The tenth edition of the Green Directory, the exhibitor directory for sustainable producers, is supposed to include more pioneers and newcomers than ever before with 259 companies. The ‘Green Village’ is also enjoying growth. In the sustainability area in hall 12.0, which acts as a first port of call for all questions relating to green issues, recognised certifiers and seal awarders are presenting themselves.
New to this area is the German government's ‘Grüner Knopf’ textile seal, launched in September, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, which is presenting the global Sustainable Development Goals at Heimtextil. For example, Lucie Brigham, chief of office at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, is to report on the Sustainable Development Goals.
At the fair, two showcases are illustrating which sustainable approaches the industry is pursuing and how they are already being applied in practice: the Portuguese textile industry is presenting the ‘iTechStyle Green Circle’ in hall 12.0 and Pakistani manufacturers is presenting pioneering projects under the ‘Sustainable Pakistan’ umbrella in the foyer of hall 10.2.
“Together with our designers, we have set ourselves the goal of creating a sustainable show and have adopted a material manifesto for this purpose. The aim is to minimise the environmental impact by selecting materials in an intelligent way. This means: wherever possible, alternative, sustainable materials were used, said Olaf Schmidt, vice president textiles & textile technologies of Messe Frankfurt.
“Heimtextil thus invites you to a design show that not only talks about sustainability but also embraces it in practical terms and, thanks to this approach and its reputation, is unrivalled worldwide. With the motto where I belong, visitors interested in design will experience around 1000 exhibits by international exhibitors in the ‘Trend Space’ in hall 3.0 – integrated into a spectacular design concept by Stijlinstituut Amsterdam under the direction of Anne Marie Commandeur. The approach of the new Future Materials Library, part of the Trend Space, will also be progressive and sustainable. Here, visitors can explore the nature and production method of innovative materials. The focus will be on recycled fabrics and cultivated – so-called living – textiles, among other things. “
For its 50th edition, Heimtextil is bringing together 2952 companies from 65 countries.
“There is hardly any other trade fair in the world that can look back on such an eventful and successful history. Ever since the first event in January 1971 with 679 exhibitors, we have invested massively over the decades in the quality of the fair as well as in the range of information and inspiration we offer the industry. We are looking forward to a very special edition of Heimtextil, which is in very good shape as it approaches its 50th anniversary,” said Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt.
The textile furnishing sector faces major challenges in the anniversary year of Heimtextil: the digital revolution – key word ‘Industry 4.0’ – is currently leading to fundamental changes in the manufacture and processing of home textiles.
Not all companies can keep up, meaning that the past year has been dominated by business closures and insolvencies. Digitisation opens up many opportunities on the production side – on the retail side, however, it leads to a significant shift in purchasing flows, making specialist bricks-and-mortar shops dependent on new concepts in the medium term. Here, too, there has been strong consolidation and a decline in the number of specialist shops.
The latest industry report by the IFH Cologne shows that spending on home and household textiles continues to slide. As a result, German industry is pinning its hopes on foreign markets and the high proportion of Heimtextil trade visitors from abroad (75 per cent).
As another top theme, Heimtextil is focusing on the furnishing of hotels and public buildings under the title ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality’. The new highlight here is the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Library’, a textile materials library with 64 selected, high-quality products categorised according to functional properties especially for contract furnishing.
With this library, Heimtextil is clearly demonstrating the many and varied uses of functional textiles, in particular providing interior designers with a first-rate work tool. Every product on display is labelled with the name of the manufacturer, booth number and its functional properties. Furthermore, the fair is offering interior designers, architects and hospitality experts an extremely attractive programme in hall 4.2 – with superb product presentations in the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Expo’, a four-day lecture programme, guided tours and a special exhibitor directory, the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Directory’.
The topic of ‘sleep’ is of huge power and importance for both personal well-being and for the home textiles industry. Heimtextil is dedicating itself to this much-discussed lifestyle theme for the second time.
In ‘Sleep! The Future Forum' in the foyer of hall 11.0, a four-day programme is entertaining listeners with talks on a wider range of topics from numerous experienced sleep experts. These sleep experts include professional athletes such as Olympic luge champion Susi Erdmann and scientists from Berlin’s Charité, the Fraunhofer Institute and the German Sleep Research Society.
Heimtextil has also been able to attract speakers from Ikea, Hästens and Auping to talk about progressive sleep topics. Numerous products aimed at greater sleep comfort is celebrating their première in the context of the ‘Sleep’ programme.
To mark the 50th edition of Heimtextil, the tradefair is presenting design classics from the past 50 trade fair editions in a showcase area in hall 9.0. Under the motto ‘Heimtextil Journey through Time – Celebrating 50 Years of Interior Design’, the fair is inviting visitors to take a tour through five decades of Heimtextil history. Four specially designed rooms are incorporating colours, shapes, furniture and design objects from past decades. The showcase is complemented by a café that is realised in cooperation with Schöner Wohnen, Europe's largest living magazine.
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