Designers, fashion companies, retailers: when people think of the German fashion world, these are the aspects that spring to mind. But there is so much more to the industry: trade shows, fashion magazines or fashion design schools, for example. And while parts of the German fashion industry have been evaluated in the past, a study of its key components has always been lacking – until now. The Status of German Fashion 2021, a comprehensive initial report on fashion's sweeping cultural and economic power by Fashion Council Germany, was first presented in an online conference on 18 January 2021, during Berlin Fashion Week. What makes Germany special as a fashion location? What are the industry's strengths and weaknesses? And how does the German fashion industry compare with others on the international stage?
According to the report, the fashion industry makes a significant contribution to the German economy, employing around 1.3 million people. In 2019, the industry contributed ca. 66 billion euros to Germany’s gross domestic product – 28 billion directly from the industry, 20 billion from purchases along the supply chain and 18 billion in employees' wages. In addition, it is responsible for tax revenues of 36 billion euros. Germany is also one of the largest fashion manufacturers within the EU and likewise one of the largest fashion markets.
"Made in Germany" is a seal of quality: Germany is known for its high standards, advances in technical textiles and modern production facilities. Many of the world's best-known brands, especially in the sports sector, have their origins in Germany. But the report highlight, in addition to the industry’s strengths, the fact that it is not always noticed on the world stage. Other countries, including China, lead in the fields of technical textiles and textile manufacturing plants. If Germany is to maintain and expand its role into the future, the industry must therefore act. In this regard, the study refers to more support for Germany’s fashion design schools and for domestic manufacturing, increased use of digital technologies in the industry and, last but not least, political backing. There are great opportunities in sustainable fashion and smart textiles: "In the exhibitor presentations at our global textile trade fairs, we see the highest level of innovation in the German textile industry: technology, performance and quality," says Olaf Schmidt, Fashion Council Germany Executive Board Member and Vice President, Messe Frankfurt.
Support, innovation and technology: these topics were likewise addressed in panel discussions, live interviews and keynote speeches at the second digital edition of Neonyt on Air. Political aspects of sustainable fashion were discussed in the talk Due diligence - due tomorrow? – presented by Grüner Knopf. Neonyt on Air took place in January 2021, during Berlin Fashion Week. From summer 2021, it will move to Frankfurt am Main, together with Berlin Fashion Week.
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Report: The Status of German Fashion 2021
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