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19.07.2022

The future of fashion: Revolution between fast and slow fashion

The fashion industry is massively influenced by the change in social values. Which trends can be observed and in which direction is the fashion future developing - an excerpt from the Retail Report 20231 by Theresa Schleicher.

The fashion industry is massively influenced by the change in social values. Which trends can be observed and in which direction is the fashion future developing - an excerpt from the Retail Report 20231 by Theresa Schleicher.

The fashion industry has been slowed down by the global health pandemic and further affected by the measures taken in the wake of the Ukraine war: Fragile supply chains, increased transportation and energy costs, and rising prices are having an impact on the globalized fashion industry. Those who were moving the fastest are being hit the hardest. Fast fashion based on the principle of "faster and faster, cheaper and cheaper, more and more" - which has been in the fast lane for years - is now experiencing an unprecedented crash. Even without these momentous events, the fashion system would have reached its limits. What could have developed evolutionarily is now being revolutionized. Now and in the future, it will be particularly difficult for brands and retail companies that do not have a sharp profile or that have lost many customers in the attempt to offer mass-produced goods at prices that are still lower than those of their competitors.

New value paradigm in society - also for fashion
While fashion retailers and fashion brands are focusing on expanding online and have been putting their foot on the gas pedal since the corona pandemic at the latest, a parallel change in values is taking place in society. Many behaviors that have been practiced, tested and lived for months will continue to shape our consumer behavior and lifestyles in the future. The uncertainty in society as well as a shrinking economy and rising consumer prices as a result of the Ukraine war will further contribute to this shift in values.

The old paradigm was "primarily shaped by pragmatic factors such as price, quantity, safety and convenience, so consumer behavior was predominantly based on relatively simple cost-benefit calculations." The new value paradigm, on the other hand, is more strongly influenced by "soft factors". For example, the quality of a product is defined more holistically. In addition to price, "ecological, [...] ethical and social aspects are also taken into account. It is about positive or negative experiences that one has had with producers and about the visions that they pursue with their companies". This new value paradigm is forcing the large chain stores in particular to rethink. They have to develop their business models further in the direction of sustainability, transparency and responsibility - and show attitude. The influence of the neo-ecology megatrend combined with the push towards the sense economy is reshuffling the cards in the fashion industry.

The most important driver for the change in consumer behavior is climate protection, which is also becoming personally more important to more and more people because they are feeling the effects of climate change themselves in their everyday lives. The transition to a sustainable, bio-based and circular economy is accompanied by fundamental changes in the technical, economic and social environment.

Circular fashion as an opportunity for fast fashion
The development of the fashion industry - especially the fast fashion industry - towards a more circular economy is not a short-term trend, but one of the most long-term and at the same time forward-looking trends in retailing of all.

Even before the pandemic, a growing proportion of consumers placed value on sustainably produced clothing instead of constantly shopping the latest trends. A reset is needed, but the fashion industry faces a difficult question: How can it respond to the demand for new trends without neglecting its responsibility for the environment?

The solution for reducing emissions and conserving raw materials and resources seems obvious: produce less. On average, 2,700 liters of water are needed to produce a T-shirt - that much drinking water would last a person for two and a half years. In Europe, each person buys an average of 26 kilograms of textiles per year - and disposes eleven kilograms. Of this, almost 90 percent is incinerated or ends up in landfills. Overproduction, precarious working conditions during production and the use of non-sustainable materials are the major problems of the fast fashion industry. It is time to slow down fast fashion.

Fashion recycling by Design & Recycling as a Service
A first step towards keeping fashion and textiles in the cycle for longer is to recycle materials properly. In the future, recycling must be considered as early as the design stage - not only for sustainably produced fashion, but also for fast fashion. The H&M Group, for example, developed the Circulator for this purpose: The digital evaluation tool guides the designer through materials, components and design strategies that are best suited for the product depending on its purpose, and evaluates them in terms of their environmental impact, durability and recyclability.

However, more and more young companies are specializing in offering recycling for textiles as a service. They work directly with fashion retailers or fashion brands to enable the best possible recycling, re-circulation or even upcycling. Until now, it has not been worthwhile for large textile companies to invest in their own recycling systems. But Recycling as a Service is a market of the future, led by innovative start-ups such as Resortecs that are tackling previous hurdles in our recycling system. In the future, more and more new service providers will pop up around returns and recycling and help fashion retailers to align their material cycles more sustainably.

Secondhand conquers the fast fashion market
Another way to extend the life of clothing is to pass it on to new users. We are witnessing the triumph of vintage, retro and more - chic secondhand stores and chains like Resales and Humana are popping up everywhere. The renaming of secondhand to pre-owned or pre-loved also illustrates the increased appreciation of worn clothing. The trend toward secondhand also pays off economically for companies: The number of platforms whose business model revolves around the resale of clothing is increasing, and secondhand fashion is arriving in the middle of society. The luxury segment and especially vintage fashion are stable in price because the availability of these unique pieces is limited. Fast fashion, on the other hand, is available in sufficient quantities and is particularly interesting for price-sensitive customers, as secondhand is considered one of the most sustainable forms of consumption - meaning that fashion can be shopped with a clear conscience - and is usually even offered at a lower price than new goods. The second-hand market will continue to professionalize and become more socially acceptable. As a result, the fast fashion industry will also be forced to produce higher quality clothing in order to become or remain part of the circular system.

Slow fashion gains momentum thanks to technology
The development and orientation of fast fashion towards circular processes is also changing sustainable fashion. In the future, fast fashion and slow fashion can learn from each other to fully exploit their potential: fast fashion will become more sustainable, while slow fashion will focus on faster availability and delivery and make the customer experience as pleasant as possible. Fast and slow fashion are no longer compelling opposites - because the sustainable fashion movement can also benefit from technological innovations that are being established above all by the fashion platforms, and lift slow fashion to a new level.

At the same time, Sustainable Luxury is a new form of luxury consumption - especially in the field of designer fashion, sustainability is becoming the all-important criterion. Sustainability as a means of distinction for true luxury and sustainability as a basic prerequisite for a functioning fashion industry are increasingly converging. This is where the transition between a slowdown of fast fashion and an acceleration of slow fashion takes place.

Trend Sustainable Luxury
Luxury is defined less and less by the object and its possession and is increasingly becoming an expression of one's own lifestyle and values. Consumers' understanding of premium and luxury has changed - not least driven by the neo-ecology megatrend. In the future, it will no longer be just about owning something as expensive and ostentatious as possible. What began as a rebellion against careless consumption of luxury brands that promise high-end products but accept unfair and environmentally damaging manufacturing conditions in the process has increasingly become accepted as a value attitude. Luxury products have no less a claim than to improve the world.

Sustainable and ethical products and services made from innovative materials that have the power to solve problems and make the world a better place. At the same time, this highly ethically and morally charged form of sustainability is turning into a means of distinction: For the materials are so new, the manufacturing processes still so experimental, that the products are unique and often only available in very small quantities or on order. And this exclusive sustainability naturally comes at a price. After all, a company that pursues a mission is not concerned with simply cutting costs - certainly not at the expense of others or the environment. Instead of leather and fur, luxury fashion is now made from oranges, pineapples, hemp, cacti: there are more and more new, innovative and sustainable materials from which unique garments and accessories can be made.

Predictive, Pre-Order & Made-to-Order
Artificial intelligence and Big Data analysis can help predict fashion demand. Fast fashion leaders like Shein are characterized by agile production which is supported by AI algorithms for trend prediction fed with data from TikTok and other social media services. This could sustainably reduce overproduction and unsaleable goods in the future. As critical as Shein's practices are, the automation of processes also offers immense opportunities for a more sustainable fashion industry, as production only starts when goods are in demand.

AI support in the design process can be used to produce more sustainable fashion - and make it available more quickly. In a future of an avatar economy and in the world of virtual influencers, it may even be possible to dispense with part of the production process: Fashion will remain virtual - and thus more resource-efficient. Digital fashion will become increasingly important as the metaverse is built.

5 Key Takeaways on the Future of Fashion

  1. The current crisis in the fashion industry is an opportunity to move more in the direction of circular fashion. Above all, the new value paradigm in society, understanding quality more holistically and consuming more mindfully, is providing a push towards fairer, more ecological and more social fashion. Fast fashion and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
  2. There are already first approaches to keep fast fashion in the cycle longer or to return it to the cycle. One important development is to consider recycling or reuse as early as the design and manufacturing process - known as recycling by design. In addition, there is a growing number of start-ups specializing in the optimized recycling of textiles and cooperating with major fashion players.
  3. Above all, the booming online trade in used fashion, often communicated as the pre-loved or pre-owned category, is making secondhand respectable for the mainstream. Such fashion, with a story and an aura of uniqueness, is also a cost-effective but more sustainable alternative to fast fashion.
  4. But slow fashion is also changing, especially due to the dominance of new technologies. Slow fashion can also benefit from processes that are currently manifesting themselves in the online fashion market, such as fast delivery or pre-order services. Slow fashion thus becomes more convenient, better and faster available. It will be easier for sustainably oriented fashion enthusiasts to consume according to their values and attitudes.
  5. The trend toward sustainable luxury continues: Sustainability as a means of distinction for a new form of luxury enables alternative manufacturing processes and innovative materials in the luxury fashion market. These are being showcased by an avant-garde and, if they prove successful, adapted by fast fashion.

1https://onlineshop.zukunftsinstitut.de/shop/retail-report-2023/

Source:

Retail Report 2023 | Theresa Schleicher, Janine Seitz | June 2022

(c) Messe Karlsruhe, Jürgen Rösner
05.07.2022

The dream of owning a small home - or: How will we live tomorrow?

For the house and home textiles industry, the question is what consequences the current living trends will have for their furnishing concepts in the future: Adaptive habitat and modular houses, cohousing, senior citizens' residences or villages, between long-stay apartments, which are experiencing great growth in the hotel sector, and tiny houses for private users, suppliers will develop new ideas.

Since 2018, Messe Karlsruhe has been organizing Europe's largest Tiny House Festival. The NEW HOUSING - Tiny House Festival underlines the great interest in the Tiny House living trend.

For the house and home textiles industry, the question is what consequences the current living trends will have for their furnishing concepts in the future: Adaptive habitat and modular houses, cohousing, senior citizens' residences or villages, between long-stay apartments, which are experiencing great growth in the hotel sector, and tiny houses for private users, suppliers will develop new ideas.

Since 2018, Messe Karlsruhe has been organizing Europe's largest Tiny House Festival. The NEW HOUSING - Tiny House Festival underlines the great interest in the Tiny House living trend.

From 01 to 03 July 2022, around 7,000 Tiny House enthusiasts - significantly more than expected - came together at Messe Karlsruhe to experience the diversity and range of small, alternative forms of living. In a Tiny House village of 25 small houses on the open-air grounds of Messe Karlsruhe, they had the opportunity to network with each other and to find out and exchange information about living in the smallest of spaces from manufacturers, suppliers, self-builders, organizations and associations.

"The NEW HOUSING - Tiny House Festival pays outstanding attention to the trend towards sustainable living and thus has a forward-looking effect, especially here in Karlsruhe. As organizer of the festival and at the same time as initiator of the Tiny House Association, we bring the community together and set an example for smart developments in the topics of building and living," says Britta Wirtz, Managing Director of Messe Karlsruhe.

Project manager Frank Thieme adds: "Tiny Houses create quality living space on small areas that are not suitable for classic residential development, for example because they are only available temporarily. Here, the festival serves the trend of sustainable use of land to create living space and drives the development towards lower resource consumption and the use of innovative building materials."

On the open-air grounds of Messe Karlsruhe, companies were there to answer questions and provide first-hand information. Exhibitors from all over Germany were present, including market leaders as well as carpentry shops and start-ups that have built up a second mainstay with the construction of Tiny Houses.

For the first time, companies from other European countries, including Latvia, Poland and Belgium, also presented themselves. A new element in 2022 was an information mile in the entrance area of the trade fair with a wide range of advisory services for future Tiny House residents as well as suppliers and outfitters.

There, regional Tiny House organizations and the Tiny House Association, among others, were there to answer questions and provide information about their work. Regina Schleyer, chairwoman of the board of the Tiny House Association, which structurally represents over 2,000 members in German-speaking countries, says: "The number of visitors is really overwhelming. The interest is very high, people are very open-minded and interested in the association. We succeeded in presenting what local offers are being developed in the associations nationwide. We are truly very satisfied with the fair, a complete success."

The visitors traveled to Karlsruhe from all over Germany and beyond its borders to find out about small alternative forms of living. They particularly appreciated the opportunity to meet the manufacturers in person and to visit the Tiny Houses on site.

The lecture program at the festival complemented the exhibition and offered insights into successful self-build stories, topics such as self-sufficiency, sustainability and finding a suitable site, as well as informative literature. Topic-relevant lectures with experts shared tips and tricks as well as experiences within the Tiny House community.

The next NEW HOUSING - Tiny House Festival will take place from June 30 to July 2, 2023 at Messe Karlsruhe.

Source:

Messe Karlsruhe / Textination

Photo: Pixabay
28.06.2022

Individual plastic budget - Fraunhofer UMSICHT presents study results

When plastics enter the environment, this brings with it many negative effects: these range from suffocating living organisms to transfer within the food chain and physical effects on an ecosystem. In addition, there are dangers from the release of additives, monomers and critical intermediates of metabolic processes, the metabolites.

How great the long-term impact of plastic emissions actually is, is not yet clear at the present time. In order to create a political decision-making basis for dealing with plastic emissions, researchers from Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Ruhr University Bochum have therefore developed a budget approach and an LCA impact assessment methodology in the "PlastikBudget" project from December 2017 to the end of August 2021. The researchers have now completed the project. The result: When driving a car, a person emits more than half of their individual plastic emission budget through tire wear.

When plastics enter the environment, this brings with it many negative effects: these range from suffocating living organisms to transfer within the food chain and physical effects on an ecosystem. In addition, there are dangers from the release of additives, monomers and critical intermediates of metabolic processes, the metabolites.

How great the long-term impact of plastic emissions actually is, is not yet clear at the present time. In order to create a political decision-making basis for dealing with plastic emissions, researchers from Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the Ruhr University Bochum have therefore developed a budget approach and an LCA impact assessment methodology in the "PlastikBudget" project from December 2017 to the end of August 2021. The researchers have now completed the project. The result: When driving a car, a person emits more than half of their individual plastic emission budget through tire wear.

How big is the long-term impact of plastic emissions?
Six percent of global petroleum consumption goes to the plastics industry - and the trend is rising. While the plastics industry is an important economic factor in many countries, more and more plastic waste ends up in soils and oceans. Mostly in the form of highly mobile, small to large plastic fragments, plastic emissions can no longer be recovered from the environment. At the same time, the long-term effects of plastic in the environment are hardly predictable.

Due to the global and cross-generational dimension of the problem, it is important that science, industry and consumers work together to find a solution. One goal of the joint project PlastikBudget is therefore to quantify today's plastic emissions and to derive a plastic emissions budget. On this basis, the researchers can formulate quantitative emission targets that can be used to legitimize political decisions. In particular, the path from empirically verified data and normative values to a concrete emissions budget forms the core objective of the project.

From research to per capita emissions budget
Starting with a basic research on plastic quantities in the environment, the project addresses two major topics: The development of a budget approach and the development of an impact assessment method that can be used in life cycle assessments to consider potential environmental impacts of plastic emissions. Participatory formats complete the project. In this way, the results are anchored in political and scientific discourse. In the course of the project, the researchers will answer the following questions: What quantities of plastic are currently being discharged and what quantities have already accumulated? What quantities of plastic in the environment are still acceptable? How long does it take for plastics to degrade in real environmental compartments? How are the risks posed by different plastic emissions adequately represented? Finally, from the answers, they calculate a value for current emissions and what they consider to be an acceptable emissions budget.

250 million tonnes of PPE for 7.8 billion people
To measure plastic pollution, the researchers in the PlastikBudget project have developed the persistence-weighted plastic emission equivalent (PPE for short). This represents a virtual mass that takes into account the period of time until a specific plastic emission is degraded, e.g. in soil, freshwater or seawater. Relevant properties for this are the location of the emission, the material type, the shape of the plastic emission as well as the size of the emitted plastic part and the final environmental compartment in which the plastic remains. In the case of plastics that degrade completely within one year, the plastic emission equivalent corresponds to the real mass. If the degradation time is longer, it increases accordingly.

"Based on the thesis that the total amount of plastics already accumulated in the environment today has just reached a critical quantity, we were able to calculate a global plastic emission budget of 250 million tonnes of PPE," explains Jürgen Bertling, project manager of the project and scientist at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. "If each of the 7.8 billion people is allocated the same emission rights, this results in an individual budget of 31.9 kilograms of PPE per person and year."

Driving consumes half of the individual plastic budget
However, tire wear from driving alone corresponds to a plastic emission equivalent of 16.5 kg PPE per year and thus consumes more than 50 per cent of an individual's budget. Even waste from ten coffee-to-go disposable cups would consume 13.5 kg of PPE per year, more than a third of one's budget. "This is because the plastics used in disposable cups are more difficult to degrade than the rubber in the tire," explains Jan Blömer from Fraunhofer UMSICHT, who played a key role in developing the calculation methodology. The consumption of a coil of polyamide for a lawn trimmer, which releases microplastics when used, also weighs in considerably at 5.1 kilograms of PPE. Microbeads in cosmetics or the one-time sanding of a front door, on the other hand, consume significantly less of the individual emissions budget with 1.1 kg PPE and 0.5 kg PPE, but are still quite relevant in the overall balance.

Many other everyday activities also lead to plastic emissions. Nevertheless, the researchers show that the calculated budget limits can be met in various scenarios. However, such a scenario also entails considerable effort and massive changes in the way we deal with plastics today. One possible scenario to meet the budget would be a reduction of emissions by more than 50 per cent, if at the same time at least 50 per cent of all emissions consisted of readily degradable plastics.

Further work on accounting for plastic emissions in life cycle assessments
The persistence-weighted plastic emission equivalent developed in the PlastikBudget project could also represent a new impact category in life cycle assessments in the future. "With the help of factors that reflect the persistence of plastics in the environment, it will be possible in future to compare different product alternatives in terms of their plastic emission footprints," says Dr Daniel Maga, who is coordinating the corresponding further development of the life cycle assessment methodology at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. A corresponding exchange with companies is taking place here. However, implementation in the life cycle assessment methodology and the associated software solutions requires broad acceptance in the scientific community and must be prepared in corresponding standardisation committees.

The project is part of the research priority "Plastics in the Environment" (PidU) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in which 18 collaborative projects with around 100 partners from science, industry, associations, municipalities and practice want to clarify fundamental questions about the production, use and disposal of plastics. The research focus "Plastics in the Environment - Sources, Shrinking, Solutions" is part of the Green Economy flagship initiative of the BMBF framework programme "Research for Sustainable Development" (FONA3).

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT

(c) Oeti
31.05.2022

OEKO-TEX® Association celebrates 30th birthday

The international OEKO-TEX® Association, which consists of a total of 17 independent research and testing institutes in Europe and Japan, turns thirty this year. As one of the founding members, OETI is taking this as an opportunity to talk to OEKO-TEX® expert Helene Melnitzky (Head of the Ecology Department at OETI) about the role of the OEKO-TEX® Association, market trends and current OEKO-TEX® certifications and labels.

The international OEKO-TEX® Association, which consists of a total of 17 independent research and testing institutes in Europe and Japan, turns thirty this year. As one of the founding members, OETI is taking this as an opportunity to talk to OEKO-TEX® expert Helene Melnitzky (Head of the Ecology Department at OETI) about the role of the OEKO-TEX® Association, market trends and current OEKO-TEX® certifications and labels.

The international OEKO-TEX® Association is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year. What role has it played so far with regard to the product safety of textile and leather products?
Helene Melnitzky:
In the area product safety1, OEKO-TEX® has had a great impact over the last three decades by ensuring certain pollutant additives, some of which were found in large quantities in textiles 30 years ago, no longer exist. The OEKO-TEX® Association was also the first to limit certain heavy metals. Based on our actions, legal provisions were ultimately passed. We have been testing banned dyes since before there even was an EU regulation in this regard. Of course, we now test according to the EU regulation, but in this respect OEKO-TEX® was a clear trailblazer.

In addition to product safety, OEKO-TEX® has been working on the topics of ‘environmentally friendly textile products manufactured under fair working conditions for 30 years, which also included leather products for the last five years, and with STeP by OEKO-TEX® on the ‘certification of environmentally friendly production sites’ since 2013. In one way or another, we have been preparing the market for thirty years. In the process, we are always creating new things: currently the Impact Calculator and, in autumn-2022, a new certification for brands and retailers: RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS by OEKO-TEX®.

How does that benefit the customers of OEKO-TEX®?
Helene Melnitzky:
Customers can use these calculations for external communication to demonstrate on their products or webpages that their products have a lower footprint than their competitors. This means that customers sourcing everything regionally will have a smaller footprint than companies that source products from different countries. In the future, it will be necessary to display the water and carbon footprint on the product, so that consumers can decide whether they want to buy product A or B.

How is the aspect of fair working conditions taken into account?
Helene Melnitzky:
This topic has also been gaining significant momentum over the last ten years. There is now enough pressure on brands and retailers to improve local working conditions. We cover this area as part of our STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification2 with our ‘social responsibility’ module. The advantage for our customers is that they can subsequently use the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label to show how they have performed in the social module.

What does Transparency with MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® mean?
Helene Melnitzky:
Everything that is written on the product is transparent. The MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label is a traceable product label for all types of textiles and leather items that have been produced in environmentally friendly factories and at safe and socially responsible workplaces. Furthermore, the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label gives consumers the certainty that the textile or leather product is made from materials tested for harmful substances. In order to ensure that textile or leather products with the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label have been produced using environmentally friendly processes under socially acceptable working conditions, manufacturing and wet production sites must be certified according to STeP by OEKO-TEX®.

For a year now, it has been possible to have recycled materials STANDARD 100 certified and display that certification as a hangtag to communicate that the product consists of a certain proportion3 of recycled materials. Which market demand is this certification addressing?
Helene Melnitzky:
There is an increasing demand that at least part of the product must be made from recycled material. This is partly attributable to market pressure because raw materials are scarce and expensive. However, we are also voluntarily informing consumers about recycling as part of the circular economy.

What is your outlook for the next few years?
Helene Melnitzky:
Producing textile and leather products in a more environmentally friendly and fair manner, while making the value chain more transparent, is a global challenge that sets new environmental standards. In the long term, however, it also involves important economic and social aspects. The goal is to raise awareness of these interdependencies and a common understanding of environmental issues – among producers and, of course, end consumers. It is clear that the demand for certified and traceable products is growing among consumers. This trend is reflected in purchasing behaviour and thus in manufacturing. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot to do.


1 STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® und LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX®
2 The STeP by OEKO-TEX® certification includes the modules Chemical Management, Environmental Performance, Environmental Management, Quality Management, Occupational Health and Safety, and Social Responsibility
3 To qualify, the product must contain at least 20 per cent recycled material.

(c) A3/Christian Strohmayr
10.05.2022

Fraunhofer reduces CO2 footprint and recycles trendy lightweight carbon material

Neo-ecology through innovative paper technology

To reduce the CO2 footprint, the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV Augsburg research with a state-of-the-art wetlaid nonwoven machine for recycling carbon fibers. The production processes are similar to those of a paper manufacturing machine. The crucial difference: we turn not paper fibers into the paper but recycled carbon fibers into nonwoven roll fabrics. The carbon fiber thus gets a second life and finds an environmentally friendly way in nonwovens, such as door panels, engine bonnets, roof structures, underbody protection (automotive), and heat shields (helicopter tail boom), as well as in aircraft interiors.

“Wetlaid technology for processing technical fibers is currently experiencing a revolution following centuries of papermaking tradition.”
Michael Sauer, Researcher at Fraunhofer IGCV

Neo-ecology through innovative paper technology

To reduce the CO2 footprint, the Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV Augsburg research with a state-of-the-art wetlaid nonwoven machine for recycling carbon fibers. The production processes are similar to those of a paper manufacturing machine. The crucial difference: we turn not paper fibers into the paper but recycled carbon fibers into nonwoven roll fabrics. The carbon fiber thus gets a second life and finds an environmentally friendly way in nonwovens, such as door panels, engine bonnets, roof structures, underbody protection (automotive), and heat shields (helicopter tail boom), as well as in aircraft interiors.

“Wetlaid technology for processing technical fibers is currently experiencing a revolution following centuries of papermaking tradition.”
Michael Sauer, Researcher at Fraunhofer IGCV

The wetlaid technology used is one of the oldest nonwoven forming processes (around 140 BC - 100 AD). As an essential industry sector with diverse fields of application, wetlaid nonwovens are no longer only found in the classic paper. Instead, the application areas extend, for example, from adhesive carrier films, and packaging material, to banknotes and their process-integrated watermarks and security features. In the future, particularly sustainable technology fields will be added around battery components, fuel cell elements, filtration layers, and even function-integrated material solutions, e.g., EMI shielding function.

Fraunhofer IGCV wetlaid nonwovens line is specifically designed as a pilot line. In principle, very different fiber materials such as natural, regenerated, and synthetic fibers can be processed, mainly recycled and technical fibers. The system offers the highest possible flexibility regarding material variants and process parameters. In addition, sufficiently high productivity is ensured to allow subsequent scaled processing trials (e.g., demonstrator production).

The main operating range of the wetlaid line relates to the following parameters:

  • Processing speed: up to 30 m/min
  • Role width: 610 mm
  • Grammage: approx. 20–300 gsm
  • Overall machinery is ≥ IP65 standard for processing, e.g., conductive fiber materials
  • Machine design based on an angled wire configuration with high dewatering capacity, e.g., for processing highly diluted fiber suspensions or for material variants with high water retention capacity.
  • Machine modular system design with maximum flexibility for a quick change of material variants or a quick change of process parameters. The setup allows short-term hardware adaptations as well as project-specific modifications.

Research focus: carbon recycling at the end of the life cycle
The research focus of Fraunhofer IGCV is primarily in the field of technical staple fibers. The processing of recycled carbon fibers is a particular focus. Current research topics in this context include, for example, the research, optimization, and further development of binder systems, different fiber lengths and fiber length distributions, nonwoven homogeneity, and fiber orientation. In addition, the focus is on the integration of digital as well as AI-supported methods within the framework of online process monitoring. Further research topics, such as the production of gas diffusion layers for fuel cell components, the further development of battery elements, and filtration applications, are currently being developed.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV

(c) Vincentz Network GmbH & Co. KG / ALTENPFLEGE
26.04.2022

ALTENPFLEGE 2022: Intelligently equipped rooms for more independence in old age

Most people want to live as independently as possible in old age. Exhibitors at the industry's leading trade fair ALTENPFLEGE from April 26 to 28 in Essen, Germany will be showing how senior facilities with modern interior design and smart equipment meet this need.

Demand for forms of housing such as service living is on the rise. Studies predict a need for around 540,000 new service living units in the coming years. One of the major trends at this year's 32nd edition of the Altenpflege trade fair is how senior facilities are meeting the rapidly growing demand with flexible room design and digital support. They can be seen in the Aveneo special show, including intelligent systems for stove shut-off, lighting control and room temperature, as well as for fall sensors and emergency calls.

Most people want to live as independently as possible in old age. Exhibitors at the industry's leading trade fair ALTENPFLEGE from April 26 to 28 in Essen, Germany will be showing how senior facilities with modern interior design and smart equipment meet this need.

Demand for forms of housing such as service living is on the rise. Studies predict a need for around 540,000 new service living units in the coming years. One of the major trends at this year's 32nd edition of the Altenpflege trade fair is how senior facilities are meeting the rapidly growing demand with flexible room design and digital support. They can be seen in the Aveneo special show, including intelligent systems for stove shut-off, lighting control and room temperature, as well as for fall sensors and emergency calls.

Future tenants or buyers of serviced apartments are prepared to invest specifically in their own living environment (source: Terragon study 2021). The focus is on a feel-good atmosphere, a high level of security and the option of using care services if required. "This can be facilitated by a cleverly thought-out arrangement of the rooms within a serviced apartment, for example by arranging the bathroom and bedroom right next to each other and making the wall with the washbasin rotatable," explains Carolin Pauly, managing director of Universal Rooms, which considers itself to be the interface between the wishes of the operators and the products in the serviced apartment market. "The furniture and furnishings industry is called upon to design modern collections with hidden product features that make life easier in old age," Pauly demands. This could be, for example, a grab handle built into the washbasin or a dining table that can be accessed by a wheelchair.

Lighting management also plays an important role. It should convey a sense of well-being and security as well as provide orientation and safety. Age-related clinical pictures in particular place high demands on lighting. Here, lighting systems that simulate the natural day and night rhythm can provide help.

Living, care and digitalization combined
The Chief Executive Officer of the Evangelische Heimstiftung (EHS - Evangelical Home Foundation), Bernhard Schneider, sees "an individually and comfortably furnished apartment that uses intelligent technology to provide a great deal of security and self-determination" as the senior living of the future. "I am certain: In the future, in a sector-free setting, we will have to understand housing, nursing and care, and digitalization even more strongly as building blocks that can be combined as needed."

According to Schneider, this starts with housing: In a nursing apartment or an assisted living apartment, in a shared apartment or other form of communal living, in a residence or an intergenerational project. All forms of housing should be well integrated into the neighborhood - this requires reliable, financed advisory structures, for example through neighborhood managers. In addition, there is care, support and assistance, in the form of day or night care, a mobile service or volunteers. "And technology, for example through our Aladien system, i.e. with intelligent home emergency call, fall sensors, stove shut-off, roller shutters and light control, video door telephony, etc. In the future, Aladien will evolve into a service robot," predicts Schneider.

This makes it possible for people to live a self-determined life and participate in society, even in old age. That's what people want, he says: a pleasant living environment, social contacts, cultural offerings and the certainty that someone will take care of them if necessary. "What we need for this is political commitment in the form of an ambitious funding program for modern forms of housing in old age," demands the EHS CEO. This would not only help the older generation, but young families could also benefit because this would free up the far too spacious apartments and terraced houses of the older generation for them.


ALTENPFLEGE – Trade fair and congress for the care industry since 1990
The traditional leading trade show for the care industry has so far been held alternately in Hanover and Nuremberg. From this year it alternates between Essen and Nuremberg. It covers all segments of professional geriatric care: services and products for care and therapy, occupation and education, IT and management, nutrition and home economics, textiles and hygiene as well as space and technology. In more than 30 lecture blocks, the accompanying trade congress covers the current topics of the industry, such as digitalization, the future of professional nursing care, hospice and palliative care, training or the new collectively agreed payment under the Healthcare Development Act (Gesundheitsversorgungsweiterentwicklungsgesetz - GVWG).

Photo: Unsplash
15.03.2022

Heimtextil Conference: „Sleep & More“ in June

Sleep myths, corona fatigue and sustainable hotel room concepts of tomorrow: to coincide with the Day of Sleep on 21 June 2022, the Heimtextil Conference "Sleep & More" will begin and provide bed retailers and hospitality decision-makers with answers to the megatrend of "healthy sleep" over three days in Hall 3.0. Numerous key-
notes will highlight the latest findings in sleep research as well as important issues concerning the green future of the hotel bed.

The Day of Sleep on 21 June marks the start of the conference, which will take place on the first three days of this year's Heimtextil Summer Special. As a national day of action in Germany, the Day of Sleep was launched in 2000 on the initiative of the "Tag des Schlafes e.V." association and annually raises awareness of the importance of sleep and its impact on quality of life.
               
Keynotes at the Heimtextil Conference „Sleep & More“

Sleep myths, corona fatigue and sustainable hotel room concepts of tomorrow: to coincide with the Day of Sleep on 21 June 2022, the Heimtextil Conference "Sleep & More" will begin and provide bed retailers and hospitality decision-makers with answers to the megatrend of "healthy sleep" over three days in Hall 3.0. Numerous key-
notes will highlight the latest findings in sleep research as well as important issues concerning the green future of the hotel bed.

The Day of Sleep on 21 June marks the start of the conference, which will take place on the first three days of this year's Heimtextil Summer Special. As a national day of action in Germany, the Day of Sleep was launched in 2000 on the initiative of the "Tag des Schlafes e.V." association and annually raises awareness of the importance of sleep and its impact on quality of life.
               
Keynotes at the Heimtextil Conference „Sleep & More“

  • Markus Kamps, sleep consultant and founder of "Schlafkampagne," with insights into sleep myths and important help on the corona sleep effect
  • Dr. Hans-Günther Wees from the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine with the latest research findings
  • Carsten Schmid from Brainlit with insights into the importance of biocentric lighting
  • Jens Speil of MyCircul with the latest approaches to the use of tracking gadgets
  • Sleep consultant Eva Bovet of Betten Raab and managing director Thaela Schlosser of Feder & Bettenfachgeschäft on the successful use of podcasts
  • Bed expert Jens Rosenbaum with impulses on the sustainability potential of the hotel bed and green solutions from associations and industry for hotel rooms
  • Expert Julia von Klitzing from the Hotel Competence Center with reflections on the hospitality industry from the perspective of Generation Z

On Wednesday, visitors can look forward to a panel highlight: sleep consultant Eva Bovet from Betten Raab, Managing Director Thaela Schlosser from Feder & Bettenfachgeschäft and Markus Kamps will discuss how both bedding specialists and retailers can successfully use podcasts to tap into new target groups and win customers through accessible audio content formats. These and other keynotes will make the Heimtextil Conference 'Sleep & More' the place to go for representatives of the bedding trade, who can expect a top-class programme of lectures, discussion rounds and product presentations.
 
Sleep & More: New format builds a bridge to hospitality and sustainability
In addition to consulting and product offers for bed retailers, the new concept format "Sleep & More" also provides valuable orientation for hospitality decision-makers and highlights hospitality trends, especially from the perspective of sustainability: How can mattresses be part of the circular economy? And what will the sustainable hotel room of the future look like? Hospitality and sustainability experts pool the collective knowledge of the industry and provide visitors with inspiration and impulses for their future actions.
Bed expert Jens Rosenbaum from Swissfeel Germany, for example, will bridge the gap to the hotel industry in two keynotes and show how the sustainability potential of the hotel bed can be used and how associations and industry are working on solutions for a green future of the hotel room. Hotel industry expert Julia von Klitzing from the Hotel Competence Centre will look at the hospitality industry from the perspective of Generation Z and provide important insights into how the target group of tomorrow envisions their stay in hotels.    

A complete overview of these and numerous other speakers can be found here from April 2022.
What helps us sleep well and what is important for hotel beds to ensure that guests sleep well - we have put together to you the latest studies, recommendations and podcasts on the megatopic of healthy sleep. Sleep well! And join us now in looking forward to Heimtextil and a host of new products revolving around the mega-topic of healthy sleep.

More information:
Heimtextil Sleep & More
Source:

Heimtextil, Messe Frankfurt

Photo: Henning Rogge
09.03.2022

DRESSED. 7 WOMEN - 200 YEARS OF FASHION

  • Exhibition in Hamburg Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe: 25/02/ - 28/08/2022

  • Exhibition in Hamburg Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe: 25/02/ - 28/08/2022

Our wardrobe is among our most personal possessions. Nothing is closer to our bodies. Alongside its purely practical function, clothing is also a nuanced means of communication and self-expression. The exhibition DRESSED. 7 WOMEN – 200 YEARS OF FASHION presents seven fashion-conscious women and their wardrobes, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present day.
The spotlight is on the personalities and biographies of the wearers, who reveal themselves to be both performers and consumers of fashion. Whether haute couture, daywear, protest gear or avant-garde trends – what they chose to wear is every bit as diverse as their lifestyles. Their wardrobes tell of the status-consciousness of high-society wives, of an existence marked by illness, of “power dressing” for projecting confidence in the executive suite, of Hamburg’s punk scene, and of the aesthetics embraced by an art and design collector.
 
Rather than basing the selection on status or celebrity, the protagonists cover the greatest possible variety of women’s lifestyles and their expression through fashion. Around 150 garments and accessories from the Fashion and Textiles Collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) illuminate seven different walks of life and 200 years of fashion, women’s liberation and contemporary history. The fashion items were produced by famous designers, couturiers/couturières and fashion ateliers such as Maison Worth, Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela as well as by anonymous tailors and seamstresses. They are supplemented by biographical testimonies, photographs and documents.

„The idea of approaching not only fashion history but also the former wearers through the seven wardobes on display immediately excited me”, remarks Tulga Beyerle, director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. “The narrative also goes beyond that and deals with a topic that is still relevant today: the changing role of women in society.”
 
Senator Dr Carsten Brosda says of the exhibition:” The history of clothing is the history of man. The history of fashion is the history of our social self-image. “Dressed” tells both the story of individual lives and the spirit of the times. The exhibition traces our understanding of aesthetics, the relationship between no-go’s and avant-garde, do’s and don’ts and as a whole is a symbol of possibilities. With the exhibition „Dressed”, the MK&G once again sensitises us to the social value of clothing in a time of material hyperconsumption.”
               
SEVEN PERSONALITIES – SEVEN WARDROBES
The earliest apparel ensemble, which once belonged to ELISE FRÄNCKEL (1807 – 1898), consists mainly of accessories and reveals the up to date fashion sense of the senator’s wife from Oldenburg in Holstein around 1820. The wardrobe of the diplomat’s wife EDITH VON MALTZAN FREIFRAU ZU WARTENBERG UND PENZLIN (1886 – 1976) includes elegant daywear and exquisite afternoon and evening attire from the years 1895 to 1950. The life and clothing of ERIKA HOLST (1917 – 1946) were shaped by war and her illness with tuberculosis. Dating from 1935 to 1945, her wardrobe contains mostly daywear. The Hamburg gallery owner and museum founder ELKE DRÖSCHER (b. 1941) wore almost exclusively pret-à-porter models by Yves Saint Laurent between 1968 and 1986, opting for a form of “power dressing”. INES ORTNER (b. 1968), active in Hamburg’s punk scene since the mid-1980s, combines an interest in fashion with a socio-critical stance in her ”self-constructed”, in some cases anarchic clothing objects. ANGELICA BLECHSCHMIDT (1942 – 2018), editor-in-chief of German Vogues from 1989 to 2002, clad herself in high-end products from international fashion houses as befitting position. Her “work uniform” consisted of little black dresses in combination with chunky costume jewellery. The art and design collector ANNE LÜHN (b. 1944) has over the years donated individual pieces from her wardrobe to MK&G. The often asymmetrical garments created by an international design avant-garde display an aesthetic of resistance.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF FASHION
The seven wardrobes selected for the show shed light on the development of fashion since the early nineteenth century. The items on view can be seen in one sense as an abstract succession of generations. The Second World War marked a clear turning point in terms of women’s opportunities, as revealed by the marital status and occupation of the carious women portrayed. Women born after 1940 were no longer confined to the role of mother, wife and house wife but were able to pursue their own professional goals. The garments also tell of contemporary political and social developments. The rigid corset disappeared after the First World War, roughly concurrently with the rise of women’s suffrage. The proliferation of trousers in women’s fashion from the 1970s onwards went hand in hand with the women’s liberation movement. And in the 1980s, an increasing plurality of clothing styles reflected developments in society at large.
          
CLOTHING AS AN ARCHIVE
The design of the exhibition is inspired by the concept of an archive. Reference is thus made to the museum’s mission of collecting and research but also to the archival function of clothing itself, which serves as a material but also to the archival function of clothing itself, which serves as a material witness to the history of design, technology and trade. At the same time, garments perpetuate the traces of individual bodies, movement and use, providing immaterial clues to the wearer’s aura and calling to mind notions of femininity, beauty and chic as well as personal and collective memories.
 
CLOTHING AS OBJECT OF DAILY USE
Garments are everyday items inscribed with signs of their use and of the body that wears them and bearing the marks of material wear and tear and of storage. These visible marks are just as unwelcome in private wardrobes as they are in museum collections – and yet they prove to be extremely valuable as evidence for object-based research. The exhibition therefore also shows objects with clear signs of wear and provides information about their state of preservation.

CLOTHING AS A MEANS OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION
Clothing norms and dress codes depend on factors such as age, gender, body shape, occasion, location, status and social group. We already start learning in childhood how to navigate this maze of rules and find the right mix for ourselves between conformity and individuality. As demonstrated by the biographies recounted here, fashion and a preoccupation with how we look is even today primarily a topic for women and people who read as female. Women are judged more by their appearance that their male counterparts and
are held to account more harshly for ostensible “mistakes” in how they present themselves. The role dress plays in social communication cannot be overestimated. Its effect is immediate. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we send and receive signals with our clothes bodies – not to communicate is impossible.

FASION HOUSES AND DESIGNERS REPRESENTED
The exhibition provides a detailed look at high-quality items of clothing in the MK&G collection along with glimpses of the creative work of a wide range of both anonymous makers and famous national and international fashion designers, couturiers/couturières and ateliers, including Georges Doeuillet, Romeo Gigli, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, Alice Lanot, Emilienne Manassé, Maison Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake, Rick Owens, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Elsa Schiaparelli, Worth, Yohji Yamamoto and others.

CATALOGUE
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue of the same name, published by Hirmer Verlag Munich, edited by Turga Beyerle and Angelika Riley, and with essays by Claire Beermann, Turga Beyerle, Joanne Entwistle, Birgit Haase, Peter Kempe, Ingrid E. Mida, Angelika Riley and Maria Stavel, and photographs ny Anne Schönharting. In German with two essays in English, ca. 250 pages, ca. 475 colour illustrations, 90 of them full-page plates, 49.90 Euro.

Ingo Offermanns (Hamburg) is responsible for the graphic design of the catalogue and exhibition. The exhibition architecture is the work of designer and scenographer Katleen Arthen (Berlin).

EDUCTAIONAL PROGRAMM
As part of the exhibition, the MK&G is organising numerous analogue and digital guided tours, including the exhibition tour “With Pen and paper” – a drawing workshop on the seven wardrobes on display with the artist Anne Pflug. You can participate in the exhibition via MK6G’s social media channels: Which favourite piece of clothing should be preserved for posterity? The best photos and stories that are shared with MK&G links can be seen digitally in the exhibition shortly afterwards. More information on the event programme on the website under CALENDAR.

The exhibition is made possible by funds from the Exhibition Fund of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hubertus Wald Foundation and the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation.

Source:

Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe, Hamburg

(c) Ligne Roset
22.02.2022

Home textile trends for 2022: A craving for constancy

Sometimes loud, sometimes very gentle – but always on the move: the world of textiles has real expertise in the art of the quick change. The home textile trends for 2022 see nature quietly and discreetly settling inside our homes, making a clear statement – it’s time to take a fresh look at familiar things.

Home textile trends for 2022: back to basics
Before the pandemic, our homes were just one part of our lives. We spent much of the day out and about. The coronavirus pandemic changed all that. Many people spent more time within their own four walls than ever before – our homes took on a central role in our lives. “Home living” became an inescapable theme last year. In times when instability seems to be everywhere, many people switch their focus to the essentials and crave security and peace, turning their homes into a natural refuge where they can recharge their batteries. This trend is also influencing the interiors and lifestyle sector.

Sometimes loud, sometimes very gentle – but always on the move: the world of textiles has real expertise in the art of the quick change. The home textile trends for 2022 see nature quietly and discreetly settling inside our homes, making a clear statement – it’s time to take a fresh look at familiar things.

Home textile trends for 2022: back to basics
Before the pandemic, our homes were just one part of our lives. We spent much of the day out and about. The coronavirus pandemic changed all that. Many people spent more time within their own four walls than ever before – our homes took on a central role in our lives. “Home living” became an inescapable theme last year. In times when instability seems to be everywhere, many people switch their focus to the essentials and crave security and peace, turning their homes into a natural refuge where they can recharge their batteries. This trend is also influencing the interiors and lifestyle sector.

Pure nature in colour and form
The connection between nature and home living is becoming increasingly important when it comes to textile design. It’s a matter of creating a symbiosis between natural materials, colours and textiles to infuse rooms with a warm atmosphere. Soft textures, amorphous shapes and muted earthy tones define the home textile trends for 2022.

Rediscovering the classics: bouclé & corduroy
When most people think of bouclé, the first image that springs to mind is probably the world-famous and timeless Coco Chanel suit from the 1950s. In the 1980s and 1990s, the fabric disappeared from the trend radar. But this year it’s celebrating a fantastic comeback in interior design. Bouclé hits just the right spot between soft and hard-wearing. The upholstery is typically made of cotton and is especially durable. Whether on a sofa, armchair, cushion or as curtains, bouclé fabric is a real all-rounder and gives any room a cosy vibe. Paired with wood or metal, it softens the more hard-edged elements.

Another tactile highlight from days gone by is enjoying a revival, too – corduroy. A timeless classic that is quite rightly settling back in to our homes. Its soft structure means the fabric is well-suited for sofas and seating furniture of various kinds, with its characteristic vertical furrows making the material particularly exciting. And best of all, corduroy fits into any interior design style with ease – contrary to its stereotype of being stuffy.

A mix & match of natural materials and shapes
Natural materials like linen, wool and wood immediately lend an organic, vibrant quality to any home. The natural connection is especially apparent from last year’s DIY boom, with many walls now adorned by macramé – decorative art made by knotting wool. Cushions and blankets made of woven and braided wool in muted cream tones also create a natural and cosy look. Organic patterns and structures inspired by nature are now a must in every home.

Catapulted straight into the 2022 textile trends from the fashion world, “organic camouflage” gives camo patterns a makeover. In warm earth and pastel shades, this on-trend motif calls to mind soft, sandy beaches, the sea or the forest. On a rug or a cushion, “organic camouflage” creates a vibrant look when paired with a low-key couch.

Take the plunge with bold patterns
Whether on wallpaper, rugs or accessories, floral prints in sumptuous colour combinations are still in fashion when it comes to fabric design. In dark shades of green, they forge an elegant connection to nature, and dramatic floral prints on wallpaper make a statement in any room. But even small accessories and decorative elements like floral cushions or blankets on a monochrome sofa or armchair can have a big impact. Combined with light hues and patterns, the overall result is a harmonious interplay of colours and textures. Alongside floral textiles, upholstered furniture with geometric prints is a trend that demands the courage to be different. Large and small geometric patterns add depth to any material and are an artful way of bringing life into the home.

Sustainable materials and textiles
The global sustainability trend also raises questions concerning textile production. Where does the product come from? Is the manufacturing process environmentally friendly? The textile industry has responded with fabrics made from recycled polyester or resource-friendly hemp, cork as a substitute for wood, or fair-trade organic cotton. Alternatives to animal-derived fabrics are also becoming more common in the textile industry. Vegetarian or vegan leather can be produced from many natural resources, from apples and pineapples to mushrooms and cacti. The range of sustainable and environmentally friendly textiles has expanded in recent years and is expected to continue to grow.

Source:

imm cologne / Koelnmesse

photo: pixabay
04.01.2022

EU Project: System Circularity & Innovative Recycling of Textiles

SCIRT stands for System Circularity & Innovative Recycling of Textiles. Coordinated by VITO, an independent Flemish research organisation in the cleantech and sustainable development sector, SCIRT is a three year EU-funded project from the Horizon 2020 Programme.

It aims to demonstrate a complete textile-to-textile recycling system for discarded clothing—or post-consumer textiles—involving stakeholders throughout the value chain and focusing on the recycling of natural fibres, synthetic fibres and fibre blends. To reach this goal, the project has set four main objectives.

SCIRT stands for System Circularity & Innovative Recycling of Textiles. Coordinated by VITO, an independent Flemish research organisation in the cleantech and sustainable development sector, SCIRT is a three year EU-funded project from the Horizon 2020 Programme.

It aims to demonstrate a complete textile-to-textile recycling system for discarded clothing—or post-consumer textiles—involving stakeholders throughout the value chain and focusing on the recycling of natural fibres, synthetic fibres and fibre blends. To reach this goal, the project has set four main objectives.

  • Deliver a closed-loop recycling solution for discarded textiles.
  • Stimulate and encourage conscious design as well as production practices.
  • Create new business opportunities by boosting textile value chain activity.
  • Raise awareness of the environmental and social impacts of buying clothes.

Gathering 18 partners from five countries, the SCIRT project held its virtual kick-off meeting in mid-2021 to begin tackling the issue of clothing waste and recyclability, one of the biggest challenges faced in the fashion industry today.

As clothing brands are setting ambitious targets and making promises to incorporate recycled fibres in their products, discarded textiles are piling up in abundance around the globe. Though it would seem that the stars of supply and demand have aligned for this part of the circular economy, the truth is that less than 1% of textile waste is recycled into new textile fibres, according to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation report published in 2017. This miniscule percentage is indicative of a greater problem-achieving circularity in the fashion industry is not just a question of supply and demand, but of the connection between the two. There is a lack of knowledge surrounding the technological, economic and environmental feasibility of recycling fibre mixtures, and a need to align the quality and cost of recycling processes with the demands of textile companies and fashion brands.

SCIRT will develop solutions to support systemic innovation towards a more circular fashion system and bridge this supply-demand gap. To address the demand side of the equation, SCIRT will demonstrate a complete textile-to-textile recycling system for discarded clothing, otherwise known as post-consumer textiles, involving stakeholders throughout the value chain and focusing on the recycling of natural and synthetic fibres, as well as fibre blends. With the support of technical partners and research institutes, clothing brands Decathlon, Petit Bateau, Bel & Bo, HNST and Xandres, will develop, prototype and produce six different representative types of apparel using post-consumer recycled fibres. These include formal and casual wear, sportswear, underwear and uniforms. Through this endeavour, SCIRT will prioritise quality and cost-effectiveness in order to ensure market confidence and encourage the broad uptake of post-consumer recycled fibres.

From a non-technological perspective, SCIRT will develop supporting policy measures and tools to facilitate the transition towards a circular system for apparel. This includes a framework for an eco-modulated Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system and a True Cost Model to quantify circularity and increase value chain transparency. Special attention will also be given to the consumer perspective. To this end, Citizen Labs engaging consumers in various European locations, as well as a wider online engagement platform, will be developed to engage citizens throughout the project in order to understand the perceptions, motivations and emotions shaping their behaviour regarding the purchase, use, and disposal of textiles.

Over the next three years, SCIRT project partners will work to overcome current technological, economic, socio-economic and regulatory barriers faced in textiles recycling to achieve a real, lasting circular fashion economy.

2021:
The SCIRT project kicks off and partners identify the current state-of-the-art in apparel design, production and recycling, challenges and market trends, and stakeholder needs.

2022:
Designing and testing a fibre-to-fibre system by producing recycled yarns and filaments, free from harmful substances.

2023:
Formal wear, casual wear, sportswear, underwear and uniforms will be designed and produced using the optimized yarns developed.

Partners

  • Fashion companies: Bel&Bo, HNST, Decathlon, Xandres, Petit Bateau
  • Research organisations: VITO, CETI, Prospex Institute
  • Universities: BOKU, TU Wien, ESTIA
  • Industry players: Altex, AVS Spinning - A European Spinning Group (ESG) Company, Valvan
  • SMEs: Circular.fashion, FFact
  • Non-profit organisations: Flanders DC, IID-SII

 

ALTEX
ALTEX is a textile recycling company based in Germany that employs state-of-the-art machinery to recycle textile waste into new high-quality products. Its products include teared fibres, natural fibres, synthetic fibres and fibre blends among others.

Bel & Bo
Bel&Bo is a family-owned Belgian business with about 95 retail stores located throughout Belgium. Its mission is to offer colourful, fashionable and sustainably produced clothing for men, women and children at an affordable price.

CETI
The European Center for Innovative Textiles (CETI) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to conceiving, experimenting with and prototyping innovative textile materials and products through both private and collaborative R&D projects.

circular.fashion
circular.fashion offers software for circular design, intelligent textile sorting and closed-loop recycling, including the Circular Design Software and the circularity.ID®, as well as training and hands-on support to fashion brands in their transitions.

Decathlon
With over 315 stores in France, and 1,511 around the world, Decathlon has been innovating since 1976 to become the main player for athletic people. It has been engaged in reducing its environmental impact through a number of actions.

ESG
The European Spinning Group (ESG) is a textile group based in Belgium that offers a range of yarns produced with a highly technological open-end spinning mill for different applications, such as for interiors, fashion and technical textiles.

ESTIA
ESTIA is a French institute that has provided education and training in the areas of industrial technologies for 20 years. Since 2017, ESTIA has had a program focused on new materials and disruptive process in the fashion and textile industry.

FFACT
FFact is a unique group of management consultants that facilitates the implementation of sustainability from a business perspective, and translates facts into useful management information. FFact is based in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Flanders DC
The Flanders District of Creativity, a non-profit organisation based in Belgium, informs, coaches, promotes and inspires creative entrepreneurs in various sectors, including the fashion industry, who want to build or grow their business.

HNST
HNST is a Belgian circular denim brand that recovers post-consumer denim and recycles it into new fabric in the EU, creating durable and 100% recyclable jeans that use 82% less water and emit 76% less carbon dioxide than conventional jeans.

Petit Bateau
Petit Bateau is a French apparel brand that specialises in knit products. As a vertical company, Petit Bateau carries out its own knitting, dyeing, making up and store management with the support of its 3,000 employees.

Prospex Institute
The Prospex Institute aims to promote the participation of citizens and stakeholders in socially relevant decision-making dialogue and development by engaging with theorists and practitioners both in Belgium and abroad.

IID-SII
The Sustainable Innovation Institute is a French non-profit association based in Paris. Initiated by LGI, a French SME, the purpose of IID-SII is to act as a think and do tank on sustainable innovation to support the adoption of novel solutions.

TU Wien
TU Wien is an open academic institution where research, teaching and learning have taken place under the motto “Technology for people” for the past 200 years. One of its key areas of research is on recycling technology and fibre innovation.

BOKU
Research at the Institute for Environmental Biotechnology of BOKU based in Vienna, Austria focus on the exploitation of enzymes as powerful biocatalysts for biomaterials processing within recycling applications.

Valvan
Valvan Baling Systems has 30 years of experience in designing and constructing custom-made machinery, specialising in Baling Machines and Sorting Facilities for fibre producers, collectors, sorters and recyclers of textiles.

VITO
VITO, a leading independent European research and technology organisation in the cleantech and sustainable development sectors, aims to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society by developing sustainable technologies.

Xandres
Xandres is a brand inspired by and for women. It is rooted in a highly respected tradition of fashion, driven by quality and created for the life women lead today. Xandres offers innovative designs with respect for luxury and the environment.

Photo: Pixabay
21.12.2021

Consumption after Corona: Consumers focus on Quality and Sustainability

Study by Roland Berger and Potloc

  • Consumers expect more quality (67%) and sustainability (51%) from brands and products
  • Small retail stores are trendy and score with exclusive product range
  • Furniture, household and garden articles remain in focus

The Covid pandemic has changed the purchasing behavior. Consumers are focusing primarily on brands with high quality standards (67%) and sustainable products (51%). Even though the trend towards online shopping remains unbroken, small stores in particular can score points with exclusive product ranges. Almost a third (32%) of consumers visit these types of stores more frequently than before the crisis. These are the core findings of the "Decoding Consumer Behavior" study published in fall 2021 by Roland Berger and Potloc, for which 2,100 consumers from twelve countries were surveyed.

Study by Roland Berger and Potloc

  • Consumers expect more quality (67%) and sustainability (51%) from brands and products
  • Small retail stores are trendy and score with exclusive product range
  • Furniture, household and garden articles remain in focus

The Covid pandemic has changed the purchasing behavior. Consumers are focusing primarily on brands with high quality standards (67%) and sustainable products (51%). Even though the trend towards online shopping remains unbroken, small stores in particular can score points with exclusive product ranges. Almost a third (32%) of consumers visit these types of stores more frequently than before the crisis. These are the core findings of the "Decoding Consumer Behavior" study published in fall 2021 by Roland Berger and Potloc, for which 2,100 consumers from twelve countries were surveyed.

"Overall, consumers are much more positive about the future and, for the most part, do not want to cut back further in 2022. This is good news for retailers, who had to overcome an unprecedented cut with the pandemic," says Thorsten de Boer, Partner at Roland Berger. "However, brands and retailers should take into account that consumers have different priorities when making decisions today. They also expect a consistent online presence across platforms and devices more than ever. And when they enter a store, they are looking for an exclusive experience."

Customers focus on goods for their own homes and everyday needs
In the immediate purchasing decision, value for money (68%) and quality (56%) are the most important criteria for consumers. Here, too, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. One-third want to give even greater consideration to this criterion in the future. Sustainability has finally reached the consumer," says Richard Federowski, Partner at Roland Berger.

A look at the shopping baskets shows that the focus continues to be on products for everyday needs and the home (furniture, household and garden articles). 37% have spent more money on food this year, for example, and 29% also want to make additional investments here in 2022. "The trend towards cocooning, i.e. retreating into a private domestic life, continues to have an impact. The demand for business outfits, will tend to remain at a low level in the near future," says Federowski. "Fashion from the sports and leisure sector also continues to be in high demand, and sustainability aspects will increasingly have to be taken into account in collections. However, purchases here will be made primarily online because it is simply more convenient for most people."

City center retailers can score with customer service and product ranges
Online retailing continues to gain ground globally. Online retailing continues to gain ground globally. A third of the people surveyed said they would order more online in 2021 than in the previous year. Above all, free delivery and the ability to return items easily and free of charge are important to customers. "Consumers have learned how convenient and fast online shopping can be, and this is true across all product categories - including groceries to an increasing extent," says de Boer. Services such as (virtual) advice, click-and-collect or live shopping currently play only a minor role in online shopping, but will become essential in the future.

The situation is very different when it comes to shopping in stores. German consumers in particular are flocking to city centers to enjoy the benefits of personal advice (51%). While frequencies are not yet at pre-Corona levels, conversion rates are very good. They also want to access exclusive product ranges (37%) and celebrate their shopping. "Therein lies an opportunity for retailers and city centers," says de Boer. "However, in order to compete, even small retailers can no longer do it without a digital component. To do so, they need to take their exclusive experiences to social platforms. They also know their clientele well and often sit on valuable data - this potential of 'small data' and 'communities' needs to be tapped."

The study in English can be downloaded here.

Source:

Roland Berger and Potloc

(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) PERFORMANCE DAYS
16.11.2021

PERFORMANCE DAYS 2021: Hybrid Event in December

From December 1 to 2, 2021, the industry will meet up again live at the trade fair center in Munich. Trade visitors, industry insiders and experts can look forward to inter-personal exchanges, intensive networking, exciting fabric innovations and various other program highlights. The fair will go ahead in strict compliance with the current official hygiene regulations and in close cooperation with the Messe München authorities. Planned as a hybrid event, PERFORMANCE DAYS offers the possibility to follow what is on offer digitally.

From December 1 to 2, 2021, the industry will meet up again live at the trade fair center in Munich. Trade visitors, industry insiders and experts can look forward to inter-personal exchanges, intensive networking, exciting fabric innovations and various other program highlights. The fair will go ahead in strict compliance with the current official hygiene regulations and in close cooperation with the Messe München authorities. Planned as a hybrid event, PERFORMANCE DAYS offers the possibility to follow what is on offer digitally.

Live in Munich: PERFORMANCE DAYS in Hall A6
In Hall A6 on the grounds of the New Trade Center in Munich, trade visitors can look forward to an extensive portfolio of exhibitors showcasing their latest functional textiles and fabric innovations for the upcoming winter season, winter 2023/24. Exhibitors who are unable to present their highlights on site can also be accessed via the PERFORMANCE DAYS LOOP digital platform throughout the course of the fair. As part of the newly developed “remote booths” concept, trade visitors will for the first time also find collections from exhibitors who cannot be in Munich in person for the trade show. Interactive exchanges via chat, call or video call is planned.

Two further PERFORMANCE DAYS fairs are planned as live events: The Functional Fabric Fair by PERFORMANCE DAYS in Portland, Oregon, USA on November 17-18, 2021 and Functional Textiles Shanghai by PERFORMANCE DAYS on December 6-7, 2021. Registration is open at www.functionalfabricfair.com/ and www.functionaltextilesshanghai.com/

PERFORMANCE FORUM together with USA Fair
As part of the PERFORMANCE FORUM, a select jury of experts assembles for two days prior to the fair to exchange views on the latest fabric innovations for the winter 23/24 season. In order to ensure a more global market overview, the PERFORMANCE FORUM will curate highlights for the first time in conjunction with the US fair in Portland. Consequently, the next fair in Munich will not only feature the latest products from exhibitors at the Munich fair, but also highlights from the fair in Portland. This year’s Focus Topic in cooperation with the Vaude Academy will engage with the topic “The Sustainable Future of Nylon” and a specific hand-chosen selection of fabric materials. Furthermore, as part of the winter fair, the “sustain & innovate” conference on sustainability, organized in close cooperation with SAZsport, will take an in-depth look at the topic comprising all its aspects along with speakers, webinars and discussion rounds. The program will be broadcast live from the fair and thus accessible for all who wish to follow it online in digital form.  

Eco Award and Performance Award for Innovative Winter Fabrics 23/24
This year, in addition to a PERFORMANCE AWARD, the jury also presented an ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD. An integral part of the winter edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS is the presentation of the fabric highlights and accessory trends in the respective categories for the Winter Season 2023/24 at the PERFORMANCE FORUM. The well-known segments will be joined for the first time this winter by the Shoes & Bags category, while the renowned Lifestyle Category will be continued under its new title, “Function Meets Fashion”. The high level of innovation and quality of many of the fabrics submitted this year are particularly striking.

“The fusion of the two PERFORMANCE FORUMs of our fairs in Munich and Portland has lead to a significant increase in quality and innovation. Thanks to the new partnership, not only were we able to get new, exciting manufacturers on board, but there was also a significant increase in participation in general“, says Marco Weichert, CEO of PERFORMANCE DAYS.

Natural fabrics such as organic cotton, wool or canvas remain in demand. These are joined by significantly more plant fibers such as hemp, coconut shell, bamboo or fibers derived from pineapple or banana leaves. The additional use of castor oil, zinc or ginger supports the antibacterial effect, ensures enhanced breathability, optimum temperature management and makes the fabric soft, light and kind to the skin. The topic of recycling presents itself in various new facets and features exciting trends. The portfolio ranges from the recycling of marine waste, such as old buoys, plastic waste or fishing nets, to the recycling of waste from the automotive and computer industries, such as old car tires or computer chips. Natural dyeing methods are also gaining increasing importance, as is the recycling of materials into the textile loop.

In the Marketplace, visitors have the opportunity to view over 13,000+ products from exhibitors, including the fabric highlights of the individual categories at the PERFORMANCE FORUM. In order to be able to present the fabrics to the digital visitors as realistically as possible in terms of feel, design and structure, the PERFORMANCE FORUM has been equipped with groundbreaking 3D technology, including innovative tools such as 3D images, video animations and U3M files for download.

In addition to the PERFORMANCE AWARD WINNER, which goes to drielease/Optimer, there is also an ECO PERFORMANCE AWARD WINNER, awarded to Long Advance.

Completely new look: With the innovative Dricomfort Geo, drirelease turns to a blend of 6 % Lycra, 44 % polyester and 50 % recycled polyester. The processing of the various fibers in the knitting process, in combination with the Dricomfort GEO finishing, makes the reversible interlock fabric unique.

Unique, new pattern and knit designs are possible thanks to a special jacquard knitting process used to process the recycled polyester yarn. The material impresses with its lightness and versatility. The GEO technology also ensures optimal body temperature management. The adaptable technology provides excellent thermal regulation features through efficient heat management and enhanced moisture transport to optimize comfort and performance. Moreover, GEO boasts UV protection up to 50+.

New recycling variant: Long Advance presents LNT-21191-Z4C, a post consumer nylon that opens up a new world to recycling. The fabric, which consists of 7 % elastane and 93% recycled polyamide via Mass Balance, introduces new facets to the topic of recycling. BASF is using tire waste from now on and processes them into a new fiber. fiber. Due to the recycling, the need for synthetic fabrics are reduced to replace petroleum-based plastics with plastics made from renewable raw materials.

(c) FESPA
02.11.2021

FESPA back with first live events in Europe

FESPA has kick-started business recovery in the speciality print and signage communities with the successful return of FESPA Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo 2021 (12 – 15 October 2021) after a two-year gap.

The first live FESPA events in Europe since Spring 2019 attracted a strong audience dominated by business leaders, who came with an appetite to update their industry knowledge with a view to short- and medium-term investment.

FESPA has kick-started business recovery in the speciality print and signage communities with the successful return of FESPA Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo 2021 (12 – 15 October 2021) after a two-year gap.

The first live FESPA events in Europe since Spring 2019 attracted a strong audience dominated by business leaders, who came with an appetite to update their industry knowledge with a view to short- and medium-term investment.

International audience of senior decision-makers
Visitors came from more than 100 countries, with a strong emphasis on the Benelux region and Germany which accounted for 49% of the audience, in line with expectations given the location in Amsterdam. Other strongly represented countries were Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland. As anticipated, the challenges for long-haul travellers due to COVID-related restrictions resulted in fewer visitors from outside Europe than usual for a Global Print Expo event. In total, the events attracted 7,850 unique visitors, 42% of whom attended for more than one day, bringing total visits to 11,130.

Close to half of all visitors (44%) were owners or managing directors, reinforcing the significance of the event as a springboard for business recovery and forward planning. Two in three visitors influence or make final purchasing decisions in their business.

54% of visitors stated that they were visiting FESPA for the first time, indicating a thirst for market knowledge, insight and inspiration following the commercial challenges of the pandemic.

Sources of inspiration
Printeriors was once again a popular attraction for visitors. Inspired by nature and curated by FESPA’s Textile Ambassador, Debbie McKeegan, the feature highlighted digitally printed applications targeted at printers operating in or looking to expand into interior décor. In collaboration with industry suppliers including Imageco, Kornit Digital, PONGS, swissQprint and TTS, the products displayed were produced using a series of high-end technologies, print processes and materials.

The World Wrap Masters Europe 2021 competition was also a key area of interest. In addition to a series of demonstrations and workshops from wrap experts, visitors saw competitors battle it out for the title of the “World Wrap Master of Europe 2021”. On day four, Norman Brübach from Germany was crowned the winner and will go on to compete against regional champions in the World Wrap Masters Final 2022 at FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 in Berlin.

For members of the community unable to attend the event in person, FESPA and its exhibitors provided an array of live-streamed and virtual content. The FESPA Live sessions involved conversations with key exhibitors, printers and print experts on the latest trends and innovations and these attracted 5,125 views throughout the four-day event. The recordings of the sessions are also still available to watch on demand.

Neil Felton, FESPA CEO comments: “Feedback from exhibitors was effusive, with many commenting on the upbeat mood among visitors, the unmatched value of face-to-face conversations with senior decision-makers, the enthusiasm for the new technologies and consumables on display, and the overriding sense of optimism for the future. The buzz in the halls was energising and the impression was that delegates felt very confident and happy to be in a live event environment again after such a long time.”

Neil Felton concludes: “The past two years have undoubtedly been challenging for everyone in our community. To move forward, printers and signmakers need to unearth new opportunities, explore the latest technologies and meet with peers to share ideas. This year’s events were an important milestone in our collective recovery and we hope that our next Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo, which will return to Messe Berlin, Germany, from 31 May – 3 June 2022, will finally put our whole global community back in motion.”

(c) Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann
26.10.2021

A+A 2021: Restart for Trade Fairs in Düsseldorf

  • World's leading trade fair for safe and healthy working offers central platform for personal exchange within the industry

The responsible handling of the issues of safety and health at work has once again moved into the focus of society and politics due to the pandemic. At A+A 2021, which begins on 26, October 2021, these topics have been the focus since its premiere. Under the motto "People matter", A+A 2021 will present everything to do with personal protection, occupational safety and health at work from 26 to 29 October. More than 1,200 exhibitors from 56 nations will present themselves to trade visitors in 10 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.

  • World's leading trade fair for safe and healthy working offers central platform for personal exchange within the industry

The responsible handling of the issues of safety and health at work has once again moved into the focus of society and politics due to the pandemic. At A+A 2021, which begins on 26, October 2021, these topics have been the focus since its premiere. Under the motto "People matter", A+A 2021 will present everything to do with personal protection, occupational safety and health at work from 26 to 29 October. More than 1,200 exhibitors from 56 nations will present themselves to trade visitors in 10 halls at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.

"The anticipation for the fair was great. This year we were particularly looking forward to the personal exchange with the industry. The positive exhibitor feedback confirms that the players in occupational health and safety want a live platform. And with the A+A we deliver what only a trade fair can offer. Tactile product presentations and innovations as well as planned and accidental encounters with the entire industry," says Birgit Horn, Project Director A+A.

Exciting topics and best practices at the A+A Congress
Parallel to the A+A trade fair, the 37th International Congress for Occupational Safety and Health deals with numerous current topics and challenges of the scene. It is organised by the Federal Working Group for Safety and Health at Work (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit, Basi). In more than 25 series of events, well-founded specialist knowledge and current political topics are conveyed and intensively discussed for all stakeholders in matters of safety and health at work, on site and in some cases also digitally. "Even the opening event will be interesting. Social partners and other stakeholders will discuss the impact of the pandemic on occupational safety and health and the return to the 'new normal' that is now beginning," says Basi Managing Director Dr Christian Felten.

At the A+A Congress, renowned experts from the field of occupational safety and health will provide answers to central questions such as: How does the digitalisation of work affect the health and safety of employees? How do I, as an occupational safety specialist, advise companies and employees on this? How should decentralised workplaces be managed in a safe and healthy way? How do you determine a healthy balance between mobile and stationary work? What is the need for occupational prevention in the case of musculoskeletal stress and what is the current need for prevention in the case of activities involving carcinogenic hazardous substances and bio-substances? There are many interesting events on this and many other topics, further information can be found at www.basi.de/kongress. .

Trend topics at the A+A 2021
Digital performance and sustainability determine the current discussion and will continue to strongly influence the future of work. In addition to these two megatrends at A+A 2021, the focus of the framework programme is on solutions for the future (Future Solutions), new working worlds (New Work) and the topic of hygiene and pandemics.

A+A Live: Experience safe and healthy work with all senses
Best practices using state-of-the-art products and processes will be communicated under the label "A+A live" in the Trend Forum, the Theme Park Operational Fire Protection and Emergency Management, the Robotics Park and the Start UP Zone.

In Hall 10, trade visitors will find the Safety and Health Meeting Point, the competence centre for all occupational health and safety issues. This is where Basi's member and partner organisations present themselves..

The Robotics Park is also located in Hall 10, it is divided into the Self Experience Space and the Exoworkathlon. The partner of the Robotics Park is the Fraunhofer IPA from Stuttgart.
In the Self Experience Space, the following manufacturers of exoskeleton solutions will be presenting their products, which visitors can try out for themselves:  Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, Japet Medical Devices SAS, Iturri, German Bionic Systems GmbH, Ergoschutz GmbH, suitX Inc, hTRIUS GmbH, Levitate Technologies Inc. and Laevo B.V.

The Exoworkathlon is a live study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and the Institute for Industrial Manufacturing and Management at the University of Stuttgart (IFF) in which young test subjects (trainees and technical students) run through a course once with and once without an exoskeleton. The data collected during the Exoworkathlon is used to scientifically evaluate the extent to which these exoskeletons reduce muscular and skeletal strain and increase performance.

In Hall 4, expert lectures on the topics of digitalisation + safety, digitalisation + health, sustainability, protection and hygiene as well as safe handling of hazardous substances will provide an insight into current developments in the Trend Forum.

The Corporate Fashion Lounge is located in Hall 5. Here, trade visitors can find out about the latest trends in fashionable workwear and experience how versatile modern workwear is today. At the same time, the lounge provides an outlook on the future role that corporate fashion will play at the trade fair from A+A 2023 onwards.

In Hall 6, trade visitors will find the action area on industrial fire protection and emergency management, organised by the Bundesverband Betrieblicher Brandschutz / Werkfeuerwehrverband Deutschland (WFVD). Several live demonstrations will simulate the use of chemical protective suits (CSA) in the event of the escape of toxic substances in the event of an accident and demonstrate the correct prevention.

More information:
A+A
Source:

Messe Düsseldorf

(c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH or Messe Frankfurt GmbH
05.10.2021

Heimtextil 2022: International Reunion eagerly awaited

Meeting business partners, discovering new products and gaining inspiration – all will be possible again when Heimtextil 2022 opens its doors in Frankfurt am Main from 11 to 14 January. With registrations from around 1,600 exhibitors from 50 countries, the Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles anticipates a highly promising return to the international stage. The Heimtextil Team has begun the decisive preparatory phase for this international meeting place for the sector with great commitment and enthusiasm.

Meeting business partners, discovering new products and gaining inspiration – all will be possible again when Heimtextil 2022 opens its doors in Frankfurt am Main from 11 to 14 January. With registrations from around 1,600 exhibitors from 50 countries, the Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles anticipates a highly promising return to the international stage. The Heimtextil Team has begun the decisive preparatory phase for this international meeting place for the sector with great commitment and enthusiasm.

“With four months still to go, there has been a tremendous response to Heimtextil 2022, especially from the international side. The yearning for personal encounters and the chance to examine the latest products in reality is greater than ever before. We are looking forward very much to welcoming the sector back to our fair and exhibition centre and have complete confidence that Heimtextil 2022 will be a safe and successful event for all concerned”, says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt.

Trendsetting themes and a multifaceted product spectrum
In addition to the extensive spectrum of products to be seen, Heimtextil 2022 will offer inspiration and an attractive range of information services and events to help visitors discover the latest market developments in the sector. In particular, the presentation of the Heimtextil Trends provides in-depth insights into tomorrow’s furnishing themes. Also at Heimtextil, Interior.Architecture.Hospitality will spotlight offers for (interior) architects and hospitality experts. Moreover, particular emphasis will be given to the on-trend subject of healthy sleep, including numerous advisory services and products for the specialist bed trade. In this connection, the Heimtextil Sleep & More Conference will be a meeting place for representatives of the specialist bed trade with a high-grade programme of lectures, discussions and product presentations to choose from. Another important focal point at Heimtextil 2022 will be far‑reaching aspects for greater sustainability. Naturally, detailed information will also be available about this topic. Other highlights include presentations by Trevira and DecoTeam.

Digital services to supplement the trade fair
The range of products and information at Heimtextil 2022 will be rounded off by a blend of digital services. For example, the complete spectrum of Heimtextil Trends will be available for the first time in digital form – richly illustrated and visualised with the latest colours, designer features and short films. The Future Materials Library is also online with a first-class selection of sustainable material innovations. Also in planning are videos on demand about many of the items on the programme and tours of the fair via audio guides.

Another digital service provided by Messe Frankfurt is the order and data-management portal Nextrade, which offers a digital 24/7 business relationship between dealers and suppliers. The first digital B2B marketplace for the home and living, Nextrade brings together the demand and supply sides of the whole sector online and thus generates substantial value added for both sides.

(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.

(c) Messe Frankfurt GmbH / SPOTT for Heimtextil
07.09.2021

Next Horizons: Heimtextil presents Trends 2022/23

With “Next Horizons”, Heimtextil is presenting its design forecast for the new season 2022/23 – analysed by international trend researchers and packed with valuable inspiration and inspiring content. The new trend themes take sustainability and resource conservation in the heart of their approach. The international trade fair for home and contract textiles takes place from 11 to 14 January 2022 in Frankfurt am Main.

With “Next Horizons”, Heimtextil is presenting its design forecast for the new season 2022/23 – analysed by international trend researchers and packed with valuable inspiration and inspiring content. The new trend themes take sustainability and resource conservation in the heart of their approach. The international trade fair for home and contract textiles takes place from 11 to 14 January 2022 in Frankfurt am Main.

Three international design agencies form the Heimtextil Trend Council. Together, they develop a well-founded global vision of the coming interior trends. Alongside the Heimtextil Trend Council, Heimtextil management has established a trend forecast for the coming season and presented it live via an online conference on 1 September 2021 from Frankfurt am Main. Trend Council members Anja Bisgaard Gaede from SPOTT trends & business, Anne Marie Commandeur from Stiljinstituut Amsterdam and Kate Franklin and Caroline Till from London studio FranklinTill shared their insights into the future of the industry. Designers, interior architects and decorators get inspired by the design forecast for the new season.

Next Horizons: long-term and circular mindset
The Next Horizons are not a fixed goal or a finish line – they are mindsets. These are made up of long-term thinking, accepting that the best way to impact the world is simply not to. Paradoxically, we have begun our transition to sustainability by addressing the problems within our manufactured system instead of transforming our approach to not create waste or imbalance. Transforming our nexus begins with accepting our economies are embedded within nature. The composition of design should be accessed, made and recirculated in tune with a long-term and circular mindset and simply not create waste. The Heimtextil Trends 22/23 “Deep Nature”, “Hyper Nature”, “Beyond Identity” and “Empowered Identity” explore these new mindsets for “Next Horizons”.

Heimtextil Trends in a new digital format
With “Next Horizons”, Heimtextil is breaking new ground and, for the first time, making trend information fully available in a digital format. The brand-new online platform of Heimtextil introduces the trends richly illustrated via colours, short films, bespoke imagery, key designer features and a soundtrack. The new online platform and all trend activities are directed by SPOTT trends & business from Denmark.

The Future Materials Library is now digital
Curated by Futures Agency FranklinTill, The Future Materials Library was launched in 2020 and is now available online at www.heimtextil-trends.com/future. This collection of exciting interior material innovations from around the world celebrates radical designers, innovative manufacturers and environmentally conscious producers who are helping to turn the current, linear system of production and consumption into a circular model.

Heimtextil Trends 22/23 – overview
Deep Nature – Rebalance by relearning

“Deep Nature” explores our ecosystem’s strategies: it’s our legacy and future all at once. We need to relearn and give into untamed texture, slow process, natural structures and living colours. “Deep Nature” is a long-term transformation and relearning process which gives us the ability to rebalance the natural world for a regenerative future. The colour scale for “Deep Nature” has a harmonious and soft expression used for untamed patternmaking. Mouldy, herbal tones and delicate tones of blue and rouge create a calm, tonal, and earthy approach.

Hyper Nature – Reconnect with nature via technology
“Hyper Nature” is about reconnecting to nature through technology. The theme is a digital facilitator of nature’s blueprint, fusing technology and nature for a protopia state and creating a better tomorrow step by step. Responsive materials, technical fibres, fluid patterns and microscopic structure describes materials and textiles for “Hyper Nature”. Bioscience brings inspiration to colours of both bright and lucid and blurred nuances of green and grey. Reflections and artificial light create new perceptions of nature-based colours. Coral, salmon and light raspberry are highlights.

Beyond Identity – Values more than physical attributes
“Beyond Identity” addresses the future with hopeful messages and soft and powerful defiance toward existing norms, leaving identity in flux. For the world of home interiors and textiles “Beyond Identity” works with recycled synthetic fabric, vintage silk and satin, natural-coloured textiles and new cellulose-based textiles. They are formed via the uncontrolled colouration process of a pastel-coloured look resembling the constant flux of identity. The colours scale for “Beyond Identity” features a range of pastels, complemented with a familiar grey and pale khaki as muted transferral colours.

Empowered Identity – Empower artisanship to sustain culture
“Empower Identity” is about creating sustainable cultural connections, renewing artisan sources of inspiration in a collaborative way. Empowering Identity encourages forming new connections between heritage cultures and future generations. Recycled and heritage textiles combined with textile craft techniques as tufting, embroidered appliqué and Cross-stitch are in focus in “Empower Identity”. Primary colours resemble their colour pigment origins to support the heritage expression of the theme. Sparks of coral and a greyed lilac accompany these primary tones. Multi-coloured usage is key.

Photo: Pixabay
03.08.2021

Composites Germany presents results of the 17th Composites Market Survey

  • Highly positive rating of current business situation
  • Future expectations are optimistic
  • Varied expectations for application industries
  • Still the same growth drivers

This is the seventeenth time that Composites Germany has identified the latest KPIs for the fibre-reinforced plastics market. The survey covered all the member companies of the three major umbrella organisations of Composites Germany: AVK (Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V.), Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies.

As before, to ensure a smooth comparison with the previous surveys, the questions in this half-yearly survey have been left unchanged. Once again, the data obtained in the survey is largely qualitative and relates to current and future market developments.

  • Highly positive rating of current business situation
  • Future expectations are optimistic
  • Varied expectations for application industries
  • Still the same growth drivers

This is the seventeenth time that Composites Germany has identified the latest KPIs for the fibre-reinforced plastics market. The survey covered all the member companies of the three major umbrella organisations of Composites Germany: AVK (Industrievereinigung Verstärkte Kunststoffe e.V.), Leichtbau Baden-Württemberg and the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Construction Technologies.

As before, to ensure a smooth comparison with the previous surveys, the questions in this half-yearly survey have been left unchanged. Once again, the data obtained in the survey is largely qualitative and relates to current and future market developments.

Highly positive rating of current business situation
After ratings of the current business situation had been steadily declining for nearly two years in succession, last year’s survey already displayed a trend reversal towards a more positive outlook. This positive trend has now continued in the latest survey, with entirely positive ratings for all three regions (Germany, Europe and worldwide). For ex-ample, 80% described the current general business situation as either positive or indeed very positive.

Moreover, unlike in the last survey, this more optimistic assessment applies not only to the general business situation, but also to the respondents’ own businesses, as they gave even more positive ratings than last year.     

There are currently quite a few challenges in the industrial environment. In many cases, the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, has merely receded, but has not disappeared.      
Business models have been and are still requiring adjustments. In some cases, supply chains have been severely disrupted and there are still some serious bottlenecks. The blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given has once again highlighted the vulnerability of international commerce.

Shortages of raw materials, sharp increases in the prices of many raw materials and, most recently, a shortage of chips are having a major impact on various application industries. Nevertheless, the overall picture in the composites in-dustry is extremely optimistic. Similarly positive ratings were last achieved in the autumn 2018 and spring 2019 surveys.

Future expectations are optimistic
The positive prevailing mood is further reinforced by positive expectations for the future. A consistently optimistic picture emerged when respondents were asked about their ex-pectations for future business developments. For example, more than 80% of respond-ents are expecting the business situation in Europe to improve over the next six months. The pattern is similar for the other regions.

Varied expectations for application industries
Expectations on selected application industries vary substantially. As in the previous survey, significant declines are expected, above all, in automotive, aviation and wind energy. However, we can see that the proportion of respondents giving more pessimistic assessments has once again declined significantly.
Whereas, in the last sur-vey, 46% were expecting to see the situation get worse in aviation, this value has now dropped to a “mere” 17%. In the automotive sector, it has dropped from 17% (second half of 2020) to only 14%.

Two areas of application, in particular – infrastructure/construction and sports/leisure – have long been seen by many respondents as major growth stimulants for the composites industry. Even in times of a more difficult industrial environment, these two areas are currently proving to be especially robust.

GRP is still a growth driver
As before, the current market survey shows Germany, Europe and Asia as the global regions expected to deliver the most important growth stimuli for the composites segment. Expectations for Asia, on the other hand, have declined somewhat in favour of Europe. Where materials are concerned, we are seeing a continuation of the ongoing paradigm shift.      

Respondents are still convinced that CRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic) is losing ground as a growth driver. However, GRP (glass fibre reinforced plastic) is now ranking as the most important material for the third time in succession. A large number of respondents have also mentioned the area entitled “Across All Segments” this time.

Composites are still relatively young materials with a great deal of potential. It remains exciting to see to what extent composites will continue to emerge as alternative materials and whether they can benefit from the major forthcoming developments (e.g. alternative drives, a growing demand for sustainability, alternative power sources, 5G, etc.).
The next Composites Market Survey will be published in January 2022. 

(c) CHT Group
22.06.2021

CHT: "We are hiring." Humans Resources Policy in Times of Pandemic and Skills Shortage

The CHT Group is a globally operating company group for specialty chemicals. It has been in business for more than 65 years in a wide variety of industrial sectors and markets. Innovative and high-quality specialty chemicals alongside convincing services are just as much part of the portfolio as chemical auxiliaries and additives.

Textination spoke with Kurt Speckle [Head of Technical Service Dyestuffs] and Ursula Häberli [Head of Human Resources] specifically for the Textile Solutions division about the challenges of a successful human resources policy in such special times as a pandemic and the shortage of skilled workers.

The CHT Group is a globally operating company group for specialty chemicals. It has been in business for more than 65 years in a wide variety of industrial sectors and markets. Innovative and high-quality specialty chemicals alongside convincing services are just as much part of the portfolio as chemical auxiliaries and additives.

Textination spoke with Kurt Speckle [Head of Technical Service Dyestuffs] and Ursula Häberli [Head of Human Resources] specifically for the Textile Solutions division about the challenges of a successful human resources policy in such special times as a pandemic and the shortage of skilled workers.

The Technical Service Dyestuff department, headed by Kurt Speckle, who has worked for CHT for 32 years, currently comprises 16 people. It consists of a technical staff, which supports customers worldwide in the form of technical advice, on-site trials, lectures and in the creation of presentations, as well as a laboratory team, which handles inquiries regarding color settings, problem solutions, fastness, etc. Depending on the customer inquiry, both departments work hand in hand together.

The know-how and the heart of the technical staff consists of six people, all 50+, whom Kurt Speckle - with a grin - also calls "textile dinosaurs". In addition, young technicians with operational experience are being trained in order to be introduced to larger tasks. The apprenticeship training for textile laboratory technicians at CHT SWITZERLAND AG has a supporting effect.

As a globally operating company group for specialty chemicals, the CHT Group has been active in numerous industrial sectors and markets of 20 countries for more than 65 years. CHT Switzerland AG turns 50 this year and is the world's competence center for dyes. How has it been possible to establish and maintain such a good market position in dyes?

Kurt Speckle: In addition to the quality level of our products and the wide range of more than 700 products covering the various quality requirements of today's customers, CHT Switzerland also offers an excellent technical service for the product application. This globally known additional service makes us interesting for customers and generates inquiries worldwide. Transferring customer-specific problem solutions from our laboratory to production is one of the keys to our success.

In the Textile Solutions division, you have a wide range of specialty chemicals and dyes for textile production in your portfolio. In your opinion, in which direction is the textile industry currently moving in terms of dye chemistry - what trends do you see? What does this mean for your product range?

Kurt Speckle: One of the challenges today is to find the right dye gamma for the desired application. In recent years, we have constantly adapted the range to the new needs and requirements. In addition to these technical specifications, the entire textile finishing industry is also constantly confronted with new ecological and toxicological legal requirements. Textiles and also technical textiles not only have to meet certain fastness requirements, but also have to comply with countless label requirements. REACH and many labels lead to constant adjustments in the dye finishing to ensure that the products are up-to-date with the latest technology.

How does optimal teamwork work in the dyestuff team, and how can you ensure that the knowledge and experience gained over many years is passed on?

Kurt Speckle: Exchange of experience works with people who have practical experience. Only this can be built upon and new information can be stored accordingly. We operate and communicate on a common drive. Lively verbal communication is also essential for this. Our own tests in the laboratory and also in the production at customers' sites form the actual wealth of experience of our employees.

We are observing various megatrends that have taken a new turn as a result of the pandemic and that also directly affect your customers in the textile industry: Neo-ecology, connectivity and digitalization, health - to name just a few. To what extent does this challenge you as a service provider for your customers and as an employer? Is there a changed requirements profile for your employees?

Kurt Speckle: Due to the omission of traveling and direct customer contact, the working picture has of course changed. Due to the experience potential, however, many problem inquiries can be processed and solved via a wide variety of communication options. However, this cannot be seen as a sustainable and permanently established system. Experience and further development can only take place through practical trials on the most varied machines under the most varied conditions and with our dyes.

In which areas of training - whether at university or in apprenticeships - do you see a need for improvement in the curricula? Do career starters have the necessary skills for your company, or do you need to provide additional training in fundamental required areas?

Ursula Häberli: We train our future pool of specialists internally. In addition, we have several apprentices every year as textile and chemical laboratory technicians, whom we offer a permanent position afterwards. The training at the vocational school and in the advanced courses is excellent. The apprentices are challenged in many different areas. Textile laboratory assistants complete exactly the same training as chemical laboratory assistants, but have additional 240 lessons of textile training and textile courses. Textile laboratory assistants now require very extensive, in-depth and broad specialist knowledge. The textile industry is developing rapidly and new, complex content is constantly being added to the already very broad basic knowledge. We also actively support further education, for example the BSc Design & Technology at the Swiss Textile College. This training is broadly based and provides employees with good specialist knowledge and various additional essential skills.

What do you think about the personnel situation at CHT in general? Can you fill all positions? Who are you currently looking for most urgently?

Ursula Häberli: Our long-standing market presence and the good reputation we have built up over 50 years with our "customer first" approach always help us to attract talent. We are currently looking for a person as a textile technician for the Dyestuffs BU. Here we are planning early for the succession of a textile dinosaur who may retire in 2022. And for the Garment Team we are also looking for a textile technician.

The garment sector is a textile specialty that has been increasingly relocated to eastern countries in the last 10 years. Therefore, the search will certainly be a challenge.

You have built a career portal for CHT at https://career-switzerland.cht.com. With this website, you directly address different target groups: Apprentices, students, young professionals and experienced professionals. What role do the "old stagers" play in the company group?

Ursula Häberli: The old stagers are sometimes called "dinosaurs" by us - textile workers like them, with an often lifelong career in the textile world, are rare, pessimistically speaking: dying out. But all joking aside, the old stagers are enormously important. It is up to them to actively pass on their knowledge to future generations. This is already working very well on a day-to-day basis. The dyestuff team - including the boss - deliberately sits together in one large room so that a lot can be overheard and discussed. The team recently launched the "Textile Lunches". These are short concise learning nuggets to share knowledge and experience.

Employer branding seems to have been the magic word for some time now. Create an attractive employer brand, focus on strengths such as open corporate culture, transparent communication, responsibility for one's own area and employee benefits - and all positions are filled very quickly. What does CHT think of employer branding, what experience have you had with it, and what special offers do you provide to prospective employees?

Ursula Häberli: With the career site https://career-switzerland.cht.com, we have deliberately chosen a modern, outward-looking tool to strengthen our employer brand. CHT ambassadors tell their stories and make job seekers want to join us and help shaping the future. Another big plus is that the workplace is located in a wonderful landscape with a high recreational value, close to Lake Constance and an impressive mountain landscape, where our employees like to spend their time.

For some time now, the CHT company group has been operating under a new claim: Chemistry with Character. This statement was created for marketing purposes, but it certainly also says something about the company. What does this claim mean in particular for your personnel policy? Who is already on your team? Who are you looking for? And how many rough edges are employees allowed to have?

Ursula Häberli: We are looking for doers with high team player qualities. That's what sets us apart and makes us prepared for the future. We offer an extremely exciting field of work that demands a high degree of personal responsibility, initiative and creativity. We are proud to be the competence center for dyes at the Montlingen site - one of the few companies in the geographic area of Eastern Switzerland / Vorarlberg / Southern Germany that still exists and will continue to exist for a long time.

 

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