The latest edition of Bluezone, held on September 4-5, 2018 in Munich’s Zenithalle alongside Munich Fabric Start (which ran until September 6 in the nearby MOC Centre), had a very cool, lively and friendly atmosphere. Despite bad weather and traffic problems during the first hours of the opening day, the show was a success.
In addition to the German, Austrian and Swiss visitors who normally visit the show, this edition also drew numerous attendees from countries such as Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands.
A winning ace for this edition–in addition to the highly informative and interesting trend information conferences, seminars, talks and discussions, including SI Talk “Denim Production in Disruption-Where are the Future Sourcing Hubs?” moderated by Bluezone’s Panos Sofianos and SI’s Sabine Kühnl and involving selected personalities from the industry–was the casual and relaxed festival attitude that characterized the open-air areas between the Blue Zone exhibiting spaces and the Keyhouse pavilion. Reminiscent of a mix between a cool street market and a summer festival, the area featured new exhibitors such as Egyptian garment manufacturer Lotus and design studio and leather prototyping company Studio Munique, among others. At the end of the opening day this same area also hosted a very cool and informal party where guests and exhibitors could hang out, listen to music, celebrate and network.
Several newcomers participated in the show. Among them was Regenerated Fashion, a German start-up company focused on finding creative solutions for developing better fashion based upon knowledge and design workshops, strategic advisory and new product-based approaches. Another newcomer was Mavera, a Turkish garment manufacturer founded in 2010 that specializes in producing denim and non-denim garments finished with innovative surface treatments, embroideries, applications and innovative color coating.
The show gave great attention to a comeback of workwear. As part of the show’s conference denim expert Mohsin Sajid led a denim lesson on the history of workwear and analyzed how it has influenced the evolution of jeanswear.
Denim overalls were also among the protagonists of the show and were presented in almost every booth. Alongside them there were also comfy ’80s roomy jeans and jackets and a strong comeback of black denim in many shades.
Italian weaver Europa presented a series of new fabrics that employ innovative fiber mixes. The offer includes visually strong wool-cotton denims, super soft-touch cashmere cotton and cupro-cotton denims. Europa has also started employing BCI cotton and Roica and Newlife eco-friendly fibers.
Among the strongest trends seen at the show were innovative products. For example, Creora presented its Creora Fit2, a technology that helps its Creora Eco-Soft 4-way heat set spandex guarantee fabrics reduced shrinkage and better recovery.
Likewise zipper specialist Riri has recently launched a selection of zippers that are painted with a substance that makes them look and feel as if they were covered with a velvety hand rubber surface.
Sustainability, the real cool
Many other exhibitors presented their developments aimed at reducing their impact on the environment. Jeanologia launched its own manifesto aiming to push the jeanswear industry becoming completely eco-friendly. It has set “Five Zero” aims–zero waste, zero manual scraping, zero potassium permanganate spray, zero stonewash and zero bleach–as standards for the denim industry to become less impactful, while improving the look and quality of its products while still keeping costs affordable.
In addition, in other areas of the show, Tencel Lyocell has partnered with seamless knitting machine manufacturer Santoni for the launch of seamless knitwear sneakers and backpacks.
Also highly innovative were a series of eco-friendly materials launched. These included a dyeing pigment derived from blood proteins, a very soft leather obtained from cow stomachs, another alternative leather from fish skin and ceramic pearls employed for various uses, mostly aimed at the design and interior decor market.
Metalbottoni, an Italian specialist in buttons, closures and accessories, presented a new selection of recycled leather labels obtained by recycling leather-production remains with a natural rubber glue added.
Finally, Portuguese eco-friendly jersey manufacturer Tintex has just launched its new Naturally Clean responsible finishing process that eliminates aggressive treatments, optimizes clean surfaces and guarantees vivid colors and a smooth hand feel. This achievement was obtained by using Novozymes technology, an eco-friendly biological solution.