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Fashion and sustainability amid the pandemic – the line-up of digital event “Neonyt on Air” 2021

6 Jan 2021

From 18 to 22 January 2021, digital community format “Neonyt on Air” will be entering its second round. As well as its “Presenting Partners” Grüner Knopf, Hessnatur and Oeko-Tex, various fashion, digital and lifestyle experts will be discussing ways to achieve more transparency in the textile and fashion industry. Personalities from the worlds of politics, IT and finance will also be providing important input on sustainable innovations.

The second edition of Neonyt on Air, which is taking place this January, is all about “the power of community” and will feature a dozen keynotes, interviews and panel discussions, more than 20 national and international speakers, cross-sector insights and relevant discussions. High up on the agenda is the subject of transparency. From the choice of raw materials and fabrics to production and sales through to the final product – the journey covered by an item of clothing and the ecological, economical and social conditions that it is made under are the number one topic at Neonyt on Air.

The COVID crisis has made it even clearer which parameters need to be readjusted if we want to make the textile and fashion industry fit for the future and, above all, sustainable. “Especially in times of crisis, it all comes down to showing solidarity and responsibility – also to the people who make our clothes,” says Federal Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller. “I am delighted that Neonyt on Air is giving experts the opportunity to discuss solutions for sustainable textile supply chains. After all, the crisis has shown us that sustainable supply chains are more important than ever.”

“Whether they come from the IT sector, politics, finance or the textile and fashion industry – the Neonyt community has a common goal for the entire industry: more sustainability and transparency,” says Thimo Schwenzfeier, Neonyt Show Director. “That can only be achieved by working together – our community will be discussing how to improve existing solutions and coming up with new approaches throughout the Neonyt on Air event.”

And it goes without saying that the fashion aspect is also playing a key role in January too: style and sustainability can still thrive in times of working from home and social distancing, which will be demonstrated by a number of Neonyt influencers and content creators with “Prepeek at Home”. The Prepeek idea remains the same: exclusive access to the latest collections by selected Neonyt brands – but the only difference this time is that the outfits will be styled individually at home, in the office or on the street. This will be demonstrated by Noa Ben-Moshe (@style.withasmile), Andrea Gerhard (@andreagerhard_tall_area), Kim Gerlach (@kim.gerlach.sunandrise), Katrin Göring-Eckardt (@goeringeckardt), Anna Kessel and Esther Rühe (@diekonsumentin), Sandra Lai-Chun Cheung (@syringalotus), Kathrin Schiebler (@kathrinschiebler), Mirjam Smend (@greenstyle_muc), Thekla Wilkening (@thekla_wilkening) and Alf-Tobias Zahn (@alftobiaszahn) in parallel with Neonyt on Air, from 18-22 January 2021, on their own Instagram channels.

The line-up – knowledge transfer and synergy effects

Monday 18 January: After kicking off the digital week with a brief welcome and introduction by the Neonyt team, Andrea Sibylle Ebinger, CEO of Hessnatur, will be addressing the community with a personal keynote. For Hessnatur, it is primarily the opportunities offered by the crisis year of 2020 that are paving the way for a better tomorrow: including the delayed Earth Overshoot Day and the related temporary reduction of the world’s ecological footprint, as well as the industry’s increasing need for collaboration and the solidarity shown within it.

Tuesday, 19 January: In the morning, Oeko-Tex will be holding a panel discussion entitled “Transparency in the textile supply chain” about the supply chain law currently being discussed in Germany – holding companies accountable, producing under fair conditions and responsible consumption all go hand in hand with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Fascinating input will be provided by Annika Sauerhoefer, Product Manager for “Made in Green” at Oeko-Tex, Mirjam Smend, founder of Greenstyle Munich and Andreas Bothe, Head of CSR & Sustainability at Bay City & Chiemsee. And in the afternoon, on the topic of “Due Diligence – due tomorrow?” Anosha Wahidi, Head of the Sustainable Supply Chains Unit at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Max Gilgenmann, Content Director of Neonyt, will be speaking about the BMZ’s sustainable initiatives: the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, the state-run certification mark Grüner Knopf (Green Button), the German government’s assessment platform for sustainable labels and the German Due Diligence Law, which is currently being discussed not only in the media, but also behind closed doors.

Wednesday, 20 January: On Wednesday morning, the Fashion Editorial by Luxiders Magazine and a keynote from the Kering Group will be providing plenty of inspiration and input before the subject turns to fiscal facts at the panel discussion “The long financial thread of sustainability” in the afternoon. The three panellists Dr Sabine Schlorke, Global Head of Manufacturing at IFC World Bank, Christian Heller, CEO of Value Balancing Alliance e.V., and Hans-Jürgen Walter, Global Leader of Sustainable Finance at Deloitte and moderator Darius Nader Maleki, Project Manager at the Maleki Corporate Group, will be explaining the concept of a circular economy from a financial perspective and explaining what kind of a role banks and investors can play, or are already playing, in the creation of a sustainable future.

Thursday, 21 January: The textile and fashion industry is one of the most closely interconnected and also most resource-intensive industries in the world – and the speakers on the penultimate day of Neonyt on Air will be focusing their attention on precisely that, while looking at the procurement and selection of raw materials, product certifications and net positivity. During a panel discussion entitled “Sustainable sourcing – at the beginning of the chain”, Johannes Fürst, Head of the Blue Lab of NGO Drip by Drip, Anurag Gupta, Managing Director of Usha Yarns and Gunnar Heller, Head of CSR at Foursource, will be covering topics such as the negative environmental influences of textile production and the resulting solutions for the better handling of natural resources. In the live interview “Product is Key – the Timberland 2030 vision for net positivity”, Elisabetta Baronio, Sustainability & Responsibility Manager at Timberland, will briefly explain the ideas behind the cult US brand’s sustainability approach: regenerative agriculture and circular design. To conclude the day’s proceedings, this will be followed by the panel discussion “Certification – transparency, credibility and trust” with Franziska Dormann, representative of the Global Organic Textile Standard, Rapha Breyer, spokesperson for Textile Policy & Partnerships at Fairtrade and Ingo Strube, spokesperson for sustainable consumption at Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment. The experts will be providing a constructively critical overview of the myriad certifications and standards and talking about the challenges in the certification business during the pandemic.

Friday, 22 January: “Textile Trust – driving transparency by using blockchain” – a panel discussion about the use of blockchain technology in the textile and fashion industry that will raise the question: what does IT have to do with fashion and sustainability? Answers will be provided by Christian Schultze-Wolters, Director of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, Stefan Rennicke, founder and CEO of Kaya&Kato and Michael Krake, Deputy Director General at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – three partners who have come together to develop a platform for the transparent documentation of the textile supply chain. To conclude, Olaf Schmidt, Vice President of Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt, will be giving a short farewell keynote and looking ahead to Frankfurt Fashion Week in summer 2021.

Neonyt on Air will take place from 18 to 22 January 2021 on Neonyt’s social media channels. No registration is required to participate. You can find the full line-up on the Neonyt website at and on the Instagram profile.


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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
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