Why are crises also powerful catalysts for textile innovation? How are digital prototyping and machine learning redefining design processes? And how do companies gain decisive competitive advantages through new environmentally conscious technologies? These and other questions formed the central themes of the panel discussion at the opening press conference on the first day of Techtextil, Texprocess and the one-time Heimtextil Summer Special.
The Heimtextil Summer Special, together with Techtextil and Texprocess heralds the re-launch of the global textile trade fairs in Frankfurt – finally enabling new international contacts, personal business encounters and intensive networking on site in Frankfurt. “Volatile energy costs and raw material prices due to the Ukraine war, bottlenecks in production and rising transport costs – given the challenging environment of the textile industry, there could not be a better time for the re-launch of the textile trade fair trio,” stated Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board, Messe Frankfurt, in his opening speech. In addition, textile companies are faced with the task of finding their way in their own circular economy and rethinking their supply chains “Even in times of crisis, the following applies: Change always harbors business opportunities. And paves the way for progress and competitive advantages,” Braun continued.
Panel talk: Pioneering impulses in challenging times
The panel speakers Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office of the United Nations Office for Partnerships and co-founder of the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion, Elgar Straub, Managing Director of the VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies Association, and Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt, moderated by Alexandra Bohn, Style Content Director of F.A.Z. Quarterly, spoke about the role of collaborations in innovation development as well as on challenges as business opportunities – and how sustainability is continuously becoming a business-critical factor in the textile industry. Key strategic decisions in light of the upcoming EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and the Supply Chain Act coming into force were also topics of discussion.
In her keynote address, Lucie Brigham emphasized the importance of collaborations in identifying strategic market opportunities in sustainability: “Collaboration is key to fostering transformative sectoral engagement and accelerating the implementation of the SDGs. Mobilizing expertise, innovation, technology and resources can only be achieved through strong partnerships. Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network was one of the first members and valuable partners of the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network. We are proud to have been involved in the extensive SDG activities from the beginning and look forward to developing these activities together in the future,” said Brigham.
From 3D fabric simulations and machine learning for zero waste cutting technology to the use of blockchain for greater supply chain transparency, fashion-tech trailblazer Matthew Drinkwater shed light on how recent digital developments are redefining design processes and paving the way for innovation: “Emerging technologies are leading the textile industry into a new era, changing the way we create, communicate and consume products, redefining design processes as well as the deployment and tracking of ressources along the textile value chain,” Drinkwater explained.
Elgar Straub from the VDMA trade association highlighted the increasing demands on manufacturers of sewing and apparel technology and on machines for processing technical textiles, to automate and digitize production processes – while also showing how an increased focus on regional production can contribute to greater supply chain transparency: “Mechanical engineering and technology providers are the enablers for solutions to today’s biggest challenges: Sustainability, flexibility, and regionalization,” said Straub.
The panel discussion of the opening press conference is available in full length on the Texpertise Network as well as on the press pages of Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil as a stream in English and German.
Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil: trade fairs as a concentration of all innovations
With a total of around 2,300 exhibitors from 63 countries, this year’s Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil Summer Special will present forward-looking innovations and trends along large parts of the textile value chain. “As a concentration, trade fairs give these diverse developments visibility, bundled on a global business platform – and at the same time make a decisive contribution to understanding sustainability holistically and redefine supply chains,” explains Olaf Schmidt.
From yarns, fibers, contract, decorative and upholstery fabrics to functional textiles, textile technologies, finishing processes, water-saving dyeing processes and end products for textile furnishings, textile design, bedding and performance textiles, the parallel Techtextil, Texprocess and Heimtextil Summer Special offer a bundled global range of products – which also demonstrate that scalable and sustainable innovations are not at odds.
Highlights of the trade fairs at a glance
This summer, Heimtextil Trends will be taking place under the motto “Next Horizons” in Hall 4.0 with a clear focus on resource conservation.
The “Heimtextil Conference Sleep & More” in Hall 3.0 offers a first-class speaker line-up with, among other things, the latest findings in sleep research, tracking technology and on sustainability in the hotel industry.
Another highlight is Heimtextil’s one-hour Green Tours guided by an independent consultant to selected exhibitors with an exchange on the latest developments in the green segment. The tours start at 2 p.m. on all three days of the fair at the Green Village Counter in Hall 3.0.
In addition, Heimtextil will host its widely acclaimed Interior.Architecture.Hospitality program. This top-class knowledge and networking platform is aimed specifically at experts in contract furnishing. “Scenarios in space” is this year’s leading theme of Interior.Architecture.Hospitality LECTURES 2022 on 22.6.2022.
At the Texprocess Denim Future Lab in Hall 8.0, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the world of denim production and processing. Trends such as eco-denim or luxury denim will be vividly presented along many stages of the textile value chain and sustainable approaches and upcycling solutions will be demonstrated. The Speakers Corner invites to discussions and exchange with exhibitors of the Transformer Foundation.
How are technical textiles used in the apparel industry? The Techtextil special show Performance Textiles in Fashion in Hall 9.1 focuses on textile end products and presents unusual and innovative garments.
The Techtextil and Texprocess Forum offer expert lectures and discussions on current industry topics on all four days of the fair. The free forums provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and pick up on new trends and approaches. Presentations such as “Softgoods for Hardware: Fabric in the Metaverse” or “Sustainability – where should the data come from?” await the audience on site or afterwards on-demand in the Digital Extension. The patron of the Techtextil Forum (Hall 9.1) is once again EURATEX – The European Apparel and Textile Confederation. As in 2019, the program of the Texprocess Forum (Hall 9.0) will be organized by DTB – Dialog Textil-Bekleidung e.V. and VDMA TFL.
What does the future hold for the textile industry? What textile innovations have been developed in recent years? The innovative strength of the industry is reflected in the wide range of progressive approaches in the field of technical textiles and textile processing presented at the Techtextil or Texprocess Innovation Awards. Textile innovations selected by two international groups of experts will be awarded prizes and presented on all four days of the fair in Hall 9.1 (Techtextil) or 9.0 (Texprocess). The public presentation of the Innovation Awards will take place on June 21, 2022 in Hall 9.0.