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02.02.2021

5th Otto Group Trend Study: Ethical consumption established in German mainstream

Ethical consumption seems to have arrived at the center of society. 70 percent of respondents in the current trend study state that ethical criteria have become a fixed component of their purchasing decisions. 82 percent are in favor of a longer product life and greater material efficiency. And 63 percent are now even willing to bear the additional costs for climate-neutral products. The Otto Group's fifth Trend Study 2020 on ethical consumption formulates provocative theses that encourage rethinking and a new fresh view on the post-Corona world. 

Ethical consumption seems to have arrived at the center of society. 70 percent of respondents in the current trend study state that ethical criteria have become a fixed component of their purchasing decisions. 82 percent are in favor of a longer product life and greater material efficiency. And 63 percent are now even willing to bear the additional costs for climate-neutral products. The Otto Group's fifth Trend Study 2020 on ethical consumption formulates provocative theses that encourage rethinking and a new fresh view on the post-Corona world. 

The trend towards ethical consumption has been observed for many years. Meanwhile, the focus of consumers has changed significantly. They no longer just want to do something good for themselves, they increasingly want to make a difference for others with their consumption. This has noticeable consequences for companies now, because those whose business activities demonstrably harm the environment and nature are finding it increasingly difficult to compete. Companies that do not share the values of their customers, which they believe in and hold on to, quickly lose the trust of their customers. And those who evade their responsibility for the common welfare, are sometimes even boycotted.

"The demands for sustainable changes in our economic system to politics and companies, and the willingness to take responsibility have reached the center of society," says the head of the study, Prof. Peter Wippermann of Trendbuero.

Key results of the current 2020 trend study include:

Ethical consumption becomes mainstream
For 70 percent of Germans, ethical criteria have become an essential part of their purchasing decisions. 20 percent of the respondents even say that they buy more consciously according to ethical criteria since the Corona crisis. Corona has led many people to rethink; purchasing decisions better thought-out, check whether they are necessary they seem to be taking on a different significance in the lives of individuals.
 
The throwaway society is becoming a discontinued model
82 percent of those surveyed are prepared to join the path from a throwaway society to a circular economy, and they are in favor of longer product lives and greater material efficiency. In addition, 63 percent would bear the additional costs for climate-neutral products. Here, too, is a change in the attitude of consumers, who appear to be increasingly willing to pay for the emissions they cause.
     
Sharing and second-hand are trending among consumers
The study shows that 73 percent of respondents think it is good to buy or sell used things such as worn fashion or old furniture. 54 percent of respondents even plan to borrow more in the future. While in 2013 52 percent of respondents were willing to share, swap, borrow or buy used things, by 2020 this figure had already risen to 64 percent.

Consumers increasingly recognize the limits of unbridled growth
70 percent of those surveyed foresee serious difficulties for people and the environment if we continue to consume without restraint. 77 percent of Germans are in favor of industrialized countries taking on more responsibility in the fight against climate change and providing more support for poorer countries. 60 percent can now imagine paying the true costs of environmental pollution and climate change when making purchases. These results suggest that the importance of ethical consumption has not only been established in the people’s minds, but there is also an increasing willingness to dig deeper into their pockets for it.

Politics should set the framework for more ethical consumption
There is also a turnaround in the question of who should ensure more ethical consumption. 41 percent of Germans consider politics to be the driving force behind ethical consumption, 23 percent the economy and 22 percent each individual. In 2011 and 2013, only 27 percent of respondents thought that politicians should be held more accountable for this.

It is also interesting to note that the issue of consumer responsibility continues to grow: 70 percent of all respondents say that ethical criteria are now an essential part of their purchasing considerations. In 2013, the figure was only by 63 percent. Baby boomers (born up to 1964) in particular are pushing the purchase of ethical products. While in 2013 it was 65 percent who bought ethical products more often, by 2020 79 percent were already purchasing according to ethical criteria more frequently. Also interesting: 68 percent of those surveyed would boycott a supplier that behaves unfairly toward its employees and creates poor working conditions.

Alexander Birken, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Otto Group: "The question of whether our way of living and doing business needs to be adjusted is being asked more and more loudly. At least, this is confirmed by the results of this fifth trend study. We in the Otto Group want to make a difference, because it has been our belief for generations that, in the end, the economy must serve the people, not the other way around. However, to achieve this, we all have to change. Away from the throwaway society, toward sustainable and recyclable products, and a resource-friendly production method in which human rights are regarded higher and in which respect and mindfulness toward nature take on a new significance."

For the study, the results of a survey of 1,149 Germans between the ages of 14 and 74 from October 2020 were combined with perspectives based on trend research.
Download (only available in German)

More information:
ethical consumption Otto study
Source:

Otto Group

26.01.2021

DBU-Funding: From 3D Knitting Machines to Washing without Water

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

Environmental protection through digitalization - funding for start-ups

Clothing on-demand, a new type of textile cleaning and locally generated green electricity - these three business ideas of “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” (Krefeld), “Infinity Startup” (Aachen) and “prosumergy” (Kassel) convinced the Green Start-up Program’s jury of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). They will receive a total of around 370,000 euros in technical and financial support.

The DBU promotes company foundations and start-ups that combine solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability in an innovative way with a focus on digitalization.
General conditions for promotion:

  • in the founding phase as well as start-ups up to 5 years old
  • up to 125,000€ per project
  • up to 24 months duration

A cloud service for retail
The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” wants to change the clothing industry sustainably. The founders are developing a cloud service that is directly linked to retail. Customers of the " “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” can order individualized garments in which size, color and design are adapted to their wishes. The order data is then transferred using the cloud, an online storage medium. They can be retrieved at any place in the world.

First order - then produce
If a customer orders a hat, for example, the order is automatically transmitted to 3D knitting machines. Then production begins, followed by shipment of the goods. The “Digitale Strickmanufaktur” produces knitwear on demand completely automatically with robots and a 3D knitting machine.

In this way, sales can be planned for retailers and not too much clothing is produced. Additionally: The products are manufactured close to the customer in Germany. Long transport routes and times are eliminated.

Washing without washing machine
The “RefresherBoxx” of the “Infinity Startup” is basically a mobile textile cleaner that does not require water or detergent. “Using a combination of different physical methods, it disinfects, dries and refreshes all kinds of textiles - especially those that can't be put in the washing machine, like leather, velvet and silk,” explains founder Stefan Chang. The “RefresherBoxx” is gentler, more environmentally friendly and only takes 30 minutes for one washing phase. According to Chang, the mobile textile cleaning system can be used in the medical sector, but also in the private and leisure sector.

Local power for commerce and e-mobility
The start-up "prosumergy" offers building owners and tenants a low-cost power supply from renewable energies that are mainly generated locally. "With the help of the DBU, we want to further develop our energy supply approach. By means of standardization and digitization, we want to develop concepts for the decentralized power supply of commercial properties and charging solutions for e-mobility," says founder Lena Cielejewski.

25 founding teams already funded
The three founding teams will now be funded for two years in the DBU's Green Start-up program. "They bring together solutions for the environment, ecology and sustainability with a focus on digitalization in an innovative way," said DBU Start-up coordinator Dr. Stefanie Grade. 22 other companies have already convinced the selection committee of themselves since the program was launched.

Contact details
Digitale Strickmanufaktur PoC GmbH (Krefeld)
Connecting textile trade and automated textile production with the help of cloud services
Contact Mr. Christian Zarbl
URL: digitale-strickmanufaktur.de

Infinity StartUp GmbH (Aachen)
Development, production and distribution of cleaning equipment for textiles, especially using physical methods, as well as development of related applications.
Contact Mr. Stefan Chang
URL: refresherboxx.com

prosumergy GmbH (Kassel)
prosumergy GmbH realizes decentralized energy supply projects as project developer and energy supplier
Contact Christopher Neumann
URL: prosumergy.de

DOMOTEX 2018 (c) Deutsche Messe
23.01.2018

GLOBAL FLOOR COVERINGS INDUSTRY ENTHUSIASTICALLY EMBRACES NEW DOMOTEX

  • Record-breaking event in terms of exhibitor turnout and booked space
  • Strong visitor turnout a clear signal that new concept is right on target
  • New “Framing Trends” showcase a big hit among exhibitors and visitors alike

DOMOTEX 2018 featured a fresher, more modern, trendier look and feel than ever. Running from 12 to 15 January in Hannover, Germany, the event sported an all-new site and hall layout, plus a new Friday-to-Monday run and an array of immersive displays exploring the lead theme of UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE. This all added up to optimal visitor orientation and a fresh take on the world of floor coverings. As the world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings, DOMOTEX once again delivered top performance as a driver of new business, trends and innovations. 1,615 exhibitors and 45,000 trade visitors from over 100 nations traveled to Hannover to kick off an exciting year of business.

  • Record-breaking event in terms of exhibitor turnout and booked space
  • Strong visitor turnout a clear signal that new concept is right on target
  • New “Framing Trends” showcase a big hit among exhibitors and visitors alike

DOMOTEX 2018 featured a fresher, more modern, trendier look and feel than ever. Running from 12 to 15 January in Hannover, Germany, the event sported an all-new site and hall layout, plus a new Friday-to-Monday run and an array of immersive displays exploring the lead theme of UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE. This all added up to optimal visitor orientation and a fresh take on the world of floor coverings. As the world’s leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings, DOMOTEX once again delivered top performance as a driver of new business, trends and innovations. 1,615 exhibitors and 45,000 trade visitors from over 100 nations traveled to Hannover to kick off an exciting year of business. The new DOMOTEX was enthusiastically received by the global floor coverings industry, which sported a record number of exhibitors and a record amount of booked space (106,000 square meters), thus underscoring a tangible turnaround in the floor coverings industry. “Significant growth in the number of participating exhibitors and the amount of booked space, a strong visitor turnout, an abundance of new products and innovations as well as an upbeat mood throughout the exhibition halls all bear witness to the great success of this year’s event”, commented Dr. Andreas Gruchow as the responsible member of Deutsche Messe’s Managing Board at the close of the event. “With UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE as this year’s chosen keynote theme, DOMOTEX provided a brightly lit stage for the individualization trend and all the inspiration and innovation associated with it, thus enhancing the show’s image as a prime source of orientation on interior furnishing and lifestyle trends.”

“Framing Trends” showcase provided a huge source of inspiration
The special “Framing Trends” showcase in Hall 9 was where visitors could most fully experience the significance of “UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE” as the exhibition’s keynote theme. Exhibitors, young designers and artists used Framing Trends to explore the topic of individuality in 20 different “framed” rooms. This special display proved hugely popular among attendees and offered a wealth of inspiration. “Framing Trends was a big success. Its fresh approach gave rise to lots of new ideas and made DOMOTEX more attractive than ever,” remarked Gruchow. “This special showcase will therefore also be a key offering at future editions of DOMOTEX,” he added.

A visit to Framing Trends was particularly high on the agenda of architects, designers and planners, who used this creative hotspot to gather new inspiration for their work – all the more so since Framing Trends covered the full spectrum of floor covering products. “‘Framing Trends’ in Hall 9 attractively featured and summarized everything on offer at DOMOTEX. With its fresh approach and central location, it served as the beating heart of the show and proved especially appealing to architects, interior designers and designers,” commented Chris Middleton, an architect at KINZO based in Berlin.

Highly international mix of attendees
More than 65 percent of the event’s 45,000 visitors came from abroad – around 60 percent of them coming from Europe, with some 25 percent from Asia and 11 percent from the Americas. Attendance from the United States and South and Central America increased. The majority of DOMOTEX visitors were buyers from specialist retailers and wholesalers as well as architects and interior designers and workers from the skilled trades. A strong increase in attendance was particularly evident among home furnishing and furniture stores, architects, interior designers, contract floorers and skilled tradesmen. As usual, DOMOTEX visitors once again demonstrated a high degree of decision-making authority.

Visitors were delighted at the many innovations on display. “SÜDBUND takes part in DOMOTEX every year. This time we organized our first-ever delegation trip to DOMOTEX for our members. We’re thrilled about all the inspiration we were able to gather, including insight into the latest floor covering advancements and trends. It’s already clear to us that we’ll be back with an even larger delegation in 2019,” said Michael Kovac, Purchasing Manager for Floor Coverings & Accessories at SÜDBUND – the Purchasing Association for Home Textiles based in Backnang, Germany).

Strong contributions by architects and designers
The rich supporting program of talks and presentations on the keynote theme provided further inspiration, and met with a very enthusiastic response on the part of exhibitors and visitors alike. Among the featured speakers were such renowned architects as Werner Aisslinger (Studio Aisslinger, Berlin), Andreas Krawczyk (NKBAK, Frankfurt/Main), Chris Middleton (KINZO, Berlin) and Jürgen Mayer H. (J.MAYER.H and Partners, Berlin). Intriguing architecture and design projects were presented and discussed, covering everything from initial conceptualization to the design process and on to production and sales strategies. Daily guided tours led by big-name architects and designers such as Peter Ippolito (Ippolito Fleitz Group, Stuttgart), Jürgen Mayer. H. (J.MAYER.H and Partners, Berlin) and Susanne Schmidhuber (SCHMIDHUBER, Munich) gave visitors special insight into products and the show’s keynote theme while putting them in direct touch with exhibitors of particular interest to them.

The talks given by the internationally acclaimed interior design blogger and author Holly Becker from Decor8 also met with very enthusiastic audiences. Becker explained how DOMOTEX exhibitors could collaborate with bloggers to raise the market profile of their products. Together with other well-known bloggers, she also delved into the topic of tomorrow’s furnishing trends. The use of virtual reality as an interior design tool was an equally exciting topic in Hall 9, where many visitors donned virtual reality glasses to experience the many possible uses and benefits of this new technology.

Further inspiration was provided by the “Art Day Workshops” staged within the context of Framing Trends by Canadian design firm Creative Matters. Participants were invited to experiment with colors, coal, tint and wax on paper to create fresh new designs pertaining to the keynote theme, UNIQUE YOUNIVERSE. At the so-called floorCODES WorkLabs held by the Institute of International Trend Scouting (of the University of Applied Research and Art, Hildesheim, Germany), participants had an opportunity to apply the institute’s “IIT HAWK” method to generate visionary scenarios for the future of floor coverings.

The presentation of the Carpet Design Awards on the Saturday of the show was another highlight in Hall 9. These internationally renowned awards were given in eight different categories, in recognition of the world's most beautiful handmade designer carpets. Also worthy of special mention is that Hall 13 established itself as a new magnet for parquet layers and other floor-laying professionals as well as interior decorators and painters, while the many Treffpunkt Handwerk offerings gave skilled tradespeople a valuable source of tips and tricks for their everyday work.

The next Hannover edition of DOMOTEX will be staged from 11 to 14 January 2019.

Starting in 2019, DOMOTEX will also be staged in North America. The debut of DOMOTEX USA will be from 28 February to 2 March 2019 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.