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Neonyt: We are water

25 Oct 2018

H2O meets fashion and sustainable innovation. How can the fashion industry minimise its global impact on water consumption and contamination while making an active contribution to preserving this vital resource? In 2019, Neonyt and Fashionsustain will be dedicated to this issue and showing new approaches. Neonyt is the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation. The international conference format Fashionsustain is part of Neonyt. Both are taking place from 15 until 17 January 2019 during Berlin Fashion Week at Kraftwerk Berlin.

“Water means power – and responsibility”. With these words, Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director of Neonyt, perfectly sums up the relevance of the whole water theme. “Hardly any other industry in the world uses as much water as the fashion industry. Neonyt presents inspiring best-practice examples from the world of fashion and provides new stimulus to encourage a change in thinking – in a constructive and progressive way,” continues Schwenzfeier. And indeed, these days it’s almost impossible to talk about fashion without considering the topic of water. Whether in the cultivation and harvesting of raw materials, the production of the garments, in particular dyeing and other finishing processes, the washing or in connection with microplastics – in the cycle of fashion, water is ubiquitous.

Fashionsustain: H2O meets fashion and sustainable innovation

In 2019, the international conference format Fashionsustain will be dedicated to the subject of water. On Wednesday 16 January 2019, everything at Kraftwerk Berlin will revolve around highly topical water-related issues, from microplastics to water stewardship. The focus will be on the strategies being deployed by companies to measure their negative impact caused by water consumption and water pollution and to effectively reduce it. High-profile speakers from innovative companies will be presenting visionary approaches to help preserve this vital resource.

And the topics discussed on the conference stage will be brought to life in the “Showcase of Change” exhibition area. From material innovations to experimental prototypes, capsule collections and special editions down to research projects – the Showcase of Change will be presenting an inspiring spectrum of innovations.

But taking place before that, from 14 – 15 January 2019, is the Thinkathon – a space for open dialogue and creative thinking processes. In this collaborative design-thinking format, multidisciplinary teams develop highly innovative and sector-relevant responses to specific challenges set by leading industry representatives. Companies such as the Fashion Council Germany, HUGO BOSS, Microsoft Hololens, KPMG and Zalando set the challenges at the previous two Thinkathons.

Neonyt Trade Fair: Water x Fashion

The Neonyt Trade Fair (from 15 – 17 January 2019), the central part of the global hub Neonyt, will also be shedding light on the two poles of fashion and water from a neo-new perspective. By presenting water as a trend topic in various ways, the largest trade fair for sustainable fashion is raising awareness and calling for a new way of thinking. Whether inspiring material innovations or new dyeing techniques and formulas – many of the Neonyt Trade Fair’s exhibitors will also be showcasing new approaches to minimise water consumption and contamination caused by chemicals and microplastics.

Water. Peace. Fashion.

Around two thirds of the Earth’s surface are covered in water and fashion is also inextricably linked to the element. Following on from the term “CO2 footprint”, the term “water footprint” has also established itself in the last few years. Not really surprising, since the virtual water consumption of a pair of jeans made of conventional cotton is around 11,000 litres of water [1]. The large amounts of water used to grow cotton are required in hot, mostly dry regions near the equator, where there is often an acute water shortage anyway. For one in six people, water shortages are already a bitter reality. And the intensive use of toxic pesticides in the production of cotton is also damaging to people and the ecosystem.

And as far as microplastics are concerned, fashion also plays a central role: washing a single garment can release up to 700,000 microscopic pieces of plastic and gradually contaminate the oceans and drinking water [2]. According to Greenpeace, 35% of all microplastics in the ocean consist of fibre particles that have been washed out of fashion textiles. It’s high time for a rethink.

Taking Mexico City as an example, we can clearly see how a shortage of water caused by climate change can have devastating repercussions on the world’s political and economic situation. Mexico City is struggling on several fronts: an ailing infrastructure, inadequate and outdated water systems, extreme climates. The city is sinking into the ground because its foundations are quite literally being hollowed out by the extraction of groundwater. The scenario of future water wars, civil wars over access to clean drinking water, is becoming more and more likely due to climate change. Is water the key to sustainable development? Neonyt and Fashionsustain want to provide the answers.

We are water.


Neonyt Trade Fair 15 – 17 January 2019
Neonyt Fashion Show TBC
Fashionsustain by Messe Frankfurt 16 January 2019
#Fashiontech by Premium Group 15 January 2019
Thinkathon 14 – 15 January 2019
Prepeek 15 – 17 January 2019

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Press contact:

Mira Hein
Tel: +49 69 65 00 88 65

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 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). For more information:  |  |

[1], 19.10.2018

[2], 19.10.2018.