Strong collection statements, matured concepts with sophisticated content as well as a pronounced awareness for sustainable product and process solutions were centre stage at MUNICH FABRIC START from 29 to 31 January 2019. The most recent event made it clear how important an operational and perfectly equipped business platform is in view of current market challenges. The possibilities for direct exchange and in-depth networking were used more than ever. 

There was a “great need to talk” both on the part of the over 1,000 exhibitors and on the part of the designers and buyers from leading international brands. After three busy days the latest MUNICH FABRIC START drew to a close with the first ever 3% decrease in visitor attendance against the previous year’s event in January 2018. Despite the current tight, in part explosive market situation 19,800 international trade visitors in total travelled from German-speaking and European countries to Munich. The percentage of visitors from European countries remained unchanged at 38%. Strikingly positive, however, was the atmosphere on site: for the whole duration of the trade fair an optimistic and hopeful anticipation of the WHAT IS LOVE Summer 2020 could be felt.

“The industry is looking for new ways. Strategic cooperations are decisive tools for strong market positions. Apart from the sourcing of textiles and additionals, modern trade fair business is especially about process engineering and synergies. At the end of the day, it is about finding the right players for digital value chains and establishing new, coordinated collaborations.” Sebastian Klinder, Managing Director MUNICH FABRIC START

The current MUNICH FARBIC START has flagged up the strongly symbiotic relationship between fashion and technology. It has shown that new thinking is required for many processes and that it is no longer sufficient to think of fashion in terms of the finished product but rather from the start of the process – beginning with raw material production.

Besides the all-encompassing theme of sustainability, technology and digitalisation were also predominant subjects for discussion – both at the stands and in the discussions and round tables with high-calibre panellists at the KEYHOUSE FORUM as well as in the DENIM DOCK at BLUEZONE. 

Orientation, in-depth information and concrete possible applications are also the central theme in the ReSource Area. In this zone newly designed two seasons ago sustainable textile solutions are categorised and presented by product themes from organic, regenerative raw materials to recycled products and textile innovations. The interest in the ranges and lectures presented in the ReSource Area is rising constantly and even the big, well-known brands have started sourcing here now. 

One of the highlights was the talk by Rolf Heimann, CEO of Hessnatur Stiftung and definitely one of the pioneers in view of sustainable and ecological apparel, delivered on the theme of Applied Sustainability – compliance with forthcoming requirements.

“The important and proper integration of the ReSource platform into MUNICH FABRIC START as well as labelling stands with a focus on sustainability is an important indication that the sustainability theme has been understood as a value driver for business!” Rolf Heimann, Vorstand CEO, Hessnatur Stiftung

Also attracting a great deal of attention was the SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS Forum at KEYHOUSE. Commenting on this Simon Angel, the curator of Sustainable Innovations, said that this Forum had succeeded in making an open-minded and highly interested audience curious about, and inspired by, novel, sustainable materials and alternative processes; making them stop and take some time out in this atmospherically designed area.

“With SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS we have a progressive lab with the latest resources and materials inspiring visitors to ponder on new possibilities for material use and manufacturing processes.” Frank Junker, Creative Director MUNICH FABRIC START

Another focal theme at KEYHOUSE, the Innovation Think Tank of MUNICH FABRIC START, was the presentation of the HIGH TEX AWARD. The winner of this year’s innovation award was Becker Tuche, Aachen. The runner up was Soorty Enterprises and in third place came Mectex by Manifatture Italiane Scudieri. The award-winning innovations are presented in detail in the following link:  HIGH TEX AWARD WINNERS

Recycling, sustainability, circularity – terms and themes that have already become integral parts of the collections displayed by many BLUEZONE exhibitors – show just how much the denim industry of all sectors is now also focusing on sustainability. The industry is being put through an acid test – not only because of rising public awareness about the environmental impact of apparel producers. Digitalisation also puts pressure on previously proven business models to change. Against this backdrop technology innovations and sustainability were also discussed in the talks at the DENIM DOCK.

“In the denim industry the change is above all about saving water in production and using less environmentally harmful finishing processes as well as circular economy models.” Alberto Guzetti, Tejidos Royo

In Munich BLUEZONE has emerged as a forum that mirrors the entire supply chain ever more clearly and in more detail. This includes new technologies and process solutions; creativity all the way down to end users and, of course, all the information related to innovative, resource-saving materials as impressively pooled at the KEYHOUSE.

Designers, product managers and buyers of renowned brands and labels were not only involved in in-depth discussions but also on a quest for new materials, innovations and fashion impulses such as updated colour schemes and patterns. Even though florals are still current there is an increased change of direction visible towards re-visited graphics and Art Deco inspirations.