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Change the set-up: Fashionsustain conference is showing ways to change for the better

10 Dec 2021

To tackle current challenges and prepare for the future, the fashion and textile industry is ready and willing to undergo a fundamental transformation. Under the motto Change the set-up, Fashionsustain – the international and multidisciplinary conference format of Neonyt taking place from 18-20 January 2022 during Frankfurt Fashion Week – will be showing its participants ways to do that, as well as providing inspiration for the industry’s ongoing transformation process. Alongside technological innovations, new business models and ideas for fashion retailers, topics like consumer behaviour, gaming and ‘Nudging for Good’ are on the agenda to explore the discrepancy between intention and reality.

Even in times when nothing seems certain, there is one constant: change. Under the motto ‘Change the set-up’, Fashionsustain is inviting the fashion industry to Frankfurt from 18 to 20 January 2022. With its move from Berlin to Frankfurt, Fashionsustain is not only changing its location but also inviting the industry’s decision-makers to change their perspective. In panels, talks, keynotes and interactive formats, international representatives from sustainable and conventional fashion brands, designer labels, fashion manufacturers, non-governmental and non-profit organisations and distribution agencies will be talking about how they plan to continue positioning themselves in an agile way and what role sustainability will play in that.

Even before the pandemic reared its ugly head, the fashion and textiles sector was facing huge challenges: the problem of overproduction, along with its resulting environmental impact and social injustices, is now just one of many. Not to mention all the new challenges like logistic bottlenecks, production delays, high transportation costs and material shortages. But the good news is that despite internationally widespread production disruptions and temporary standstills, even a global pandemic cannot put the brakes on current megatrends like neo-ecology, connectivity and knowledge culture. And these trends are indeed acting as drivers of the global industry transformation – and the current challenges are accelerating this change. The giant leaps in digitalisation are proving conducive to the increasing transparency of supply chains and focus on ecological and social measures – which, in turn, is having positive effects on fairness, diversity and integration. Now it is imperative that all participants reflect on the past two years and start adapting to a constantly changing market environment, in which the interests of their customers, partners and society are also taken into consideration.

Against this backdrop, Fashionsustain is providing an opportunity during Neonyt to actively deal with and discuss the current challenges. Here’s a first glimpse of the line-up planned for January:

  • “Change the set-up” is high up on the agenda right from the very first day of Fashionsustain. How we can close the gap between the mindset and actual behaviour of consumers and therefore between intention and reality regarding sustainable consumption will be discussed by neuroscientist and professor of media psychology Dr Maren Urner together with industry insiders and NGO representatives. And together with Tencel Lenzing AG (one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sustainable fibres) and the two NPOs Fairwear Foundation and The Sustainable Angle, the UN Global Compact Network Germany and the German Environment Agency will be showing that changing the set-up is something that needs to be done on an international scale, as well as explaining how that can work.
  • Everything will revolve around digitalisation on the second day of the conference. How we can use it to design sustainable fashion, for example, will be demonstrated by Germany’s neighbour Denmark with its creative network Creative Denmark, sustainable clothing-tech company Son of a Tailor and circularity app Create2stay. Another important topic here is digital solutions to make supply chains transparent. This will be discussed by participants including sustainable fashion brand Greenbomb and technology providers Retraced GmbH and Remei AG.
  • Retail will be in the focus of the third day of Fashionsustain. In an interview, start-ups Yook and Keepoala will be providing an insight into how they use their apps and positive incentives to encourage consumers to consume more sustainably. Vintage fashion supplier Vinokilo, sustainable fashion label Jan ‘n June and re-commerce expert Doris Schoger will be revealing industry insights into whether and to what extent re-commerce can become a successful business model for fashion retail.

The full line-up of Fashionsustain will be published online soon. The panel will include speakers from the following companies and organisations:

Creative Denmark
Detto Fatto
Fairwear Foundation
Grüner Knopf
Lenzing AG
Remei AG
Retraced GmbH
Son of a Tailor
Tchibo GmbH
The Sustainable Angle
TU Berlin
Umweltbundesamt (German Environment Agency)
UN Global Compact Network Germany

Fashionsustain conference will take place from 18 to 20 January 2022 during Neonyt in accordance with the ‘2G+’ admission regulation. All participants must be fully vaccinated against or recovered from the virus, and present a certified test result on a daily basis.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,300* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021, the company had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic for the second consecutive year. Annual sales will be approximately €140* million after having been as high as €736 million in 2019 before the pandemic. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our 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. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered 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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* Preliminary figures for 2021