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Trade Show: Neonyt

SDGs in action

“Now” is the overriding theme of the current Neonyt season. Because the right time to take action – for gender equality, education for all, climate protection and humane working conditions – is not yesterday or tomorrow, but today. Now. How are Neonyt, its community and Messe Frankfurt integrating the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? An overview.

June 2021

A better future for people, the environment and the planet – that is what the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are embedded as a core sustainability strategy in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, stand for. The Sustainability Development Goals provide orientation for action, address the global challenges and call for a fundamental shift in values. Here the UN is working towards a central vision: addressed in unison, the goals should ensure a life of dignity for all by 2030. Whether in the planning, in panels, at press conferences, in partnerships or on social media: Neonyt supports the initiative of the UN and integrates the SDGs into its formats.

Together for the climate, as set out in SDG 13: recycling and doing away with single-use packaging are a matter of course for Neonyt – and that also applies to the booth construction and catering. The catering at Neonyt is regional and seasonal, and also completely vegetarian and vegan. Plant-based food helps to guarantee the fundamental human right to adequate food for all and supports sustainable agriculture (SDG 2). But that’s not all: regional, meat-free food also protects the climate, as well as life on land and below water (SDGs 14 and SDG 15). For future events, plans are also being made to donate any leftover food to local organisations that support people in need, in order to prevent food wastage. To promote sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), the entire Neonyt team uses public transport to travel to the events and meetings and appointments. But there is still even more potential when it comes to protecting the environment: back in January 2020, Neonyt cooperated with Climate Partner to offset all emissions generated by the event. Together with Trash Galore, in 2018 around one tonne of residual materials in the form of molleton fabric, leftover paint, wood, plastic tarpaulin and carpets were donated to social and charitable initiatives. In the future, the plan is to also encourage and document such activities within a Frankfurt Fashion Week app. This will ensure that Neonyt’s footprint is kept to a minimum and that no resources are wasted.

Education for all: with the Fashionsustain conference format and the corresponding talks, panels, discussions and interviews on the social media platforms and in podcasts, a whole host of high-quality educational offers are freely available (SDG 4). This fulfils the educational mandate and offers people the opportunity to connect and support initiatives. And nations are brought together at the international events, where discussion and cooperation partners are given the opportunity to network – for less inequality and more solidarity within the industry (SDG 10). Furthermore, the Neonyt community questions role models, initiates discussions and starts conversations – all of which are extremely important in the current climate. This commitment to inclusion, gender-neutral language, empowering talks and addressing injustices is paving the way to gender equality (SDG 5) in the long term. To provide even more educational offers within this context, relevantly themed info stands, from UNICEF for example, are being planned for the upcoming in-person events.

An active choice of partnerships: to ensure decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) and responsible consumption (SDG 12), Neonyt sources regional products from local, fair service providers as far as possible. When it comes to choosing partner companies, compliance with occupational safety standards is of the utmost priority. Through partnerships with UNICEF, UNOP, Conscious Fashion Campaign, Frankfurt Fashion Week, Climate Partner, Grüner Knopf and many other associations, companies and initiatives, Neonyt is making an active contribution to establishing the SDGs within the fashion industry and also helping companies to also implement their sustainability strategy into their own actions.

Change only works in the context of the big picture, which is why Messe Frankfurt, as the umbrella organisation of Neonyt, strives to achieve sustainability at all levels. To help conserve resources, green electricity is used throughout the entire venue (SDG 7). The trade fair grounds are perfectly connected with the public transport system and the infrastructure on the grounds themselves is also well thought-out. The green tour of the exhibition grounds offers an insight into this. Messe Frankfurt is therefore helping to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation (SDG 9). As a meeting place for free global trade, Messe Frankfurt also supports peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16). That brings growth and prosperity and makes it possible to build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

From 6-8 July 2021, the upcoming edition of Neonyt will be taking place for the first time during Frankfurt Fashion Week, in the digital FFW STUDIO. Sustainability is also one of the overarching themes at FFW – by 2023, all exhibitors, participants and stakeholders have to align with the SDGs, which will be referenced in all tradeshows, conferences, runway shows and events and made tangible and visible for the audience. The full line-up of Neonyt and the Fashionsustain conference format can be found here and further information is also available on the Neonyt and Fashionsustain social media channels.

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