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(c) Toray
23.11.2021

Toray Industries: A Concept to change Lives

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

Founded in January 1926, Tokyo-based Japanese chemical company Toray Industries, Inc. is known as the world's largest producer of PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based carbon fibers. But its overall portfolio includes much more. Textination spoke with Koji Sasaki, General Manager of the Textile Division of Toray Industries, Inc. about innovative product solutions, new responsibilities and the special role of chemical companies in today's world.

Toray Industries is a Japanese company that - originating in 1926 as a producer of viscose yarns - is on the home stretch to its 100th birthday. Today, the Toray Group includes 102 Japanese companies and 180 overseas. They operate in 29 countries. What is the current significance of the fibers and textiles business unit for the success of your company?

The fibers’ and textiles’ business is both the starting point and the foundation of Toray's business development today. We started producing viscose yarns in 1926 and conducted our own research and development in nylon fibers as early as 1940. And since new materials usually require new processing methods, Toray also began investing in its own process technology at an early stage. On the one hand, we want to increase our sales, and on the other hand, we want to expand the application possibilities for our materials. For this reason, Toray also began to expand its business from pure fibers to textiles and even clothing. This allows us to better respond to our customers' needs while staying at the forefront of innovation.

Over the decades, Toray has accumulated a great deal of knowledge in polymer chemistry and organic synthesis chemistry - and this know-how is the foundation for almost all of our other business ventures. Today, we produce a wide range of advanced materials and high-value-added products in plastics, chemicals, foils, carbon fiber composites, electronics and information materials, pharmaceuticals, medicine and water treatment. However, fibers and textiles remain our most important business area, accounting for around 40% of the company's sales.

What understanding, what heritage is still important to you today? And how do you live out a corporate philosophy in the textile sector that you formulate as "Contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies and products"?

Toray has consistently developed new materials that the world has never seen before. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. We do this by focusing on our four core technologies: Polymer chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology. For textiles, this means we use new polymer structures, spinning technologies and processing methods to develop yarns with unprecedented properties. We always focus on the needs and problems of the market and our customers.

This approach enables us to integrate textiles with new functions into our everyday lives that natural fibers and materials cannot accomplish. For example, we offer sportswear and underwear that absorb water excellently and dry very quickly, or rainwear and outdoor clothing with excellent water-repellent properties that feature a less bulky inner lining. Other examples include antibacterial underwear, uniforms, or inner linings that provide a hygienic environment and reduce the growth of odor-causing bacteria. People enjoy the convenience of these innovative textiles every day, and we hope to contribute to their daily comfort and improve their lives in some way.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 sustainable development goals – simply known as the 2030 Agenda, which came into force on January 01, 2016. Countries were given 15 years to achieve them by 2030. In your company, there is a TORAY VISION 2030 and a TORAY SUSTAINABILITY VISION. How do you apply these principles and goals to the textile business? What role does sustainability play for this business area?

Sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the world today - not only in the textile sector, but in all industries. We in the Toray Group are convinced that we can contribute to solving various problems in this regard with our advanced materials. At the same time, the trend towards sustainability offers interesting new business approaches. In our sustainability vision, we have set four goals that the world should achieve by 2050. And we have defined which problems need to be addressed to achieve this.

We must:

  1. accelerate measures to combat climate change,
  2. implement sustainable, recycling-oriented solutions in the use of resources and in production,
  3. provide clean water and air, and
  4. contribute to better healthcare and hygiene for people around the world.

We will drive this agenda forward by promoting and expanding the use of materials that respond to environmental issues. In the textile sector, for example, we offer warming and cooling textiles – by eliminating the need for air conditioning or heating in certain situations, they can help reduce energy costs. We also produce environmentally friendly textiles that do not contain certain harmful substances such as fluorine, as well as textiles made from biomass, which use plant-based fibers instead of conventional petrochemical materials. Our product range also includes recycled materials that reduce waste and promote effective use of resources.

The TORAY VISION 2030, on the other hand, is our medium-term strategic plan and looks at the issue of sustainability from a different angle: Toray has defined the path to sustainable and healthy corporate growth in it. In this plan, we are focusing on two major growth areas: Our Green Innovation Business, which aims to solve environmental, resource and energy problems, and the Life Innovation Business, which focuses on improving medical care, public health, personal safety and ultimately a longer expectancy of life.

Innovation by Chemistry is the claim of the Toray Group. In a world where REACH and Fridays for Future severely restrict the scope of the chemical industry, the question arises as to what position chemistry can have in the textile industry. How do chemistry, innovation and sustainability fit together here?

The chemical industry is at a turning point today. The benefits that this industry can bring to civilization are still enormous, but at the same time, disadvantages such as the waste of resources and the negative impact on the environment and ecosystems are becoming increasingly apparent. In the future, the chemical industry will have to work much more towards sustainability - there is no way around it.

As far as textiles are concerned, we believe there are several ways to make synthetic materials more sustainable in the future. One of these, as I said, is materials made from plants instead of petrochemical raw materials. Another is to reduce the amount of raw materials used in production in the first place – this can be achieved, for example, by collecting and recycling waste materials from production or sales. Biodegradable materials that reduce the impact of waste products on the environment are another option worth pursuing, as is the reduction of environmentally harmful substances used in the production process. We are already looking at all of these possibilities in Toray's synthetic textiles business. At the same time, by the way, we make sure to save energy in our own production and minimize the impact on the environment.

Toray's fibers & textiles segment focuses on synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and acrylic, as well as other functional fibers. In recent years, there has been a clear trend on the market towards cellulosic fibers, which are also being traded as alternatives to synthetic products. How do you see this development – on the one hand for the Toray company, and on the other hand under the aspect of sustainability, which the cellulosic competitors claim for themselves with the renewable raw material base?

Natural fibers, including cellulose fibers and wool, are environmentally friendly in that they can be easily recycled and are rapidly biodegradable after disposal. However, to truly assess their environmental impact, a number of other factors must also be considered: Primarily, there is the issue of durability: precisely because natural fibers are natural, it is difficult to respond to a rapid increase in demand, and quality is not always stable due to weather and other factors.

Climatic changes such as extreme heat, drought, wind, floods and damages from freezing can affect the quantity and quality of the production of natural fibers, so that the supply is not always secured. In order to increase production, not only does land have to be cleared, but also large amounts of water and pesticides have to be used to cultivate it – all of which is harmful to the environment.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are industrial products manufactured in controlled factory environments. This makes it easier to manage fluctuations in production volume and ensure consistent quality. In addition, certain functional properties such as resilience, water absorption, quick drying and antibacterial properties can be embedded into the material, which can result in textiles lasting longer in use.

So synthetic fibers and natural fibers, including cellulose fibers, have their own advantages and disadvantages – there is no panacea here, at least not at the moment. We believe: It is important to ensure that there are options that match the consumer's awareness and lifestyle. This includes comfort in everyday life and sustainability at the same time.

To what extent has the demand for recycled products increased? Under the brand name &+™, Toray offers a fiber made from recycled PET bottles. Especially with the "raw material base: PET bottles", problems can occur with the whiteness of the fiber. What distinguishes your process from that of other companies and to what extent can you compete with new fibers in terms of quality?

During the production of the "&+" fiber, the collected PET bottles are freed from all foreign substances using special washing and filtering processes. These processes have not only allowed us to solve the problem of fiber whiteness – by using filtered, high-purity recycled polyester chips, we can also produce very fine fibers and fibers with unique cross sections. Our proven process technologies can also be used to incorporate specific textures and functions of Toray into the fiber. In addition, "&+" contains a special substance in the polyester that allows the material to be traced back to the recycled PET bottle fibers used in it.

We believe that this combination of aesthetics, sustainability and functionality makes the recycled polyester fiber "&+" more competitive than those of other companies. And indeed, we have noticed that the number of requests is steadily increasing as companies develop a greater awareness of sustainability as early as the product planning stage.

How is innovation management practiced in Toray's textile division, and which developments that Toray has worked on recently are you particularly proud of?

The textile division consists of three sub-divisions focusing on the development and sale of fashion textiles (WOMEN'S & MEN'S WEAR FABRICS DEPT.), sports and outdoor textiles (SPORTS WEAR & CLOTHING MATERIALS FABRICS DEPT.) and, specifically for Japan, textiles for uniforms used in schools, businesses and the public sector (UNIFORM & ADVANCED TEXTILES DEPT.).

In the past, each division developed its own materials for their respective markets and customers. However, in 2021, we established a collaborative space to increase synergy and share information about textiles developed in different areas with the entire department. In this way, salespeople can also offer their customers materials developed in other departments and get ideas for developing new textiles themselves.

I believe that the new structure will also help us to respond better to changes in the market. We see, for example, that the boundaries between workwear and outdoor are blurring – brands like Engelbert Strauss are a good example of this trend. Another development that we believe will accelerate after the Corona pandemic is the focus on green technologies and materials. This applies to all textile sectors, and we need to work more closely together to be at the forefront of this.

How important are bio-based polyesters in your research projects? How do you assess the future importance of such alternatives?

I believe that these materials will play a major role in the coming years. Polyester is made from purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which again consists of paraxylene (PX) and ethylene glycol (EG). In a first step, we already offer a material called ECODEAR™, which uses sugar cane molasses waste as a raw material for EG production.

About 30% of this at least partially bio polyester fiber is therefore biologically produced, and the material is used on a large scale for sportswear and uniforms. In the next step, we are working on the development of a fully bio-based polyester fiber in which the PTA component is also obtained from biomass raw materials, such as the inedible parts of sugar cane and wood waste.

Already in 2011, we succeeded in producing a prototype of such a polyester fiber made entirely from biomass. However, the expansion of production at the PX manufacturer we are working with has proven to be challenging. Currently, we are only producing small sample quantities, but we hope to start mass production in the 2020s.

Originally starting with yarn, now a leading global producer of synthetic fibers for decades, you also work to the ready-made product. The range extends from protective clothing against dust and infections to smart textiles and functional textiles that record biometric data. What are you planning in these segments?

In the field of protective clothing, our LIVMOA™ brand is our flagship material. It combines high breathability to reduce moisture inside the garment with blocking properties that keep dust and other particles out. The textile is suitable for a wide range of work environments, including those with high dust or grease levels and even cleanrooms. LIVMOA™ 5000, a high quality, also demonstrates antiviral properties and helps to ease the burden on medical personnel. The material forms an effective barrier against bacteria and viruses and is resistant to hygroscopic pressure. Due to its high breathability, it also offers high wearing comfort.

Our smart textile is called hitoe™. This highly conductive fabric embeds a conductive polymer – a polymer compound that allows electricity to pass through - into the nanofiber fabric. hitoe™ is a high-performance material for detecting biosignals, weak electrical signals that we unconsciously emit from our bodies.

In Japan, Toray has developed products for electrocardiographic measurements (ECGs) that meet the safety and effectiveness standards of medical devices. And in 2016, we submitted an application to the Japanese medical administrative authorities to register a hitoe™ device as a general medical device – this registration process is now complete. Overall, we expect the healthcare sector, particularly medical and nursing applications, to grow – not least due to increasing infectious diseases and growing health awareness among the elderly population. We will therefore continue to develop and sell new products for this market.

In 1885, Joseph Wilson Swan introduced the term "artifical silk" for the nitrate cellulose filaments he artificially produced. Later, copper, viscose and acetate filament yarns spun on the basis of cellulose were also referred to as artifical silk. Toray has developed a new innovative spinning technology called NANODESIGN™, which enables nano-level control of the fineness and shape of synthetic fibers. This is expected to create functions, aesthetics and textures that have not existed before. For which applications do you intend to use these products?

In NANODESIGN™ technology, the polymer is split into a number of microscopic streams, which are then recombined in a specific pattern to form a new fiber. By controlling the polymer flow with extreme precision, the fineness and cross-sectional shape of the fiber can be determined much more accurately than was previously possible with conventional microfiber and nanofiber spinning technologies. In addition, this technology enables the combination of three or more polymer types with different properties in one fiber – conventional technologies only manage two polymer types. This technology therefore enables Toray to specify a wide range of textures and functions in the production of synthetic fibers that were not possible with conventional synthetic fibers – and even to outperform the texture and feel of natural fibers. Kinari, our artificial silk developed with NANODESIGN technology, is a prime example here, but the technology holds many more possibilities – especially with regard to our sustainability goals.

What has the past period of the pandemic meant for Toray's textile business so far? To what extent has it been a burden, but in which areas has it also been a driver of innovation? What do you expect of the next 12 months?

The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: The Corona catastrophe had a dramatic impact on the company's results: In the financial year 2020, Toray's total sales fell by about 10% to 188.36 billion yen (about 1.44 billion euros) and operating profit by about 28% to 90.3 billion yen (about 690 million euros). The impact on the fiber and textile business was also significant, with sales decreasing by around 13% to 719.2 billion yen (approx. 5.49 billion euros) and operating profit by around 39% to 36.6 billion yen (approx. 280 million euros).

In the financial year 2021, however, the outlook for the fibers and textiles sector is significantly better: So far, the segment has exceeded its goals overall, even if there are fluctuations in the individual areas and applications. In the period from April to June, we even returned to the level of 2019. This is partly due to the recovering sports and outdoor sector. The fashion apparel market, on the other hand, remains challenging due to changing lifestyles that have brought lock-downs and home-office. We believe that a full recovery in business will not occur until the travel and leisure sector returns to pre-Corona levels.

Another side effect of the pandemic that we feel very strongly, is the growing concern about environmental issues and climate change. As a result, the demand for sustainable materials has also increased in the apparel segment. In the future, sustainability will be mandatory for the development and marketing of new textiles in all market segments. Then again, there will always be the question of how sustainable a product really is, and data and traceability will become increasingly important. In the coming years, the textile division will keep a close eye on these developments and develop materials that meet customers' needs.

About the person:
Koji Sasaki joined Toray in 1987. In his more than 30 years with the company, he has held various positions, including a four-year position as Managing Director of Toray International Europe GmbH in Frankfurt from 2016 to 2020. Since 2020, Koji Sasaki has been responsible for Toray's textile division and serves as acting chairman of Toray Textiles Europe Ltd. In these roles, he supervises the company's development, sales and marketing activities in the apparel segment, including fashion, sports and work or school uniforms.

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing partner Textination GmbH

(c) Checkpoint Systems
28.09.2021

Checkpoint Systems: Retail Technology Solutions – Success needs a Team

Checkpoint Systems, a division of CCL Industries, is a global leader in retail solutions. The portfolio ranges from electronic article surveillance as well as theft and loss prevention to RFID hardware and software and labeling solutions. The aim is to provide retailers with accurate, real-time inventory, speed up the replenishment cycle, prevent out-of-stocks and reduce theft to improve product availability and the customer shopping experience.

Checkpoint Systems, a division of CCL Industries, is a global leader in retail solutions. The portfolio ranges from electronic article surveillance as well as theft and loss prevention to RFID hardware and software and labeling solutions. The aim is to provide retailers with accurate, real-time inventory, speed up the replenishment cycle, prevent out-of-stocks and reduce theft to improve product availability and the customer shopping experience.

Textination spoke with Miguel Garcia Manso, Business Unit Director Germany at Checkpoint Systems, where the 44-year-old industrial engineering graduate has been working since 2018. With many years of international retail experience, he knows the needs of the retail industry very well. Before that, Miguel Garcia Manso lived in Madrid for almost 15 years, where he worked for the Spanish food retailer DIA. There he also accompanied the introduction and roll-out of article surveillance projects.

 

If you had to present Checkpoint Systems and its portfolio to someone who is not a retail professional – what would you say?

We are the retail partner and our job is to help retailers make shopping as pleasant as possible for their customers. Put simply, our solutions ensure that the right product is in the right place at the right time when the end consumer wants to buy it, instead of standing in front of an empty shelf in the worst-case scenario. Our portfolio ranges from individual anti-theft products to solutions that cover the entire supply chain and provide the greatest possible transparency of inventory.

 

It's been a long journey from the 1960s, when a small team in the U.S. developed a method to prevent the theft of books from public libraries, to becoming the international leader in 21st century article surveillance, operating in 35 countries. What legacy is still important to you today, and how would you describe the spirit at Checkpoint Systems?
 
Both questions have the same answer: On the one hand, innovative strength and, on the other, consistent exchange with the retail industry. Both have been in the focus at Checkpoint Systems from the very beginning. We develop our products and systems in close exchange with the industry, actively seek dialogue, listen to what is needed in everyday life, etc. This is very important to us and is also regularly used as a selling point for Checkpoint Systems. We definitely want to continue this.

 

You offer hardware and software technologies for retail, which is a very complex market. How do the requirements of retailers from the fashion, outdoor and textile industries differ from those of other industries?

The reasons why retail companies contact us are similar across all industries. They all want to delight their customers, retain them in the long term, and generate more sales. The ways to achieve this may differ: From omni-channel strategies for the fashion sector, to article surveillance solutions for high-priced electrical or cosmetic products, and to RFID-based fresh food solutions for food retailers to reduce food waste.
The requirements of the industries differ, especially when it comes to labels. Depending on the size and price of the product as well as the desired technology, we recommend different labels – or develop them in close coordination with the customer. For the Polish fashion company LPP, for example, we have just developed a special dual RF and RFID tag that blends harmoniously into the store design.

 

Magic word RFID – the contactless and automated reading and storing of data based on electromagnetic waves is the centerpiece of your technologies. You even encourage your customers to develop their own RFID strategy. What do you mean by this and are you sure that all retail companies will be able to do this on their own?

We develop the strategy together with our customers, usually as part of a pilot project. Until a few years ago, the introduction of RFID technology was actually more complex and usually involved a project lasting several years. Today, however, we can quickly calculate for each retailer in the context of a small pilot project, how much more profitable they can be with RFID and what their return on investment is. We usually start with a store scan, followed by pilot testing in selected stores, including individual training and on-site support. And by the time it is implemented in all stores, the customers themselves are RFID experts and have an understanding of what they can do with the real-time data. 

 

What does the keyword "customized" mean for Checkpoint Systems? To what extent can you map the individual needs of each customer? Or can you make every retail company – whether chain or boutique – "happy"?

We give high priority to personalized solutions. This concerns, on the one hand, the product itself and, on the other, the size of the company. As you already indicate, large retail chains obviously have different needs than small boutiques. For O₂, Telefónica Germany’s core brand, for example, we have just specially adapted our AutoPeg tags for theft protection. Instead of the standard yellow, the tags for O₂ are white with blue lettering to match the store design.
This also shows the development in the area of article surveillance in general: When article surveillance was still in its infancy, antennas and labels were mainly functional. Nowadays, they blend harmoniously into the overall look of the store design. Retailers no longer have to choose between design and functionality.

 

How is innovation management practiced in your company and which developments that Checkpoint has worked on recently are you particularly proud of?

In recent months, we have worked intensively – together with the German Employers' Liability Insurance Association (Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik) – on the testing and certification of our article surveillance systems and now we can proudly say: We are the first manufacturer in Germany whose EAS systems have been tested by the CSA Group, an internationally recognized and accredited provider of testing and certification services. The CSA Group has confirmed that our radio frequency-based EAS systems comply with all standards and guidelines applicable in Germany with regard to exposure to electromagnetic fields. No safety distances need to be maintained.
The background is as follows: Retailers in Germany are obliged to prepare a risk assessment if they use an EAS system. The CE declaration of conformity, which they receive from the manufacturer when purchasing an EAS system, is not sufficient for this purpose. By testing our systems, we have created the best conditions for our customers to make such an assessment. We have also provided the relevant documents to the Employer's Liability Insurance Association.

We are also proud of the fact that we have managed to increase the clearance widths of our NEO antennas for article surveillance from two meters to 2.70 meters. This gives retailers significantly more freedom in store design. In general, store design is also a good keyword at this point: With our free-standing antennas, the design of the NS40 or even the possibility of incorporating antennas into checkout systems, we have contributed a great deal to making article surveillance aesthetically pleasing and harmoniously integrated into the whole.

 

The Covid-19 period was a disaster, especially for the stationary retail. In recent months, companies have increasingly moved in the direction of e-commerce – whether via individual store solutions or marketplaces – in order to compensate for at least part of the decline in sales. What is your advice to retailers: Can only omni-channel businesses be successful today and in the future?

Yes, that is definitely our advice to retailers. Omni-channel solutions are not going to disappear, but will continue to become more common and will be indispensable in the near future. Retailers are well advised to adapt to this new situation – also regardless of Corona – and to invest in the expansion of functioning omni-channel solutions. Customers expect the product they want, to be available when they enter a store. And if not, that they can easily have it delivered to the same store or shipped to their home. This only works with very high inventory transparency, for example through our RFID solutions.

 

Keyword: economic efficiency. Creating the much-vaunted personalized perfect shopping experience for the customer costs money, doesn't it? Stock availability, reducing inventories through clearance sales, shelf management, logistics and returns processing – to what extent can you support retailers in increasing their profitability?

NOT creating the perfect shopping experience costs a lot more – dissatisfied customers who haven't found what they want won't come back. To keep up with customer demand, many retailers therefore stock far too much products. In our experience, this amounts to an average of 42,000 items. That costs. These retailers pay high costs for warehouse space, need a lot of time for inventory processes, and end up having to reduce products significantly in order to reduce inventories.
The key to greater profitability lies in inventory accuracy. With the help of RFID technology, we can increase this to up to 99 percent. This allows us to avoid under- or overstocking, reduce the amount of storage space required, and optimize processes, including inventory. RFID can read hundreds of tags simultaneously and is more accurate and faster than manual counting. Experience shows that retailers can increase their sales by an average of three percent with our RFID technology.

 

Even if the situation in retail has eased to some extent as a result of the vaccinations, the shopping situation in on-site stores – viewed optimistically – also requires special precautions, at least for the next few months. With "safer shopping," you offer a package of various components for this purpose. What does it cover?
 
SmartOccupancy is our simple solution for controlling the number of people in salesrooms in real time. The system counts the number of people entering and leaving using Visiplus 3D, an overhead people counting sensor. When the maximum capacity is almost reached, SmartOccupancy sends an alert to the staff. This allows the staff to respond to current occupancy counts in real time, contributing to a safer environment for employees and customers. Those responsible can use SmartOccupancy to implement official instructions on the maximum number of people safely and reliably; manual counting is no longer necessary. A visual capacity indicator clearly shows customers at the door whether they are allowed to enter the store or not.
The second solution is primarily of interest to the textile and clothing industry as well as the footwear market: Inventory Quarantine is a software solution for secure, automated returns (SaaS-based). It allows retailers to park returned goods in an automated quarantine queue for a few hours. After the pre-defined time has passed, Inventory Quarantine notifies employees via push message that the piece of clothing or shoe can be cleared back to the floor or re-tagged as available in the online store. This means that items are only released when they are deemed safe for resale – while ensuring that items are put back on sale promptly. The solution helps retailers keep track of returned goods and minimize the time when products are not available on sale.

 

"Ethical consumption has finally become an attitude and has arrived in the middle of society," trend researcher Peter Wippermann commented on the results of the Otto Group's latest trend study "Living More Consciously". What does sustainability mean to Checkpoint Systems as a company, how do you reflect this finding in your product portfolio and how do you support your customers in achieving sustainability goals?

Sustainability is definitely an important topic for us at Checkpoint Systems. We regularly review our products and processes to see how we can work even more resource-efficiently, reduce production waste and lower our CO2 emissions. This also includes, how we can further reduce the power consumption of our antennas. We only develop and sell RF antennas. This technology is not only safer in terms of exposure to electromagnetic fields, but also more environmentally friendly: RF antennas require 40 to 70 percent less energy than other technologies.

Source:

The Interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, Managing Partner, Textination GmbH.

photo: pixabay
20.04.2021

Biomolecules from renewable Raw Materials for the Textile Industry

Water-repellent and more: coating textiles sustainably with chitosan

Textiles can be coated with the biopolymer chitosan and thus made water-repellent by binding hydrophobic molecules. The good thing is that this can also replace toxic and petroleum-based substances that are currently used for textile finishing. In the last few years Fraunhofer IGB and partners in the HydroFichi project have researched how this can be done: A technology has been developed to provide fibers with the desired properties using biotechnological processes and chitosan.

Water-repellent and more: coating textiles sustainably with chitosan

Textiles can be coated with the biopolymer chitosan and thus made water-repellent by binding hydrophobic molecules. The good thing is that this can also replace toxic and petroleum-based substances that are currently used for textile finishing. In the last few years Fraunhofer IGB and partners in the HydroFichi project have researched how this can be done: A technology has been developed to provide fibers with the desired properties using biotechnological processes and chitosan.

The manufacture of textiles is, even nowadays, still largely characterized by the use of chemicals: biotechnological processes, enzymes and renewable raw materials have so far played a subordinate role. For example, at present chiefly perfluorinated chemicals are used when finishing textiles to obtain water- and oil-repellent properties. These are harmful to health and also only degradable to a small degree, which is why they remain in the environment for so long.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB has been researching sustainable biobased alternatives for some time. In the HydroFichi project – short for Hydrophobic Finishing with Chitosan – which was completed at the end of January 2021, researchers at the institute developed a way of producing chitosan from waste streams and using the biopolymer not only as a sizing agent in the processing of yarns, but also for the functionalization of textiles in the finishing process.

Chitosan from waste for environmental protection, medical purposes or textiles
Chitosan is a renewable raw material that is derived from chitin; after cellulose, it is the second most common naturally occurring biopolymer. Sources of the nitrogen-containing polysaccharide can be crab shells from fishing waste, insect skins and shells that result from the production of animal feed, or – as a vegan variant – the cell walls of mushrooms. The structure of the two molecules is very similar; the only difference is an acetyl group, which is removed when it is converted to chitosan. Chitin is insoluble in water and most organic solvents. Chitosan is also not readily soluble; however, the addition of mild acids makes the biopolymer water-soluble and it can therefore be used as a textile auxiliary.

In order to isolate chitosan from a particular waste stream, chitin must first be obtained from the starting materials by means of demineralization and deproteinization and then its derivative chitosan. The properties of chitosan can be individually adapted by choosing the appropriate conditions. The biomolecule produced in this way can be used directly in a wide variety of practical applications – for example as a flocculant in wastewater treatment or as a drug carrier in medicines.

There are also numerous conceivable uses for chitosan in the textile industry. In sizing, for example, the efficiency of the natural substance has proved convincing in pilot scale tests carried out by the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf. Here, the effectiveness was shown in the significantly lower roughness of the yarns after weaving textile fabrics. The values achieved with chitosan from insects were comparable to those from commercial crab shells. In the future, this fact will enable completely new possibilities of extraction in line with the bioeconomy.

As a renewable raw material, chitosan replaces fossil chemicals
“Our aim in the HydroFichi project was to provide the textile industry with a raw material for a wide variety of applications that can be obtained from renewable educts, at the same time avoiding chemicals that damage the environment and health,” explains project manager Dr. Achim Weber, deputy head of the innovation field Functional Surfaces and Materials at Fraunhofer IGB. “In addition to simple coating with chitosan, which protects the fibers, we were also able to use the substance as an anchor molecule to create cross-linking points for a wide variety of functional groups and thus to provide textiles with specific properties such as making them water-repellent. Chitosan can therefore function as a matrix material or template at the same time, and this can be done with a wide variety of fiber materials.”

The finishes were evaluated using standardized tests, but also with specially designed test stands and methods. For example, measurements on treated textiles showed contact angles of over 140°. This means that the fabrics are very water-repellent and confirms that the processing of the textiles has been successful. In a next step, the technology developed at the IGB is to be transferred from the laboratory scale to the much larger pilot scale in order to make the sustainable biomolecule ready for market use as quickly as possible, for example in the sports and outdoor sector.

For the first time biotechnological processes in textile finishing
In the project, the IGB scientists and four partners from the textile industry – the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF), J.G. Knopf's Sohn GmbH, Helmbrechts, and Textilchemie Dr. Petry, Reutlingen – were able for the first time to establish biotechnological processes in raw material extraction and finishing that have proven to be compatible with all textile processes. So far, this is a unique selling point in the finishing of textiles. “We have all recognized the great potential of chitosan for efficient hydrophobization and as a functional carrier. And, thanks to the good cooperation, we were able to successfully establish techniques for tailor-made functionalization of textiles,” adds Dr. Thomas Hahn, who conducts research in the innovation field of Industrial Biotechnology at the IGB. “In addition, other fields of application for the biopolymer are very promising. That is why we initiated the follow-up project ExpandChi immediately after HydroFichi, in which together with our partners techniques are to be developed to use biobased chitosan as a functional carrier to replace other synthetic polymers, for example for a special anti-wrinkle or flame-retardant coating. The textile industry is very interested in utilizing such a sustainable biomolecule as quickly as possible.“

The “HydroFichi” project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under promotional reference 031B0341A; the follow-up project “ExpandChi”, which began in February 2021, is funded under promotional reference 031B1047A.

Entries now open for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter © KontraPixel | Jana Erb
16.03.2021

Entries now open for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter

  • Calling all innovative start-ups in the outdoor industry
  • Globetrotter as official Partner
  • Online entries incl. submission of products open until May 14, 2021

Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter is taking place in 2021. The competition is open to start-ups working in the outdoor industry that have developed innovative products. 10 shortlisted start-ups will be given the opportunity to make their pitch for first place live during OutDoor by ISPO from July 6 to 8, 2021. The winner will receive a “Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship”. The outdoor retailer is the Basecamp’s official partner. The competition entry process has already been successfully launched and will remain open until May 14, 2021.

  • Calling all innovative start-ups in the outdoor industry
  • Globetrotter as official Partner
  • Online entries incl. submission of products open until May 14, 2021

Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew in cooperation with Globetrotter is taking place in 2021. The competition is open to start-ups working in the outdoor industry that have developed innovative products. 10 shortlisted start-ups will be given the opportunity to make their pitch for first place live during OutDoor by ISPO from July 6 to 8, 2021. The winner will receive a “Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship”. The outdoor retailer is the Basecamp’s official partner. The competition entry process has already been successfully launched and will remain open until May 14, 2021.

The format for start-ups, which is based on a long tradition spanning 20 years, is being slightly reworked this year: the jury, consisting of industry experts, will shortlist the 10 best entries after which the relevant entrants will be invited to make their pitch for the scholarship and other prizes live on stage at OutDoor by ISPO. 

Winners will benefit from global reach and communications strategies
The winner of the top spot will receive a Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship: the winning product will be included in Globetrotter’s range and prominently showcased and advertised in the Globetrotter Innovation Lab in Berlin for an entire season. The winning start-up will also be given the golden opportunity to present the product or service in the Globetrotter online store and in selected retail spaces. Finally, the Globetrotter Innolab Scholarship will also involve inclusion in the outdoor retailer’s communications and content strategy. Globetrotter will promote the winning product via various different digital channels, including newsletters, social media platforms, blogs, and the Globetrotter magazine. The winner may also benefit from support in terms of subsequent marketing as well as joint further development of the product.  

Outdoor and adventure photographer Jana Erb from KontraPixel will shoot a video for the runner-up about the brand, including interviews and a tour of the company. Both the product and the start-up involved will therefore benefit from professional production. The third-placed start-up will win exclusive PR material from KontraPixel, including photos of its products.
Jana Erb is thrilled about the partnership with Basecamp: “Prizes like these firstly enable fledgling brands to network with the industry’s big hitters and secondly provide them with a unique opportunity to present their new products to a diverse audience.“

Globetrotter as solid partner for Basecamp of Inspiration by ISPO Brandnew
Globetrotter has its finger firmly on the pulse in terms of the industry’s latest developments and trends. The Globetrotter Innovation Lab has been a feature of the Berlin store since fall 2020. This area’s sole purpose is to showcase innovative developments in the outdoor retail industry. As such, Globetrotter is offering the Basecamp winner an unbeatable environment in which to present both itself as a newcomer and its award-winning product.
 
Franziska Zindl, Head of ISPO Awards & Innovations: “Not only does the cooperation demonstrate retail’s huge interest in and commitment to the summer format of ISPO Brandnew but the extensive service package is also set to provide the smallest players in our industry with yet another incredible springboard for gaining a solid foothold in the market.”

Andreas Vogler, CEO Globetrotter: “We are truly thrilled to be able to work together with the ISPO Brandnew team to offer up-and-coming new start-ups the benefit of our marketing expertise. We are proud of the fact that we are passionate about innovation and are now perfectly positioned to offer our services as a sales and launch partner. And, for us, ISPO is a partner with vision and a seemingly infinite network.”

More information:
ISPO OutDoor by Ispo
Source:

Messe München

ISPO Munich 1 (c) Messe München GmbH
13.10.2020

ISPO Munich 2021 as a hybrid event

  • Hybrid concept to combine the best of both worlds
  • Systematic enhancement of ISPO’s digital strategy
  • End consumers to be digitally integrated into the event for the first time

The world-leading trade fair ISPO Munich will take place from January 31 to February 3, 2021, for the first time as a hybrid event that will be held both in-person in Munich and online around the world. The new concept marks the event’s systematic transformation into a platform and applies the broad range of digital expertise that ISPO has gained over the past 10 years. With the threat of travel restrictions looming over the trade fair, the digital elements will create the ideal basis for integrating global target groups: While representatives from European markets are generally expected to attend the in-person event, the digital enhancements will enable an intercontinental audience to participate as well.

  • Hybrid concept to combine the best of both worlds
  • Systematic enhancement of ISPO’s digital strategy
  • End consumers to be digitally integrated into the event for the first time

The world-leading trade fair ISPO Munich will take place from January 31 to February 3, 2021, for the first time as a hybrid event that will be held both in-person in Munich and online around the world. The new concept marks the event’s systematic transformation into a platform and applies the broad range of digital expertise that ISPO has gained over the past 10 years. With the threat of travel restrictions looming over the trade fair, the digital elements will create the ideal basis for integrating global target groups: While representatives from European markets are generally expected to attend the in-person event, the digital enhancements will enable an intercontinental audience to participate as well. Another new addition next year will be the digital integration of end consumers.

“Sports and outdoor activities – two areas that are closely related to the topic of health at the moment – have never been so socially relevant,” said Klaus Dittrich, the Chairman and CEO of Messe München. “This has created a growing desire in the industry for personal interaction. The urge to present and discuss new potential, partnerships and business models is greater than ever. The industry has been communicating this need to us, and we have come up with the concept to meet it.”

Personal interaction meets global participation
New participation options, new topics, expanded target groups: All of these things are reflected in particular in the large number of physical and digital attendance options devoted to the focus topics of creativity & digitalization, health and sustainability. In addition to product presentations in the trade fair halls, the event will focus on networking, matchmaking, knowledge transfer and innovations.

Thanks to the integrated hybrid stages, people will be able to attend presentations, talks and workshops not only on site, but also from locations around the world. Brands, key players and top athletes will speak with an audience that extends well beyond the walls of the trade fair halls. ISPO Munich will also include two single-day conference formats: ISPO Digitize Summit (February 1, 2021) and the Sports Tech Conference Europe (February 2, 2021).

In implementing the hybrid concept, the ISPO team has drawn on the digital expertise and reach that it has acquired over the past 10 years: They are based on the development of an eco-system with services that extend along the value chain and on the implementation of an entirely digital ISPO Re.Start Days in the summer of 2020.

New: digital integration of end consumers  
For the first time, end consumers will have an opportunity to experience something that was formerly reserved for the B2B audience: the chance to participate digitally and conduct a direct dialogue with the industry. With the help of presentations, workshops and master classes, the brands and companies will have an opportunity to make digital presentations to sports and outdoor fans around the world and speak directly to them. The ISPO Open Innovation Community has already demonstrated the effectiveness of this concept: Approximately 80,000 end consumers contribute their know-how to crowd-sourcing and market research campaigns and provide companies with valuable insights about new products and ideas throughout the year.

Personal interaction on the exhibition grounds in Munich will remain the provision of the B2B audience.  

Markus Hefter: “We are ready for ISPO Munich 2021 and are really looking forward to lots of new ideas. One thing is clear: Even though many issues can be solved digitally, the desire to meet and interact in person has grown dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. We are really happy about the strong support we have received from the industry and will provide our customers with a safe platform.”

Maximum safety and flexibility  
A comprehensive safety and hygiene concept that Messe München worked out with the state government of Bavaria will be used during the on-site activities of ISPO Munich 2021. The safety of exhibitors and visitors will have the highest priority. Events began to be successfully held once again on the Munich exhibition grounds on September 1. The rule of thumb for international visitors is: Trade fair participants may travel from all countries to Germany provided that certain conditions are met because they are considered to be business travelers on an important mission.

Exhibitors will have more flexibility as a result of the extension of deadlines and flexible cancellation terms. If needed, pre-built booths may be used in order to cost-effectively and efficiently participate in the trade fair.

If exhibitors or visitors have any questions about the safety and hygiene concept, they may contact the Messe München hotline by phone +49 89 949 11400 or e-mail at corona.support@messe-muenchen.de. The service hours are: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Photo: Wilhelm-Lorch-Foundation.
11.08.2020

Wilhelm Lorch Foundation: Demand and Support - Qualifying young and up-and-coming Talents

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

  • Interview with Klaus Kottmeier, Elke Giese, Markus Gotta, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe

In June 1988, the shareholders and management of Deutscher Fachverlag announced the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation to the textile and garment industry. Its purpose is to promote vocational training, including student assistance as well as science and research.

Upon its establishment, the Foundation received an initial endowment of DM 300,000 from Deut-scher Fachverlag. Today, the Foundation has assets of approx. 2,85 m. Euro (as at Dec 2019). Since 1988, the foundation has awarded sponsorship prizes of around EUR 1,933,564 (as of June 2020) to date, in order to fund the initial and further training of young people from all areas of the textile industry, with a particular focus on young and up-and-coming talents.

Textination talked to the former chairman of the supervisory board of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, the current member of the executive board and founding member of the foundation, Klaus Kottmeier, as well as three members of the board of trustees: Mrs. Elke Giese - trend analyst and fashion journalist, Markus Gotta, managing director of Deutscher Fachverlag GmbH, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Maike Rabe, who will take over the chairmanship of the foundation board on September 1, 2020, about the challenging task of continuing successfully the foundation's work in an environment characterized by the pandemic.

The figure 3 seems to play a very special role for the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation (WLS). In 1988 announced on the occasion of the 30th Forum of the TextilWirtschaft, it was endowed with assets of DM 300,000. 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the award of the sponsorship prizes. If you had to introduce the WLS in 100 words to someone who does not know the foundation: Which 3 aspects have particularly influenced its development and made it unique?

Klaus Kottmeier: In more than 30 years the WLS has been in existence, the foundation has received great support all over the sector from the very beginning. This continues to this day and is not only reflected in the financial support provided by generous grants, but above all in an active commitment of many sector leaders on the foundation board and board of trustees. A second aspect is the unique range in the topics of the support, which extends across design, business and technology, covering young talents in retail as well as university graduates, but also involving educational institutions themselves. And thirdly, the motivation of so many applicants we experience every year, who prepare their applications with incredible diligence and thus impressively demonstrate their willingness to perform.

 

The name of the foundation is a tribute to Wilhelm Lorch, the publisher and founder of the trade journal Textil-Wirtschaft and thus of Deutscher Fachverlag, who died in 1966. Which of his characteristics and traits do you still see as exemplary for the next generation in our industry today?

Klaus Kottmeier: We are a publishing media house where professional journalism based on sound research always forms the basis. This is associated with classic values such as entrepreneurial courage and will, diligence and discipline, but also a sense of responsibility and team spirit, which were exemplified by our founder and which still form the culture of our company today. These all are qualities young people should take to heart and which, coupled with a passion for their profession, encourage them to continue on their path.

 

According to its statutes, the primary purpose of the foundation is the awarding of "... awards and prizes to graduates of continuation schools of the German retail textile trade, textile-technical training institutes and [...] for final degree or doctoral theses from universities, as far as these deal with textile topics.” How nationally and internationally does the WLS work?

Prof. Maike Rabe: The prizes are mainly awarded to graduates and applicants from Germany and German-speaking countries, but there are also always talents from Europe, who have close ties to the German market.

Markus Gotta: The focus is clearly on the core market of Germany or Germany-Austria-Switzerland respectively, which we cover with the TW - accordingly, we do not advertise internationally, but there is no exclusion for foreign applicants, the only requirement is that the submitted works and reports must be written in German or English.

 

Over the past 31 years in which the foundation has been awarding prizes to people, projects and works, you have met many young talents who have moved our industry or will certainly do so. Are there any unusual stories or special award winners that have remained in your memory? And how do you assess the development of the applicants' educational level over the years?

Elke Giese: The applicants come from very different schools and universities, differing significantly in their profiles and focus. The demands on teaching have grown enormously, especially as a result of increasing digitization. Since the job profiles in the fashion business are also constantly changing and will continue to be subject to major changes in the future, the challenges for schools and students remain very high.
From each year, particularly talented and creative personalities remain in one's memory. To name one, Elisa Paulina Herrmann from Pforzheim, who was twice among the prize winners in 2017 and 2019 with her bachelor's and then master's thesis. Her ability and originality were overwhelming for the board of trustees. She now creates exclusive knitwear collections for Gucci. Among the young men is Niels Holger Wien, who received WLS funding in 1995. He has been the specialist for color trends and zeitgeist of the German Fashion Institute for many years and is currently president of the world's most important color committee INTERCOLOR.

Klaus Kottmeier: There are many award winners who have subsequently made a great career, to name just one example, Dr. Oliver Pabst, current CEO of Mammut Sports Group AG and WLS award winner in 1994.

 

Due to its proximity to TextilWirtschaft, the foundation is primarily associated with fashion design and topics related to clothing production or marketing. In 2020 you have put Smart Textiles in the virtual spotlight with two project sponsorships. How do you see future topics in the field of technical textiles? Can you imagine creating a new focus on that field?

Prof. Maike Rabe: First of all, the WLS supports talented young people who, thanks to their training, can take up a career in the entire textile and clothing industry. Of course, this also includes the field of technical textiles, which is of great importance in terms of production in Germany being a technological leader. Here the boundaries to clothing are fluid, just think of outdoor or sports equipment.    „    

Klaus Kottmeier: Our excellently staffed board of trustees is open to all innovative topics in the industry. Innovations in the field of technical textiles in particular are important topics for the future. In 2017, for example, the sponsorship award went to the Anna-Siemsen-School, a vocational school for textile technology and clothing in Hanover, through which we supported the procurement of a pattern design software.

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation has set itself the goal of supporting qualified young people in the textile and fashion industry. However, you preclude the support for business start-ups. In times, in which start-ups receive increasing attention not only through corresponding TV formats but also through industry associations, there must be reasons for this. What are they and how do you assess future prospects?

Klaus Kottmeier: Support for business start-ups is precluded by §2 of our statutes, which defines the purpose of the foundation. The WLS is exclusively dedicated to the charitable purpose. Support for start-ups and business start-ups would contradict this. We therefore concentrate fully on the further education of young professionals in the sector and the promotion of educational institutions, from which the entire sector benefits.

Prof. Maike Rabe: WLS funding is aimed at further developing the skills of graduates and young talents from the sector. They should receive specific further training, possibly reach a further academic degree, and also learn in an interdisciplinary manner. All of this benefits the sector as a whole and this is our strict objective.


          
The foundation also promotes the training and further education of young and up-and-coming talents who are already working in the textile retail trade. Grants are available to cover course or study fees for further qualification. The closure of shops caused by the lockdown  during the pandemic hit the stationary retail trade hard, and even today we are still miles away from regular business operations. Against this background, how do you see focused funding opportunities for further training in the e-commerce sector?

Markus Gotta: The topics of stationary retail and e-commerce can't really be separated, both have long since become part of the basic requirements in fashion sales and thus also of the topics of training and further education in general.
 
Prof. Maike Rabe: E-commerce has become an integral part of our industry and is naturally reflected in many grants and subsidies. The junior staff members are allowed to make their own suggestions as to where and how they would like to train. We support this. But we would also like to strengthen the connection between stationary and digital trade in particular. Our prize winners have come up with wonderful concepts for both sales channels, and of course they can be combined.

 

Breaking new ground means willingness to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which decisions in your foundation work are you particularly happy to have made?

Markus Gotta: That we implemented the Summer School project last year. We broke new ground with the foundation, and this - in cooperation with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences - was very successful.

Elke Giese: Especially in the field of design and creation, it is important to recognize an applicant's future creative potential from the work at hand and the information provided by the applicant. I am therefore always particularly pleased when the board of trustees makes courageous and progressive decisions.    

 

The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation offers project funding of € 10,000 to universities and educational institutions. They do not make any thematic restrictions here, but simply demand that there must be a clear reference to the sustainable further training of young up-and-coming talents in the textile and fashion industry. According to which criteria do you finally decide which project will be funded?

Elke Giese: One criterion is the relevance for future developments in the textile and fashion industry. Projects in recent years have enabled schools and educational institutions to train on laser cutters and 3D printers, for example, but also to purchase modern knitting machines or software programs.

Prof. Maike Rabe: All the projects submitted are evaluated very strictly by the jury's experts using a points-based system. This results in a shortlist which is presented to the board of trustees and intensively discussed by them. In this way, we ensure that all submitted applications are honored and that we then award the Wilhelm Lorch Prize to the outstanding project submissions in a joint consensus. The most important criteria are sustainable teaching of innovative learning content, practical training and the feasibility of the submitted project.

 

There are many different definitions of sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the exclusion of child labor etc. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for WLS, and what are you doing to promote sustainable thinking and acting, not only among young professionals?

Prof. Maike Rabe: At the foundation, we base our definition of "sustainability" on the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, the so-called Brundtland Commission: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The textile and clothing sector plays a pioneering role as a globally enormously connected industry with complex supply chains, which should definitely also play a model role. We therefore make it a priority for all award winners to observe these criteria and at the same time try to provide a platform for people who, through their work and actions, offer suggestions for improvement or even already implement improvements.

 

Virtual instead of red carpet: Usually the awards are presented in the festive setting of the TextilWirtschaft Forum. In 2020, due to the Covid-19, there was only a digital version in the form of a short film. How important do you consider networking opportunities that arise from meeting influential personalities face-to-face? Or has such a format become obsolete in the age of video conferencing?

Prof. Maike Rabe: It is certainly remarkable what digital event formats can achieve. But one thing doesn't work: spontaneity, personal contact and closeness. Therefor it is a real pity that the Forum had to be cancelled this year due to corona. Especially for career starters, the chance for direct networking is of great value.

Markus Gotta: The need for personal exchange and meetings will continue to be of great importance and demand in the future. And I can say at this point: We are already working on the plans for the TW Forum 2021 as a live and meeting event with the top decision-makers in the sector.

 

In which socially relevant areas do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action during the next five years? What is your assessment that funding - for example from the Wilhelm Lorch Foundation - can provide targeted support for solutions? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?

Prof. Maike Rabe: We don't think in five-year periods, today's world requires much greater agility - this applies to the Foundation as well as to the entire industry. With each award we re-orientate ourselves towards current topics. Topics such as aesthetics, function and innovation will certainly continue to play a major role, as will quality instead of quantity, eco-social justice and customer loyalty. It is also important, however, that our economy, which is strongly supported by medium-sized companies, is clearly perceived by the public and in politics; we still have to work on that.

Klaus Kottmeier: I gladly agree with Prof. Rabe's closing statement. Agility is also of great importance in a media company like ours. We live in a constant transformation process with constant changes that have to be faced. The corona pandemic has shown us very impressively how quickly original plans can become waste. Today, and more than ever before in the future, a constant willingness to change is required, and this applies not only to us but also to our hopeful young employees.
 

The 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

(c) SANITIZED AG
16.06.2020

‘WHAT SMELLS LESS HAS TO BE WASHED LESS OFTEN’

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Swiss Quality Principles plus Innovation Strength: Hygiene and Material Protection from SANITIZED 

SANITIZED AG is known as a worldwide leading Swiss company in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. Globally oriented, pioneering work is done with federal thoroughness in the development of innovative, effective and safe technologies for antimicrobial equipment. Textination had the opportunity to speak to CEO Urs Stalder about the growing importance of hygiene in times of the pandemic.

Founded in 1935, the majority ownership of the public company SANITIZED still lies with the founding families. You are the market leader in Europe in hygiene functions and material protection for textiles and plastics. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company: What influenced you in particular in the development of the company and what made it unique?
Preventing odor in shoes, that's how it started in 1935. This is where our business model came from: the antimicrobial protection of plastics and textiles.
SANITIZED develops ready-to-use additives that are individually tailored to the protection goals of the end products and that work, for example, against the development of odors in work clothing, against permastink (resilient odors) in synthetic textiles or against mold growth.
The 360-degree service is unique: This includes backing in product development, support for all regulatory questions and assistance with marketing topics.
SANITIZED AG is globally active and yet committed to Swiss quality principles. More than 400 brands worldwide use the ingredient brand Sanitized® on their end products.

Think global – act local? You have sister companies in France, the United States and Asia. Your roots and headquarters are based in Switzerland. The pandemic is currently increasing the question of intact supply chains. What does this mean for your company in the future?
Indeed, the broad global positioning enables us to do business locally. The local anchoring results in synergies, also in sourcing. That will be even more important for us in the future. And, of course, the issues of speed and customer proximity are also positive aspects of this approach.

From textiles to plastic surfaces to cans: SANITIZED Preservation AG was founded in 2018 to take care of colors and coatings. SANITIZED is thus opening up another market. Which markets are you particularly interested in and which product areas do you feel particularly challenged by?
Customers want paints and varnishes without solvents, which is better for people and the environment. But with the alternative water-based products, there is a high risk of contamination by microbes. This starts with the production, continues with the storage in the can and also in the application. The result is mold formation.
Antimicrobial protection for paints or coatings is particularly relevant in hygiene-sensitive areas of industrial production and, of course, in the medical environment. The risk of contamination and mold multiplies in regions with high air humidity. This is another reason why India is a growth market for this business area.   

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and thus the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect - about which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made it?
Let me mention just three decisions that are important for corporate development: This is definitely the foundation of the SANITIZED Preservation division. This is about the antimicrobial protection of paints and varnishes. This also includes setting up our in-house TecCenter, in which we can perform laboratory services even faster. It was recently accredited by the International Antimicrobial Council. And right now it is the sales cooperation with Consolidates Pathway on the US market for our textile hygiene function solutions.

You state that innovation is embedded in the company's DNA. How do you live your inno-vation management and which role do the requirements of end consumers and your indus-trial customers play in this setting?
We ourselves as well as our global sales partners are in close contact with the manufacturers of textile products. This is also why we know the requirements and needs of the market. Sustainability is emerging from the niche in the mass market.
This is exactly what our product Sanitized® Odoractiv 10 has been developed for and awarded by the Swiss Innovation Award.
It is a dual-acting, biocide-free, patented technology against odor development and odor adsorption in textiles. Many customers appreciate our expertise and use it in the development of new products to create innovative textiles with additional benefits for the requirements of the market.

Tailor-made or solutions only for major customers? The topic of individualization up to lot size 1 takes up a lot of space today. What do you think about individual product solutions - or can you cover everything with the SANITIZED portfolio comprising 40 products?
We have a very versatile technology “kit” at our disposal. It is part of our daily business to respond individually to the special customer needs and the respective product requirements. We offer tailor-made recipes for this and our extensive application know-how flows into the advice for the individual application situation at the customer.

There are various definitions for sustainability. Customers expect everything under this term - from climate protection to ecology, from on-site production in the region to the ex-clusion of child labor, etc. Textile finishing does not always sound unproblematic. Public procurement is increasingly switching to sustainable textiles. What does this mean for SANITIZED and what do you do to bring the concept of sustainability to life for your company, and which activities and certifications do you focus on?
Resource conservation is a key issue for us. Since we “think” about the topic of sustainability along the entire production chain, including in research and development, resource-saving application techniques for the textile industry are important to us. Sanitized® additives can be integrated into standard production processes, so that additional energy is not required for complementary finishing processes.
Our portfolio also includes biocide-free products. Sanitized® Odoractiv10 prevents odors from sticking to textiles. Sanitized® Mintactiv uses the natural antibacterial effect of mint and was specially developed for cotton textiles.
And what smells less has to be washed less often. This saves water and electricity and extends the useful life of textiles.
          
SANITIZED supports its customers with a so-called 360° service. What do you mean by that and why don't you concentrate exclusively on the technical aspects of the products?
The SANITIZED brand wants to create real added value for its customers. That is why we have expanded our core competence as a developer and provider of innovative antimicrobial additives with an all-round service. The obvious thing to do is to support the production process, of course that is part of it. Furthermore; we also provide the latest knowledge on regulatory issues - world-wide. And we offer comprehensive marketing assistance for our license partners who use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. Making correct advertising statements is important not only in times of Corona. Because it's always about transparency and security for people. Warning letters or delivery stops due to incorrect claims can be prevented.
Cooperation with the institutes is absolutely sensible; after all, it is their job to do research for com-panies that they cannot shoulder on their own. This includes testing facilities, as well as applying for funding, which is only possible in cooperation with research institutes. However, they are public institutions and therefore have different objectives per se than a company: We have to bring a promising idea to the market as quickly as possible to show a profit. A research institute does not have this pressure.

Which goal do you pursue with the website https://www.sanitized.house for example?
Yes, it may seem unusual when SANITIZED as a B2B company designs a platform for end customers. But more than 400 brands use Sanitized® as an ingredient brand. So, we are connected to the end customer in this way.
In the virtual house - Sanitized® the house -, visitors can playfully experience in which areas of life hygiene and material protection contribute to the quality of life. A click in the wardrobe links to products - including brand names - that have been equipped with Sanitized®: clothing in the wardrobe, the carpet in the living room or the towel in the bathroom. The best thing to do is try it yourself.

The company is working consistently on implementing Sanitized® as a brand. The hygiene function for textiles and plastics shall be documented and thus offer added value to customers and consumers. Co-branding is not always welcome, especially in the clothing, sports and outdoor sector. How rocky was the road until Sanitized® was advertised as an ingredient brand by 400 license partners on the product?
Of course, there are brands that do not want a second brand on their end product. But a trend is causing more and more manufacturers to rethink: Customers are increasingly asking questions about ingredients and their origins. Elucidation and transparency are growing needs. And that's exactly what we contribute to. In addition, this is an opportunity for a textile brand to stand out positively in the flood of suppliers. Differentiation through added value - donated by Swiss technology from SANITIZED. Those arguments work worldwide.

You have a diversified network. Just to mention to two of them - you have been a system partner since the foundation of bluesign® and you work closely with Archroma in sales matters. In which aspects do you see the special value of partnerships? Are there segments existing where you can imagine new partners and collaborations?
Partnerships are important and work if all pursue common goals and can mutually fertilize each other. For example, the partnership with the company Consolidates Pathway in the United States is brand new one.

For which socially relevant topics do you see a particularly great need for innovation and action in the next 5 years? What is your assessment that your company will be able to offer solutions for this with its products? And what role do the experiences from the corona pandemic play in this assessment?
Nobody can predict what the corona pandemic will change in the long term. Environmental protection and thus the conservation of our resources is and remains an important issue.
The fact that the textile industry can make a big contribution to this is slowly gaining awareness among the masses. Keywords are cheap production or water consumption for jeans production. People are becoming more sensitive to what companies and brands are doing. It will be all the more important to act and communicate openly and transparently.
For SANITIZED, it is a mission and a matter of course that only products with official approvals are used and that we work ac-cording to the bluesign principle. This is where traceability and transparency begin.


This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination 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

ISPO TREND REPORT (c) Messe München GmbH
28.01.2020

ISPO: SPORT BECOMES A SYNONYM FOR HEALTH

TREND REPORT

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

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

TREND REPORT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

imm cologne 2020: Ready for better living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Koelnmesse GmbH
19.11.2019

IMM COLOGNE 2020: STILL INDOORS OR ALREADY OUTSIDE?

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living.

  • “Das Haus 2020” by MUT Design brings the Spanish outlook on life to imm cologne
  • Young design team MUT from Valencia to create “Das Haus” as guest of honour
  • The Spaniards’ design addresses the longing for an interior concept in which possibilities for retreat can be sustainably combined with outdoor living.

 “Das Haus” is erected at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne: a design that points the way ahead to how we might live in future. For seven days in January every year, it’s constructed from scratch, painted and lovingly furnished, visited by thousands, discussed and photographed. The simulated interior in Cologne – a combination of architecture, interior design and furnishings – gives a designer or design team the opportunity to make their own personal statement on contemporary living. In a wide-ranging variety of styles – from minimalist to extravagant, from matter-of-fact to sensuous – the installation blends current trends and products into a finely tuned interior design. Koelnmesse has nominated the young Spanish design team MUT to be its guest of honour for the ninth edition of “Das Haus” at imm cologne 2020 (13.-19.1.).

“A project like ‘Das Haus’ gives a designer a unique opportunity to create something that’s totally independent of production and market conditions while simultaneously understanding and rediscovering their designs in terms of how they impact the space,” says MUT, describing the challenge of designing a fully furnished house for the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne.

“In our design, we want to go one step further and explore the potential architecture and interior design have for opening the space up to the outdoors.” As a result, the architectural dimension of “Das Haus” is particularly significant this time round. “Mediterranean life is synonymous with outdoor living,” says MUT of the inspiration the team draws from its traditional lifestyle culture. “Our houses have always integrated a little bit of nature into their interiors.”

Founded in 2010 by Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón, the design studio is one of the most successful teams of the “new wave” in Spanish design. In their native Valencia, a hotspot of Spanish design that’s bolstered by the traditional furnituremaking and ceramics industries round about, the team creates furniture, carpets, tiles and lamps for the interiors sector, as well as designing hotels and exhibitions. All their work is characterised by a tendency towards simple, soft, circular shapes. Their creations – which have won major accolades such as the Red Dot award – exhibit forms with a vaguely unfamiliar quality or translate a familiar shape into a modern design. Their international clientele includes firms such as Expormim, GAN, Ex.t, Sancal, Preciosa Lighting, Bolia, E interiors, Harmony Inspire, Missana and LZF.

The name MUT comes from Valencian (a variant of Catalan) and translates roughly as “Quiet!” – a request for silence when you want to make yourself heard. But the designers can also identify with the German meaning of “Mut”, i.e. courage: “It rounds off the way we see ourselves perfectly, because nowadays it takes a lot of courage to stand up for your own principles instead of going with the flow dictated by trends,” says the Spanish team. And it’s definitely true to say that emotionality and an expressive design language are the most outstanding characteristics of their work.

With MUT, “Das Haus” is deliberately remaining within the sphere of European design this time round, while simultaneously selecting a decidedly progressive team with a contemporary profile. “MUT isn’t so much a classic design team as the kind of multidisciplinary community of like-minded people that exists in all sorts of constellations nowadays: modern, flexible and creative. They work in a surprisingly diverse range of fields: they’re product designers, creative directors, graphic designers, interior designers and curators, all rolled into one,” says Dick Spierenburg, creative director of the imm cologne, on the decision to nominate MUT. “As a result, they stand for a new generation of design studios that’s responding to a changed market landscape in which huge demands are made of designers’ adaptability and inventiveness.”
 
“Das Haus” – half portrait of the designer, half model home
The “Das Haus – Interiors on Stage” installation simulates a residential house at the international furniture and interiors fair imm cologne. The fair constructs an approximately 180-square-metre house in the middle of the Pure Editions area, Hall 3.1, designed according to the plans of a designer who is newly nominated every year. The furniture, colours, materials, lighting and accessories are also selected by the designer, rendering the finished house an individual, integrated configuration of interior design. The project thereby deals not just with contemporary furnishing trends but also with people’s aspirations as well as social change.
          
“Das Haus” from 2012 to 2019 – eight ideas of home
“Das Haus” was staged for the first time in 2012 and the Indian-British design team of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien was nominated to introduce the new format. They installed a seemingly organically grown space that allowed inhabitants and cultures to interact in a spirit of communication. In 2013, the Italian product designer Luca Nichetto introduced the next installation of the design event with an elegant ensemble, the construction open on all sides. In 2014, the Danish designer Louise Campbell turned “Das Haus” into a low-tech place of calm within the bustle of the fair, representing the reconciliation of the most diverse human characters and preferences in style. In 2015, the Chinese architect couple Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri challenged traditional home life rituals by taking “cages for living” packed full with classic and modern furniture and setting them in a spatial construction that recalled the narrow alleyways of Shanghai, turning visitor into voyeur and calling for reflection. German designer Sebastian Herkner was on home turf in 2016. With his circular “Haus”, he created a house that was airy and fully accessible – with no barriers to people or cultures – and limited only by adjustable curtains in order to permit changing perspectives. The transatlantic “Haus” by Todd Bracher that trade fair visitors could experience in Cologne in 2017 drew its inspiration from paring down to the essentials. While the Czech designer Lucie Koldova transformed “Das Haus 2018” into an experiment about the emotional dimension of various lighting compositions, Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly turned its idea of mood-driven, “fluid” living into reality with a design consisting of organically interlinked zones.

Source:

Koelnmesse GmbH
Design Press Talk imm cologne 2020 in Valencia on 18 September 2019/ Studio

 

(c) Deutsche Messe AG / Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director DOMOTEX
15.10.2019

Interview with Sonia Wedell-Castellano about DOMOTEX 2020

  • Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director of DOMOTEX,answers key questions on DOMOTEX 2020
  • "We're the world's flagship fair: At DOMOTEX, you can view the entire range of products from the global floor coverings industry."

As Global Director of DOMOTEX, you took over responsibility for DOMOTEX just over a year ago. What have you been able to accomplish so far?

  • Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director of DOMOTEX,answers key questions on DOMOTEX 2020
  • "We're the world's flagship fair: At DOMOTEX, you can view the entire range of products from the global floor coverings industry."

As Global Director of DOMOTEX, you took over responsibility for DOMOTEX just over a year ago. What have you been able to accomplish so far?

In rapid response to the wishes voiced by our exhibitors and visitors, we have, for example, opted for changes in the fair's layout. Previously, premium suppliers were located in the immediate vicinity of the special Framing Trends showcase. They will now go back to their traditional market environments, in their respective halls. For visitors, this means shorter distances and easier on-site orientation. We are also addressing our target visitors in an even more differentiated and more targeted way. We have also reassessed the concept of our classic "Preview" press conferences, and are now touring key media cities, visiting editorial offices and organizing informal dinners, to which we invite exhibitors as well as partners and the press – a networking event with a view to 2020.

Nearly 97,000 square meters of space have already been sold for DOMOTEX 2020. Who are some of the more interesting exhibitors that visitors can look forward to at the event?

With some 1,500 exhibitors anticipated, the list is already quite long, so I'll only mention a few: Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns, Naziri, Creative Matters, Galleria Battilossi, Rica Basagoiti will be showing in the handmade carpets segment. In the category of machine-woven carpets we are looking forward to Oriental Weavers, Carmel Carpet, Royal Hali, Prado Egypt, Stefany and Reinkemeier. US Floors, Windmöller, Moderna (MeisterWerke) and IVC will be exhibiting their resilient floor coverings, while ter Hürne, Decospan, BIMBO, SWISS KRONO and Forestry Timber will be presenting parquet, wood and laminate flooring. The manufacturers of installation technologies include Mapei, Selit, Välinge, Unifloor, Uzin Utz and Küberit.

What is the ratio of domestic to foreign exhibitors?

Of all Deutsche Messe events, DOMOTEX is by far the most international. This applies to exhibitors and visitors, alike. German exhibitors account for some 12% of display space, with the international share consequently running at 88%. This is naturally quite an achievement for the world's leading marketplace for floor coverings and carpets. That said, we also aim to expand our exhibitor lineup by attracting more exhibitors from Germany and the rest of Europe.

As a result of the changes made to the show's layout plan, Hall 8 will now be devoted entirely to the Framing Trends display. What can visitors expect to see there – and what's new?

Hall 8 will star as the pulsating, emotive heart of the event, with visitors being welcomed and wowed by a large textile horizon showing projections of atmospheric images. Our new lead theme of "ATMYSPHERE" will address how floors can improve our sense of well-being. In a series of Frames, we'll be showing the contribution that a floor's appearance makes to the overall atmosphere, how its texture dampens noise and how ecological production techniques make for a healthier indoor climate. Manufacturers, artists, universities and, for the first time, start-ups will take up these and numerous other characteristics to create soothing, personal worlds of experience via their creative approach.

Our partner agency, Schmidhuber will moreover be staging four pavilions consisting of furnished themed rooms, so as to make the lead theme even more tangible. "Hotel – Sustainable", for example, illustrates the impact of materials and furniture, including acoustic paneling in a hotel room. "Wellness – Green Living" emphasizes health-promoting and environmentally friendly aspects. "Conference – More than Floor" focuses on acoustic solutions, going all the way to upholstered seating landscapes, while "Health – Wellbeing" features a yoga room for relaxation. In the space between these focal points, the advantages of outdoor floors and a flowing transition from indoors to outdoors will be highlighted. The aim is not only to provide inspiration to designers, architects and retailers, but also to illustrate concrete areas of application.

Visiting professionals from retail, the skilled trades and architecture are among the main target groups at DOMOTEX. All of these groups have different needs and requirements. Apart from having interesting exhibitors, what will DOMOTEX be offering its attendees?

There will be something for everyone at the event. For top buyers from the wholesale and retail trades, we'll be offering a special service package to make their visit at DOMOTEX as pleasant as possible.

Craftspeople can look forward to a more state-of-the-art "Treffpunkt Handwerk" – a forum featuring issues ranging from the challenge of digitalization for the skilled trades and topics related to personnel and recruiting young talent to current product trends and cutting-edge application techniques. In addition, craftspeople can visit their associations here, such as the Federal Association for Parquets and Flooring Technology. In the adjacent live-action zones, our exhibitors will once again be giving practical tips on how to prepare and lay wooden floors.

As a special showcase, Hall 8 is ideal for architects and designers. On all four days of the event there will also be a wide range of presentations by renowned architects followed by discussions. This year for the first time ever, exhibitors can join in on staged panel discussions. The focus will be on the latest social transformations and their significance for architecture, in particular as it applies to floors. In specific terms, trendy topics such as building information modeling (BIM) or healthy living and working will be explored. In addition, AIT Dialog Tours – guided tours where internationally renowned architects and interior designers will share their personal highlights of DOMOTEX – will be conducted daily.

Exhibitors displaying new products and services for digitalization will be of interest to all three target groups. For retailers, this will consist of digital sales tools, for architects, the focus will be on building information modeling, and for craftspeople, interest will revolve around things like how to introduce an up-to-the-minute order database.

What do you see as the top USPs of DOMOTEX?

We are the world's only global business platform for carpets and floor coverings: At DOMOTEX, you can see and experience the entire range of products on offer by the global floor coverings industry.

Here you can get an overview of the latest trends and developments in the international market and keep abreast of the latest developments. Manufacturers and buyers as well as partners, architects and designers from all over the world come together at DOMOTEX. New business relationships and cooperation opportunities are emerging that were hitherto inconceivable. The show attracts visitors of extremely high caliber, nearly 90 percent of whom play a decisive role in their companies' buying decisions.

Photo: PREMIÈRE VISION
16.07.2019

PREMIÈRE VISION PARIS IN 09/2019: SPORT, PERFORMANCE AND FASHION

THE INSEPARABLE TRIO UNVEILS ITS NEW STRENGTHS
The next edition of Première Vision Paris, taking place from 17 to 19 September 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte, will present the new materials and creative stimuli for the autumn-winter 2020-21 season.

This major event for all fashion industry players brings together, twice a year, the six principle activities in the upstream sector: yarns, fabrics, leathers, designs, accessories and clothing. 

THE INSEPARABLE TRIO UNVEILS ITS NEW STRENGTHS
The next edition of Première Vision Paris, taking place from 17 to 19 September 2019 at Paris Nord Villepinte, will present the new materials and creative stimuli for the autumn-winter 2020-21 season.

This major event for all fashion industry players brings together, twice a year, the six principle activities in the upstream sector: yarns, fabrics, leathers, designs, accessories and clothing. 

In the spotlight: the pinnacle of sportswear, its influence on collections and the development of accompanying technological innovations and technical materials. To address these issues, which now permeate all of fashion, Première Vision’s Sport & Tech sector will be prominently featured at the next show. Located in the textile universe of Première Vision Fabrics, in Hall 6, it will bring together 80 exhibiting weavers - including 8 newcomers - to accompany brands and designers looking for inspiration. Their new products will be unveiled in a dedicated space, the Sport & Tech forum, designed around a core theme of «A matter of protection» (protection and innovation).
 
Sportswear gains ground, playing a major role in collections
The global sportswear market grew steadily between 2011 and 2016, reaching $280 billion in 20161. It has entered into consumer habits and is synonymous with comfort and technical expertise, as well as style and creativity. And France is no exception: according to a recent study2, French consumers wear sport clothes 1 day out of 5, and 25% of consumers see the latter as a «trend». This growing phenomenon has a significant influence on the industry and on those who design and produce clothing and accessories, whether fashion brands using technical materials for their ready-to-wear collections or sports brands developing lifestyle lines. It was to best support these brands that Première Vision developed an offer specially focused on this area within its flagship event: Première Vision Paris.
     
Protection and insulation: technological contributions
Each edition, the Première Vision teams identify a strong theme based on their international research. As sport wear collections grow increasingly popular, the added performance and technology in these product lines is becoming ever more critical. Consumers have been able to try out the innovative features integrated in their sport apparel for several years now, and expect the same functionality in their everyday clothing. «A matter of protection» has thus been selected as the season’s theme for the Sport & Tech sector. A fashion theme that will be particularly highlighted in the dedicated forum, which will present a broader offer of fabrics and high-performance materials from the show’s weavers, knitters and finishers to meet the needs of industry professionals.

Marguerite Coiraton, Show Manager of Première Vision Fabrics and in charge of the Sport & Tech trail, added: « The September 2019 edition is particularly interested in how clothes are used to protect against the elements, a theme which will certainly dominate the autumn-winter 20-21 collections. This concept encompasses, for example, insulation, with the development of thermo-active materials, fabrics and fibres equipped with nanotechnologies, and intelligent augmented protection».

In addition to the dedicated sector within Fabrics, Première Vision also offers a Sport & Tech itinerary - available on the show app - bringing together nearly 700 exhibitors specialised in sports and technical materials who can be found at the show. This complete panorama comprises spinners, weavers, knitters, tanners, accessory makers, textile designers and fashion manufacturers.
 
SPOTLIGHT ON: A preview of a selection of Sport & Tech exhibitors

  • Polartec: an insulation solution used by outdoor sports enthusiasts for nearly twenty years, Polartec® fabrics come in a variety of textures and weights and are specifically designed to improve performance in a wide range of environments;
  • Pontetorto SportSystem: founded in 1952, Pontetorto offers a wide range of products from polar fleeces to stretch fabrics, including multilayers, windproofs, waterproof membranes and breathable materials;
  • Schoeller textiles: a Swiss company specialised in developing innovative textiles, especially warm and resistant fabrics. ‘Cosmopolitan’, its multifunctional collection, perfectly meets the growing demand for high-performance style, with fabrics where outstanding performance features do not preclude a natural feel and perfect comfort;
  • Swing by Gruppocinque: an Italian fabric manufacturer using innovative technologies and finishings such as resins, membranes and high-performance treatments;
  • Mackent: has an offer of highly original textiles with a focus on shock-absorbing spacer knits for lingerie/ ready-to-wear pieces;
  • Sportwear Argentona: a Spanish brand specialising in fabric manufacturing, is presenting its ‘2.0 fabrics’ with excellent breathability and high comfort. These are adaptable, lightweight, elastic, compressing with an innovative aesthetic.
  • Global Merino: a maker of technical textiles using merino wool as a base product. It identifies the performance requirements of the item to be created and develops the fabric according to the end use;
  • Shepherd: a vertically integrated producer of merino knits and apparel, including the world’s finest 13.5-micron merino fabric.

New performance codes to better identify innovation
4 new Performance Codes will be introduced at Première Vision Paris in September 2019:  

  • Downproof, to indicate which fabrics will properly block feathers in quiltings;
  • Multilayer, used very often for fabrics for the world of sports performance;
  • Washable, for wash-resistant leathers;
  • Ultralight, used exclusively for accessory components.

A varied and experiential Sport & Tech universe
A.    A virtual reality experience so visitors can fully immerse themselves in the theme

To offer visitors a live experience, Première Vision has designed a digital animation about the theme of protection. Using virtual reality, it is designed to expose visitors to a variety of environments and external elements (cold, wind, etc.).

B.    Dedicated fashion information
Protection doesn’t preclude creativity and style, in fact quite the opposite is true. This season will be marked by fantasy, with materials combining strong colours, prints, motifs and shine. Visitors will thus find an exclusive and creative Sport & Tech forum, built around the following 4 themes: Tech Tailoring, Ski Touring, Soft Outdoor and Snow Fun. It will bring together samples, components and clothing prototypes.

C.    A comprehensive and high-level conference program to help guide visitors in their choices
This edition, the conferences will be held in very central locations at the show. A space in Hall 3 will host the conferences focusing on innovation, and a space in Hall 6 will be reserved for conferences on fashion trends.

Here are some of the upcoming presentations dedicated to the world of Sport & Tech (Hall 6 conference space) taking place at Première Vision Paris September 2019:

  • A conference by Pascal Monfort, founder of the REC trendsmarketing consulting firm, on the theme «The sport & fashion couple: more than ever inseparable!»;
  • The presentation of a study on sport and fashion conducted in the French market by Union Sport & Cycle, which assessed the expectations of 12,500 consumers;
  • Conferences decoding the fashion trends: « Performance, the challenge in fashion » and «Fashion & Sports major influences and innovations for AW 2021» including exhibitors’ pitchs to present their latest innovations.

Sources : 1: Euromonitor International, 2: « Union Sport & Cycle » Study

09.07.2019

LATEST EOG RESEARCH 2018

GROWTH IN CLIMBING CATEGORY, BUT A FLATTER OVERALL PICTURE FOR THE OUTDOOR MARKET

The latest research released by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) indicates that the climbing category grew in 2018, while the overall outdoor market flattened out. The EOG has unveiled top line results from its comprehensive State of Trade project, using data from 115 brands in Europe to analyse sell-in information for seven main categories and 48 separate sub-categories.

GROWTH IN CLIMBING CATEGORY, BUT A FLATTER OVERALL PICTURE FOR THE OUTDOOR MARKET

The latest research released by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) indicates that the climbing category grew in 2018, while the overall outdoor market flattened out. The EOG has unveiled top line results from its comprehensive State of Trade project, using data from 115 brands in Europe to analyse sell-in information for seven main categories and 48 separate sub-categories.

In line with expectations, sell-in during the year was generally flat compared to the previous year, returning to a picture of the market that is similar to what was experienced in 2015 and 2016. The wholesale market in 2018 was worth €5.81bn*, 1% down in value and 0.5% down in volume on the previous year. However, the outdoor market continues to be resilient, in the context of challenging market conditions, increasing competition from non-core outdoor entrants, and turbulent social and political times.

Countries and regions
Countries and regions generally performed in line with the overall figures, recording growth or decline ranging from +1% to -1%. The year was slightly more difficult in Austria and Switzerland, a view supported by feedback from EOG members. Once again, the largest three individual country markets were Germany, France and the UK, which together represent 50% of the sector, and therefore heavily influence the development figures.

Category development
The data for 2018 reveals that climbing grew strongly, by 5.7% in value and 6.1% in volume. Elsewhere, figures again reflected the overall picture, though there was more of a decline in sleeping bags (-4.7% in value and -4.9% in volume).

Since its launch, State of Trade has developed into the most comprehensive and robust market research project for the European outdoor sector. As well as analysing the data that was submitted, the EOG also sought expert opinion from across the industry to peer review figures. That work helped to validate the numbers and that the 2018 results are in line with the expectations of those who were consulted.

Pauline Shepherd, EOG head of market research, comments:
“Despite some clear challenges in the market, the outdoor sector continues to show resilience, driven by innovation and the ability of the industry to adapt. The growth in climbing is encouraging to see and is another example of how our sector plays a role in developing wider sporting goods and lifestyle categories. Climbing is in the spotlight more than ever, not least because of its inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and that has clearly had an impact on the wider general public and on these figures.”

The EOG will continue to enhance and expand its market research programme. For sell-in data, reflecting its wider membership, the association is running a pilot report on snowboarding products as part of State of Trade 2018, and figures will be published around the end of the year**.

For sell-out, the EOG has been running a retail point of sale project with its retail members for the last 18 months. The association will now open up this project up to the wider market, for any retailer or brand with retail, that sells outdoor products in Europe. Full details of this initiative, and how to get involved, can be found in the infographic below:

Details will also be posted on the EOG website and shared through other platforms after the Outdoor.
For more information about the EOG’s market research programme, email marketresearch@europeanoutdoorgroup.com

*Value is not adjusted for currency/inflation // **Subject to sufficient market coverage

 

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

Photo by pexels.com
11.06.2019

From PET Bottles to Textile Recycling: Where Does the Sports Industry Stand?

  • Recycling: The System in the Sports and Outdoor Industry needs Solutions

Old PET bottles are nowadays used to make polyester clothing, and there are also sports jerseys, outdoor jackets, shirts, trousers and bikinis made of plastic waste. But can textiles and shoes also be recycled? The good news is that some solutions have already been found. However, textiles and shoes can only be recycled with a massive reduction in quality.
 
Recycling of Shoes Possible Since 2018
The world's first industrial recycling plant for all types of footwear has been in operation in Germany since June 2018. It was established by Soex Recycling Germany GmbH from Bitterfeld, which in cooperation with European companies has developed a shoe recycling plant within five years.

More information:
Recycling recycling fibers
Source:

Messe München GmbH

(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.

Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles Kettherstellung (c) Schmitz Textiles
23.04.2019

Interview with CEO Stefan Ruholl (Schmitz Textiles): We are Textile

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

  • Innovations for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

At the beginning of 2018, the textile company Schmitz-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Emsdetten, was restructured. In order to be able to react more quickly and flexibly to the markets and their demands, the brands drapilux, swela and mobiltex have since been combined under Schmitz Textiles.

Managing Director of this legally independent company is Stefan Ruholl, who has been working for Schmitz-Werke for more than 30 years, answering the questions of Textination. In 1996 he became head of the finishing department, three years later head of production and development for the textile finishing division, in the beginning of 2000 technical director, and finally 2018 he took over the management of the business unit and of the company Schmitz Textiles.

Schmitz Textiles is a family business that has been offering textile solutions for indoor and outdoor applications for more than 90 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know the company, what makes you unique?
As an almost fully integrated manufacturer in Germany, we have advantages that many other market players are likely to envy. We can respond flexibly, technically and with good service to the needs of our customers. Under the drapilux brand, we distribute intelligent design textiles for the contract sector, outdoor and sun protection fabrics under the swela brand and textiles for the automotive segment under the still young label mobiltex. All brands benefit from the broad know-how in production and product development. A few years ago, Germany as production location may have been regarded more negatively as a pure cost factor, but today we see this as valued by our partners as a clear strategic advantage.

In which product areas do market and partners particularly challenge you?
And with which product innovations in the field of technical textiles do you think you can move most?

In each of our fields of activity, we are confronted with comprehensive challenges. At drapilux, for example, we have to meet strict safety requirements in the context of fire protection certifications for the use of our materials on cruise ships and have invested massively in this subject. The sun protection sector is characterized by high demands on color and light fastness combined with optimum resilience - here we were able to gain a major technological advantage with the change from acrylic to polyester qualities years ago.
With the new, award-winning development of our convertible top fabric for mobiltex, also based on polyester, we were able to realize product properties that are completely new in this form in this segment.

For which socially relevant topics do you see particularly great need for innovation in the upcoming 10 years
and what is your assessment that the textile industry will be able to offer solutions with its products?

When we look at the next ten years, then it is surely the topic of sustainability that is already omnipresent today. At the moment we are living in a phase where we want sustainable products on the one hand, but, on the other hand, the willingness to pay higher prices for them is not yet pronounced and people tend towards staying with conventional products. This will change. Sustainable products from companies that really live sustainability in the dimensions of ecology, economy and society will win the race. The textile industry offers the best conditions to turn this vision into reality - albeit under investment in production and research and development.

Today, product and technology innovations mean to a large extent digitalization of production and business processes.
New business models often aim at verticalization and demand the path to batch size 1 - what does this mean for Schmitz Textiles?

For an industrial company with a B2B focus, such as Schmitz Textiles, "batch size 1" must be answered with a certain bandwidth. However, in principle, this topic is not new to us, for example in yarn dyeing, we can couple micro-installations for larger batches - and conversely control correspondingly smaller batches through our process chain. In the digital printing sector for the contract business, we are very individually and customer-oriented positioned with a minimum quantity of 25 meters. For our sister company and customer markilux we are supplier for their "Color on Demand" offer for the individual awning cloth with a choice of 1625 RAL colors. With an industrial production scale, you can hardly get much closer to "lot size 1".

To break new ground means decisiveness, overcoming fears - and with that the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed.
Which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly happy about having made it in retrospect?

If we look further back, about ten years ago, the decision to invest in digital printing and to build up know-how and our own production capacities was the right one. Having passed through these learning curves enables us today to expand our offer into the outdoor market without major problems. We are currently more convinced than ever that by entering the automotive segment with the still young mobiltex brand, we have established a new, important keystone for the long-term future of Schmitz Textiles.

The textile industry has been growing steadily worldwide for decades. The consumption of chemical and textile fibres more than quadrupled between 1975 and 2016. In terms of sustainability, there is, to put it mildly, a mixed feedback for our industry.
What is Schmitz Textiles concentrating on in order to fulfil their social responsibility?

If textiles are produced exclusively in Germany, the regulatory framework already requires a certain sustainable orientation. But of course, there is also room for maneuver. In order to meet the high demands of a sustainable and environmentally friendly production, we operate a very high expenditure. For example, all dyestuffs and textile auxiliaries are first checked for compliance with laws and regulations and for environmental and occupational safety aspects before they are used in-house. In addition, voluntary measures were implemented in the area of production long before legislation came into force, such as regenerative thermal post-combustion for the post-treatment of process exhaust air from finishing plants. This ensures that no harmful emissions are caused by exhaust air, waste water or noise. Many projects have also been successfully implemented for energy recovery from process waste water and process exhaust air. All process waste is either returned to the production workflow, recycled or professionally disposed of. A contribution to environmental protection, that should not be underestimated, is the use of synthetic fibres (here: polyester), which can be modified with much less chemicals than natural fibres and are much more durable.
 
The next Techtextil is just around the corner. What are your expectations at the Frankfurt trade fair?
We are a young but at the same time an almost 100-year-old company, having emerged from the corporate reorganization of Schmitz-Werke GmbH + Co. KG on January 1, 2018. Consequently, we are exhibiting for the first time as Schmitz Textiles GmbH + Co KG with our three brands mobiltex, swela and drapilux. We want to present ourselves as a textile competence center. However, the automotive textiles theme will be somewhat in the foreground. We are exhibiting a complete convertible roof with our mobiltex 388 soft top fabric, which was nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019 by the German Design Council, and we are confident that we may accept an award at the end of May.

 

Source:

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

As part of its Newsline, Textination will give innovation leaders of the industry a special place to talk about success, experiences, forecasts and trends.

ISPO Beijing (c) Messe München GmbH
29.01.2019

ISPO Beijing CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL ANNIVERSARY

More than 400 exhibitors representing 682 brands and approximately 30,000 trade visitors and key opinion leaders (KOLs) took part in ISPO Beijing and Alpitec China held at the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) from January 16 to 19, 2019. This year, the most important sports trade fair in the Asia-Pacific region was jam-packed with numerous forums, trends and innovative products and services relating to winter sports, outdoors, health & fitness, and manufacturing & suppliers. Soccer also featured for the first time.

More than 400 exhibitors representing 682 brands and approximately 30,000 trade visitors and key opinion leaders (KOLs) took part in ISPO Beijing and Alpitec China held at the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC) from January 16 to 19, 2019. This year, the most important sports trade fair in the Asia-Pacific region was jam-packed with numerous forums, trends and innovative products and services relating to winter sports, outdoors, health & fitness, and manufacturing & suppliers. Soccer also featured for the first time.

“The Chinese have discovered a passion for soccer and their enthusiasm for it continues to grow. European clubs and leagues in particular are a huge source of inspiration for the emerging Chinese soccer market. ISPO Beijing has found a strong new partner in Bundesliga International for continuing to drive the soccer boom in Asia over the next few years,” says a delighted Elena Jasper, Exhibition Director ISPO Beijing. The specially created Football Activation Area played host to seven German first-league teams, namely Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg. They challenged visitors to take part in various activities such as Speed Goal and Goal Wall Shooting and created a thrilling soccer atmosphere for them. The program also featured the Football Forum, which was held on the opening day of the trade fair. High-profile speakers from the clubs set out their strategies for activating the market in China and presented concepts for promoting and encouraging fresh young talents as well as ideas on brand positioning.

Winter sports continue to be popular thanks to Olympics
Winter sports have proven to be hugely popular for several years now, especially in view of the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. As well-known brands and exhibitors in this segment, Burton and Oakley made a welcome return to ISPO Beijing. The Market Introduction Program, designed for brands keen to penetrate the Chinese market, also focused on this area. As part of the two-day seminar program, representatives of 10 brands from across Europe, Asia and the U.S. gained a solid understanding of the specific ins and outs of the Chinese market thanks to industry experts in distribution, online and offline retail and commercial law, and made preliminary contacts.

The Asia Pacific Snow Conference was held for the 11th time in collaboration with the longstanding partner event Alpitec China, the leading trade show for mountain and winter technologies. Representatives from the technology, sports and tourism industries discussed advances being made with China’s ski resorts as well as models and measures for developing, maintaining and expanding them.

Ski Resort Tour participants were given an insight into the infrastructure of the winter sports resorts and treated to a taste of what to expect from the Olympics. Three 2022 Winter Olympics training venues and sites were on the itinerary, namely the Shougang Olympic Park, Wanlong Ski Resort and Genting Ski Resort Secret Garden. “China’s professionalism in preparing for the major sporting event is very impressive. Sports venues are being designed and built in line with the very latest standards. The Olympics will be just the start of China’s development as a winter sports nation,” says Klaus Dittrich, Chairman and CEO of Messe München.

Valuable knowledge transfer throughout all segments
An extensive supporting program was also provided for the other trade fair segments. The Sports Industry Forum focused on the topic of new investment opportunities for the sports business in China, including with regard to digitalization. Sport injuries and rehabilitation options were the main focal points of the Health & Fitness Forum. The China Climbing Report was published as part of the China Rock Summit. In the ISPO Textrends Area, international consultant for textile trends, Louisa Smith, presented the textile trends relating to materials, fibers, cuts and accessories set to take the industry by storm in the next few years. At the ISPO Award Exhibition and the ISPO Startup Village, visitors gained an overview of the most important innovative products and latest ideas to be devised by young entrepreneurs.

Creation of an advisory committee for ISPO Beijing
An international advisory committee has been set up in order to further develop and bring ISPO Beijing even more in line with the needs of the market, exhibitors and trade visitors. Representatives of exhibitors’ interests, industry representatives and partners met for the first time ever on the eve of this year’s event in order to discuss the strategic direction of the trade fair. The consensus amongst all participants was that the current format of ISPO Beijing represents a solid base with plenty of potential. New segments such as Sports Fashion and Travel should be added to the event in the future and the target group of key opinion leaders (KOLs) should be further expanded. Exchanging experience with Europe is the primary focus of interest.

The next ISPO Beijing will be held from February 12 to 15, 2020 at its new location, the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC).

For more information on ISPO Beijing, please visit https://www.ispo.com/en/beijing