Frankfurt am Main, 3 August 2021 The 48th edition of INNATEX from 31 July to 2 August closed its doors having recorded a slight increase in the number of visitors compared to the year before. The fair in Hofheim-Wallau near Frankfurt am Main took place in the summer of 2020 when many other events fell victim to the pandemic. This was still the case this year, but with one significant difference: The number of visitors rose by 10 percent.
“The numbers are no comparison to those achieved before the pandemic but we’re glad to see that they’re increasing all the same,” concluded Jens Frey, Managing Director of organiser MUVEO GmbH.
ON WE GO: new names, new partnerships
“COVID-19 plunged the industry into so much uncertainty especially with respect to budgets, offline measures and travel,” stated Alexander Hitzel, Project Manager of INNATEX. However, the mood does seem to be improving, albeit slowly and cautiously. Even the number of international exhibitors from across Europe and overseas was respectable, accounting for 25 percent of the total: “We’ve had to respond to many situations at extremely short notice, but we were always determined to make the summer event happen. And that’s just as well, as life must go on,” commented Hitzel.
Several debuts: African Pavilion, brands and people
Quite a lot has been happening in other areas, too. The African Pavilion was among the premieres, and was created and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in collaboration with INNATEX.
“The stand generated lots of interest,” stated Sarah Vogt of GIZ. “For the first time ever, we’re representing 13 fashion designers and textile companies at INNATEX, who are synonymous with creativity, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of the emerging African textile industry. By staging the African Pavilion, we want to make it easier for companies to gain access to the German and European markets and in doing so, create jobs back at home. The Virtual African Pavilion can still be viewed until next Wednesday so it’s still possible to contact the exhibitors in person.”
Trends and USPs: Newcomers, colours, innovations
Anna Voelske of Fairmodel and INNATEX have entered a partnership of a different kind. Fairmodel is the world’s first modelling agency that only accepts people who work exclusively for sustainable brands.
“Advertising is facing a credibility crisis,” stated founder Anna Voelske. “Consumers are more than just buyers as they also take a critical stance. We believe credible personalities and models are extremely important when it comes to instilling confidence and representing sustainable brands. INNATEX is likewise a serious and credible platform, where critical thinking is even welcomed, and has been for more than 20 years.”
According to Hitzel, a striking number of new labels, collections and products exhibited at INNATEX this summer – including elegant upcycled fashion from Anzünderin, progressive footwear designs from Clewoo, chunky sneakers from ACBC as well as jeans from L‘Ago Verde.
The labels are increasingly focusing on unique selling points and innovations. In the production of its denim jeans, L‘Ago Verde, for example, uses orange peel as a finishing agent instead of chemicals that generate micro plastics. The shoes from ACBC are produced, among others, from maize remnants and grape skins, whereas Anzünderin chose to upcycle a tablecloth from Provence, among other things.
Well-known labels likewise presented striking innovations such as Alma & Lovis with its vegan cactus leather on a natural textile and N‘go Shoes with its crowdfunding project featuring Viva con Agua. Not only is Scandinavian minimalism as popular as ever (newcomers Klitmøller & Muse Wear), but colourful all-over patterns (newcomer Afriek) are also drawing a lot of attention to themselves.
Looking ahead, Hitzel is highly motivated: “At this INNATEX, we were unable to introduce some of our new ideas and features because of Covid-19, so we’re hoping to have all the more surprises in store for the green fashion community next winter.”
The next INNATEX takes place from 22 to 24 January 2022.
African Virtual Pavilion: https://innatex-vap.expo-ip.com
Images in a high-quality print resolution: https://innatex.muveo.de/download/
When using photo images, please add the following copyright notice: “Photo: INNATEX – International Trade Fair for Sustainable Textiles”.Press Release as PDF