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Mindset revolution in the fashion and textiles sector: Fashionsustain shares January 2022 line-up

16 Dec 2021

Revolutionising your own mindset while staying technologically up to date and never losing sight of sales figures – to meet all these requirements, the textile and fashion sector needs a new set-up. This is the goal Fashionsustain has set itself. The international and multidisciplinary conference format of Neonyt will be taking place from 18-20 January 2022 under the motto Change the set-up. Participants include Ecoalf, the German Design Council, Sympatex, Tchibo, the UN Global Compact Network Germany and Vinokilo.

There is nothing more constant than change – a fact that not only describes the very essence and core of fashion, but also the current sign of the times. Those who manage to accept change, creatively adapt to it and approach it positively will achieve long-term success. That is being proven by the many pioneers who have been joining in the discussion at Fashionsustain for years now. For the January 2022 edition, the conference is bringing together representatives of sustainable fashion brands, technology companies in the preliminary design phase, retail experts, behavioural economists and certification experts to explore the discrepancy between wanting to change and actually changing. Alongside technological innovations, new business models and ideas for fashion retailers, topics like consumer behaviour, ‘Nudging for Good’ and the gaming industry will play a role.

Thinking outside the box and being open to change is so important. Especially in the fashion industry, which has set out to halve its carbon emissions by 2030. But for this to happen, there needs to be a real mind shift. And to make that happen, Fashionsustain is defining the following milestones for its agenda in January 2022:

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Start by changing the mindset

To bring about a real change, it is not only essential that everyone involved in the textile sector rethinks their previous approaches, but also works together. To provide a full overview of the industry, this year’s Fashionsustain is bringing together brands, suppliers, media, NGOs, textile certification associations and government bodies right from the very first day.

Setting the framework for this is Dr Maren Urner, neuroscientist and professor of media psychology with her keynote speech entitled Change the Mindset. The focus here will be on the attitude-behaviour gap: a scientific phenomenon that involves consumers increasingly saying in studies that they attach importance to sustainability and are willing to spend more money on sustainably produced goods, while other studies confirm that pricing is still one of the most decisive purchasing criteria. This means that their actual consumer behaviour doesn’t live up to their good intentions. Afterwards, she will be reflecting on why people act differently despite having other intentions and how our own attitude will reflect our behaviour even more in the future in a panel discussion with Lutz Dietzold from the German Design Council and other industry and NGO representatives.

How this attitude can be embedded into globally applicable standards and laws will be discussed by the German Environment Agency together with Lenzing AG and the two NPOs Fairwear Foundation and The Sustainable Angle in Sourcing – How to tackle disruptions and become more sustainable. The focus here is on making supply chains transparent and ensuring that companies assume liability for human or environmental rights violations by their suppliers.

One shift in values that – also driven by the pandemic – has already happened is the increasing appreciation of nature and its integration into city life. Against this backdrop, sustainability standard Bluesign will be holding a talk entitled Outdoor fashion. Nature lovers in the city. together with outdoor experts from Deuter, Pinqponq and Sympatex about how they have adapted their products and working practices to their changing target group. The fact that brands are not immune to the attitude-behaviour gap either is being proven by Christian Salewski from research start-up Flip: in his insight talk Sneaker Hunt – What happens to our old shoes?, he will be giving us a peek behind the scenes of one of the industry’s most hotly discussed videos this year: together with German celebrities, Flip has exposed the truth behind sneaker recycling and shown that brands aren’t always living up to their recycling promises.

As a contrast to this, streetwear talk Sneakers. How sustainable can they be? will be showing us how things can be done differently: Carolina Alvarez-Ossorio Speith, Chief Communication Officer at Ecoalf, will be presenting the cooperation with Bcome, a sustainability platform for transparent supply chains and discussing with Sebastian Thies from Nat-2 and Hagen Matuszak from Sneaker Rescue where the sneaker industry currently stands on the sustainability front and what changes are needed to bring about positive change here too.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations serve as an important compass for the whole industry. To round off the day, Silke Düwel-Rieth, Director of Business and SDGs at the UN Global Compact Network Germany, will therefore be giving insights into how the SDGs can be implemented into everyday business practices with the UN Global Compact Academy.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022:

Change in the technological framework

Alongside sustainability, digitalisation is the major driver of all markets right now. To actively drive forward and shape the transformation in the textile and fashion industry, it is therefore imperative that both these subjects are dealt with. That’s why the second day of Fashionsustain will revolve around technological advancements.

Starting the ball rolling is Marte Hentschel from Sqetch, a digital sourcing platform, with a keynote speech on the subject. Afterwards, Majken Kalhave, Executive Director of Creative Denmark, a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that fosters relations between international stakeholders and Danish creative industries, will be speaking about Sustainability by Design before joining Livia Lee, CEO of Lala Berlin, Jess Fleischer, CEO of Son of a Tailor and Niels Mikkelsen, co-founder of Create2Stay, in discussing how to use digitalisation to create sustainable fashion.

This will be covered and examined in greater depth later on by designer and Burda New Faces Award winner Helene Galwas and Alice Beyer Schuch from Detto Fatto in the talk Fashion design – The role of design for sustainability in fashion.

With his start-up Tekyn, Pierre de Chanville is taking a different angle: with Ito Ito, he will be speaking on the topic of Customer-centric fashion production – Key for sustainability? and explaining how on-demand textile production should be geared more towards customers in order to avoid overproduction and returns and make supply chains more sustainable overall.

An important factor here is traceability within supply chains. The answer to the question of which technological solutions can make a crucial difference to transparency and efficiency will be discussed by Roman Houlbreque, Chief Customer Officer of Retraced GmbH, Marion Röttges, Co-CEO at Remei AG and Sasha Adam, Sustainability Manager at Greenbomb in the panel Traceability. A question of technology?

The second day will be rounded off by a discussion on textile certifications as an important intersection between the physical world of the product and the digital traceability of its supply chain. Under the title Certification Jungle, Sebastian Herold, Deputy Head of Unit at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Axel Schröder, Sustainability Manager Human Rights at Tchibo, and a sustainable fashion brand will be guiding us through the jungle of certifications and standards.

Thursday, 20 January 2022:

Changes in consumption behaviour as an opportunity

Consumer behaviour is changing – and not only because of the pandemic, but also because of a progressive change in values. How retailers can keep up will be at the focus of the third day of Fashionsustain.

Nudging for Good – E-commerce and climate action is the topic of the first panel discussion. Nudging for Good is a way for companies to help people adopt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. Varena Junge from Yook, Eik Lämmerhirt from Keepoala and Frederik Dürr from My Shoefitter will be presenting their solutions: Yook encourages e-commerce retailers to act sustainably, the Keepoala app helps to reduce returns in a fun way, and foot measuring app My Shoefitter allows you to order shoes in the right size by determining your exact shoe size.

How sustainability can contribute to reviving city centres and retailers can position themselves as providers of knowledge for consumers will be discussed by Tanja Kliewe-Meyer from Like a Bird, Marco Schütte from the EK Service Group and Ricarda Mohr from the town of Herford in the panel entitled Sustainability at the point of sale – How do I explain it to my customers?

After that, Mimi Sewalski from Avocadostore and Maike Gossen from the TU Berlin will be exploring the conflicting priorities between revenue growth and a reduction in consumption in the interest of sustainability in their talk entitled Don’t buy these trousers – Fashion brands between sufficiency communications and the need to sell.

Can re-commerce provide a solution to this? The growth figures have been speaking for themselves for years now. Robin Balser, CEO and founder of successful vintage pop-up format Vinokilo, will be speaking to Anna Bronowski from Jan 'n June and Doris Schoger from Rebound Stuff about Re-commerce – An uprising business model in fashion retail? and discussing how brands and retailers can integrate the corresponding concepts into their existing business models.

This season, Fashionsustain will once again feature a Showcase, an exhibition that focuses on fashion start-ups, technology providers and products to market fashion. As well as Bcome and My Shoefitter, which will be on the Fashionsustain stage, packaging specialist EnvoPap will launch its latest circular packaging system for the fashion, retail and e-commerce industry made from waste products from agricultural fibres, which are recyclable and compostable and therefore completely biodegradable. They will also be joined by retail platform Staiy and WeDress Collective, a clothing rental service with a local approach.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, convention and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The group employs approximately 2,450 people at the headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021 the company had to deal with the challenges of the pandemic for the second year in a row. The annual turnover will be around 140* million euros, after closing the pre-pandemic year of 2019 with an annual turnover of 736 million euros. Even in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we still have close ties with our industry sectors all around the globe 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 to include new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, as well as personnel and catering services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned partly by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and partly by the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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* Provisional key figures for 2021