Re-Cycling. Up-Cycling. Circular Economy. Those visiting PromoTex Expo in 2020 could not avoid being confronted with sustainability. 110 exhibitors, 80% of them from abroad, demonstrated the ecological, economic and social commitment of the textile industry. In total, 16,367 textile producers, signmakers, promotional products distributors, agencies and marketers attended the trade show.
“Three quarters of Germans attach importance to sustainable fashion. They want to know how their apparel is manufactured, and rightly so. This is why I am delighted that Promotex Expo places sustainability centrestage in 2020,” says Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. He took over the patronage of PromoTex Expo.
For the second time now PromoTex Expo was held concurrently with the two trade shows PSI and viscom. Sustainability was the recurring theme at all three trade shows. The Textile Campus as a central port of call provided textile experts with an overview of sustainable possibilities and best practice in the textile business. “Together with the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development and ‘Der grüne Knopf’ we held the sector to account regarding the stepping up of efforts for sustainable production and fair working conditions,” says Petra Lassahn, Director of PromoTex Expo, explaining the focal theme of the trade show.
Anosha Wahidi, Head of Staff for Sustainable Supply Chains at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), also found that exhibitors and visitors take great interest in this topic. “This confirms to us at BMZ that we have the finger on the pulse. We have to encourage companies to make their sustainability management even more visible. The trade show is a very important networking event for doing this. We still have some way to go but policymakers, business and, in the final analysis, also consumers have to join us on this path.”
Textile re- und up-cycling are trending
While many materials are already produced sustainably the next challenge now is their recyclability. How to achieve this was demonstrated not by just one but a number of exhibitors at the show. “The development and live production of a capsule collection from garments donated by visitors in collaboration with the pop-up sewing factory and other exhibitors went down very well,” rejoices Manuel Krings, co-founder of “Hehlerei”. In the run-up to the trade show trade visitors had been called upon to bring their old clothes to the exhibition centre where they were sewn, repurposed and finished to be offered to the next consumer in a circular economy. The resulting garments were celebrated on the catwalk in a closing event. Pure Waste also showcased a collection made entirely from recycled materials right down to the cotton.
Textiles made of cork and paper
Many textile experts came to Düsseldorf in search of something – like Peter Weiß, Managing Director of Kettel- und Stickdienst Weiß. Specialised in textile finishing this was already his third time at the trade show: “I am particularly interested in innovations in the fields of print and embroidery at PromoTex Expo. Here I can assess the quality of the finished products so much better than in catalogues and talk to the exhibitors one on one.”
There were textiles made of such innovative materials as cork, paper and organic cotton to be discovered. Likewise, durable and high-quality products were in focus at numerous exhibition stands. ARC’TERYX Equipment Amer Sports, for example, now also offers high-quality jackets for B2B use and Tailor Konfektion has extended its range to include a corporate fashion line.
Second time round: Successful trade fair alliance
For the second time now PromoTex Expo was held in parallel with PSI and viscom. Together they mapped the complete World of Advertising and Selling and showcased products from textile, haptic and visual advertising. A concept that has its finger on the pulse. “We welcome the synergies generated by the three trade shows held here concurrently,” says Rainer Schlatmann, Editor Bremen Cotton Report, Bremer Baumwollbörse, and adds: “The market already has a more holistic mindset. This is why we feel that the small-scale segmentation we used to have with the stand-alone events is no longer up to date.”
Laura Powott, UK Brand Ambassador at Mantis World, also backs this trade show concept: “The interplay of the three trade shows allowed us to welcome more diversity among visitors at our stand. Sustainability was the top theme. This could be felt everywhere at the trade shows.”