Sustainability comes first
One of the clearest results of the survey was the great importance attached to sustainability in the textile industry. Survey participants ranked sustainability as the topic that offers the greatest opportunities for the industry. This underlines the industry’s growing awareness of environmental and social responsibility throughout the entire textile value chain.
Through its commitment to a more sustainable textile industry, Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network has been responding to this development for more than 15 years. These sustainability activities are now being realigned and will be grouped under the new term of ‘Econogy’. This term combines economy and ecology and at the same time conveys the notion that sustainability and economic success go hand in hand.
Digitisation and Industry 4.0 in second place
Additional framework conditions play a crucial role here. It is no coincidence that digitisation and Industry 4.0 ranked second in the short survey in the metaverse. The textile industry has recognised that transformation potential presented by the integration of digital technologies and modern manufacturing concepts (Industry 4.0). From the optimisation of production processes to the creation of personalised products, the digital revolution opens up a wide range of possibilities.
The combination of digitisation and sustainability is no coincidence. Digital technologies make it possible to more accurately monitor and control the use of resources in production, leading to more efficient processes and reduced resource consumption.
Sustainability and digitisation are the key issues that will shape the future of the textile industry. Close collaboration between companies, partnerships and the integration of smart textiles are supporting pillars that will drive the industry forward. Accordingly, these aspects also featured among the mid-table results of the short survey.
Econogy: The future of textile trade fairs
The challenges facing the textile industry are manifold. The ‘Econogy’ realignment represents a promising direction for the future. ‘Econogy’ provides orientation and stands for all of the sustainability activities carried out by Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network across its international textile trade fairs. This also includes offering exhibiting companies the option to undergo a sustainability check. In the future, these checks will be harmonised across trade fairs in order to provide more guidance, transparency and customer friendliness in all industries and countries.
Achieving greater transparency with the Sustainable Development Goals
From 2024, the strategic realignment will include the more stringent and measurable integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the sustainability checks. This will make it more transparent in the future which SDGs individual formats or measures contribute to.
The metaverse survey also asked participants about the SDGs. Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) ranked first among the SDGs pursued within the company, followed by Goal 13 (Climate Action) and Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) in second place. Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 10 (Reducing Inequalities), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) all ranked third.
 The creative inspiration for the term ‘Econogy’ is the famous quote by Canadian biologist, publicist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize David Suzuki: ‘We’ve got to put the “eco” back into economics.’ Speech by David Suzuki, 31.10.2008, West Coast Green Conference, San José, California.