MFS believes that digitized fabrics are the future and consumers think and buy beyond fashion. The show has always offered platforms for discussion and information on hot topics from sustainability to optimized production.
Munich Fabric Start (MFS) and Keyhouse will take place September 3-5, and while Bluezone runs on September 3-4, 2019 in Munich’s MOC. Sebastian Klinder, managing director, Frank Junker, creative director, and Jo Baumgartner, fabric and trend consultant for the show, explained how the industry, the consumer and MFS events are evolving.
What new megatrend will the denim and fabric industry focus on in the future?
Sebastian Klinder: One of the key issues of the future is the digitization of materials. The next few years will bring forward a digital twin for every produced fabric. Through this analysis process, the speed in production can be substantially increased. At present, the subject of 3D product simulation is intensively discussed in the context of product development of clothing. Shortening development cycles to bring fashion trends to market faster, as well as saving on sample parts to reduce development costs are just some of the key drivers here. Many CAD manufacturers developed 3D technology years ago to provide industry and commerce solutions. One scenario in future could be that standardized digital data with corresponding material parameters from the supplier industry to be made available to the fashion industry so that it can be quickly and efficiently transferred to corresponding simulation software.
On the other hand, there is a kind of very conscious consumption, even anti-consumption, which will push the industry to reposition itself.
What novelties will insiders find by visiting next Munich Fabric Start (MFS) and connected sections?
Sebastian Klinder: In the past, MFS with Bluezone, Keyhouse and the individual forms of presentation of the more than 1,000 suppliers of fabrics and additionals in the MOC focused on strategic and content-related topics.
We have expanded, completed and deepened this concept both qualitatively and quantitatively. For this September edition, this trade show will offer an unprecedented product and theme density.
Visitors will experience a new form of trend presentation. We have further optimized the Resource Area hosting sustainable materials and innovations.
For weavers and suppliers, sustainability plays an increasingly important role, which comes into effect in the collection design and production processes. We will re-open the Sourcing Area in the recently completed Hall 8 directly opposite the MOC. At Prime Manufacturing Solutions renowned fashion brands and retailers meet apparel and accessories manufacturers from all over Europe.
The Keyhouse, our show’s think tank, presents many state-of-the-art research projects, innovative collaborations and high-tech developments. Be it 3D Knitwear on Demand in the Knitcloud by The Girl and The Machine or printed electronics in the "Smart Textiles Pop-up Lab" by Holst Center & Pauline van Dongen, be it KPMG x Microsoft with its Mixed Reality Hololens or the Digital Fabric Lab with a 3D product development process–this area stages the fusion of sustainability and technology achieved by many innovative international players.
I am looking forward to the new presentation of Li Edelkoort and her interpretations on trends, fashion and tendencies and her high-caliber sustainability panel with representatives from Lenzing, EON, UNGC and others.
What new projects is Bluezone hosting?
Sebastian Klinder: The Bluezone All Related Collab project (also see our prereportage: LINK) will host eight working teams of international designers, producers, fabric suppliers and ingredient manufacturers collaborating together. The result of their work will be eight forward-looking complete total looks only obtained through sustainable products and processes.
Also new is our Blue Fest to be held in the outdoor section of the Zenith area. Here visitors can share inspirational interactions of heritage, craftsmanship and authenticity in a relaxed streetlife atmosphere. It’s our exhibitors’ and visitors’ “favorite” spot to meet, discuss and participate in roundtables and dialogues in the midst of the Bluezone.
This section will again present over 100 leading international denim and sportswear companies, underlining our position as one of the world's largest denim shows. Added to this are the participants of the Blue Fest in the outdoor area of the Zenith Halle.
What characterizes next Munich Fabric Start’s main theme "Beyond Aware”?
Jo Baumgartner: Beyond Aware analyzes the complex levels of consciousness on which we perceive ourselves and the world–personal, global, regional, mental, rational, emotional and even transcendental. It’s a new way of thinking far beyond our previous understanding of fashion. It requires us to observe the changes in the consumer’s shopping and clothing behavior to dedicatedly react to it in a dynamic, mindful and courageous way. It sets the start of a trend and value change, which is currently manifested in two ideological orientations: “Bold Expressions,” reflecting an individual, very enthusiastic lifestyle and fashion style, and “Forward Ethics” standing for a conscious, responsible consumption.
Fabric manufacturers and brands–especially in the denim and jeanswear markets–are going more sustainable and eco-friendly. How can the industry and a show like MFS/Bluezone guarantee that it is not just a marketing topic?
Sebastian Klinder: We cannot take responsibility for an entire industry. However, we can be very conscious, explicit and precise about sustainability. As a trade fair organizer, we offer an internationally recognized platform for discussing this topic pointing out developments but also effectively placing on grievances. We have become very concrete in the past and we will continue to do so both as a trade show organizer, but also as an initiator of forward-looking solutions by also cooperating with international experts.
Our shows have dealt with sustainability since an early stage, but we have also concentrated on optimized production processes by inviting experts to talk about their solutions. We have opened the Keyhouse to create an exclusive space for future topics. With our Sustainable Innovations section, we created an area that not only informs, but also emotionalizes, displaying many different ways of seeing and thinking textiles. For the sixth time, we have been awarding our HighTex Award innovation prize for outstanding achievements and commitment in these areas. In this context, our expanded Resource Area, which, with more than 500 eco-friendly produced and certified fabrics from all segments of the textile market, provides a qualified overview of the offer with a corresponding manufacturer reference. In addition, all products presented are available throughout the year via our sourcing platform. Every year we discuss new developments in numerous panel discussions and keynote speeches. And slowly but surely, we are seeing a serious and general understanding of responsible production across the industry. Opposite and closely linked to this are technology and digitization, which can simplify production processes and offer alternative solutions to problems.
What measures does MFS actively take when it comes to sustainability?
Frank Junker: For years, we have been investing in high-quality stand construction systems in order to be able to use them over for long. A large part of our electricity requirement is gained from solar systems on the roofs of the event location. In the entire exhibition complex, you will mainly find LED lamps. Our carpets are cleaned and recycled after the show to be re-used as e.g. felt slippers. In order to protect our flooring against construction dirt, we use only a very thin and paper-based protective film. At the Trend Forums, we work with recyclable wood whenever possible. In addition, we generally use acrylic colors, like, for instance, water-based paints, without solvents. For the printing of our communication media, we order environmental-friendly recycled paper. In the catering area, we pay attention to regional products and to the distribution of drinks on reusable glass bottles. Exhibitor and visitor badges are biodegradable. Thanks to our tightly timed shuttle service between Munich Airport and the exhibition center, we reduce the number of individual journeys.