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Successful second edition of conference format of the future

9 Jul 2018

Organised by Messe Frankfurt as part of the Berlin Fashion Week, the FASHIONSUSTAINBERLINconference examined the future of fashion and brought together relevant decision makers from the sector in the ‘Kraftwerk’ event centre.

Responsible innovations and practice-oriented solutions for the future of fashion and textiles – just how topical these topics are, was clearly illustrated by the great success of the FASHIONSUSTAIN conference, which was held for the second time in the ‘Kraftwerk Berlin’ event centre on 3 July 2018. Under the motto ‘Jump into the future!’, the conference put the spotlight on the subjects of shoes, sneakers, leather and leather production. Bandana Tewari, editor-at-large for Vogue India and contributor to The Business of Fashion, opened the proceedings with an emotional keynote lecture. Under the heading ‘Passion & compassion is key – fashion’s inner quest’, she called for people to look behind the glossy setting created for the world of consumer goods. "We are moving so fast in the tech world that we forget, that there are people behind every product, who are producing it. I am very optimistic about the future. I think technology is going to save us but the next step will be to bring together technology with artisan skills." Subsequently, creative formats, such as supply-chain studies and pitch’n’panels, put the focus on new solutions along the value chain of the shoe and leather sector.

Representatives of companies, retailers and associations, such as Zalando SE, H&M Innovation Lab, GLS Bank, HDS/L, CADS, Hugo Boss, I:Collect, C&A Foundation, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Bündnis für Nachhaltige Textilien), Sympatex, Veja, Centre Commercial, Ecoalf, Ekn Footwear, Josefin Liljeqvist and FormLabs, took a close look at sustainable innovations and disruptive technologies from their individual perspectives.

“FASHIONSUSTAIN focuses on those subjects that will be the success factors of the future. They include resource-friendly processes, innovative sustainable materials and circular economic models, as well as examples of industrial applications already in existence”, said Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles and Textile Technologies, Messe Frankfurt, who launched the new conference format in January, this year. “We see FASHIONSUSTAIN as being more than just an expert conference. It is a platform for the interdisciplinary, interactive and progressive discussion of subjects that will develop the greatest relevance for the textile sector of the future. And because they, like the sector, are global, we also plan to export FashionSustain with a pilot edition being held at Avantex, which takes place concurrently with Texworld in Paris this coming September.”

Thimo Schwenzfeier, Neonyt Show Director of Messe Frankfurt, offers a preview of the next event in January 2019: “To strengthen the interdisciplinary profile and the application-oriented showcase character of FASHIONSUSTAIN, we will go a step further next January by merging the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin and Greenshowroom trade fairs into a single event called ‘Neonyt’. And the conference will be attached to this central hub. This new structure will give us the greatest possible influence on future themes in the fashion sector and on the event landscape of the Berlin Fashion Week.”

A two-day THINKATHON, at which thought leaders, creative personalities, change makers and fashion-business professionals tackled three pre-defined industry challenges, was held concurrently with the conference on the Monday and Tuesday, 2 and 3 July. Split into small teams and accompanied by design-thinking mentors, the participants were confronted with three tasks set by the Challenge hosts, KPMG x Microsoft Holo Lens, Hugo Boss and Techtextil / Texprocess, and had until Tuesday afternoon to come up with innovative solutions to the questions posed.

The conference was rounded off by ‘Networking & Bubbles’, a relaxed setting for an informal exchange of ideas and information, which merged seamlessly into the ‘Nightshift’, the evening event of the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin and the Greenshowroom.

The next FASHIONSUSTAINBERLIN will be held within the framework of the next Berlin Fashion Week in January 2019 and as part of the new hub for the future of fashion, ‘Neonyt’.


Background: FashionSustain
Leading companies of the fashion and textile sector are increasingly integrating sustainable aspects into their corporate and assortment strategies. At the FASHIONSUSTAIN conference, relevant players from the fashion sector present the latest development trends and tendencies and enter into a future-oriented, interactive dialogue during the Berlin Fashion Week. The focus of the second edition of the conference was on how sustainable technologies are likely to change the shoe, leather and sneaker sector. The conference is embedded in the Greenshowroom and Ethical Fashion Show Berlin trade fairs, which make up Europe’s biggest platform for sustainable fashion. FashionSustain, the Greenshowroom and the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin are organised by Messe Frankfurt, one of the world’s biggest fair and exhibition companies. In January 2019, they will be merged into the future-oriented ‘Neonyt’ format, a hub for the future of fashion.

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Press contact:
Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH
Thimo Schwenzfeier
Director Marketing Communications
Tel: +49 69 75 75 62 91

Kern Kommunikation
Alex Vogt
Tel: +49 69 65 00 57 32

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,400 employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €669 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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