Cockpit Texpertise

Focus on sustainability and digitisation

10 Aug 2023

The Texpertise Network trade fair stand at Heimtextil 2023 in Frankfurt offered visitors the opportunity to take a trip into the metaverse using a virtual reality headset. There, interested parties were able to take part in a short survey on current and future topics in the industry. And in light of these, the results of this survey certainly come as no surprise. They also fit in well with the realignment of sustainability activities that Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network unveiled at its global textile trade fairs under the new term ‘Econogy’.

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’[1]. 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.

[1] 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.