasing and procurement decisions, 87 percent have concrete intentions to invest and 84 percent of the visitors want to invest in the next 12 months. An overall rating of the trade fair combination of 2.0 ("good") and a return visit rate for 4 out of 5 visitors highlight the positive synergy effects created by the parallel timing of the three trade fairs in the trade fair combination EXPO 4.0. This is also reflected in the amount of time visitors spend at the event - on average 4.8 hours at the three trade fairs.
 
Comprehensive accompanying programme
Apart from the exhibition offering, TV TecStyle Visions has been convincing for years with a comprehensive accompanying programme. Not only real innovations and trends that move the industry are showcased at the stands. At this year's trade fair the TecCheck Area acts as a look into the near future. In the digital microfactory nine companies demonstrated the possibilities of digitalisation in production under the coordination of DITF (German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research, Denkendorf). A polo-shirt was made in one hour, from the 3D design and conception, through to the printing, thermosetting, cutting and making-up of the garment. The trend topics of the industry and the degree of innovation were also shown in the forum, such as the option of personalisation and automation in textile finishing/textile decoration/garment decoration. The TecStyle Fashion Show, the forum and also Charlie's Corner gave visitors a platform to exchange information and ideas and for know-how transfer, as well as another presentation possibility for the exhibitors.
 
The next TV TecStyle Visions takes place in the EXPO 4.0 trade fair combination with WETEC and GiveADays in two years. The dates 10 to 12 February 2022 are currently reserved.

04.02.2020

The fashion market: A move towards responsible consumption?

A study by the IFM - Première Vision chair
The fashion market in Europe and the United States:  A move towards responsible consumption?

Eco-responsible consumption is no longer a fashion trend, but a major groundswell now impacting the entire sector, from material sourcing to the consumer and the textile and manufacturing industries.
This is one of the major findings of a recent study by the Institut Français de la Mode as part of the IFM - Première Vision Chair that surveyed 5,000 consumers, who constitute a representative sample for France, Germany, Italy and the United States.

A study by the IFM - Première Vision chair
The fashion market in Europe and the United States:  A move towards responsible consumption?

Eco-responsible consumption is no longer a fashion trend, but a major groundswell now impacting the entire sector, from material sourcing to the consumer and the textile and manufacturing industries.
This is one of the major findings of a recent study by the Institut Français de la Mode as part of the IFM - Première Vision Chair that surveyed 5,000 consumers, who constitute a representative sample for France, Germany, Italy and the United States.

"For the first time, this study helps us better understand consumers' perceptions of the responsible fashion market and its products, and decipher their buying motivations and obstacles," said Gilles Lasbordes, Managing Director of Première Vision.
 
A real enthusiasm  
Eco-responsible fashion products are essential. Nearly 50% of European consumers report having purchased an eco-friendly fashion item in 2019 along with 46% of French consumers (including recycled, organic, made in France, and second-hand textiles).  

"These figures show consumers are committed to a level well above the estimate we would have expected, and indicate a real maturity in terms of their expectations. However, fashion is lagging behind other sectors such as food: the proportion of consumers who have purchased organic food products is over 60% in all countries. By the same token, especially in France and Italy, organic beauty products are meeting with real success, with 57% of French consumers purchasing them in 2019," notes Gilles Lasbordes.

In France, the 46% of consumers who bought eco-responsible fashion products are projected to spend an average of 370 Euros on fashion products (clothing and shoes) in 2019. Nationally, the average budget for eco-responsible fashion purchases per French consumer is 170 Euros, which is about 25% of the average budget for clothing and shoes in France.

What's driving this enthusiasm? In France and Italy, preserving and protecting the environment are the principal motivations behind such purchases. Consumers also pay special attention to the non-use of toxic chemicals. These concerns are well reflected in initiatives such as the Fashion Pact launched in the run-up to the G7 in Biarritz last summer.
     
Natural fibres and prices
The study also shows that, when searching for more responsible fashion products, consumers are very strongly guided by the choice of materials. They prefer natural fibres and recycled raw materials when they can, in particular when they are informed of their presence. Preconceived ideas about which materials are considered most harmful to the environment concern polyester, acrylic, polyamide and leather, respectively.

One of the other findings of this survey concerns barriers to consuming more responsible fashions, with one of the main barriers being a lack of information. The consumers feel they have a genuine lack of knowledge about eco-responsibility (its definition and criteria). Some 50.4% of French consumers admit to not knowing enough to select the right products.
 
Beyond a lack of education, another difficulty is access to these fashions, which consumers report not knowing where to find. This is a genuine obstacle for 39.8% of the French consumers canvassed. A lack of clarity of the offer - not much transparency on the part of brands, a multiplicity of certificates - and an under-representation of players - only 23% of French consumers reported knowing responsible fashion brands - is compounded, to a lesser extent, by the question of price, which is a barrier for 33% of French consumers.

On the other hand, style no longer represents an obstacle to the purchase of responsible products. Contrary to perceptions of only a few years ago, consumers today are aware that responsible fashion can be creative, desirable and respectful of the environment and people.

Lastly, consumers seeking to buy more responsible products are now faced with an offer that is still insufficiently developed in terms of their expectations. At the same time, second-hand purchases are increasing and feeding this trend: 56.1% of American women and 42.2% of French women purchased second-hand goods in 2019.
     
Made in…
For a majority of the French consumers surveyed, an eco-responsible fashion product must be manufactured in France (80%) or Europe (46%). This preference for national production is slightly lower in Italy (65%) and Germany (71%) but remains strong. "A product has to be manufactured as close as possible to the market where it is sold in order to reduce the negative impact of transport as much as possible," says a French consumer.  

Also, among the criteria to be met for socially responsible production, consumers emphasise respect for the health and safety of employees, a criteria that ranks far ahead of issues related to wages and discrimination of people employed in the sector.
 
A guiding hand to the fashion ecosystem
"The fashion ecosystem is being shaken up by this environmental phenomenon, with consumption in a state of strain and a slight decline in the mid-range, for example. This study will be useful to steer the sector, guide the market, provide precise analytic keys for industry and brands wishing to expand their offer. And that is also our objective and the role of Première Vision," underlines Gilles Lasbordes.

The consumption of eco-responsible fashion represents a significant growth opportunity for brands and labels. The next few years will certainly see the introduction of a new system that is more respectful of the environment and the social conditions under which goods are produced.

The results of this study were also used to enrich the experience of the show's 2,055 exhibitors - spinners, weavers, tanners, textile designers, accessory manufacturers and fashion manufacturers - and its 56,000 visitors - international groups and fashion brands - at Première Vision Paris last year 17 to 19 September in Villepinte.

 

More information:
Sustainable Apparel
Source:

Chair Institut Français de la Mode - Première Vision

ISPO TREND REPORT (c) Messe München GmbH
28.01.2020

ISPO: SPORT BECOMES A SYNONYM FOR HEALTH

TREND REPORT

  • Winter sports trends for 2020/2021
  • The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
  • ISPO Munich (January 26 to 29) to showcase next season’s products

Health will be one of the next decade’s megatrends. The sports industry is, for its part, one of the growth drivers, not least because society now views fitness as a synonym for health. In the future, athleticism will have an ever greater bearing on our everyday lives.

TREND REPORT

  • Winter sports trends for 2020/2021
  • The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
  • ISPO Munich (January 26 to 29) to showcase next season’s products

Health will be one of the next decade’s megatrends. The sports industry is, for its part, one of the growth drivers, not least because society now views fitness as a synonym for health. In the future, athleticism will have an ever greater bearing on our everyday lives.

“Medical fitness” refers to ensuring both a sporty lifestyle and the right medical care tailored to the individual needs. Winter sports are also set to assume a challenging yet important role in the future as a vehicle for teaching values within society. Veit Senner, Professor of Sports Equipment and Sports Materials at the Technical University of Munich, says: “Sports must be used as an emotional Trojan Horse for teaching skills and in particular for teaching values.”

There are also other challenges that will need to be faced in the next few years: Children and adolescents need to be encouraged to lead more active lifestyles and our aging population needs to be kept fit and mobile for as long as possible. Senner believes that winter sports could hold the key for today’s youth: “We need to demonstrate the kinds of educational content and values that can be taught through sports.” Attractive products and services therefore need to be created for children. The latest winter sports trends and pro ducts will be showcased at ISPO Munich from January 26 to 29.

Textile manufacturers are giving the winter sports industry an eco-boost
Swedish label Klättermusen impressed the ISPO Award jury so much with its first fully compostable down jacket “Farbaute” that they named it the Gold Winner in the Outdoor category and the winner of the ISPO Sustainability Award.

The first 100% biodegradable down jacket biologically decomposes on the compost heap after around three months (all apart from the zippers and a few snap fasteners which can be removed and reused).

When washed it does not release any microplastics into the environment. Norwegian clothing manufacturer Helly Hansen is launching a new membrane technology for winter 2020/2021 which can be produced without any additional chemicals. The microporous Lifa Infinity membrane is made using a solvent-free process and, together with a water-repellent Lifa outer material, provides extremely impressive protection from the elements. Helly Hansen’s new Lifa Infinity Pro technology also uses the spinning jet dyeing process whereby the color pigments are already injected during the fiber production process. This can save up to 75% water. What’s more, no harmful wastewater is produced.

The winter sports industry is increasingly focusing on sustainability
“The really big trend is for biopolymer fabrics and materials,” says Senner. “The idea is to replace the many different types of plastics that are used in the sports industry with biopolymers.” Together with his team, he is working hard to conduct in-depth research in both areas. This is a trend which French ski brand Rossignol has also identified, whereby it has focused on the use of raw and recycled materials for the production of its new Black Ops Freeride skis. The Black Ops Sender TI model was crowned the winner in its category by the ISPO Award jury.

Alpina Sports is also exploring new ecological avenues and launching a completely sustainable back protector made from 100% sheep’s wool, obtained exclusively from sheep in Switzerland and Norway. The back protector, which consists of three layers of pressed sheep’s wool, meets the standards for protection class 1 and boasts all the impressive properties that the natural material has to offer: In icy temperatures it remains supple, can both warm and cool the wearer, and is odorless. The ISPO Award jury chose Alpina Sports’ “Prolan Vest” as the “Product of the Year”* in the Snowsports Hardware category.

Swedish label Spektrum uses plant-based polymers made from castor oil as well as corn and recycled polyester for its ski and snowboard goggles. The ISPO Award jury was extremely impressed with both the ecological aspects and the execution and named the “Östra Medium” model the Gold Winner.

imm cologne 2020 © Koelnmesse GmbH / imm cologne / Thomas Klerx
21.01.2020

imm cologne 2020: Ready for better living

  • The industry kicks off the new year with a dynamic start

imm cologne drew to a close on 19 January 2020, with positive overall results. More than 128,000 visitors (including estimates for the last day of the trade fair) attended the event to find inspiration from the industry. Going against the trend for other industry trade fairs held early in the year, imm cologne achieved an increase in visitors compared to the most recent similar edition of the event (2018: 125,000 visitors).

  • The industry kicks off the new year with a dynamic start

imm cologne drew to a close on 19 January 2020, with positive overall results. More than 128,000 visitors (including estimates for the last day of the trade fair) attended the event to find inspiration from the industry. Going against the trend for other industry trade fairs held early in the year, imm cologne achieved an increase in visitors compared to the most recent similar edition of the event (2018: 125,000 visitors).

As in previous years, imm cologne also had a very strong international profile. Of the 82,000 trade visitors (2018: 80,704) around 50 per cent came from outside Germany. Despite the concentration visible in the German wholesale and retail trade, the event recorded a small rise in domestic trade visitors, again bucking the trend in recent years. “With these results, imm cologne not only underscores its prominent position in the global business; the increase in planners, architects and contract furnishers from Germany further emphasises its importance for the German market,” said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. The Managing Director of the Association of the German Furniture Industry, Jan Kurth, also gave the event a highly positive verdict: “For the exhibitors, imm cologne was a commercially successful trade fair that allowed the industry to make an excellent start to the 2020 furniture year. Cologne has once again demonstrated its significance as a platform for contacts and inspiration but also as an ordering fair. Together with all those involved, we will continue to strengthen the importance of this key event in a transforming market environment.”
 
The eight most important living trends of imm cologne 2020
How we live is important to us. An ever increasing number of people are considering how they can live and reside more sustainably, where they will live, with whom they will live, how their apartment should look so they can feel at home there and what the furnishings of their homes say about them. The international interiors show imm cologne is a mirror image of current interiors trends and demonstrates the inventiveness of furniture makers.

Interior design is currently becoming increasingly cosy, and the theme of comfort appears to be dominating not only private living space, but also property and hospitality areas. Following the bathroom, the entrance area is now also being discovered as an object of design. The wish for a good interior design appears to become all the more important, the more one wishes to or is forced to limit oneself to a few, high-quality furnishing elements. This is because, conscious limitation toa little is one of the trends characterising contemporary interior design.

Like in fashion, the pendulum seems to be moving from "more and more and cheaper and cheaper" toward a relative orientation to quality. In the process, there seem to be two stylistically and qualitatively differentiating main directions: while the interiors culture characterised by the design scene continues to prefer a reduced, simpler language of form with natural expression and materials, more glamour is called for in more traditional and in fashionable interiors worlds: it should be refined, be originally expressive and possess classic charm.

Yes, living is becoming more important. This is also an increasingly decisive factor for how life is organised, with concepts like co-working and co-living, the patchwork house or urban gardens. More thought is also being given to the things we bond ourselves with, and we tend to look twice before a decision is made in favour of a good piece. An orientation to quality does not necessarily exclude the search for bargains. While one person might research prices, the other researches the previous life of the item of furniture, including the origin of the materials, recycling capability and general harmlessness with regard to nature, climate and social standards. All agree that we want to live better: more comfortably, more stylishly, using space more effectively, more colourfully, smarter and more sustainably.

More natural living   
An ever increasing number of people are seriously attempting to change their consumer behaviour in order to initiate a trend turnaround toward a sustainable society. Consumer decisions with regard to mobility, mobile phone or nutrition, just as much as for furniture, are being increasingly evaluated under the aspect of climate neutrality. The story behind the product, the storytelling, is thus becoming more important all the time. This means that natural materials and solid wood are preferred in the home, not only for reasons of cosiness, but also with an eye to ecological considerations. Supporting decorative items, such as plants, untreated fabrics and indoor greenhouses are becoming important furnishing elements for home design and are also conceived of as statements. Furniture of high design quality also holds the promise of sustainability.

Wood and natural materials, but also lightweight design and recycling materials are being used everywhere where they are functional, meaning also for products that are usually manufactured from other materials. Bamboo is being tried out as an alternative to wood, just as much as plastic-reinforced paper as a leather-like upholstery fabric. Wickerwork of rattan, willow or bamboo brings a winter garden feeling into the house. The longing for natural living is keeping the trend toward Scandinavian design alive. It is after all associated with a near-natural, uncomplicated and original, rustic lifestyle, which is expressed in the traditionally simple design cultivated in the 20th century.

Greener living
We increasingly want to be close to nature: no new apartments are being built without balconies; apartments and houses with access to gardens or patios are in high demand, especially in urban areas. These touchpoints with nature are now also becoming an integral part of our homes, with patios taking on the role of a second living room. In the wake of the "Indoor – Outdoor" trend, weatherproof outdoor furniture now not only looks like it comes from the living room, it is also used there! Elegant materials and high-tech textiles also make it possible for them to be used indoors. An aesthetic difference is hardly recognisable in the upper price segment and, in the case of the new indoor/outdoor furniture, the comfort of use is also increasingly comparable. In the case of outdoor colours, the colour grey seems to have passed its zenith. White positioned itself as the base colour for outdoor furniture at the spoga-gafa trade fair in Cologne.

The furniture that suits this trend in some cases resembles that from the trend of more natural living: bamboo and wickerwork furniture is popular, but wicker armchairs of high-tech materials and more fashionable accents are also opportune. Plants are found as accessories not only in pots, but also on wallpaper. Green can be found in all shades.
 
Smarter Living  
Can we use an app to grow herbs? Can computers nurture plants to improve air quality? Does the climate have an impact on building services? Does a smart control system switch off the lights and the coffee machine when you leave the house? Smart applications are becoming ever more diverse, reliable and easy to use and can be tailored increasingly precisely to the specific needs of residents. As a result, smart technologies are increasingly playing a key role in architecture. Whether computer-controlled optimisation of indoor air quality, the innovative control and operation of shower toilets or the anticipatory and energy-optimised regulating of room temperature, smart technology is being increasingly integrated into the way we live.

Lamps that serve as Bluetooth loudspeakers; night tables with cordless mobile phone charging stations; cabinets that provide mood lighting; mirror cabinets with multimedia function, tables that adjust to our ideal amount of movement and sofas that note the individual favourite seating position; lights that help us fall asleep and beds that nudge us gently into another position when we snore. Technology is becoming an integral, ideally inconspicuous element of furniture.

More efficient living
Rising rents and smaller homes will continue to drive the demand for space-saving furniture. The first wave of the trend toward tidiness and renunciation aesthetics has already reached us from the USA and Asia. Renouncing consumption and restricting ourselves to the essential things in life are strategies for creating order in the home. And more and more people are finding this approach extremely beneficial. Order is trendy, so anything else is once again “uncool”. Quality over quantity could therefore be the perfect home furnishing philosophy for many people, especially as it is also consistent with the desire for natural living.
          
A trend for some time now has been small and compact sofas and armchairs with a design often oriented to classic typologies. Even more sought after in future will be affordable system furniture and compact individual items, which are scalable (adaptable to different room dimensions), variable (pull-out technology, etc.) and versatile. Life on a second level is also becoming trendy; the high sleeper is making a comeback. In view of the wide range of applications for such furniture systems, from the mini-apartment to the loft, suppliers are, however, attaching great importance to modern aesthetics in an urban living style that goes far beyond any teenager’s bedroom atmosphere.

Living more comfortably
We are worth it! Comfort is written in capital letters in every home (no matter how small), especially in the bedroom. However, investments are also being made in the bathroom and seating furniture. Comfort also involves several standards of building services; keywords here include the heated car seat, heated or cooled rooms. Compact, design-oriented seating, such as two-seater sofas or armchairs, is the trend in the upper product segment. Here, special attention is paid to ergonomics. Console table, wall rest tables or small shelves not only assure a sense of order in everyday life, but are instead an integral element of interior design.
          
And the favourite place for a comfortable hammock is found not only in the garden. It began with stools, and now bench seats, with and without backrests, have also been given soft upholstery to add a comfortable highlight to the kitchen and dining area. For sofas, the trend is toward a platform raised off the floor, which lifts the cushions to a higher level, as well as toward individualisation and adjustability. Integrated occasional tables are a theme.

Living without limits
The requirements of living are currently changing quite rapidly. More sophisticated singles apartments with a scarce offering of space and a lifestyle that also seeks freedom from conventions when it comes to furnishings are reinforcing the trend toward generously dimensioned one-room apartments with a loft feeling. These are complemented by one or two work rooms or bedrooms as needed. The flowing into one another of the rooms leads to a need for multifunctional furniture that marks living areas or delimits them from one another. Kitchen and living merge, the bathroom remains separate, if also, at least in the high price range, "en suite" and a little bit bigger. Instead of separate rooms, modern apartments present an open spatial structure, and compartmentalised apartments in old buildings are "aired out" through the removal of wall elements. Winter gardens and converted attics open up bright spaces, and generously dimensioned window fronts, ideally opening without thresholds, also optically expand the space outwards.

With the exception of built-in cabinets, single items of furniture are called for. Consistent collections and walls of cabinets in the living room encumber the feeling of freedom too much; mix & match is better suited. However, the single items of furniture must be combinable to this purpose. Finding the right balance in the design, autonomous, but not extroverted, pleasing but not boring, is the art of this furniture with classic qualities. Multifunctional furniture like tables that function convincingly as a workplace and dining area, freestanding sofas, cabinets that function as storage space and wall elements, room partitions that enable functions on both sides (like integrating the pivoting monitor that can be used from both sides), mobile furniture for indoors and outdoors; these are the heroes of living without limits.

Colourful living
Among the colour trends in interior design, brown is surely the one with the strongest impact, because it can be used both neutrally and in an avant garde fashion. On the whole, shades of brown are responsible for cosiness and are therefore currently very popular. While things are very harmonious in the range from greige through taupe to moor oak, the combination of, for example, nougat brown with other, mostly reserved colours (meaning not used in neon or pastel) ranging from orange to turquoise is also quite bold. However, whether with green, pink, purple or brown, colour brings glamour into the apartment. Dark wood shades, reminiscent of Art Deco or Danish modernity, with gold, brass or other metallic accents on sumptuous rugs stand for pure luxury. While the overall interior design trend is toward dark colours, from dark greens and blues to black, the minimalist interiors style remains loyal to the lighter and more natural shades. Avant-gardists pledge themselves to the Bauhaus tradition with primary colours colourfully combined with a white base colour. However, the interiors scene as a whole is becoming more colourful through the intensive use of colour schemes. Monochromaticity is also being increasingly abandoned in favour of patterns.

Decorative living
After clothing, living is today the number one means of expression. We are not only what we wear, but how we live. This makes every decorative element a statement. The basis for any eyecatcher is a space to make an impact. Tidy optics and decorative elements thus don't need to contradict one another. Lifestyle and the decorative are staged, on the wall elements, in the textiles, on the floor … or also behind (illuminated) glass. Each element and each item of furniture is simultaneously a decorative element. Which is why single products are preferred over homogeneous interior design with the furniture of a collection. Lights adjust to any furnishing style and are increasingly used as an optical highlight of the space. Designer lights are now what the folding table on rollers was in the 1970s.
     
Both mirrors and pictures are readily used as design elements: the classic here is the circular mirror in all versions; here the mirrors are often used graphically (thus pronouncedly two dimensionally) and bring depth to the room. As cement or Metro tiles, tiles transform from tepid floor coverings to the cool highlight at the kitchen bar, in special sections of the wall or in the entrance area. On the walls, it is wallpaper with small and large-format patterns that turn a room into a veritable work of art. On the floor, rugs with geometrical patterns, floral elements or graphic fancies provide accents, here too as a single product again. Oval shapes are especially pronounced, and, among furniture items, the sideboard is by far the most decorative: not only as a presentation surface, but also as a type.

DOMOTEX 2020 (c) Domotex
14.01.2020

DOMOTEX 2020

SUSTAINABILITY, INTERNATIONALITY, VISITOR QUALITY CHARGE THIS YEAR'S EDITION

SUSTAINABILITY, INTERNATIONALITY, VISITOR QUALITY CHARGE THIS YEAR'S EDITION

The latest edition of DOMOTEX – the world’s leading showcase for carpets and floor coverings – stood out as the industry’s biggest, most pivotal hub for trends and innovations. A total of 35,000 attendees – 70% of them from abroad – were on hand for the four-day event to explore the latest trends, products and solutions presented by over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 different nations. The show’s keynote theme of "ATMYSPHERE" highlighted the aspects of flooring products that contribute to a sense of wellbeing and promoted naturalness and sustainability – topics thoroughly reflected by the products on display.
 
"DOMOTEX is and remains our most international tradeshow. We are delighted that the event attracts attendees from around the globe, who come for 2.3 days on average – 60% from Europe, 25% from Asia and 10% from the Americas, with the remainder from Africa and Australia," said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of DOMOTEX.

Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director DOMOTEX, was impressed by the positive response: “The number of visitors reflects the current market concentration. The further increase in visitor quality at the trade fair is important for impulses in the 2020 financial year. The proportion of decision-makers is 90%, of which every second functions as a member of the management, company or management ”.

One out of two attendees generates new leads at DOMOTEX
Based on this year’s visitor survey, almost half of all attendees (44%) used the event to generate new leads. Fred T. Keller, Marketing Director of Theo Keller GmbH in Bochum, Germany, reported a high number of walk-in visitors and new customers. He attributed this mainly to ongoing enhancements to the event, particularly the new hall layout launched in 2020, which he saw as a major step forward. "This new design has resulted in many more spontaneous customer contacts than previously, and we couldn’t be more delighted. DOMOTEX is definitely the most important trade fair for us."

Attending DOMOTEX was also a "must" for Mirco Schäpe, Product Manager LVT at JAB Teppiche Heinz Anstoetz KG in Herford-Elverdissen, Germany. He spends several days at the event every year to meet up with existing and potential suppliers and "get a feel for emerging trends,” as he put it. Michael Massmann, National Sales Manager & Vice President of Textile Trading Group, Winter Park, USA, said he used DOMOTEX mainly to generate new leads, adding that: "We are naturally also keen on establishing new, preferably long-term customer relationships, while at the same time deepening our relations with existing customers and suppliers. We have attended every DOMOTEX since our business was founded three years ago, and that’s not going to change."

"ATMYSPHERE" as a common thread
The show’s lead theme was also well received by exhibitors. For example, Bernhard Reinkemeier, CEO of Reinkemeier Rietberg based in Rietberg, Germany, referred to it as being a "good match" for his company’s objectives, adding: "We very much welcome the lead theme and its flanking measures, all of which are highly attractive and have helped us reach our goals."

"The lead theme perfectly reflected the spirit of the times, and its significance was clear to see throughout the halls. We are already busy exploring ways of featuring sustainability to even greater advantage at DOMOTEX 2021," remarked Wedell-Castellano. "I also very much look forward to teaming up with the show’s players from the business community and the skilled trades so as to generate even more benefit for the industry and its clientele next year."

More information:
Domotex 2020 Domotex 2019
Source:

Final Report Domotex der Deutsche Messe AG

HEIMTEXTIL CELEBRATES ITS ANNIVERSARY (c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Jochen Günther
07.01.2020

HEIMTEXTIL CELEBRATES ITS ANNIVERSARY

THE 50TH EDITION OF THE WORLD-LEADING TRADE FAIR WITH MAJOR FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Half a century shaped by textile design: for the 50th time, Heimtextil will bring together the international home textiles industry. From 7-10 January 2020, 2952 companies from 65 countries will present their innovations at the world’s largest trade fair for home and contract textiles.*

‘There is hardly any other trade fair in the world that can look back on such an eventful and successful history. Ever since the first event in January 1971 with 679 exhibitors, we have invested massively over the decades in the quality of the fair as well as in the range of information and inspiration we offer the industry. We are looking forward to a very special edition of Heimtextil, which is in very good shape as it approaches its 50th anniversary’, says Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt.

THE 50TH EDITION OF THE WORLD-LEADING TRADE FAIR WITH MAJOR FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Half a century shaped by textile design: for the 50th time, Heimtextil will bring together the international home textiles industry. From 7-10 January 2020, 2952 companies from 65 countries will present their innovations at the world’s largest trade fair for home and contract textiles.*

‘There is hardly any other trade fair in the world that can look back on such an eventful and successful history. Ever since the first event in January 1971 with 679 exhibitors, we have invested massively over the decades in the quality of the fair as well as in the range of information and inspiration we offer the industry. We are looking forward to a very special edition of Heimtextil, which is in very good shape as it approaches its 50th anniversary’, says Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt.

The textile furnishing sector faces major challenges in the anniversary year of Heimtextil: the digital revolution – key word ‘Industry 4.0’ – is currently leading to fundamental changes in the manufacture and processing of home textiles. Not all companies can keep up, meaning that the past year has been dominated by business closures and insolvencies. Digitisation opens up many opportunities on the production side – on the retail side, however, it leads to a significant shift in purchasing flows, making specialist bricks-and-mortar shops dependent on new concepts in the medium term. Here, too, there has been strong consolidation and a decline in the number of specialist shops.

Sales in the retail sector continue to decline
The latest industry report by the IFH Cologne shows that spending on home and household textiles continues to slide. Although the years 2015 to 2017 were still top notch, sales have fallen by almost €1 billion within two years and are now back to the levels seen in the tough financial years of 2008/09. The reasons for this sales trend can primarily be ascribed to the sluggish economy. As a result, German industry is pinning its hopes on foreign markets and the high proportion of Heimtextil trade visitors from abroad (75 percent).

Varied measures for greater sustainability
Sustainability is the major overarching theme of the industry. At Heimtextil 2020, green aspects will be at the top of the fair’s agenda for the tenth time. With its range of measures, Heimtextil is promoting the industry's commitment to sustainability and giving green pioneers a platform. The tenth edition of the Green Directory, the exhibitor directory for sustainable producers, includes more pioneers and newcomers than ever before with 259 companies. The ‘Green Village’ is also enjoying growth. In the sustainability area in hall 12.0, which acts as a first port of call for all questions relating to green issues, recognised certifiers and seal awarders will present themselves. New to this area is the German government's ‘Grüner Knopf’ textile seal, launched in September, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, which will present the global Sustainable Development Goals at Heimtextil. For example, Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will report on the Sustainable Development Goals and cooperation with Heimtextil at the opening press conference of Heimtextil. Two showcases will illustrate which sustainable approaches the industry is pursuing and how they are already being applied in practice: the Portuguese textile industry will present the ‘iTechStyle Green Circle’ in hall 12.0 and Pakistani manufacturers will present pioneering projects under the ‘Sustainable Pakistan’ umbrella in the foyer of hall 10.2.

Trend Space focuses on sustainable concept
Sustainable aspects were also at the forefront of the concept for this year’s ‘Trend Spaces’. ‘Together with our designers, we have set ourselves the goal of creating a sustainable show and have adopted a material manifesto for this purpose. The aim was to minimise the environmental impact by selecting materials in an intelligent way. This means: wherever possible, alternative, sustainable materials were used’, explains Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies of Messe Frankfurt. ‘Heimtextil thus invites you to a design show that not only talks about sustainability but also embraces it in practical terms and, thanks to this approach and its reputation, is unrivalled worldwide. With the motto WHERE I BELONG, visitors interested in design will experience around 1000 exhibits by international exhibitors in the “Trend Space” in hall 3.0 – integrated into a spectacular design concept by Stijlinstituut Amsterdam under the direction of Anne Marie Commandeur. The approach of the new Future Materials Library, part of the Trend Space, is also progressive and sustainable. Here, visitors can explore the nature and production method of innovative materials. The focus is on recycled fabrics and cultivated – so-called living – textiles, among other things.

Hotels etc.: contract furnishing in the spotlight
As another top theme, Heimtextil is focusing on the furnishing of hotels and public buildings under the title ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality’. The new highlight here is the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Library’, a textile materials library with 64 selected, high-quality products categorised according to functional properties especially for contract furnishing. With this library, Heimtextil clearly demonstrates the many and varied uses of functional textiles, in particular providing interior designers with a first-rate work tool. Every product on display is labelled with the name of the manufacturer, booth number and its functional properties. All information on this can also be accessed online throughout the year at www.textile-library.com. Furthermore, the fair offers interior designers, architects and hospitality experts an extremely attractive programme in hall 4.2 – with superb product presentations in the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Expo’, a four-day lecture programme, guided tours and a special exhibitor directory, the
‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Directory’.

For better sleep: professional tips and product innovations
The topic of ‘sleep’ is of huge power and importance for both personal well-being and for the home textiles industry. Heimtextil will be dedicating itself to this much-discussed lifestyle theme for the second time. in “Sleep! The Future Forum' in the foyer of hall 11.0, a four-day programme of talks with a wider range of topics and numerous experienced sleep experts awaits interested listeners. These sleep experts include professional athletes such as Olympic luge champion Susi Erdmann and scientists from Berlin’s Charité, the Fraunhofer Institute and the German Sleep Research Society. Heimtextil has also been able to attract speakers from Ikea, Hästens and Auping to talk about progressive sleep topics. Numerous products aimed at greater sleep comfort will celebrate their première in the context of the ‘Sleep’ programme at the world's leading trade fair.

50th Heimtextil: design classics from the past five decades
To mark the 50th edition of Heimtextil, the trade fair will be presenting design classics from the past 50 trade fair editions in a showcase area in hall 9.0. Under the motto ‘Heimtextil Journey through Time – Celebrating 50 Years of Interior Design’, the fair invites visitors to take a tour through five decades of Heimtextil history. Four specially designed rooms incorporate colours, shapes, furniture and design objects from past decades. The showcase is complemented by a café that will be realised in cooperation with Schöner Wohnen, Europe's largest living magazine.

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*For comparison: In 2019, 3,012 exhibitors from 65 countries took part (FKM figures, Gesellschaft zur Freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen, Berlin)