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(c) STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute
23.02.2021

Sustainability Management in Textiles - Interview with Sonja Amport, Director of STF

Contact restrictions, mandatory use of face masks, home office: The Coronavirus has turned our daily lives upside down and reduced public life almost to zero. The impact of the pandemic has even further in-creased the existing pressure for action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. And that is why, it is not surprising that the issues of sustainability, climate protection and digitization are gaining ground in the industry's and consumers' awareness. New management qualities are required.

Textination talked to Sonja Amport, Director of the STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute, about the new training course CAS Sustainability Management in Textiles. After career experiences in the industry and in associations, the business economist with a master's degree in International Management has been contributing her knowledge of textiles, education, business administration, as well as marketing and sales to STF with vigor and passion since 2015.

Contact restrictions, mandatory use of face masks, home office: The Coronavirus has turned our daily lives upside down and reduced public life almost to zero. The impact of the pandemic has even further in-creased the existing pressure for action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. And that is why, it is not surprising that the issues of sustainability, climate protection and digitization are gaining ground in the industry's and consumers' awareness. New management qualities are required.

Textination talked to Sonja Amport, Director of the STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute, about the new training course CAS Sustainability Management in Textiles. After career experiences in the industry and in associations, the business economist with a master's degree in International Management has been contributing her knowledge of textiles, education, business administration, as well as marketing and sales to STF with vigor and passion since 2015.

The history of the STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute began in 1881. In this year Pablo Picasso was born and Billy the Kid was shot. The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach was premiered and Thomas Alva Edison built the world's first electric power station. The Breuninger department store opened at Stuttgart's market square and Rudolph Karstadt's first store in Wismar.
What led to the foundation of STF during this period of time and what values do you still feel committed to today?

In 1881, the textile industry in Switzerland was thriving. Companies in the sector of spinning, weaving, finishing and others burgeoned. However, there was a shortage of trained specialists who could have operated or repaired the machines. This is why the companies teamed up and founded the STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute - a place for education and training of specialists for the Swiss textile and clothing industry. For this reason, the STF is still organized as a cooperative today. Therefore, we are still committed to the values of competence, customer orientation, innovation, inspiration and passion to this day.

If you had to introduce your educational institution in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the Schweizerische Textilfachschule: How does the school define itself today and on which fields of activity does it focus?
The STF Swiss Textile & Fashion Institute stands for sustainable educational competence covering the entire life cycle of a textile, fashion or lifestyle product. With the "STF-LAB", the STF positions itself as an educational service provider with three business fields. The core field is "Education", where the STF offers numerous training and further education courses, from basic education to bachelor's and master's degrees. In the "Incubator & Makerspace" (STF Studio), the main focus is on shared infrastructure, mutual inspiration and the thereby together achieved progress. In the third business field, "Think Tank & Consulting", the school acts as a think tank, where experts can be "hired" and part-time management is offered.

Keyword life-long education: What further education programs does the STF offer for the textile and clothing industry, even after a successful degree?
Which industry sectors and which countries are you focusing on?

Firstly, we offer a variety of informal modular courses for the textile and clothing industry as well as retail, in which one can achieve a good overview of a specific topic within 45 lessons. Such as: Welding & Bonding, Smart & Functional Textiles, Start-up in Fashion or the Steiger Stitch Module, where you learn to program your own knitting designs and then knit them on a "Shared Machine" at STF. We also offer two-week intensive summer courses each year, for example in Sustainable Fashion Design. In terms of formal education, I can recommend our master’s program in Product Management Fashion & Textile in German or our two CAS in Sustainability Management in Textiles. Once with face-to-face classes in German and once via e-learning in English. At the moment, we are focusing our programs on Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH region). Our internationalization strategy was abruptly stopped due to Covid-19. With our English master's programs, we were focusing particularly on the Indian and Chinese markets We are now strategically repositioning ourselves with English language courses and will start marketing again from 2022 onwards. The goal is to provide flexible, modular master's programs with a high e-learning component, so that costs remain moderate and travelling can be reduced.

Sustainability has changed from a buzzword to a matter of course: The latest OTTO Trend Study even says, that sustainable consumption has entered the mainstream society. What does this mean for the textile and clothing industry? Are the companies positioned in terms of personnel in such a way, that they have professionally incorporated this complex of topics into their service portfolio?
Swiss companies have recognized, that they only have a chance against foreign competitors, if they are capable of innovation, consistently operating in a niche and can stand out through sustainable production. Sustainability is therefore an absolutely central USP. With this in mind, many companies are dealing this and, of course, also send their employees to us for further training.

The STF offers - so far being the only one in the German-speaking area - an internationally recognized further education in the field of Sustainability Management in Textiles as a Certificate of Advanced Studies CAS. Which sub-areas from design, production, process optimization to marketing does the certificate cover?
The STF offers the internationally recognized University of Applied Sciences certificate in collaboration with SUPSI, the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana in Ticino.

In the degree program, we look from a holistic perspective and at the entire value chain of a textile, i.e. from design to production and to marketing, global challenges, where sustainability acts as a multilateral solution. In addition, the normative and strategic management of sustainability, topics related to social responsibility as well as initiatives and standards for the textile industry are highlighted. An important element of the CAS are raw materials and products, i.e. not only sustainable fibers but also fabrics or the use of chemical agents. Last but not least, aspects around biodiversity, animal welfare, marketing, labeling as well as possible future scenarios and best practice examples are highlighted.

Who could be interested in the CAS Sustainability Management in Textiles and why? What impact can the certificate have on a career?
The CAS is attractive for managers who are generally concerned about the strategic orientation of a company, as well as for specialist employees in design, product development, purchasing, sales or quality management who are responsible for operationalizing the sustainability strategy. And of course we always welcome young designers with their own fashion labels willing to break new, sustainable grounds and to stand out from the rest. The push in professional life is strongly related to one's own personality. So far, however, all graduates have found attending the further education program to be extremely beneficial for their own career paths.

What about the formal aspects of the CAS? For example, are there selection criteria, by when do you have to register, what does the curriculum look like, and what are the fees for attendants?
We start the educational courses at the end of August each year. Early registration, preferably by mid-May, is recommended to secure a place. In the face-to-face course, 120 lessons take place in Zurich and Ticino, costs of CHF 5,900. -, including teaching materials and examination fees, can be expected. In the e-learning course, with a few days of on-site attendance, the content is taught synchronously by Microsoft Teams, usually by the same lecturers. Here, the fee is CHF 5,600.

These costs do not include personal expenses as well as travel and accommodation costs.

Those who are interested can find the facts & figures on our homepage (available in German only):
(www.stf.ch/kurse/cas or www.stf.ch/kurse/cas-online)

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us the limitations of mobility. How have you responded to this as an educational institution?
Physical limitations can easily be overcome with e-learning. One of the reasons why our classes continued regularly throughout the pandemic period. For the period after Covid-19, we are planning, in addition to face-to-face study modules, further online-only seminars, such as our CAS-Online. These will be offered increasingly in English as well. We are also currently testing possible forms of hybrid lessons. Meaning, while some are educated on-site in Zurich, people who have to travel a long way, such as those from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH region), can attend the lessons virtually and live from a distance.

The past year has left its mark on the textile and apparel industry. When you look back on a year of "state of emergency" - what positive experiences do you take with you, where do you see a need for improvement?
It was definitely a year of a state of emergency! One positive aspect is, that we at STF were ready and able to teach online from day one of the lockdown. The learners, students and my team all showed the greatest understanding and flexibility. But as an institute in the textile, fashion and lifestyle sector, teaching also thrives on visual materials. Being able to feel and smell the yarns and fabrics, as well as to discuss the experiences in person, are important learning experiences. It is definitely a challenge to implement such key learning elements online. Overall, Covid-19 has catapulted us forward as an institution in regards to the topic of digitization by what feels like two years. However, I would be grateful if we could return to normality as soon as possible and to an everyday life with "less distance".

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which decision that you made for the STF profile are you particularly pleased about?
I'm proud to say that most of the projects we tackle are successful. There is almost always a way. Sometimes, as you move forward, you just have to adjust the direction a bit to get where you want to go. A groundbreaking innovation was certainly the modularization of (almost) all degree programs. Students can therefore benefit from a wide range of choices and create their own curriculum.

A second decision I'm grateful for was that, as a small institute, we invested a lot in expanding our digital capabilities and infrastructure at a very early stage, which we are now benefiting from. With very well-trained lecturers and a learning platform, a VM platform and modern 3D software in various subject areas, we consider ourselves a pioneer in e-learning and digitalization across Europe. Capabilities, which also pay off in terms of sustainability.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing Director of Textination GmbH

 

Further information:

Bild Gerd Altmann, Pixabay
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

Graphic: Pixabay
12.01.2021

East German Textile and Clothing Industry recorded a significant Drop in Sales in 2020

  • vti calls on health textiles purchasers to place more orders with domestic manufacturers
  • East German textile and clothing industry faces the Covid-19 crises with new ideas and products
  • Clothing sector more affected than the textile sector

The Association of the North-East German Textile and Clothing Industry (vti) calls on decision-makers in politics and authorities as well as in clinics and long-term care to order far more health protection textiles from local manufacturers than before. "That would be a logical step towards future-oriented, sustainable business - and furthermore in an exceptionally tough crisis situation. We are happy to arrange appropriate contacts with our companies," emphasized Dr.-Ing. Jenz Otto, Managing Director of the Chemnitz-based industry association, during an online press conference on January 8, 2021.

  • vti calls on health textiles purchasers to place more orders with domestic manufacturers
  • East German textile and clothing industry faces the Covid-19 crises with new ideas and products
  • Clothing sector more affected than the textile sector

The Association of the North-East German Textile and Clothing Industry (vti) calls on decision-makers in politics and authorities as well as in clinics and long-term care to order far more health protection textiles from local manufacturers than before. "That would be a logical step towards future-oriented, sustainable business - and furthermore in an exceptionally tough crisis situation. We are happy to arrange appropriate contacts with our companies," emphasized Dr.-Ing. Jenz Otto, Managing Director of the Chemnitz-based industry association, during an online press conference on January 8, 2021. “We don't understand the buying resistance concerning health textiles, even though the demand is huge. It is just as incomprehensible why there are still no noteworthy orders from authorities. In spring, the German federal government had already announced to provide 1 billion Euro with its economic stimulus package for national epidemic reserves for personal protective equipment. The federal states also had to take action in this regard and stock up. We urgently await the long-announced tenders for equipping the pandemic reserve stock. It is important that the purchase price is not the only measure of all things. Rather, criteria such as standard-compliant quality, traceable supply chains, the possibility of needs-based reorders and the multiple use of textiles are decisive for the safety of the population.”

When supply chains worldwide collapsed at the beginning of 2020, both authorities and many care and health facilities turned to textile companies for help. Many manufacturers launched both everyday masks and protective textiles that could be used in healthcare at short notice.
"These include highly effective bacteria and virus-repellent reusable products that enable effective textile management in the healthcare sector and at the same time prevent the piles of single-use waste from growing there," explained vti chairman Thomas Lindner, managing director of Strumpfwerk Lindner GmbH, Hohenstein-Ernstthal: “When the cheap imports from Asia reinstated, however, the interest decreased significantly. Nevertheless, numerous companies have continued to invest in new technology and aligned their production accordingly. For example, completely new production lines of face masks have been set up at several locations. Do not forget: The very expensive test procedures for medical and health textiles are a major challenge for us, the medium-sized businesses. In addition, there are still too few accredited test and certification bodies in Germany.” The fact that the companies were able to adapt to the new requirements at this rapid pace was primarily possible, because around 30 local companies and research institutes have been part of the health textiles network "health.textil", which is controlled by the vti and supported by the Free State of Saxony, for several years now. This alliance cooperates closely with practice partners such as the University Clinic of Dresden and the Elbland Clinics in Meißen. Nowadays it has expanded their activities to their neighbouring industry, research and application partner in Czech Republic. www.healthtextil.de

CO2 taxation puts medium-sized companies at a competitive disadvantage
Concerning the permanently relevant topic energy transition in Germany, vti General Manager Dr.-Ing. Jenz Otto points out that the economic framework conditions for medium-sized producers will continue to worsen with the introduction of the CO2 taxation in the midst of the current crisis. “The financial resources to be used for this will then be lacking for investments in innovative products and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Furthermore, our companies suffer significant competitive disadvantages compared to foreign competitors.” Björn-Olaf Dröge, managing director of the textile finishing company pro4tex GmbH, Niederfrohna, with around 100 employees, reported that the tax to be paid by his company for renewable energies adds up to around a quarter of a million euros annually. “Now the CO2 taxation for our natural gas consumption comes on top of that. For 2021 we anticipate an additional burden of almost 70,000 Euros.”

vti about the current situation in the East German industry
The East German textile and clothing industry recorded a significant loss in sales already in 2019. This trend has continued in 2020 being reinforced by the Covid-19 crises. Based on preliminary estimates, the vti assumes that the total turnover of the industry will be more than 11 percent below the previous year at the end of 2020, where the clothing sector is affected far more than the textile sector, with a decline of 35 percent. Exports, which are extremely important for the industry, also decreased in a similar magnitude. The job cuts have so far been relatively moderate, as many companies use the short-time working regulations and try to retain their permanent workforce. For 2021 the vti sees a gleam of hope in technical textiles, which have been in greater demand again in recent weeks - especially from the automotive industry. The employment cuts have so far been relatively moderate, as many companies use short-time working regulations and try to retain their permanent workforce. The vti sees a bright future for technical textiles in 2021, which have been in greater demand – especially in the automobile industry – in the last few weeks.

Of the around 16,000 employees, 12,000 work in Saxony and 2,500 in Thuringia. This makes this region one of the four largest German textile locations, along North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. It has modern spinning mills, weaving mills, knitting mills, warp knitting mills, nonwovens manufacturers, embroidery mills, finishing companies and clothing manufacturers as well as efficient research and educational institutions. 

Over half of the turnover in the East German textile and clothing industry has so far been attributa-ble to technical textiles, followed by home textiles with around 30 percent and the clothing sector with around 10 percent. The vti acts as a stakeholder at state, federal and EU level, tariff- and so-cial partner, as well as a service provider for its around 160 member companies.

(c) PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair
29.12.2020

PERFORMANCE DAYS: Positive Feedback for Online Fair and sustain & innovate Conference

As a result of the Corona pandemic, the PERFORMANCE DAYS fair on December 9th - 10th and the accompanying sustain&innovate conference for sustainability on December 10 could only take place in digital form. Nevertheless: exhibitors, visitors and partners can look back on a successful event. The focus topic “Nothing to Waste – Closing the Loop“ relating to the issue of the textile circular economy in the course of the sustain&innovate conference also provided great discussion material while generating a positive response.

As a result of the Corona pandemic, the PERFORMANCE DAYS fair on December 9th - 10th and the accompanying sustain&innovate conference for sustainability on December 10 could only take place in digital form. Nevertheless: exhibitors, visitors and partners can look back on a successful event. The focus topic “Nothing to Waste – Closing the Loop“ relating to the issue of the textile circular economy in the course of the sustain&innovate conference also provided great discussion material while generating a positive response.

The PERFORMANCE DAYS team also expresses its satisfaction. Because despite the event being solely a digital event on the 9th and 10th of December 2020, an estimated 15,000 participants made extensive use of the comprehensive online offerings of the 191 digital exhibitors, among them drirelease/OPTIMER, Merryson, Stotz, HeiQ, Schoeller Textil, Long Advance, Dry-Tex, Utenos, Fidlock, Cifra, dekoGraphics and Jia Meir, during the week of the fair. The popular “Contact Supplier” function was supplemented with a new online tool that allows exhibitors to be contacted directly via chat, call or per video. A total of 3,250 fabric sample orders were placed with exhibitors. The variety on offer included fabric innovations for Autumn/Winter 2022/2023 within the top class PERFORMANCE FORUM and an extensive digital supporting program via live-stream with informative webinars, talks and rounds of discussions. Best of all: the resulting videos will be available on demand on the PERFORMANCE DAYS website free of charge.  
 
Finally standard: PERFORMANCE FORUM with sustainable materials
Innovative, sustainable and cutting-edge: the 240 fabrics plus accessory trends at this year’s PERFORMANCE FORUM impressed throughout with exciting environmentally conscious solutions. Natural fibers such as hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, wool or coconut shell remain in demand, while manufacturers are also increasingly refraining from the use of environmentally harmful chemicals, avoiding microplastics, advocating natural dyeing processes and either trying to return fabrics to the cycle, recycle plastic and other waste in order to produce fibres in such a way that they are biodegradable. This environmental awareness is also reflected in this year’s FOCUS TOPIC – so here the 24 best fabrics not only score in terms of sustainability, but also demonstrate that they are both functional and can be returned to the textile cycle, true to the motto “Nothing to Waste – Closing the Loop.   

In the Marketplace section, visitors have the opportunity to view more than 9,500 exhibitor products, including the fabric highlights of the individual categories of the PERFORMANCE FORUMS. In order to be able to digitally present the fabrics to visitors as realistically as possible in terms of feel, design and structure, the Forum has been equipped with innovative 3D technology, including innovative tools such as 3D images, video animations and U3M files for download.  

From fiber to fiber: successful sustain&innovate conference generates discussion  
Textile circular economy is considered part of the solution to the global waste problem, curbing the consumption of resources and reducing climate damaging greenhouse gases. But what exactly is the circular economy and how can it succeed? Most importantly, how far are fiber manufacturers in developing mono-component fabrics that can eventually be returned back into the textile cycle?    
The Focus Topic of this year’s sustainability conference, launched in cooperation with SPORTSFASHION by SAZ, offered a platform for discussion and strove to enlighten with evocative talks, discussion rounds and webinars. Christiane Dolva, Head of Sustainability at Fjällräven, got to the heart of the matter at the start of the expert talks on the second day of the fair, outlining how important emotional consistency is for the brand itself and ultimately also for the consumer – especially when it comes to textile recycling. Durability, good quality, in combination with timeless design are more important than ever today and in the future in terms of sustainable action. Added to this is the possibility of reviving products by means of a repair service. Equally exciting: the development of new technologies in terms of recycling. Erik Bang from the H&M Foundation provided a first glimpse of the new Greenmachine, which should make it possible to separate mixed fabrics such as cotton and polyester as early as 2021. Alternatively, old clothing is converted into new fibres thanks to companies such as WornAgain, Re:newcell, Spinnova or Infinited Fiber, which soon promises to be more than just a mere vision. For those who wish to gain insight into the supply chain of their purchased garment, the start-up know your stuff lets customers track the journey of the respective garment by simply scanning a QR code on the garment in a store or online.    
 
Free extensive retrospective
The next edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS is planned as a hybrid fair and will take place on May 19th and May 20th, 2021 in Munich as well as online. Until then, the PERFORMANCE DAYS platform will remain accessible, for instance with the Marketplace and further inspiring topics of (video) material stories to make online sourcing even easier. The talks from the first day of the fair and the conference will be accessible free of charge on the fair website.

The most importantt links:
Highlights of Expert Talks & Webinars
https://www.performancedays.com/digital-fair/expert-talk-webinar.html

Marketplace:
https://www.performancedays.com/marketplace.html

3D-Forum:
https://www.performancedays.com/digital-fair/forum-highlights/3d-forum.html

PERFORMANCE COLORS by Nora Kühner
https://www.performancedays.com/digital-fair/color-trends.html

More information:
Performance Days
Source:

PERFORMANCE DAYS functional fabric fair

Photocredits: Hohenstein
01.09.2020

Research Projects of the Zuse Community: Think about Recycling when Designing …

How applied research in cooperation with industry can lead to high-quality recycling solutions is explained by the Zuse community with its "Design for Recycling" series.

How applied research in cooperation with industry can lead to high-quality recycling solutions is explained by the Zuse community with its "Design for Recycling" series.

Artificial Turf of the Future
Textiles are much more than just clothes. The industry is a key customer for both synthetic and natural fibers. However, their textile products are often close to the consumer - this applies, for example, to the leisure industry or sports field construction, as is the case with artificial turf.
     
On sports fields, textiles are, so to speak, trampled underfoot, namely when playing on artificial turf. In Germany alone there are around 5,000 artificial turf pitches registered for football. But under the green stubble hides a heavy burden - for clubs and the environment. According to information from the IAKS Germany trade association, around 5 kg of granulate per square meter of artificial turf is infilled in Germany, and this figure is likely to be considerably higher in other countries. "In the case of artificial turf with a fiber length of 42 mm, only 12 mm look out of the mass of infill materials that have been applied to the surface," Dr. Ulrich Berghaus of Morton Extrusionstechnik GmbH, a leading manufacturer of artificial turf, explains. Nowadays, a new pitch is calculated to contain almost 50 percent of the old pitch - as infill material. But as a microplastic this can cause problems - alternatives have to be found. Together with the Aachen Institute for Floor Systems (TFI), Morton Extrusionstechnik is working on the artificial turf of the future, which can do without problematic infill materials.

The researchers at the TFI are now called upon to ensure that the nubs of the artificial turf will hold well in the carrier material in future, even without polyurethane and latex. "Ideally, artificial turf would be made of just one polymer," TFI project manager Dirk Hanuschik says. Because, similar to food packaging, inseparable material composites are poison for high-quality recycling. Hanuschik and his team are therefore researching with their industrial partner into an artificial turf design that does not require any polyurethane or latex for the backing of the carrier material. In a thermobonding facility, the artificial turf nubs are to be melted directly onto the base material, not glued on. Nevertheless, a durability of around 12-15 years is the goal - as with artificial turf laid today. He can test the new materials on the industrial coating plant, which is on a smaller scale at the TFI. The first production plant is scheduled to go into operation as early as the middle of next year.
     
"The practical project of the TFI is an excellent example of how industrial research from the Zuse community creates concrete benefits for people through sustainable recycling management. Research on 'Design for Recycling' is the focus of many of our institutes. Their close cooperation with companies and their interdisciplinary approach offer the best conditions for further innovations," explains the President of the Zuse Community, Prof. Martin Bastian.


Recycling in the Fashion Industry
Recycling is more than just a trend. In the future, fashion should increasingly include useful recycling: People in Germany buy an average of 26 kg of textiles per capita per year, including 12-15 kg of clothing. Given these large quantities, high-quality recycling is a major challenge. Improved recycling includes a circular economy that thinks about the "life after", i.e. the next or renewed product, already when designing products. A current research project of the Zuse community shows how this can work for clothing.
     
Beverage bottles made of the plastic PET are already ideally suited for recycling, and not only for packaging, because of their purity of type. Under the motto "From the fiber to the fiber", this is what the applied research in the joint project DiTex is using for rental linen. The fibers used come from recycled PET bottles, and the rented linen itself is to be recycled back into linen after its first life cycle.

"Rented linen is also well suited to the 'Design for Recycling' concept because its use can be precisely tracked, which provides optimum conditions for recycling," project manager Dr. Anja Gerhardts from the Hohenstein Research Institute explains. The institute from Baden-Württemberg is responsible for textile testing and product specifications in the project initiated and coordinated by the Institute for Ecological Economic Research (IÖW). For benefit rather than ownership, the partners in the alliance are developing a recyclable line of bed linen, as well as polo and business shirts. The shirts will serve as uniforms for police and rescue services.

Intelligent label stores information
The laundry is equipped with a digital tracking ID throughout the entire usage cycle. This "intelligent" label stores information such as fiber origin, material composition and composition of the textile. This enables recycling companies to sort the products better, increase the recycling share and upgrade them. Numerous washing trials are now being carried out at Hohenstein to test how well the tracking tool is performing and what the tensile strength, degree of whiteness, color quality, durability and wearing comfort of the textiles are when they are washed, spun and dried up to 200 times in commercial textile services. "In DiTex we bring users, procurers and recyclers of textiles to one table to make recyclable product design a reality", Anja Gerhardts explains.

"Practical research on fibers and textiles is one of the core competences of many of our institute, be it for industrial technical products or consumer-oriented products. Projects like DiTex show innovative solutions for design for recycling. Thanks to the interdisciplinary approach in our association, other industries can also learn from such solutions," explains Dr. Annette Treffkorn, managing director of the Zuse community.

Source:

Zuse-Gemeinschaft

Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH, Michael Steidle (c) Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH
21.07.2020

„COVID-19 - We could and should have appeared better as noble knights" Michael Steidle, Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

  • Interview with Michael Steidle, Managing Director Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.
Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

  • Interview with Michael Steidle, Managing Director Textildruckerei Heinrich Mayer GmbH

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.
Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

The Interview with Michael Steidle, managing director at the textile printing company Heinrich Mayer GmbH, marks the provisional end of our series that started with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Services at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG and was continued by Andreas Merkel, managing director of Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG. The textile printing company Mayer, a family business on the Swabian Alb, is a leader in textile printing, in screen, rouleaux, rotary, sublimation and flock printing and as well as in 3D coating. They are increasingly using these skills in the area of technical textiles.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

 The corona time hit us hard. At the beginning of April, sometimes it felt like the lights would go out within the next 24 hours. In numbers there is a drop in sales of 30 percent.
And that's not just the way we are, this crisis has incredibly broader implications. Involved in the word of the Chamber of Commerce I am concerned with many companies in the region. Sectors that would not come to mind spontaneously also feel the effects. This also includes recycling companies. After all, there is also less commercial waste when companies are on short-time work.
At a personal level you can deal with the crisis, hand hygiene, sneeze etiquette, you can learn all of this. But we miss people-to-people contacts. We have a teenage daughter; young people in particular lack the ability to be out and about with their peers.

 
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
As I said, the Corona period brought us a significant drop in sales. That means we think twice before spending money. At the beginning of the year we moved to our new, spacious company building. There are still a few small investments to be made. So far, we have put it off until the situation has calmed down again. And so do many. The economic network extremely got out of hand due to the lockdown.
We applied for short-time work, which has been running for three months now. However, you have to see how long that makes sense. Our customers also had a drop in sales, which they first of all have to recover.

 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
The mask production was a very strong topic in April and May, the phone almost rang continuously. This enabled us to compensate for many orders that were lost otherwise.
We reacted quickly, not only printing masks classically, but also developing coatings for medical face masks and protective clothing. The coatings that we offer are antibacterial and have the lotus effect. This results in the formation of droplets in the aerosols. We have had checked and certified these innovations in an urgent procedure.
We converted our machines ad hoc so that we could apply innovative coatings instead of paint. This was even possible for ready-made masks.
In general, I rate this ability to react quickly as one of our great strengths. We are a small company, so the path from idea to implementation is rather short. If we recognize a trend, an opportunity in our industry, we examine ourselves: Do we have resources that could be used or adapted to offer a solid, marketable solution in a very short time? This refers to know-how, ideas, machines and, for larger projects, also partners. Experience has shown that on the one hand we have the necessary imagination, but on the other hand we also have a fairly realistic view of ourselves. If we can answer the question with “yes”, then we get started without delay. We can evaluate a trial in the evening and continue working on it the next day. There is no need for a meeting with five persons beforehand.
 

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
We cannot avoid global supply chains; and it will remain this way. In the short term, you may reflect on regional procurement, as far as that is still possible. Many things are simply no longer available and the development over the past 30 years cannot be turned back. Let's take pigment paint: it comes from India and China, otherwise it doesn't exist anymore. Nobody in Europe can keep the prices. And yes, that also means that the production of systemically relevant products can no longer be guaranteed.

          
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future? Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?
Existing partnerships are important. We must keep the ball rolling: Interrupted projects have to be continued with existing partners.
I think it is important to maintain partnerships at eye level. Sure, now everyone has to see how they can make ends meet. It will be shown, however, who works loyally in the long term and with respect to the business.
Personally, it is important for me to be true to my word. Only a few days ago I spoke to a student, whom we promised her internship and a corresponding payment in February. This young woman can start her internship with us; what paying is concerned, I had to tell her honestly that we have to talk about it again. Fortunately, that was not a problem. It is important to the student that she can complete the required internship at all. This is not so easy since most companies do not accept anyone right now. That is understandable too, but we will need the well-trained people again soon, that’s for sure!

 
What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
I would be very interested in a positive and comprehensive description of what value added is still available in Germany. An initiative that illustrates that the textile industry is an important industry, with many companies that have been family-owned for generations, often with a young, dynamic management and high-quality products. Really nobody has that on his radar. Just today, two designers from a company nearby visited us. They were surprised which services we offer in the field of technical textiles - they were not even aware of it.
The textile industry has played itself down for a long time, that has to stop. Of course, we no longer have added value like the machine building industry. But now, in the corona crisis, it would have been the right time to take advantage of the situation and to initiate much-needed lobbying..


What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry? Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?
No, only at very short notice. Everything was taken during the crisis, the main thing was that the requested product, i.e. masks and protective clothing, was even available. Now the old cycle is back: I have a certain budget, where can I get the most for it? This is frustrating because the willingness to face this challenge was high on the part of the companies.
We also have driven the development and had our coatings for masks certified in an urgent process. Others have switched their entire production at a significant cost to meet demand. Nobody became a millionaire this way.
I think the textile industry could have sold better here. We could and should have appeared better as noble knights. Unfortunately, this was lost in the heat of the battle.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on. Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?
We take sustainability into account with our certifications, with GOTS and ISO 9001. Digitisation does not work quickly for us; it will take years before we can digitise processes. Sure, in administration we are now increasingly working with web meetings and video conferences, but personal contact is important to me. I regularly give lectures; my next one will be at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and I very much hope that it can take place. I am just a guy for direct contact.
The labour market situation depends on the pandemic and how it develops. In any case, it remains difficult to get young people excited about textile professions. When I open a mobile phone store, I don't need a day to have my employees together. When we present ourselves at a training fair, we are happy to have a handful of good conversations.
Training is so valuable. Someone who has one will always have a different status than an unskilled person, even if - at some point - he works in a completely different branch. The dual training system is absolutely untouchable for me, because we live from this economic performance. We have nothing else but our knowledge. And we have to keep developing because only the high level gives the necessary output.
 

What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
Innovation, innovation, innovation. You must not stand still. Nobody knows what to do next. But in three years from now I have to live from what I am developing today, just like I live from what I developed three years ago. Now, in times of Corona, it is much harder to remember, but it does not help: I can’t stand still, waiting for what is happening next, being like a deer caught in the headlights.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG (c) Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG
14.07.2020

Interview with Andreas Merkel, Managing Director Gebr. Otto GmbH & Co. KG

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Andreas Merkel, Managing Director of Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG, takes over the second part of our series of interviews and succeeds Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at the textile machinery company Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG. The spinning mill, which was founded in Dietenheim in 1901, is now considered as one of the most modern ones in Europe. The management decided against relocating production abroad and relies on premium yarns made from natural fibers as well as tailor-made customer solutions.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

The lockdown period was something surreal to me. It was difficult to understand what was real and what was virtual. I found it positive that the crisis brought people closer together and that they gave more appreciation to things people had taken for granted, such as their own workplace.
Overall, I have remembered the past few months as not being such a negative time. Of course, this is also because we as a company have got off lightly so far. We have no external obligations such as rents, leasing contracts and so on to serve. We also see a clear upward trend again.    
          
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
The enterprise Gebrüder Otto has existed since 1901, we have already weathered a pandemic - the Spanish flu in 1918 - and we will survive this too. Of course, many orders suddenly broke off, and we had to cope with parts of the company in short-time work. Incidentally, an extremely sensible government offer that helped us to react quickly.
But I have the impression that the crisis is going to get off to a good start and I don't think we will stay at the current low level for a long time. As it looks now, we no longer need to take advantage of the short-time work in the spinning mill we had requested for July.
I am worried about the companies that will be hit hard by this crisis, especially in our industry, of course. We are already noticing insolvencies of long-established companies. The textile value chain in Germany is already very limited; let’s hope that this pandemic doesn’t shrink it any further.
 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
We saw a positive development even before the pandemic: More and more customers are asking about sustainable products, which we offer in a wide range.
Last year we started building up the brand "Cotton since 1901 - made in Germany" and launched it in April this year. We want to make the fact even clearer that we offer a regional, transparent and sustainable product with our cotton yarns made in Dietenheim. We have been based in Germany for almost 120 years and are part of our cityscape and local life. We - and our product - stand for consistency, responsibility and the highest quality standards.
Our yarns are the DNA of a high quality garment. Products that are made from "Cotton since 1901" are provided with a corresponding hang tag in the shops.
We are happy that we were able to launch this brand despite the difficulties that the corona measures implicated. Because now the topic is more important than ever. I recently had a conversation with a customer: Nothing works except in the sustainable segment. In short: high-quality products remain in demand, while it is becoming more and more difficult on the average market.

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
In Germany, we have a high degree of company-internal value-add, we spin, twist and dye. Our cotton is extra-long-staple and we source it from Spain and Israel, from long-term suppliers. Because of Corona, there was no reason for our procurement to take consequences.
However, the crisis will have made it clear to many people that mass products used in daily life are no longer so easy to manufacture on their doorstep. But we need a reliable and high availability in Germany. That is why we should strengthen regional production, also in the long term. Sure, this is only possible in cooperation with customers and partners who appreciate these values. That doesn't work if everyone just looks at the price. Pricing is not everything. From this perspective, the pandemic was certainly an important catalyst.
 
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future?
Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?

Vertical partnerships are becoming increasingly important. Well, the shrinkage of the industry implicates this anyway. But we have to work together even more and the quality of the partnerships needs to become closer.
If one of the remaining specialists fails - let's assume that the companies that are now going bankrupt would have to close completely - then everyone else will be affected. There are no such specialists ten a penny, if they fall away, then some products cannot be manufactured locally anymore. You can build a fantastic car, no matter how good, if you don't have someone who can provide you with the steering wheel, you don't have a finished car.

What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
Regional products should be given a parent brand so that consumers can recognize a regionally manufactured product as such. There was something like this in Switzerland with Swisscotton. I have suggested this several times in the association of the textile industry. It would be best for the industry if all manufacturers jointly build up such a regional label. After all, consumers are ready to spend money if they know where a product comes from and that it was manufactured fairly and sustainably. Everyone would benefit from such transparent added value. And digitization offers the ideal platform for this.

What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry?
Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?

As far as public procurement is concerned, I cannot answer this question because it does not really affect us.
But of course the pandemic has shown how fatal it can be if products are no longer manufactured in Germany, for example if antibiotics are market under the name of German companies but are actually manufactured on the other side of the world.
At the end of the day, the question arises: being a part of the textile industry – are we systemically relevant? Partly yes, I think, because if tomorrow
nobody produces yarns in Germany or Europe anymore, this will have consequences for systemically relevant products. And, as you know, you only realise that things can get tight when there is a bang. That is why I think that in a country like Germany there must be a basic supply of products and technology. After all, it's also about further development, about innovations. If I want to make a virus-free mask, I need local partners.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on.
Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?

For us at Otto, sustainability and environmental protection have been a long-standing central corporate value. We produce our electricity partly independently, from hydropower. Our products and processes have been certified according to the highest standards. In my lectures, I often show how much water is needed to produce cotton, and how precious this raw material is in itself.
Together with the valuable regional added value, this gave rise to our new brand "Cotton since 1901". There will be a QR code on the hang tags on the finished garments, so that the buyer can check what is inside the product.
Such approaches, which are sustainable and regional, are a mega opportunity that we have to use. The corona crisis had demonstrated this very clearly.
 
What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
I'm afraid things will go on as before in many areas. But still: We looked at the medical manufacturers who suddenly could no longer deliver everyday medicines. And we have seen the conditions under which meat products are produced.
Do we want that? No. In the end, consumers value flawless products - and we should deliver them.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

(c) Messe München
23.06.2020

ISPO Re.Start Days: New digital live conference

Orientation for the sports and outdoor industry on June 30 and July 1, 2020 

  • Digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry
  • Main topics: digitization, sustainability and health
  • European Outdoor Group and Association of German Sports Retailers support event

In the course of the current corona pandemic, the international sports and outdoor industry is facing far-reaching challenges. The ISPO team also had to cancel OutDoor by ISPO 2020 and the ISPO SDG Summit and postpone the ISPO Digitize Summit. However, the focus and motto of the current anniversary year, "50 years of tomorrow", will remain.
 
Based on the feedback and needs of the most important industry stakeholders, ISPO developed a digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry. The ISPO Re.Start Days on June 30 and July 1 2020 offer orientation and growth strategies during and after Corona.

Orientation for the sports and outdoor industry on June 30 and July 1, 2020 

  • Digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry
  • Main topics: digitization, sustainability and health
  • European Outdoor Group and Association of German Sports Retailers support event

In the course of the current corona pandemic, the international sports and outdoor industry is facing far-reaching challenges. The ISPO team also had to cancel OutDoor by ISPO 2020 and the ISPO SDG Summit and postpone the ISPO Digitize Summit. However, the focus and motto of the current anniversary year, "50 years of tomorrow", will remain.
 
Based on the feedback and needs of the most important industry stakeholders, ISPO developed a digital live conference for the sports and outdoor industry. The ISPO Re.Start Days on June 30 and July 1 2020 offer orientation and growth strategies during and after Corona.

Based on this year's anniversary, ISPO proclaimed "50 years of tomorrow" at the beginning of this year. The existing events, supplemented by new formats, were intended to further promote sports and the outdoors and to make them drivers of global, sustainable change. However, the developments around the corona virus made the original planning obsolete. OutDoor by ISPO 2020 had to be cancelled, the premiere of the ISPO SDG Summit is postponed to 2021 and the ISPO Digitize Summit will be held at ISPO Munich 2021. But also, or especially under the new circumstances, the ISPO group continues to focus on its motto.

Digital format for a restart
"Corona is changing the world, the rules are just being rewritten" says Klaus Dittrich. The Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe München is certain: "We are living up to our pioneering role even in these difficult times and are making a fresh start with the sports and outdoor industry. We are focusing everything on the '50 years of tomorrow'.”

European Outdoor Group supports  SPO Re.Start Days
The digital live conference is aimed at an international audience and is developed in close cooperation with industry associations such as the European Outdoor Group (EOG) and the Association of German Sports Retailers (vds). Mark Held, President of the European Outdoor Group: "Access to nature is important and helpful for the well-being of all people.
This is where we continue to see a growing importance and major role for the outdoor industry. At the same time, however, we must discuss the negative consequences of the crisis for society and the economy as a whole and rethink the challenges it poses. We can only do this together and we will be fully involved.”
 
Focus on digitization, sustainability and health 
The event will focus on three main topics: Digitalization, Sustainability and Health. The program is dedicated to best cases in times of Corona and will present ideas, projects and campaigns implemented at short notice. Experts will talk about the boost the pandemic is giving digitization, which aspects of it will be preserved and which counter-movements are already forming as a result. Industry experts will show in which areas consumers are questioning the behavior of companies and how brands should react.

ISPO Re.Start Days

More information:
ISPO ISPO Munich
Source:

Messe München GmbH

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

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.

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

MARINE INTERIORS: TRADE FAIR DEBUT WHETS APPETITE FOR MORE (c) Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH / Nico
10.12.2019

MARINE INTERIORS: TRADE FAIR DEBUT WHETS APPETITE FOR MORE

Innovative design trends and top-flight expert panels: MARINE INTERIORS sets new standards for ship interior design. The inaugural trade fair is exclusively dedicated to this topic – marked by excellent exhibitor and visitor attendance

Innovative design trends and top-flight expert panels: MARINE INTERIORS sets new standards for ship interior design. The inaugural trade fair is exclusively dedicated to this topic – marked by excellent exhibitor and visitor attendance

From furnishings to lighting systems, and from fine materials to kitchen equipment, the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, which premiered in September 2019, provided a showcase to a wide variety of suppliers of cruise ship interiors. More than 100 exhibitors met up with architects and designers as well as decision-makers from shipyards and shipping companies. "These three days have shown that this new trade fair is received very well by the market. The successful debut of MARINE INTERIORS underlines our leading role as organisers of SMM within the maritime segment," said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
 
The exhibition instantly proved itself as a platform for this highly specialised segment, impressing participants with its quality and broad coverage: "Finding so much expertise in the field of cruise ship interiors at a single trade fair is unique in Europe. Compared with other trade fairs, MARINE INTERIORS excels in providing a high density of relevant contacts,” said Arjan Koole, Regional Sales Director Germany & Nordics at the kitchen equipment specialist Middleby Marine. The inaugural event attracted 2800 industry visitors to Hamburg's exhibition complex.

Hamburg – an ideal location  
The location of MARINE INTERIORS clearly was an advantage, as well: "Hamburg is an attractive city, and as a cruise hub it is an ideal place for such an event. I believe MARINE INTERIORS will rapidly establish itself in the market," said David Le Viol, Tender Manager at the Finnish turnkey solutions provider Almaco.

The professionalism of the trade fair preparations received praise, as well. An example is the response from Georgi Karhu, Chief Commercial Officer at Gettone Group: "Since the list of participating companies was available ahead of time, I was able to plan my exhibition participation perfectly and carefully prepare my conversations with existing and potential customers. This made this trade fair experience especially efficient and successful." Well attended social formats such as ‘Wine o’clock’ proved to be great opportunities for networking.

Compelling high-profile conference programme  
The exhibition was accompanied by panel discussions of international experts who shared views about brand identity and the establishment of new brands. They also talked about the safety regulation challenges faced by designers. Kai Bunge and Stefan Seidenfaden from Partner Ship Design Hamburg gave some fascinating insights into their work on board "Costa Smeralda". "Costa established the Motto 'Italy’s Finest'. This prompted us to explore how we could find a contemporary interpretation for traditional Italian elements such as art, fashion and Dolce Vita," said Seidenfaden.

The experts then discussed the meaning of brand identity for the cruise segment, and how designers can express it. The expert panel was moderated by Tal Danai, CEO of Artlink: "The inaugural MARINE INTERIORS event in Hamburg was a hive of energy. It encouraged and embraced socializing alongside good business encounters in an enriching atmosphere with a taste for more.”

In the second panel, titled "How to design to comply", David McCarthy, Director of Marine Projects & Communications at AD Associates, examined together with his guests how safety requirements can be integrated into an aesthetic room design concept. His impression: “The MARINE INTERIORS Forum with all its sessions was fantastic, and I was very pleased to have so many competent people to talk to."

Asia was the focal topic at today's Chinese Dialogue Sessions. Representatives of Chinese cruise associations spoke about the potential of the Chinese cruise market and unique design requirements for the Chinese audience.

New trade fair closes gap for the industry
The highly positive response the new trade fair received from visitors and exhibitors was aptly summarised by Päivi Mäkinen, Director Sales & After Sales Services at Marahrens Group: "Our expectations have been exceeded by far. The quality of visitors and contacts has been extremely good. Visitor attendance at our stand was excellent. The time was right for the launch of a trade fair like MARINE INTERIORS."
With this new format, Hamburg Messe und Congress caters to the needs of the booming cruise industry and complements its exhibition portfolio: While in even years SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair offers the industry an expansive platform through its Interiors area and the Cruise & Ferry Route, MARINE INTERIORS now shines the spotlight on interior design in odd years. The next event will be from 8 until 10 September 2021.
 
About the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM
The MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM takes place every odd year and is held in parallel with the Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention. More than 100 exhibitors from all areas of ship interior design took place in the inaugural event in Hamburg from 11 until 13 September 2019. They were joined by numerous top-ranking visitors, including decision-makers from shipping companies, shipyards and design firms. The new trade fair was accompanied by a conference programme featuring high-profile experts.

18.06.2019

BERLIN FASHION WEEK: 01 – 06 JULY 2019

After just a few seasons (since the founding of MBFW), Berlin has established itself as one of the top 5 fashion sites worldwide with up to 70,000 visitors, more than 30 fashion shows during the Fashion Week as well as numerous trade shows, events and showrooms.
In 2018, around 200,000 people came to visit the Fashion Week, further fueling the city’s economy with up to 120 million euros. The broad range of Berlin’s fashion sector offers everything. from high-end couture and tailoring to eco-fashion and streetwear, from single pieces to collections. Green Fashion and Upcycling are becoming increasingly important; more and more fashion labels in Berlin concern themselves with production according to ecological standards. Neonyt as well as other major trade shows are showcasing numerous brands of the Eco-Portfolio.

 
 

MBFW

After just a few seasons (since the founding of MBFW), Berlin has established itself as one of the top 5 fashion sites worldwide with up to 70,000 visitors, more than 30 fashion shows during the Fashion Week as well as numerous trade shows, events and showrooms.
In 2018, around 200,000 people came to visit the Fashion Week, further fueling the city’s economy with up to 120 million euros. The broad range of Berlin’s fashion sector offers everything. from high-end couture and tailoring to eco-fashion and streetwear, from single pieces to collections. Green Fashion and Upcycling are becoming increasingly important; more and more fashion labels in Berlin concern themselves with production according to ecological standards. Neonyt as well as other major trade shows are showcasing numerous brands of the Eco-Portfolio.

 
 

MBFW

In July 2019, MBFW will showcase its fashion-focused, approachable concept according to the new claim „Follow MBFW – Focus Fashion“. Within the modern and digital format that successfully launched in 2018, Mercedes-Benz and creative agency NOWADAYS band together to further strongly promote Berlin as fashion location and offer an attention-drawing platform for upcoming designers as well as established fashion brands to present their collections twice a year. The collections for Spring/Summer 2020 will be presented at ewerk located in Wilhelmstraße, Berlin-Mitte. With its raw industrial look, the location offers excellent conditions to create an authentic atmosphere where high-end fashion is the centre of attention. Within the new concept, MBFW focuses on remarkably staged presentations by a selected number of designer labels and brands in one location. Fashion interested end-consumers have the chance to watch all MBFW shows live at the forecourt of the venue or follow via digital channels like the website www.mbfw.berlin or on Instagram: @MBFW.berlin.

Monday 1.7.2019 – Wednesday 3.7.2019
LOCATION ewerk Berlin
Wilhelmstraße 43
10117 Berlin
CONTACT buero@mbfw.berlin
WEB  www.mbfw.berlin    

PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PLATFORM FOR ADVANCED CONTEMPORARY FASHION

Begun in January 2019, the focus this season continues to be on the restructuring of the halls. The goal is to amalgamate the theme areas more precisely and make it easier for visitors to gain an overview, as well as to inspire them and appeal to their emotions. The exhibitors will present key looks rather than huge collections.On top of this we see the recurrence of a trusty PREMIUM theme: sustainability. As a result of this, there will be no plastic in the catering areas; a strong focus on rubbish sorting; and specific promotion of eco-brands.

PREMIUM has been the leading trade show among the most important international trade events since 2003, as well as the most relevant business and networking platform for advanced contemporary fashion. PREMIUM continually aims to inspire, strengthen business relationships and promote discussion across disciplines. B2B services are constantly being perfected and developed together with the key players in the industry.


Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–5pm
LOCATION STATION-Berlin
Luckenwalder Strasse 4–6
10963 Berlin
CONTACT PREMIUM Exhibitions GmbH
 +49 (0) 3062 908 50
 info@premiumexhibitions.com
WEB www.premiumexhibitions.com
www.facebook.com/PREMIUMBERLIN
www.instagram.com/PREMIUMBERLIN
www.twitter.com/PREMIUMBERLIN    

PANORAMA BERLIN
PANORAMA EXPEDITION

PANORAMA BERLIN is the groundbreaking meeting point for decision makers in the fashion and lifestyle business. Since its premiere in January 2013, it has become one of the most relevant European fashion platforms and, as the leading trade fair for Berlin Fashion Week, represents a comprehensive overview of national and international women & menswear.
Twice a year, together with the Tradeshow for Quality Garments SELVEDGE RUN & ZEITGEIST and the sustainable fashion show XOOM, PANORAMA BERLIN is an "all-in-one event" for international brands, which are divided into various sectors: smart formalwear, casual and sportswear, contemporary styles, denim, heritage and streetwear, accessories and shoes as well as sustainable fashion and lifestyle products.
Following the realignment in January 2019, PANORAMA BERLIN will be taking place from 2 to 4 July 2019 under the motto "BERLIN VIBES" and will focus on the topics of infotainment, eventisation and matchmaking. The concentration continues to target brands with relevance and clear messages. More sophisticated presentations, trend capsules and limited editions, which can only be found in Berlin, stage fashion in an exciting lifestyle context. From furniture to beauty products: In new, central concept store areas in halls 1 to 4, brands and products are presented in a new exciting relationship, providing a wealth of inspiration in terms of presentation and composition. Under the motto "Knowledge to go", PANORAMA BERLIN will be presenting a wide-ranging lecture program with leading keynote speakers in the Retail Solutions Hall on a wide range of future topics relating to international trends in retail, marketing, e-commerce and digitization.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION PANORAMA BERLIN
ExpoCenter City
Eingang Süd/Jafféstraße
14055 Berlin
CONTACT PANORAMA Fashion Fair Berlin GmbH
+49 (0) 3027 595 604 0
office@panorama-berlin.com
WEB www.panorama-berlin.com
www.facebook.com/panoramafashionfairberlin
www.instagram.com/panoramafashionfair

 SHOW & ORDER X PREMIUM
TRADE SHOW FOR FASHION, LIFESTYLE & EXPERIENCE

Thanks to the special department store concept, SHOW&ORDER X PREMIUM is different to other trade shows. Buyers gain inspiration and stories not only from the family atmosphere, but also from the spacious Experience Floor. In addition, the Beauty Lounge will be there again: the place to go to enjoy a quick freshen-up during the hustle and bustle of Fashion Week. It’s not just the KÜHLHAUS itself that has lots to offer again in July 2019 – the Outside Area, too, will be equipped for hot summer days with a beach lounge, bar and mouth-watering catering. Trade show for fashion, lifestyle & experience Over six partly open, gallery-like floors around 200 fashion brands will be exhibiting alongside beauty products, interior and design pieces, stationery, books, art, music, fragrances and magazines, as well as innovative food concepts, located in various experience spaces on the different floors of the KÜHLHAUS. The building is situated on the STATION-Berlin premises very close by to PREMIUM.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–7pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–5pm
LOCATION Kühlhaus
Etage 1–5
Luckenwalder Strasse 3
10963 Berlin
WEB www.showandorder.de
www.facebook.com/ShowandOrder

#FASHIONTECH BERLIN

#FASHIONTECH BERLIN, held twice a year during Berlin Fashion Week, is the leading tech conference for the fashion industry, discussing topics around digital transformation, innovations and disruptive technologies. Featuring keynote presentations with international experts on stage (#LISTEN!), interactive masterclasses to boost your specialist knowledge (#LEARN!) and the Exhibition Area, where visitors will be introduced to the latest developments, products and innovations on the market (#EXPERIENCE!), #FASHIONTECH Berlin has evolved to become a leading European content hub for technology, digitalisation, sustainability and innovation.
#FASHIONTECH BERLIN also creates the stage for interdisciplinary exchange between different industries. The networking areas give visitors the opportunity to network with the speakers, industry insiders and entrepreneurs, as well as to seek out new business partners and generate business leads. Since digitalisation has affects every aspect of modern lifestyle, FASHIONTECH BERLN is looking into the latest trends that shape our lives.

TOPICS OF OUR TIME IN THE ERA OF DIGITALISATION

  • DIGITAL BUSINESS
  • STREET CULTURE
  • E-SPORTS & GAMING IN FASHION
  • SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

 

Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–6.30pm
LOCATION Festsaal Kreuzberg
Am Flutgraben 2
12435 Berlin
CONTACT Michael Stracke
hello@fashiontech.berlin
WEB www.fashiontech.berlin
www.facebook.com/FashionTechBerlinConference
www.instagram.com/Fashiontech_berlin/
www.twitter.com/fashiontechber

FASHIONSUSTAIN BERLIN

Technology, sustainability and innovation are important drivers of the fashion and textile industry that will revolutionize the sector and its processes and production methods. On Wednesday and Thursday, 3/4 July 2019, the international conference format Fashionsustain is dedicated to precisely these topics.
The up-coming edition of Fashionsustain will be dedicated to the subject of water – from microplastics to water stewardship. Highprofile speakers from innovative companies will be presenting visionary approaches to help preserve this vital resource. In addition, the summer edition of Fashionsustain focuses on retail. This involves margins, assortments, collections, POS solutions and the communication of sustainability issues.
And the topics discussed on the conference stage will be brought to life in the “Showcase of Change” exhibition area. But taking place before that, from 1 to 2 July 2019, is the Thinkathon – a space for open dialogue and creative thinking processes. Fashionsustain is part of Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation (2 to 4 July 2019) – organized by Messe Frankfurt.


Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 10am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 10am–6pm
LOCATION Kraftwerk Berlin
Upper level
Köpenicker Straße 70
10179 Berlin
CONTACT Falco Fuchs
Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
+49 6975 755 938
falco.fuchs@messefrankfurt.com
WEB www.fashionsustain.com
www.facebook.com/FashionSustain
www.instagram.com/fashionsustain.berlin 

SEEK – A COMMON GROUND FOR INDIVIDUALS IN FASHION

The concept of the Trade Union, which was developed by SEEK Director Maren Wiebus and her team, will continue and will be polished from time to time.        
The bringing together of pioneers and industry visionaries will continue to have its dedicated space for promoting discussion, inspiration and food for thought. SEEK goes charity again! After the overwhelming success of the first initiative with One Warm Winter in January, SEEK and the Berlinbased NGO are planning to collect sneakers for the homeless this summer in front of the location during the show, but also before and after by collaborating partner stores. The project is supported by Sneaker Freaker.
Many reasons to celebrate: 60th birthday of Alpha Industries, 100th birthday of Champion and Farah plus a special Event OVERKILL x ASICSTIGER x SEEK Block Party Vol. 2 Fashion. Trade. Show. Each season, SEEK, the Voice of Street Culture, presents selected streetwear and urbanwear pieces that translate the current lifestyle trends for the industry. SEEK stands for democracy and fairness, clarity, friendliness and honesty, in keeping with the motto of “what you see is what you get”. The focus is on carefully selected style tribes that embody the modern zeitgeist and guarantee SEEK’s visitors valuable inspiration.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION ARENA Berlin
Eichenstrasse 4
12435 Berlin
CONTACT info@seekexhibitions.com
WEB www.seekexhibitions.com
www.facebook.com/seekberlin

SELVEDGE RUN & ZEITGEIST

The show will be all about quality and trust.
After the successful merger with Panorama Berlin, the architecturally impressive hall at the south entrance of the Berlin Expo Center is the new home of Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist. As an integrated part of Panorama Berlin, the tradeshow for quality garments and crafted goods presents a unique exhibitor mix of the latest streetwear topics, which are highly relevant for the market, such as: denim, craft, current and outdoor. The brand list of Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist includes international iconic and heritage brands and distinctive products, some of which can only be seen in Europe exclusively in Berlin.
In July 2019, Selvedge Run & Zeitgeist will again be the hot spot for the community, offering a meeting place with like-minded people and food & drinks to discover the best quality brands and meet buyers from all over the world. In the integrated "Marketplace" you will find curated concept brands that can be ordered as well as bought directly.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION PANORAMA BERLIN
ExpoCenter City
South Entrance/Jafféstrasse
14055 Berlin
CONTACT info@selvedgerun.com
+49 (0) 3027 595 604 0
WEB www.selvedgerun.com
www.facebook.com/selvedgerun
www.instagram.com/selvedgerun
www.vimeo.com/selvedgerun

NEONYT – GLOBAL HUB FOR FASHION, SUSTAINABILITY AND INNOVATION

Changing fashion together. Through collaboration, communication and entrepreneurship. That is the vision of Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation.With its hub concept, Neonyt combines the most important elements of the fashion industry – style, business, inspiration, knowledge, fun and community – in a neo-new way. The hub is made up of the Neonyt Trade Show, the conferences Fashionsustain and the design-thinking format Thinkathon, showcases, the influencer and blogger event Prepeek, networking events and, last but not least, the Neonyt Party.
The Neonyt Trade Fair will present a good balance of leading brands and newcomers – from contemporary, casual and urbanwear to denim, streetwear and sportswear down to business outfits. In addition to men’s, ladies’ and kidswear, the assortment of products on show also includes outdoorwear, shoes, accessories, jewellery and beauty. Neonyt is organized by Messe Frankfurt.

Tuesday, 2.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Wednesday, 3.7.2019, 9am–6pm
Thursday, 4.7.2019, 9am–5pm
LOCATION Kraftwerk Berlin
Köpenicker Straße 70
10179 Berlin
WEB www.neonyt.com
www.facebook.com/Neonytberlin
www.instagram.com/neonyt.berlin

More information:
Berlin Fashion Week
Source:

Berlin Fashion Week

(c) Messe München GmbH
28.05.2019

OutDoor by ISPO: the new Outdoor Movement

OutDoor by ISPO is the first year-round, integrative and cross-media platform designed for a new outdoor movement. It also includes the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair, the perfect event for bringing together the international outdoor industry. It will be held for the first time ever at the Messe München site from June 30 to July 3, 2019 and will be organized in close cooperation with the European Outdoor Group (EOG) trade association.

Under the motto “There's a perfect outdoor for everyone”, the international outdoor industry will meet for the first time at the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair in Munich from June 30 to July 3.

OutDoor by ISPO is the first year-round, integrative and cross-media platform designed for a new outdoor movement. It also includes the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair, the perfect event for bringing together the international outdoor industry. It will be held for the first time ever at the Messe München site from June 30 to July 3, 2019 and will be organized in close cooperation with the European Outdoor Group (EOG) trade association.

Under the motto “There's a perfect outdoor for everyone”, the international outdoor industry will meet for the first time at the OutDoor by ISPO trade fair in Munich from June 30 to July 3.

  • More than 950 exhibitors expected
  • Highlights of supporting program fixed
  • OutDays—outdoor festival for end consumers during trade show time

More than 950 international exhibitors spanning nine halls are expected to be at the premiere. The event will be held under the motto “There’s a perfect outdoor for everyone” and will reflect consumers’ modern understanding of the outdoors: Classic outdoor activities such as climbing and hiking will form the basis but will to some extent be reinterpreted and transformed into forms such as bouldering and speed hiking. New segments such as mountain biking, trail running and water sports will also feature. OutDoor by ISPO will also be branching out by tapping into other industries outside of the outdoor sector, thus providing visitors with inspiration and valuable knowledge gained from other areas, such as environmental technology or digital retail and technology solutions.

The first OutDoor by ISPO in Munich will mark the dawn of a new outdoor era. The ISPO team has succeeded in developing a modern consumer-centric concept in close collaboration with the industry. The aim now is to inspire as many people as possible worldwide, break down barriers and highlight the many opportunities and types of “outdoor” that exist.

Nine halls with over 96,000 square meters of exhibition space in the eastern part of the trade fair grounds in Munich will bring the outdoor scene to life. Wide central aisles will help visitors get their bearings and gain a quick overview. The open-plan design with plenty of room for holding meetings will ensure that the whole event is a truly inspiring communications platform. A real outdoor feeling will also be achieved in the outside area with direct access to the halls, the green atrium (functioning as a quiet zone during the day and a party area during the evening) and the camping and glamping site. The Riemer Park, which is directly adjacent to the exhibition grounds, offers spacious green areas and a lake for swimming after the visit to the fair.

Hot topic: sustainability
The outdoor sector is already playing a leading role within the industry in terms of raising awareness of sustainability issues and social responsibility. Various different working groups are developing a comprehensive sustainability concept under the OutDoor by ISPO umbrella. The major driving forces behind this are the European Outdoor Group (EOG), the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) and the OutDoor by ISPO Advisory Board. Environmental pollution and deforestation along with their negative impact on the climate have been identified as the biggest challenges that need to be overcome.

Existing ideas and approaches for reducing water and electricity consumption, minimizing waste and reusing resources will be assessed and ranked in terms of their importance and then incorporated into a Code of Conduct throughout the entire duration of the trade fair. With the additional support of research findings and projections, this will result, in the medium term, in a general fact-based sustainability guide with specific, practical recommendations for managing emissions, water and waste in the outdoor sector. Based on OutDoor by ISPO and the outdoor industry, it will be extended to the entire ISPO platform and trade fair location.

The CSR Hub & Sustainability Kiosk located in Hall B6 will be a central reference point on all related matters for visitors throughout the trade fair. Display cabinets showcasing biodegradable and bio-based materials will take center stage. There will also be a diverse program of speeches and presentations packed with tips and inspirational ideas for achieving sustainable operations.

The new outdoor mindset: “outdoor” covers a myriad of concepts
The very fact that the word “outdoor” means so many different things to so many different people is reflected in the diverse range of topics covered by OutDoor by ISPO. Some of them will be specifically delved into and looked at in detail in various different focus and activation areas.

Climbing and bouldering centers are booming, especially in urban areas, making climbing sports accessible to new target groups. The Indoor Climbing Hub located in Hall A6 will focus specifically on this trend. Speakers from the international climbing scene will provide exclusive insights, highlight potential and identify opportunities for retailers and brands.

The Borderlands will celebrate its world debut. A curated exhibition space for urban outdoor fashion will be created in Hall B4 together with vanish.today, a media platform for outdoor life & style. The progressive project bridges the gap between outdoor and lifestyle. Technical yet stylish products will be showcased together with design elements and photography to create an inspiring overall impression. There will also be a separate catering area featuring superfoods to help visitors recharge their batteries.

Water sports enthusiasts will feel right at home in Hall C6 in the River Lake Camp organized in conjunction with PADDLEexpo. They can enjoy testing out the latest products designed for activities involving nature’s wettest of elements in the large indoor pool. The program will also include various workshops, presentations and discussion forums.

The latest technology, models, trends and designs from the world of footwear, socks and related accessories will feature in Hall A5 in the Shoe & Trailrunning Village. This area will also play host to the Run & Trail Summit on Monday, July 1, in cooperation with the world’s largest running magazine Runner’s World.

The travel segment is a new addition to the outdoor portfolio. The Adventure, Tourism & Travel Summit in Hall B6 will unveil opportunities for collaborations between the travel industry and the outdoor industry and highlight existing potential. Matchmaking will be at the heart of the extensive program. Partners will be experts from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

Bikepacking now represents a major trend in alternative travel, allowing you to get off the beaten track of mass tourism. The Bikepacking Zone in Hall C5 will tell you everything you need to know about this new movement and show you what the equipment involved has to offer. It will be part of the bike segment, which is being integrated for the first time ever this year as part of a soft launch. This will also involve the Bike Test Track organized in cooperation with ExtraEnergy. This track with mixed surfaces and obstacles will be the perfect place to test ride gravel bikes, mountain bikes and electric mountain bikes. The biggest bike textile producers on the market will also be showcasing their latest collections in Hall B6.

“Outdoor” action will of course not be confined to the halls but will also be available in the outside area: the HangOut Area, designed as an interactive exhibition space, will be the perfect place to try out and test a wide variety of products. Meat lovers in particular will enjoy the barbecue in the Kreutzers Outdoor Kitchen.

As an integral addition to the various outdoor activities, daily yoga sessions will be held in four of the focus areas as part of the Body & Mind segment. They will be based around the four elements and will each comprise relevant exercises: fire will represent the climbing-specific program in the Indoor Climbing Hub; the natural flow of water will be at the heart of the session in the River Lake Camp; runners will be able to strengthen their bodies and minds using the theme of earth in the Shoe & Trailrunning Village and the outside exhibition area will provide the perfect location for exercises using the theme of air.
A complete overview of all the focus areas is available online.

OutDays—a festival of outdoor culture
The OutDoor by ISPO trade fair may be reserved for trade visitors but everyone else can look forward to getting involved in OutDays from June 29 to July 6 in the metropolitan area of Munich. End consumers, brands and retailers will become a vital part of this new movement through the festival celebrating outdoor culture. Participants can expect exclusive workshops, meet & greets, try-outs, film screenings, presentations, prize draws and contests. The contents will also reflect the diverse nature of the entire outdoor world: from bouldering, climbing, mountain biking and trail running right through to different water sports, adventure travel and camping. The OutDays program will be available from mid of May 2019 on the Web page.

Outstanding Outdoor—award-winning innovative products
Europe’s largest outdoor trade fair is also a hot spot for innovative products and trends. “Outstanding Outdoor” is an award designed to recognize stand-out products in the outdoor industry. The popular seal of quality helps retailers, the press and end consumers find their bearings in the increasingly complex product landscape. The winners will feature in the exhibition space of the same name in Hall B5.

Photo: Goshadron auf Pixabay
12.03.2019

RUSSIAN ONLINE RETAILERS ARE FOUNDING LOCAL AMAZONS

  • E-Commerce Market continues to grow rapidly

Russia's online retailers are entering into strategic alliances. The market is maturing and consolidating. German suppliers must prepare themselves for tougher competition.
Russia's online trade continues to record strong growth rates. In 2018, sales increased by 19 percent year-on-year to around Rubel 1.2 billion (EUR 15.5 billion; 1 EUR = 74.04
Rubles, annual average exchange rate 2018). This corresponded to about 290 million orders, according to Data Insight's analysis. By the end of 2023, the investment bank Morgan Stanley expects annual growth of 25 percent to Rubles 3.5 billion. In 2018, the cross-border Internet trade increased by 29 percent to the equivalent of EUR 4.7 billion.

  • E-Commerce Market continues to grow rapidly

Russia's online retailers are entering into strategic alliances. The market is maturing and consolidating. German suppliers must prepare themselves for tougher competition.
Russia's online trade continues to record strong growth rates. In 2018, sales increased by 19 percent year-on-year to around Rubel 1.2 billion (EUR 15.5 billion; 1 EUR = 74.04
Rubles, annual average exchange rate 2018). This corresponded to about 290 million orders, according to Data Insight's analysis. By the end of 2023, the investment bank Morgan Stanley expects annual growth of 25 percent to Rubles 3.5 billion. In 2018, the cross-border Internet trade increased by 29 percent to the equivalent of EUR 4.7 billion.

Development of the Russian online trade
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sales (Bn. Rubel) 1) 560 650 805 965 1.150
Change (in %) 2) 34.9 16.1 23.0 20.0 19.0


1) Physical goods only; excluding cross-border trade, deliveries of ready meals, tickets for transport and events, coupons, consumer-to-consumer and multi-level marketing;
2) Nominal year-on-year; variance due to rounding.
Sources: Market research institute Data Insight; Association of Online Retailers (NAMO)

The share of e-commerce in retail sales is currently still around 5 percent. With the "Strategy for the Development of Online Trade by 2025", the government wants to increase this up to 20 percent. The conditions for further growth are good, as Russian consumers are Internet-savvy and open to technical innovations. Already 76 percent of all Russians have an Internet connection. According to the national "Digital Economy" project, broadband Internet penetration is expected to reach 97 percent by 2024.
 
Growth potential far from exhausted
Russia's online retailers are following this trend by modernizing their websites and are investing in goods logistics. Electronic marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular. This is because they offer smaller Internet retailers in particular the opportunity to assert themselves against the market leaders.
In the Forbes ranking of the 20 most valuable Internet companies in Russia, online retailers Wildberries and Ozon rank fourth and fifth respectively. The Russian fashion mail order company Lamoda - a foundation of the German Rocket Internet - is in ninth place.     
The Otto Group realigned its business model in Russia in 2018 and removed its subsidiaries Quelle and Otto from the market. The Hamburg-based group relies on the online brands Bonprix and Witt as well as on the eSolutions platform, which offers B2B services in the areas of marketing, sales, logistics and IT.

Leading online retailers in Russia
Company Productportfolio Sales 2017 (Bn. Rubel) Change 2017/2016 (in %) Number of orders (in Mio.)
Wildberries Clothing, Shoes,
Accessoires
63.8 40.0 39.8
Citilink Goods of all kind 55.2 35.0 5.2
DNS-Shop / Technopoint Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
38.9 61.0 5.8
M.Video Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
36.7 41.0 3.6
Eldorado Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
23.7 2.0 4.3
Lamoda Clothing, Shoes,
Accessoires
23.6 6.0 4.0
Ozon Goods of all kind 23.4 44.0 8.6
Ulmart Goods of all kind 23.1 -37.0 5.9
Bonprix Clothing, Accessoires 16.5 10.0 4.0
Svyaznoy Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
15.7 35.0 1.5

Source: Data Insight (http://datainsight.ru/top100/)

Russia gets two "local Amazons" at once 
Russian online trading is already firmly in the hands of a few large players who are continuing to expand their market presence. The market leader Wildberries added electronics and household appliances to its range in 2018. AFK Sistema Holding of the oligarch Yevgeny Yevtushenkov has increased its stake in the online retailer Ozon and is investing in the construction of new logistics centers In addition, Ozon started selling medicines, jewellery and ready meals.  

In April 2018, the Russian technology group Yandex and Sberbank agreed to establish the Beru and Bringly online marketplaces. The aim is to further develop the Yandex.Market platform into a "Russian Amazon". Russia's largest bank brings in the customer data of 100 million account holders.
Beru and Bringly's range mainly includes high-priced goods such as electronics, clothing, shoes and cosmetics. Bringly cooperates with the British cosmetics chain Feelunique, among others. In September 2018, Yandex.Market also concluded a cooperation agreement with Hepsiburada, Turkey's largest online marketplace. 

Alibaba expands its market presence in Russia
In September 2018, the next major merger in Russian online trading was announced: The Mail.ru Group and Megafon (part of the company empire of the oligarch Alisher Usmanow), the Russian Fund for Direct Investments and the Chinese technology group Alibaba intend to establish a joint online marketplace by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Alibaba intends to expand its presence on the Russian market.
The Mail.ru Group provides access to the data records of around 100 million users - an enormous new customer potential for the Chinese online giant. On March 5th  2019, AliExpress, the Russian subsidiary of Alibaba, also launched a platform for the sale of passenger cars of the Chinese brand Chery.

Duty-free limit continues to fall
Two thirds of Russian online buyers also order goods from foreign traders. 90 percent of the deliveries come from China. If the price and weight of the product are within the exemption limits, no sales tax is payable. On 1 January 2019, the exemption limit for cross-border online trading was halved to EUR 500 and the weight limit was lowered from 31 to 25 kilograms. From January 1st   2020, the tax-free allowance will fall to EUR 200.  However, this measure is unlikely to generate any additional revenue for the Russian State. In 86 percent of cross-border online purchases, the maximum value of goods is at about USD 22.

Above all, capacity bottlenecks in the delivery of online orders are currently putting the brakes on sector. VTB-Bank is therefore investing around EUR 410 million in the construction of 40 logistics and distribution centers for the Russian Post Office (Potschta Rossii) by 2021. The state-owned company intends to profit from the growth in the online commerce and increase its revenue from parcel services for e-commerce to Rubel 122 billion by 2023. Since September 2018, the Russian Post has been distributing deliveries from China via hubs in Siberia and the Far East.
The logistics service provider DPD has been working with the Avito advertising portal since October 2018. In future Its customers will be able to collect their parcels at around 1,500 DPD stations. Since June 2018 DHL and eBay have been working together on logistics services in Russia.

The development of B2B platforms is becoming increasingly important in Russia's online trade. The potential is huge: the Russian B2B online market amounts to around USD 20 billion - and the trend is rising. Pioneers such as Sewerstal, Alrosa or Technonikol already rely on B2B platforms to sell directly to their end customers. In 2018, the Chinese Fosun Group acquired around 20 percent of the shares in the B2B platform Prod.Center, on which agricultural products are traded.

More information:
Russia E-Commerce
Source:

Hans-Jürgen Wittmann, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

(c) Deutsche Messe AG
22.01.2019

DOMOTEX 2019 - A TRADE FAIR TO CONNECT THE CONTINENTS

  • Final Release

The latest edition of DOMOTEX – the world’s leading showcase for carpets and floor coverings (January 11 to 14) – has underscored its reputation as the sector’s biggest and most important hub for business, innovations and trends. Over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 nations came to Hannover to kick off a successful new year of business. With close to 90 percent of all attendees having decision-making authority, the caliber of the show’s visitors remained extremely high – a fact confirmed by exhibitors. Due to growing market concentration, DOMOTEX recorded a slight dip in attendance. According to the exhibition survey, the order situation of exhibitors remained constant, while the purchasing volume per visitor went up. About 70 percent of all DOMOTEX attendees once again came from abroad – a clear sign of the flagship fair’s international appeal.

  • Final Release

The latest edition of DOMOTEX – the world’s leading showcase for carpets and floor coverings (January 11 to 14) – has underscored its reputation as the sector’s biggest and most important hub for business, innovations and trends. Over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 nations came to Hannover to kick off a successful new year of business. With close to 90 percent of all attendees having decision-making authority, the caliber of the show’s visitors remained extremely high – a fact confirmed by exhibitors. Due to growing market concentration, DOMOTEX recorded a slight dip in attendance. According to the exhibition survey, the order situation of exhibitors remained constant, while the purchasing volume per visitor went up. About 70 percent of all DOMOTEX attendees once again came from abroad – a clear sign of the flagship fair’s international appeal. In terms of visitor backgrounds, attendance was notably up on the part of wholesale and retail professionals. The figures also revealed an increase in attendance by architects, interior designers and contract business professionals. In addition, DOMOTEX 2019 saw an increase in the amount of display space sold.

“Thanks to its strong international drawing power, DOMOTEX serves as the sector’s definitive global marketplace. The positive and optimistic outlook on the 2019 business year that was tangible in the trade fair halls proves the success of this year’s exhibition,” said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Managing Board member in charge of DOMOTEX at Deutsche Messe.

“Manufacturers and customers as well as partners, architects and designers from all over the world come together to network at DOMOTEX, spawning new business relationships and collaborative opportunities previously not deemed possible,” remarked Sonia Wedell-Castellano, the new global director for DOMOTEX, adding: “That’s what this year’s theme of Create’N’Connect is all about.”

Upbeat mood among exhibitors
Fabian Kölliker, Head of Marketing at the Swiss Krono Group, voiced early praise for the professional nature of the event: “We are very satisfied with the number, quality and internationality of attendees. Even after day two of the fair, we are already extremely happy with our success so far.”

The Balta Group has remained faithful to DOMOTEX since the origin of the fair. As Marketing Director Geert Vanden Bossche reports: “The rug business is a global business and this is the best place to connect with people and customers from around the world. In only four days we can meet with a lot of customers, giving a good return on our investments.”

For Myriam Ragolle, Managing Director of Ragolle Rugs, DOMOTEX represents the ideal opportunity to present the new products to a worldwide audience within just a four-day period: “It is impossible to achieve that by traveling. We can also make contacts with new customers from all over the world. This makes DOMOTEX unique.”

Exhibitors from the skilled trades also expressed keen satisfaction with the run of the show: “Here at DOMOTEX 2019, we have once again succeeded in impressing a trade audience from Germany and abroad,” said Julian Utz, CEO of Uzin Utz, adding: “The show’s international focus gives us access to exactly the right potential customers.” As he pointed out, Uzin Utz is strongly focused on Asian and Arab-speaking markets. “So the strong turnout by customers from these regions is a real boon for us.”

The benefits of attending DOMOTEX
Susanne Gerken, a Color & Trim designer at Volkswagen, came to DOMOTEX 2019 to catch the latest trends and check out innovative materials. As she pointed out, color trends and issues such as sustainability, recycling and new material lifecycles are all equally applicable to the automotive industry, and her takeaway was much more than just new impressions: “At DOMOTEX I picked up several ideas I can use to great advantage in my work.”

In contrast, business matters were the prime objective for Alex Hosseinnia, CEO of Dallas Rugs in Dallas, Colorado: “My line of work is all about buying and selling,” he said, adding that what he liked about DOMOTEX was the way it made it easy for him to meet up with suppliers, and that it was an ideal place to discover the latest trends and fashions, for example colors and patterns, that were “likely to be showing up in U.S. retail channels in the course of the next year or two.”

“CREATE’N’CONNECT” at DOMOTEX 2019
The inspiring “Framing Trends” showcase in Hall 9 proved its worth. In its second year, it once again featured impressive displays of innovative products by manufacturers, artists, designers and students. International architects, designers, planners and influencers were particularly appreciative of “Framing Trends” as the beating heart of the event. The new showcase has proven to be highly effective at bringing visitors together and spawning lively interaction and business dialogue.

Under the motto of “Gaining Ground”, the “Treffpunkt Handwerk” skilled trades hub in Hall 13 proved popular among interior designers, parquet and floor layers, painters and varnishers. The hands-on demo area gave flooring experts an opportunity to see innovative floor treatment and finishing tools and machinery in action while comparing notes with fellow professionals.

Digital tools for sales and marketing in the floor covering industry
A key topic at the event involved solutions for the digital presentation of carpets and floor coverings. The new digital solutions ran the gamut of VR and AR applications, including visualization aids for every aspect of the marketing mix, plus innovative software which makes it easy for customers to discover and choose their favorite designs and collections while providing retailers with new options for digital product presentation and sales.

 

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen (c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
08.01.2019

SLEEP! THE FUTURE FORUM

  • HEIMTEXTIL IS ALREADY SHOWING TODAY HOW WE CAN SLEEP BETTER TOMORROW

According to doctors specialising in sleep, we already know almost everything there is to know about sleep. However, studies show that the quality of this regeneration process is deteriorating all the time. How can we prevent this from happening? The upcoming Heimtextil (8-11 January, Frankfurt am Main) will supply solutions to this with the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’. Here, international experts will present the latest findings and textile innovations for a restful night. The world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles brings together around 800 producers of textiles in the bed segment. Of these, 140 international industry leaders will be represented in the ‘Smart Bedding’ segment alone in hall 11.0, which will be presenting the latest sleep systems, mattresses, bedding and smart sleep technology. In addition, the new ‘Sleep!

  • HEIMTEXTIL IS ALREADY SHOWING TODAY HOW WE CAN SLEEP BETTER TOMORROW

According to doctors specialising in sleep, we already know almost everything there is to know about sleep. However, studies show that the quality of this regeneration process is deteriorating all the time. How can we prevent this from happening? The upcoming Heimtextil (8-11 January, Frankfurt am Main) will supply solutions to this with the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’. Here, international experts will present the latest findings and textile innovations for a restful night. The world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles brings together around 800 producers of textiles in the bed segment. Of these, 140 international industry leaders will be represented in the ‘Smart Bedding’ segment alone in hall 11.0, which will be presenting the latest sleep systems, mattresses, bedding and smart sleep technology. In addition, the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’ in the foyer of hall 11.0 will provide a platform for knowledge transfer, exchange of experiences and networking relating to a good night’s sleep. International experts will provide an overview of the current state of research and the latest findings on the ‘Future of sleep’ in the four subject areas of digital, sport, hotels and sustainability.

‘We sleep too little’
It is not without reason that many experts are declaring sleep to be the latest lifestyle trend after nutrition and fitness: numerous current studies prove that we are sleeping ever more badly despite increasing knowledge. ‘You don’t always notice sleep deprivation straightaway but you do become less attentive’, says Prof. Ingo Fietze, Head of the Interdisciplinary Sleep Medicine Centre at the Berliner Charité and chair of the German Sleep Foundation. At ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’, Fietze will talk about ‘The power engine of sleep’. ‘From a scientific point of view, we already know a great deal about our night’s sleep. The big problem is that we don’t sleep enough and don’t give sleep the importance it deserves’, says Fietze.

In order to improve our night’s sleep, there are now a number of smart gadgets available: intelligent pillows, noise-reducing high-tech earplugs and sleep trackers – these are all designed to help banish bad sleeping habits and consolidate healthy ones. Given that consumers can quickly get lost in this maze, the Schlafonauten, who call themselves Germany's biggest YouTube channel on the topic of sleep, are ready to help. ‘We test products that promise a calmer night to see how effective they are’, says Schlafonaut Fabian Dittrich. He will present the latest test results in the knowledge forum as part of an interview (‘Smart innovations – the practical test’).

Sleep like a (sports) professional
Another speaker knows the sleeping habits of professional athletes very well: Nick Littlehales, sleep coach of five-time World Cup footballerCristiano Ronaldo and four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, will present his findings from his 22 years as a sleep coach for top athletes (‘Redefining Sleep in Elite Sport’). ‘Athletes and professionals in world sports are facing the growing demands of a globalised 24-hour society’, says Littlehales. This is also increasingly true for non-athletes, says Littlehales, who is certain that his sleep tips for professionals will also be useful for normal mortals.

The night's rest as an experience
Sleeperoo founder Karen Löhnert will show that you can sleep comfortably in the most unusual places during her lecture ‘Sleeperoo - The Night, The Place and You’ at the ‘Sleep!’ forum. She will be introducing the world’s first ‘Design Sleep Cube’. The sleeping capsule known from the start-up TV show ‘Höhle des Löwen’ is currently nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019. It allows the user to spend the night in exotic places such as a museum, a bunker or a pier in the Baltic Sea. ‘I'm a big fan of adventure nights, from tree houses to tepees; but unfortunately I've only been able to find a few local accommodation offers of this type and they don't come with quality guarantees’, says Löhnert. With her sleep cube, she wants to make sleep experiences with a high standard of amenities possible for the first time. In the Sleep Cube, the user lies on a comfortable 1.60 metre wide and 2 metre long mattress, while three large panoramic windows and the roof provide a view of the surroundings and the sky.

Even classic hotel stays have now become a focus of research. Vanessa Borkmann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO will talk about the importance of sleep in hotels in Frankfurt am Main in January (‘The importance of sleep during a hotel stay – a special experience thanks to innovation’). ‘Healthy sleep is particularly important in hotels’, says Borkmann, who wants to show how the effect of rest in the hotel bed can be improved, for example through the design of the sleeping environment, the behaviour of the guest themselves or technical innovations.

Sustainable sleep
More and more people are using natural materials and sustainably produced textiles in their bedrooms. The lecture block ‘Sleep & Sustainability’ is therefore dedicated to the material properties of textiles and the quality of their processing as well as the auditability of sustainable procurement and production standards. This is how Hendrik Albers, buyer of home and household textiles, bedding & mattresses at OTTO, and Dr Juliane Hedderich, managing director of the Down and Feather Associations in Mainz, describe the growing importance of nature conservation, environmental protection and animal welfare in the bedroom (‘Sustainable good advice - Convincing with the right arguments when it comes to animal welfare and quality’). ‘In the past, criteria such as weight, moisture wicking and filling power has played an almost exclusive role in the choice of bedding, but now the ethical component is increasingly coming into play’, says Hedderich. Consumers are placing ever greater importance on certificates and seals which prove that the processed down and feathers did not originate from live plucking or foie gras production. Hedderich and OTTO buyer Albers present the quality seal ‘DOWNPASS 2017’, which guarantees controlled animal husbandry and adherence to animal protection criteria.

CHIC Shanghai - THE MOTTO 'NEW MAKERS' BY CHIC INTERPRETS THE PROGRESSIVE CHANGE IN THE CHINESE FASHION BUSINESS Photo: JANDALI MODE.MEDIEN.MESSEN
26.06.2018

CHIC Shanghai - THE MOTTO 'NEW MAKERS' INTERPRETS THE PROGRESSIVE CHANGE IN THE CHINESE FASHION BUSINESS

  • The important trade fair platform for entry into the Chinese consumer market with China's most influential consumer group for the fashion and beauty sector with the strongest growth in consumption - the millennials - as target group
  • The international fashion showcase for decision makers with an overview of na-tional and international fashion brands
  • Strategic market development through comprehensive visitor marketing for inter-national brands at CHIC

 
CHIC, China International Fashion Fair presents around 800 exhibitors in an exhibition space of approx. 50,000 sqm (CHIC in March 100,000 sqm) in two halls from 27 to 29 September 2018 at the National Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai.

  • The important trade fair platform for entry into the Chinese consumer market with China's most influential consumer group for the fashion and beauty sector with the strongest growth in consumption - the millennials - as target group
  • The international fashion showcase for decision makers with an overview of na-tional and international fashion brands
  • Strategic market development through comprehensive visitor marketing for inter-national brands at CHIC

 
CHIC, China International Fashion Fair presents around 800 exhibitors in an exhibition space of approx. 50,000 sqm (CHIC in March 100,000 sqm) in two halls from 27 to 29 September 2018 at the National Exhibition & Convention Center in Shanghai.
The current conditions for international fashion companies in the Chinese market offer significant improvements for international brands. Import tariffs will be lowered from 15.9% to 7.1% to further promote the import and upgrade of the industry.  

The McKinsey study "THE `Chinese consumer´ no longer exists” defines Chinese consumers no longer as interested only in low prices, but as selective, healthconscious with diverse shopping hab-its and preferences. The fashion awareness changes to an individual sense of style, influenced by international and national trends. China's millennials are the WORLD'S most influential consumer group, with a 16% share of the population, driving consumption growth in the Chinese market and contributing more than 20% from today until 2030.  
 
According to the edition's motto "New Makers", Asia's leading fashion fair is picking up on the latest changes in the Chinese fashion market and providing the essential tools for the Chinese market. The new, young design of the fair, which was launched in March this year at CHIC, is being ex-panded. The individual sections of CHIC present the latest trends in the Chinese and international fashion market. CHIC connects and brokers partnerships and launches the new generation gar-ment industry, which builds on high-tech strategies and interlinks industrial production with modern information and communication technologies, relying on intelligent, digitally networked systems in self-organized production.

The individual fashion areas of CHIC  
FASHION JOURNEY puts the focus on interna-tional exhibitors. In addition to the large Italian pavilion, the French pavilion "Paris Forever" and the Korean show-inshow "Preview in China", in-dividual participants from Poland, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the USA use CHIC as a bridge in the Chinese market. The next German group participation is planned for March 2019, whereby Germany will also be rep-resented with individual brands such as ESISTO in the area NEW LOOK.

IMPULSES, CHIC's designer section, features emerging designer brands such as Junne, Hua Mu Shen, King Ping, Anjaylia, Mao Mart homme, Tuffcan, etc.

The SUSTAINABILITY ZONE, first showcased at CHIC in the fall of 2017, is receiving even greater emphasis due to the increasing environmental and health awareness of Chinese consum-ers, featuring sustainable supply chain solutions, sustainable innovation and sustainable fashion collections. Programs such as Chemical Stewardship 2020, Carbon Stewardship 2020, Water Stewardship 2020 and Circular Stewardship 2020 are presented. The womenswear section NEW LOOK of CHIC presents next to the leading Chinese brands like AVRALA, and CMH also international brands like Saint James from France, ESISTO from Ger-many, Trenz Eight from Canada or PN JONE, USA.

Beside the suppliers of classic menswear, URBAN VIEW, the menswear section, also includes casualwear brands like NRDMA and SUPIN as well as bespoke companies like H. Pin& Tack, Jin Yuan Yang, Fa Lan Qian Mu, Long Sheng and DANDINGHE.
CHIC YOUNG BLOOD shows young lifestyle brands, KID'S PARADISE offers e.g the largest fashion group in China for children's fashion XTEP KIDS.

SECRET STARS (fashion accessories), SHANGHAI BAG (bags), HERITAGE (leather & fur), SUPERIOR FACTORY (ODM) and FUTURE LINK (services) complete the fashion offer at CHIC. FUTURE LINK gathers fashion service providers for among others supply chain solutions, smart retail and smart production, RFID, laser technology and data utilization.

Visitor management
On the rise in China's retail scene, multi brand and custom stores are the fastest growing offline sector. The number has increased significantly in the last five years from less than 100 to more than 5,000 stores. Exclusive shopping experiences and an individual offer are important. Custom-ers value a wide range of products: a mix of international and national exclusive brands is the most common concept.

The high investments of the CHIC organizers in the visi-tor management for the fair pay off: CHIC has a per-sonalized trade visitor database of over 200,000 con-tacts, which are used intensively for the visitor marketing in the run-up to the fair for a commercial matching for the exhibitors. At the fair, VIP match making activities will take place especially for selected international brands, that will have the opportunity to present them-selves there and make the relevant contacts in the Chi-nese trade. Meetings are organized among others with multi brand stores and buyers such as The Fashion Door, Dong Liang, Jing Dong, VIP Shop and department stores, and retailers such as Carrefour, Amazon, De-cathlon, Wang Fujing, etc. An important tool for the CHIC visitor marketing is social media; for this special programs are run, in which individual brands are pre-sented to prospective visitors.    

CHIC is visited by representatives of all distribution channels for distribution in the Chinese market, at the last event in autumn 2017 more than 65,722 visitors from all over China and other nations were registered at the CHIC, with a significant increase in multi brand stores.
 
Seminars and shows

The future of fashion business in China will be discussed in a panel of experts as part of CHIC TALKS. Furthermore, a trend seminar from WGSN for FW 2019 and a workshop on bag and shoe production from the Moda Pelle Academy are planned.

CHIC shows provide an overview of selected international brands.

CHIC is organized by Beijing Fashion Expo. Co. ltd. and China World Exhibitions, supported by China National Garment Association, The Sub-Council of Textile Industry (CCPIT) and China World Trade Center.

Gardinen, Sicht- und Sonnenschutz © Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de
21.03.2017

NEW SECTOR REPORT ON CURTAINS, SCREENS AND SUN PROTECTION PUBLISHED

Innovative solutions are still waiting to be discovered 

The latest edition of the study: Curtains, Screens and Sun Protection has been published. In February 2017, the market researchers and analysts from Marketmedia24 and NoceanZ wanted to know it exactly: How do consumers think in terms of curtains, screens and sun protection? A fashionable and emotional factor is accounted by almost 46 percent of people buying such products. Desire for a new decoration or the discovery of a great new idea is initiating shopping. For many consumers this happens even every five years.

Innovative solutions are still waiting to be discovered 

The latest edition of the study: Curtains, Screens and Sun Protection has been published. In February 2017, the market researchers and analysts from Marketmedia24 and NoceanZ wanted to know it exactly: How do consumers think in terms of curtains, screens and sun protection? A fashionable and emotional factor is accounted by almost 46 percent of people buying such products. Desire for a new decoration or the discovery of a great new idea is initiating shopping. For many consumers this happens even every five years.

The power of emotions plays a decisive role - the trend professionals know and recognize in the new "hygge-like" lifestyle (derived from the Danish happiness philosophy Hygge) the return of the consumers back to familiar, even magical worlds – say back home. Where, by the way, one does not go back to the times of cocooning, but rather enjoy live with family and friends in security and individuality.

However, consumers showed the marketing strategies of the sector the red card: The technological added value of modern articles is hardly significant, brands have a just marginal importance, therefore purchasing happens primarily priced-oriented. Eva Barth-Gillhaus, a member of the authors’ study team, is certain: "Our consumer survey reveals clearly that in the sales orientation of the manufacturers the communication with consumers missed out. This is regrettable because many brands have a lot to offer.

For the brave, however, a wide field opens up for brand strategies to add emotional appeal, pointing out added value and innovation. The value of habitation and the potential of modern products provide an ideal basis. B2C communication undoubtedly is a tour de force, where creative viral strategies and the use of social media may help to save some advertising EUR." The expert predicts that sector campaigns, especially breadthwise, could bear fruit more quickly, but at the same time she has to limit the feasibility: "Perhaps an illusion, but the alternative is interchangeability, dependence on the market partner and the primacy of the price."

Eight sales channels are mainly responsible for the sales on the German market for curtains, screens and sun protection. Handicraft and converters represent the strongest market power, followed by the retail trade. The furniture stores are the number one for the majority of the res-pondents when it comes to purchasing of curtains, screens and sun protection products. However, this result is not a true reason for joy for those persons involved. Men prefer to buy (about 21%) in hardware stores while women (just under 25%) prefer furniture stores, but only if they do not prefer to sew the curtains and decoration shawls themselves, what is favored by at least 5%. As number two online providers came out of the total survey.

Anyone who is familiar with the life span of furnishing articles will be surprised about the renewal rhythm at the window. While, for example, living room luminaires with an average hanging time of 15 to 25 years prove to be extremely long-lasting, curtains, screens and sun protection products seem to be fast exchanging. After all, almost 39% say they replace the products every five years. A similar group of the same size changes even more frequently.

At first sight, functional and fashionable buying impulses are balanced. It does not seem to be surprising that 58% of the interviewees call protection from the sun and about 40% the desire for dim-out as purchase reasons. On the other hand, the high number of those who can be infected by "great" discoveries is astonishing.

When asked, "Which brand names do you know spontaneously?", the respondents named more than 180 brands. Among them Ado and Goldkante or Otto and My Home as two separate brands. But also stationary and virtual shopping sources were used as brand names for curtains, screens and sun protection such as Amazon, Bon Prix, Textilshop.de, Ikea, DM, Obi, Poco, Tchibo and interior decorators.

The fact that in a representative survey consumers also named Nivea and Nivea Sun as brand names for curtains, screens and sun protection products, and that the furniture retailer Ikea, after Velux and Ado reached the third highest degree of recognition, shows a dilemma that not only gives the manufacturers / suppliers of the sector a reason to think about.
With such a low degree of brand awareness it is not surprising, that brand products can seldom be found on the shopping lists of consumers. For a real desire this low brand awareness is not sufficient enough. Therefore almost 50% decide on the price. Whether it is a known brand name or a brand product is not important.

But in principle the signs bode well , for textile living as well as for the offers of curtains, screens and sun protection. Several megatrends and market factors link together to form a powerful market engine. The construction boom and the general demand for residential space are important drivers. In the first eleven months of 2016 already 340,000 new apartments or renovations were approved, 63,600 or 23% more than in the same period of the previous year.

Who as a manufacturer or supplier in the market for screens and sun protection as well as curtains has to decide about larger investments or product innovations - needs to get as much information as possible about the medium and longer-term market development. What has to be expected for the next eight to ten years, until about 2025? Is the growth of the past few years continuing? Is more growth still possible? Or will it weaken, for example because the market is simply saturated? The new sector report 2017 about curtains, screens and sun protection products provides a solid basis for answering such questions.

 

imm cologne 2017 © Koelnmesse GmbH, Thomas Klerx
07.02.2017

TRADE FAIR DUO OF IMM COLOGNE AND LIVINGKITCHEN ACHIEVES MORE THAN 150,000 VISITORS FOR THE FIRST TIME

  • One in two trade visitors came from outside Germany
  • The top 30 global retail chains were in Cologne
  • Cologne expands its position as the global capital for interior design

imm cologne and LivingKitchen have achieved a record number of visitors this year. "We met our target and have broken the 150,000-visitor mark," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, who is delighted with the results. Roughly every second trade visitor came from outside Germany, with foreign trade visitors accounting for nearly 50 per cent. "That shows we are right on track with our drive to internationalise the events," Böse continued. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, was similarly pleased with the figures. "The Cologne furniture show was a wonderful summit for interior decor.

  • One in two trade visitors came from outside Germany
  • The top 30 global retail chains were in Cologne
  • Cologne expands its position as the global capital for interior design

imm cologne and LivingKitchen have achieved a record number of visitors this year. "We met our target and have broken the 150,000-visitor mark," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, who is delighted with the results. Roughly every second trade visitor came from outside Germany, with foreign trade visitors accounting for nearly 50 per cent. "That shows we are right on track with our drive to internationalise the events," Böse continued. Dirk-Uwe Klaas, Managing Director of the Federal Association of the German Furniture Industry, was similarly pleased with the figures. "The Cologne furniture show was a wonderful summit for interior decor. The German furniture industry is completely satisfied with imm cologne. It was the ideal start to 2017, which will no doubt be an excellent year for the industry," said Klaas.

On behalf of retailers, the President of the German Federal Association of Furniture, Kitchens & Furnishing Retailers (BVDM), Hans Strothoff, gave the following verdict: "The trade fair met retailers' expectations. The quality of the exhibitors was high; a large number of new launches were on show, and visitors had a chance to experience attractive product presentations. This makes a visit to the trade fair well worth its while. And it's why retailers also see the trade fair as a fantastic way to launch the 2017 furniture year."

Of the 104,000 trade visitors, around 56,000 came from Germany and approximately 48,000 from abroad (an increase of 4 per cent). Within Europe, increases in visitor figures were recorded in particular from Spain (up 25 per cent), Russia (up 26 per cent), Italy (up 19 per cent) and the UK (up 13 per cent). Visitor numbers from the Netherlands and Poland also increased. Numbers of overseas trade visitors rose, in particular visitors from China (up 5 per cent), South Korea (up 12 per cent) and India (up 5 per cent). A rise was also recorded in visitor numbers from the Middle East  (up 19 per cent), with particularly strong growth from the United Arab Emirates. With these excellent numbers of foreign visitors, the two trade fairs will boost exhibitors' exports.

Koelnmesse Chief Operating Officer Katharina C. Hamma emphasised the quality of the trade visitors: "No other event brings supply and demand together as effectively in this quality as imm cologne and LivingKitchen." Initial evaluations of the results showed that the trade visitors included large numbers of the global top 30 retail chains, such as John Lewis, Home Retail Group, Harveys Furniture -all from the UK - as well as Conforama from France and Nitori from Japan. The major industry players in online retail - including Amazon and the Otto Group - also used the event intensively for their businesses. With these results, the trade fair duo has confirmed its importance for the interior design industry's global commercial operations on a national and an international level.

LivingKitchen closes with good results

In parallel with the world's most important furnishing fair, imm cologne, the international kitchen event LivingKitchen took place this year. For the seven days of the event, 200 exhibitors from 21 countries - including around 50 first-time and returning exhibitors - showed how much innovation the industry has to offer and how high its standards of design and quality are. This year's LivingKitchen not only followed on seamlessly from its success in 2015, but significantly improved on the key figures in many areas. "For us, LivingKitchen 2017 was a complete success. The world's best-performing kitchen industry needs a leading international trade fair in Germany. Our industry presented an outstanding showcase, and we are convinced that the trade fair will significantly boost demand for kitchens, nationally and internationally," said Kirk Mangels, Chief Executive of the Modern Kitchen Working Group e.V. (AMK). A great number of positive comments were received on the event's concept, which is aimed at both business and the general public. When asked about the event's added value, many exhibitors mentioned the fact that Cologne is the only trade fair where they can present their products in the context of a globally oriented interiors show. "LivingKitchen in Cologne is on an excellent course. We will analyse the results right after the trade fair to see how we can work together to continue to develop the event," said Mangels. But it was not just the exhibitors' innovative products that attracted a highly diverse audience interested in the latest kitchens and good food - the cooking events and large cooking shows also drew visitors to the trade fair on the public days.

The next imm cologne will take place from 15 to 21 January 2018 in Cologne, co-located with LivingInteriors.

Koelnmesse - Global competence in furniture, interiors and design
Further Information: http://www.global-competence.net/interiors/

 

EuroShop 2017 © Messe Duesseldorf / ctillmann
18.10.2016

EUROSHOP 2017 – DISPLAY MANNEQUINS: REAL MOOD BOOSTERS!

  • Visual marketing increases in importance for offline retail in view of e-Commerce competitors
  • Display mannequins are in focus for this
  • Emotionalising is decisive
  • Individuality and flexibility are also demanded
  • There is a shift towards semi-abstract mannequins with regional and genre differences
  • Proportion of customised mannequins is rising
  • Sustainability remains an issue

EuroShop is one of those trade fairs always teeming with visual highlights. Guaranteed to present a special treat here is, of course, the Visual Merchandising Hall, the exhibition place of display mannequins and store window decorations. March 2017 will see Hall 11 of Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre (instead of Hall 4 previously), become a POS experience guaranteed to attract plenty of attention.

  • Visual marketing increases in importance for offline retail in view of e-Commerce competitors
  • Display mannequins are in focus for this
  • Emotionalising is decisive
  • Individuality and flexibility are also demanded
  • There is a shift towards semi-abstract mannequins with regional and genre differences
  • Proportion of customised mannequins is rising
  • Sustainability remains an issue

EuroShop is one of those trade fairs always teeming with visual highlights. Guaranteed to present a special treat here is, of course, the Visual Merchandising Hall, the exhibition place of display mannequins and store window decorations. March 2017 will see Hall 11 of Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre (instead of Hall 4 previously), become a POS experience guaranteed to attract plenty of attention. After all, in view of the e-Commerce competition, visual marketing and the resulting emotional, personalised appearance will become more and more important for bricks-and-mortar retailers. “Consumers’ emotional needs will become the overriding theme for EuroShop,” says Andreas Gesswein, CEO of Genesis Display from Auetal, with conviction.

Display mannequins hold special emotionalising potential. It is not by chance that Düsseldorf visual artist Domagoj Mrsic once presented them as “super heroes” in one of his stagings - as Superman and Wonder Woman, Batman and Catwoman, Spiderman and Spiderwoman. Provided the displays are done well mannequins are in a way real heroes. With their appearance, their posture, gestures and mimics they can really breathe life into shop windows and in-store decorations, serve as sales-promoting tools or arouse empathy, interest and curiosity. And if they are not just headless and very abstract they even give retail stores and brands a profile and signature style. With the power of their poses they send out a clear signal as to which target group is addressed, which degree of fashion and price range is served. Moreover, when arranged in groups, they can serve as story-tellers for passers-by. Unforgettable was the “Ugly’s” line of mannequins by supplier Hans Boodt, which mimicked “real-life” men rather than V-shaped boys with six packs. It included both a long, tall one and a short, fat one dressed in passion-killing underwear. “The new generation of mannequins will say more about the brand. They will participate in communicating more about each brand’s essential values and set them apart from the competition”, says Jean-Marc Mesguich, CEO of Window France headquartered in Carros.

The portfolio offered by the display mannequin industry is wide and varied: in addition to top-model lookalikes it features plus-size beauties, Europeans, Africans and Asians, the afore-mentioned super heroes and funny common people. Kissing couples feature alongside sumo wrestlers. In line with the motto "don't take yourself too seriously", vendors have long also included dogs and cats; and even chameleons since many mannequins prove to be true artists of disguise. “Cameleon”, for example, is a patented concept of Window France: Hundreds of eyes and lips are available to chose from, eye-lashes can be glued on, wigs attached/detached, different make-ups applied or the whole face can be replaced with the help of magnets – in brief, all it takes to ensure a constantly refreshed POS appearance. Add to this what is by now a huge range of colours and materials: surfaces from velvet and rubber are just as common these days as are metallic varnishes or concrete and copper coatings.     

In view of what has been presented over the past few years you may wonder what might come next. Although the majority of fashion retailers and brands have not nearly exploited the full potential already available today. In the past few years abstract mannequins were in highest demand. “They are fit for many applications and easy to handle, since no wigs or make-up have to be styled,” says Andreas Gesswein (Genesis Display) accounting for reasons and adds: “But they are also easier to copy and therefore available in every price segment.” In practice, efficiency sometimes clearly “overrides” emotion. “But when stores do not stand out with the image they project they do not prompt shoppers to enter either,” says Jean-Marc Mesguich (Window France). And for EuroShop 2017 Window France will definitely have far more in store than “exciting variations of the abstract theme”.

Faces are back again

The fact is: just like the fashion they are wearing, display mannequins follow trends. Triggered by a desire to cut a sharper profile and stronger expression, industry insiders have seen a trend towards semi-abstract mannequins. “A face is at least alluded to. Mannequins are less neutral and it becomes visible: Retailers want to make a statement again showing their true colours. There is a trend towards addressing target groups with a more high-profile message,” explains Cornel Klugmann, Country Manager for the D-A-CH region at Hans Boodt from the Dutch city of Zwijndrecht. Monica Ceruti, in charge of PR & Communication at Almax from Mariano Comense/Italy, agrees: “It is true that demand for abstract mannequins continues to be high but there is a clear trend towards more realistic facial characteristics. This includes such details as the application of eyelashes or wigs. And dynamic postures are also getting more popular again.”

Andreas Gesswein (Genesis Display) remarks: “Especially in the luxury segment we are registering stronger demand for more realistic mannequins with faces and emotional facial expressions that brands are looking for to stand out from the rest.” A trend that Jean-Marc Mesguich (Window France) confirms: “The Haute Couture brands have already abandoned the egghead in exchange for something that will have more impact and - more importantly - get people talking about their brand.” He adds: “The growing trend of viewing fashion and fashion windows online is pushing brands to make more attractive windows and to change their displays on a more regular basis.”

The days of faceless “eggheads” seem to be over. And above and beyond this? “The look and feel is becoming more and more high-end. White and grey are replacing darker shades, glossy replaces matt and aspirational looks with more charisma are more in demand,” says Cornel Klugmann (Hans Boodt). Monica Ceruti (Almax) sees great potential in “handcrafted looks”. This means torsos with and without arms with different materials for the individual components – pedestal, torso and head – and wood as well as metallic surfaces all set the tone here. Sabrina Ciofi from Design Office La Rosa from Palazzolo Milanese/Italy summarises the “principal themes of tomorrow” as follows: “Customers demand high product quality, the right price, maximum after-sales service and high product flexibility and/or diversity.” This statement should be valid across national borders. Otherwise she says despite all the globalisation: “There are as many trends as there are markets.” Monica Ceruti (Almax) concretized: “In Europe and the USA the differences are not fundamental. In the Middle East, however, mannequins without realistic traits continue to be in demand for religious and cultural reasons. This applies especially to female display mannequins.”

Customised becomes cheaper

Producers report that the percentage of customised mannequins is generally rising. These display mannequins are individually and exclusively manufactured to customers’ specifications. In this way retail companies and brands can stand out from their competitors and consistently leverage their CI. At Hans Boodt, for example, the proportion of customised mannequins is now said to be as high as 75%. And thanks to cost-cutting process optimisation it is expected to rise even further. Like Window France these Dutch vendors have now discovered 3D printing which can serve their purposes and their buyers. While in the past prototypes used to be elaborately modelled by sculptors in clay, these can now be “printed” in a time and cost-saving manner. “On top of this, the process is even more true to life and detailed,” delights Cornel Klugmann (Hans Boodt). Graphic designers create the desired mannequins with CAD systems where all the details can be freely configured. Then the files are uploaded to the printer that puts them into practice 1:1. “We can respond to trends so much faster and at the end of the day also design more new collections each year”, Klugmann explains further benefits. Jean-Marc Mesguich (Window France) adds: “Thanks to 3D we can create mannequins that really correspond to each and every brand and every brand’s precise image, to be perfectly in-sync with their public. This is an important evolution in the role that mannequins play.”

Alongside process optimisation sustainability remains important for the sector. “The fashion sector is now highly aware of this topic and attaches importance to its suppliers also complying with the relevant criteria,” explains Monica Ceruti (Almax).   The other market players polled also share this view. For La Rosa, whose mannequins are exclusively designed and manufactured in Italy, sustainability is an integral part of quality. By their own accounts, the Italians have analysed the whole life cycle of their mannequins with a view to minimising their ecological footprint. Almost half of the polystyrene used, they say, is recycled which saves substantial amounts of crude oil and carbon dioxide emissions. On top of this, La Rosa takes back its products after use and re-introduces them into the material cycle. Production operations work with a carbon-capture system, the cooling towers use process water, energy is generated by the company’s own PV park. Andreas Gesswein (Genesis Display) also underscores the importance of this topic: “Our customers focus on trust, honesty and partnership-based cooperation. And this includes providing evidence of sustainability rather than copying other peoples’ marketing straplines. In cooperation with Dupont Tate and Lyle BioProducts we have increased the percentage of biomass in our mannequins even further over the past few years, just the same way we constantly check and optimise our materials, packaging and transport routes for sustainability.” Hans Boodt is also opting for an interesting avenue. The company currently studies whether ocean plastics could be used as a raw material for production.

EuroShop as an opportunity of the future

The display mannequin market is and will be in motion – both on the supply and demand sides. “There are customers who buy their mannequins cheaply online and others who are interested in top quality, professional consulting and holistic visual-merchandising concepts,” explain Andreas Gesswein (Genesis Display) and Cornel Klugmann (Hans Boodt). There should be no doubt about who they expect to be more successful. Andreas Gesswein: “The challenges are enormous. 2016 has been especially challenging for fashion retailers, also in Asia and the USA. Companies are faced with changed market and shopper behaviours. EuroShop 2017 will therefore probably be one of the most important ones since the fair's inception.” Jean-Marc Mesguich emphasizes: “I think that it is essential to be present at EuroShop. For both suppliers and clients. It is a sure way of exchanging views and helps pave the way forward for both parties. This year we are at a turning point in the market, so it will be even more useful for everyone.” Cornel Klugmann also recommends retail representatives to visit the trade fair: “Our innovative power is the opportunity for the future.”
 
EuroShop 2017 will be open to visitors daily from Sunday 5 March 2017 to Thursday 9 March 2015, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. A day ticket is EUR 70 (EUR 50 for an e-ticket, purchased online in advance), 2-day ticket EUR 90 (e-ticket: EUR 70) and a 4-day ticket EUR 150 (e-ticket: EUR 130). Entrance tickets include free trips to and from EuroShop on all trains, buses and trams within the networks of the VRR transport authority (Verkehrsverbund-Rhein-Ruhr).