Optimistic tone to the 50th INNATEX in Hofheim-Wallau near Frankfurt
International trade fair for Green Fashion registers first signs of recovery
Frankfurt am Main, 1 August 2022 When the doors to the 50th edition of INNATEX closed on 31 July, the outcome had been better than many participants were expecting. True, orders and visitor numbers were still below levels regarded as normal before COVID; but the trends were upward once again and the atmosphere at the international trade fair for natural textiles was as relaxed as in the years before 2020. The majority of labels and organisations reported rising statistics. All of this underlines the growing relevance of sustainability in fashion.
“To protect our health and that of our teams and customers, we haven’t attended any fairs for two and a half years,” say Laura and Uli Ott of Marlowe nature, expressing the buyers’ point of view. “That makes it all the nicer to be able to meet up with like-minded people again, explore the new products and ideas and, of course, place orders at the fiftieth INNATEX. Quite simply, it’s very different being able to directly compare the collections from different suppliers at a trade fair. Alongside labels that we’ve stocked for a long while, we’ve also placed orders with new ones.”
Pandemic and other problems cause uncertainty in terms of planning
There were plenty of current issues and challenges to discuss in the Lounge Talks at the Community Area and in the exhibition hall. These included forthcoming EU measures such as the Product Environmental Footprint, according to Heike Hess of the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry (IVN), the patron of INNATEX.
“Another aspect is the procurement bottleneck,” says Hess. “This is the result of strains on delivery chains caused by the coronavirus, climate change and the international political crisis due to the war. For smaller textile producers, the shortages are made worse still by the fact that large corporations are jumping onto the sustainability bandwagon and are being given priority due to their ordering volumes. We are currently discussing solutions to the resulting planning problems such as strategic network-building, securing purchases of organic fibres and opening up new markets by means of global cultivation projects.”
The return to natural fibres – organically certified where possible
Trending topics from the Green Fashion sector at INNATEX included the circular economy, natural fibres such as linen and hemp, pastel shades, and transparency throughout the supply chain. The online platform Retraced, winner of the German Sustainability Award, offers block-chain based solutions for traceability back to the source. Axel Kolonko represented the startup as one of seven experts in the new Community Area and reported a high degree of interest.
Other participants sharing insider knowledge in this dedicated area were Sabine Kaldonek of Femnet e.V., Juliane Ziegler of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Rosa Buchacher of Fairtrade Germany, Heike Hess of the IVN, Susanne Dienst-Lang and René Lang of the Association of German fashion and textile Designers VDMD, and Mirjam Smend (Greenstyle Munich) and Heike Littger, who jointly publish the magazine Pureviu.
On the Saturday evening, the team from MUVEO GmbH fired up the anniversary party with stirring words from Jens Frey (Managing Director of MUVEO), Alexander Hitzel (INNATEX Project Head), Tiffany Clark (INNATEX Project Manager) and the President of the International Association of the Natural Textile Industry (IVN), Franziska Kunze. In among the live acts and the finger food, the atmosphere reached its peak.
Alexander Hitzel, INNATEX Project Head, sums it up thus: “Pandemic, procurement, inflation, rising energy prices – to be honest, we simply can’t predict what is in store for the sustainable fashion industry and other sectors in the next few months. But this 50th edition of INNATEX gives us confidence that Green Fashion is back on track towards success.”
The next INNATEX will take place from 21 to 23 January 2023.
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