SUSTAINABILITY, INNOVATIONS & THE ROLE OF A TRADE FAIR IN THIS CONTEXT

Interview with Frank Junker, Creative Director at MUNICH FABRIC START.

From responsible innovations and ReSOURCE – saving processes through to circular economy business models – where does sustainability stand these days?

The fact is, the topic of sustainability is growing ever more crucial in the fashion and textile industry. More importantly, due to the growing scarcity of resources and rising awareness among consumers about ecological and social issues – also especially among the younger generations like millennials – sustainability is today not just an option anymore but a must. It is up to the industry to put this obligation into practice. And that is just what it is doing.
We are delighted that across the sector and globally– from family-run SMEs through to major luxury firms – a shift in mindset is happening and that more and more manufacturers are integrating responsible processes into their entire supply chains.

At the latest editions of our trade fair it has become very clear that the value-added chain is changing and that sustainability and technology are two key themes for the future. Today, real innovations have to be sustainable and often combine both ecology and technology. To our minds, uniting these two aspects is what the future is about.

MUNICH FABRIC START already explored the topic of sustainability very early on. How has the topic developed at the trade fair over the last few years?

For many years now, ecology has been a part of the individual segments at MUNICH FABRIC START. With organicselection initiated in 2009 and Sustainable Innovations we have created forums that are dedicated to this targeted theme and that focalise current sustainable materials from our exhibitors at one location. Eco-friendly production now also increasingly includes themes like closed-loop economy, recycling or resource efficiency and we are reflecting this shift by further developing and renaming organicselectionas ReSOURCE.
For two years we already have also been pioneering a fusion of fashion, innovation, technology and sustainability at KEYHOUSE. With this very well attended innovation and technology centre we have made a clear statement.

Sustainability as a compelling necessity. What multiplier role does MUNICH FABRIC START play her as a trade fair?

As a trade fair we make a considerable contribution to the international sourcing business. Together with our exhibitors and visitors we can achieve a great deal and shape the future in a targeted way. The aim here is to raise awareness and promote the responsible use of resources. Sustainability is a very complex theme. It is important to us to send out clear and unambiguous messages and solutions for the fashion and textile industry. We take on this responsibility very conscientiously and fulfil this not only with the Sustainability Areas but also, in particular, with a varied supporting program covering various aspects of this topic. Beyond our numerous panel discussions, workshops, keynotes and round tables we also offer a broad platform for outstanding and future-proof product and process developments in the form of the HighTex Award, MUNICH FABRIC START’s innovation prize.

It is our goal to send out ever new impulses, provide inspiration and keep the sector in motion. Sustainability is a wholistic concept that cannot function as a one-man show. We all have to pull together.