Economic success in the global textile sector can only be achieved with a consistent sustainability strategy. Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network is now taking greater account of this development and is realigning its sustainability activities at its more than 50 textile trade fairs in 12 countries. The aim is to advance the topic of sustainability in the textile and fashion industry even more strongly than before and to relate it closely to the demands of economic and social change.
For this step, a new cross-trade fair strategy was developed which, among other things, creates a common communicative umbrella for the sustainability activities of the events for the first time, provides for the strategic further development of content formats relating to sustainability and harmonises the sustainability checks of the trade fairs. The realignment offers better orientation for customers and partners within the Texpertise Network, creates cross-trade fair synergies and makes the sustainability activities of exhibitors at trade fairs more visible and measurable.
Econogy – orientation, know-how and transparency
Under the title ‘Econogy’, the sustainability activities of the Texpertise Network will provide orientation across trade fairs and internationally. The term ‘Econogy’ summarises economy and ecology in one word and shows how crucial sustainability is today for a company’s economic success: sustainability is increasingly becoming an integral part of all entrepreneurial thinking and actions. ‘The complexity with regard to social, economic and ecological change in the entire textile value chain continues to increase, which makes it all the more important today to offer orientation for our textile trade fairs, to make innovative approaches by the exhibiting companies visible and to promote the exchange of knowledge among all stakeholders along the textile value chain’, emphasises Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt
With this in mind, the uniform designation ‘Econogy’ will apply to the sustainability activities at all Messe Frankfurt textile trade fairs, in Frankfurt and, gradually, worldwide. A redesigned icon accompanies the communication of ‘Econogy’ and offers a high recognition value.
Knowledge transfer, curating and orientation play an increasingly important role for the industry and thus also at the events of the Texpertise Network. This is also due to the fact that the discussions surrounding the concept of sustainability itself are changing. In particular, the EU textile strategy on circular and recyclable textiles, supply chain laws at national and EU level and the planned EU directive on green claims require additional know-how, targeted actions and transparent communication from companies.
*‘We’ve got to put the “eco” back into economics.’ Speech by David Suzuki, 31.10.08, West Coast Green Conference, San José, California.
Mix-and-match content formats
The knowledge and content formats on the topic of sustainability are therefore also undergoing a strategic realignment. This gives partners, exhibitors and visitors added value for their positioning and personal development. The content formats will be further developed in terms of content and concept and then in the next step exported to textile events abroad. Uniform naming also creates transparency and recognition value. The trade fair tours of suppliers and products that produce sustainably will then be called ‘Econogy Tours’ across all events, the directories of sustainable exhibitors will become the ‘Econogy Finder’ and the lectures on the topic of sustainability will in future be called ‘Econogy Talks’.
Alignment of sustainability checks
For many years, exhibitors of more sustainable products and services have had the opportunity to undergo a sustainability check at the international textile trade fairs of the Texpertise Network and, after s successful check, to be listed in special trade fair guides. In the future, these checks will be harmonised across trade fairs in order to create more orientation, transparency and customer friendliness across industries and countries. Visitors and partners can thus network more effectively and more effectively with the reliably and transparently curated exhibitors
For these checks, Messe Frankfurt works with independent external sustainability experts and always takes into account the latest status of recognised seals, certificates and indices. From 2024, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proclaimed by the United Nations will be integrated into sustainability checks in a more stringent and measurable manner. This will make it more transparent in the future which SDGs individual formats or measures contribute to.
The complex topic of sustainability is also constantly being developed and promoted within the company. After all, Messe Frankfurt is aware of its responsibility to people and the environment and has high expectations of its business partners in terms of ethical standards.
Based on the Code of Conduct and Messe Frankfurt’s overarching corporate strategy, Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network for Textiles & Textile Technologies has formulated its self-image for implementing the topic of sustainability at the company’s global textile trade fairs. Further information on this and the resulting measures can be found on the website texpertisenetwork.messefrankfurt.com.
Sustainable commitment for more than 15 years
Whether through the creation of platforms for networking and better visibility, further training and knowledge transfer, partnerships or personal initiative: with the Texpertise Network, Messe Frankfurt has been working for almost 15 years to accelerate innovation and change in the textile and fashion industry in order to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The first SDG Report of Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network was published in 2023. The report summarises Messe Frankfurt’s global commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at its global textile trade fairs and provides an outlook on further planned measures and targets. Find out more at: https://texpertisenetwork.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/de/sdg.html#report
Messe Frankfurt has also been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2010 and last year set up a Sustainability Board to strategically develop the topic of sustainability at the corporate level.
Texpertise, the textile business network
Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise network brings together the latest topics, trends and events relating to the textile business and brings together more than 500,000 industry participants from all over the world. With more than 50 events in 11 countries, Messe Frankfurt is the international market leader for events in the textile industry along the entire textile value chain. In cooperation with the United Nations Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, a joint initiative of the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the Fashion Impact Fund, Texpertise informs and mobilises the textile sector to implement solutions for social, economic and ecological change. The aim is to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals at all Texpertise Network textile events – from Frankfurt to New York, Atlanta, Shanghai and Paris.
Sustainability at Messe Frankfurt
The Group’s strategic orientation is determined by its sustainable business practices. The Sustainability Board drives forward the transformation with input from different disciplines. Having already completed an ESG rating (Environmental, Social and Governance) in 2022, the company’s aim for 2023 is to be the first trade fair company to secure a certificate from environmental management system EMAS (Eco Management & Audit Scheme). Since 2010, Messe Frankfurt has geared its sustainable business practices towards the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The company has also committed itself to the Charter of Diversity and the fairpflichtet sustainability code. Messe Frankfurt supports the sustainability initiatives of industry associations AUMA and UFI and of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) in their efforts to organise climate-neutral events.
For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com/sustainability