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Munich Fabric Start enjoys great success

Sep '19
Pic: Munich fabric start
Pic: Munich fabric start
Over 1,000 international suppliers presented more than 2,000 collections for Autumn/Winter 20/21 in the fabrics, additionals, denim and sourcing segments of the Munich Fabric Start during September 3 to 5, 2019. The fair was attended by over 20,300 international trade visitors, an increase of just under 1 per cent compared to the previous show.

A panel discussion on "SusTECHability - How Tends and Technology influence Sustainability in Fashion" was a big draw. It was hosted by Jana Kern and Alex Vogt (KERN.Consulting), Li Edelkoort (Trend Union), Tricia Carey (Lenzing Fibres), Michael Stabley-Jones (Un Global Compact), Erik Bang (H&M Foundation), Natasha Franck (EON Group) and Muchaneta Kapfunde (FashNerd.com) who discussed the future of fashion against the backdrop of influences from lifestyle and design, sustainable resources and circularity, big data and artificial intelligence.

"Developments in technology can be a key to resolving the current contradiction between a growing textile sector and the necessity to act in a more resource-saving manner. Ranging from transparency, recyclability to surplus production - the potential applications for Big Data, Artificial and Amplified Intelligence are wide and varied. The special thing about this Keyhouse panel was its multi-disciplinary approach was a discourse between the public perspective as represented by Li Edelkoort, the UN and media on the one side, and the H&M Foundation, Lenzing and EON on the other, as those bringing real innovations to our industry," said Vogt.

The fair was attended by over 20,300 international trade visitors. This mean an increase of just under 1 per cent. There were more visitors from France, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, China, the USA, South Africa and also from Eastern European countries such as Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia. There were fewer visitors registered from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Spain.

"In view of the current market situation in the German and European region we are highly satisfied with these constant figures and the footfall over the three trade fair days. All segments and areas of Munich Fabric Start were well attended, as was the new Hall 8 which was received very well. Keyhouse and Bluezone have consistently generated the highest numbers since their inception, with visitors spending increased time exploring the halls and segments of the trade fair. We observe a shift in visitors' needs - beyond purely sourcing fabrics and additionals and towards content and impulses, towards innovations and new market directions," Sebastian Klinder, managing director Munich Fabric Start, said

This is set against the backdrop of the future of the textile and fashion industries being determined by new and highly complex issues. There is multi-layered focus on sustainability with all of its associated awareness, sensibility and responsibility.

"With its current exhibition formats, the very well attended and high-caliber keynotes, panel discussions and lectures, Munich Fabric Start makes a crucial contribution to defining the future of textiles. With the help and support of experts, renowned enterprises and ambitious start-ups combined with courageous creative minds and committed young designers who are shaping their own future in new ways, we are setting new standards in a very focused and solutions-oriented way," said Frank Junker, creative director Munich Fabric Start.

The unique showcases at Bluezone and Keyhouse prove that content and communication are the essential parameters for novel collaborations. Marykate Kelly of Candiani confirms in today's market, trade fair presence goes far beyond the collection presentation. "We view Bluezone as a community platform and content hub. Although there are many diverse marketing channels for product communication there is no better brand experience than at a trade fair. And here at the Bluezone we not only find a great location but also a very open-minded and engaged community," said Kelly.

Tricia Carey of Lenzing Fibres shared this view: "To us this is a fantastic trade fair to meet with our customers. Furthermore, we get plenty of inspirations and impressions here. Munich Fabric Start is without a doubt my favourite fair. There is a very special atmosphere here. Here the most varied forms of creativity collide. Moreover, we use this opportunity to explain our products, strategies and cooperations in seminars and to launch products. We welcome our most varied range of visitors here in Munich: American clients, university graduates, start-ups and, of course, leading European brands."

Boasting a plethora of market launches, product innovations and collaborations by international denim brands Bluezone welcomed its strongest show since its inception. Exemplary was the All Related Collab Project involving 33 designers and enterprises that jointly designed 8 sustainable denim silhouettes. Also registering very high attendance were the Sportswear International Talks "Women in Denim" hosted by Sabine Kühnl (editor in chief, Sportswear International) and Lucie Germser (head of Communication and Design, Monsieur-T).

There was a lot of interest and great crowds at the Keyhouse when technology-based interaction was addressed, such as by KPMG x Microsoft with its third generation of a Mixed Reality Hololens, which offers an all new customer journey; or the premiere of the Digital Fabric Lab, which can shorten production cycles many times over through innovative analysis processes.

"It's a very valuable experience to see the wide variety of visitors here at Keyhouse. We received very positive feedback on our Smart Textiles Pop-Up Lab. To us it is of paramount importance to be physically on site to present ourselves to a broad audience. We capitalise on the opportunity to arouse and nurture the interest in technological possibilities," Pauline van Dongen, Holst Center, Eindhoven, said.

"Technology shapes Fashion" is how Rosanne van der Meer, the founder of The Girl and The Machine as well as of NIO New Industrial Order, defines this development in a nutshell. This start-up designs and produces personalised knitwear on the basis of 3D knitting techniques. "At first, I thought it was a problem that sweaters developed with 3D technology looked different than conventional, traditional knitted styles. I only realised over time that it is truly a USP for 3D knitting to have its own, inimitable look that stands out from conventional styles thereby leading fashion into the future also in terms of looks," van der Meer said.

Alongside communication and digitalisation, sustainability continues to be one of the dominating themes. It was addressed by Muchaneta Kapfunde of FashNerd.com in her panel discussion "Reshaping the Fashion Industry for Good" with Charney Magri (Do Epic good), Olivia Pinnock (Fashion Journalist), among others. "Fashion has to pursue a hybrid approach overall so that the apparel industry can really opt for sustainable innovation allowing it to implement sustainability initiatives with a high degree of design, disruption and integration of new technologies," according to Kapfunde.

The ReSOURCE Area also registered more visitors than previous events. Visitors welcomed the expansion of fabric ranges, with rising demand for certified articles being obvious. Also very well received was the area on packaging and presentation showcased for the first time. The lecture programme was also very well attended.

"Visitors come well prepared and ask informed questions. Renowned major players rub shoulders here with start-ups. We receive many questions by e-mail after the fair now so that an in-depth and personal level of communication emerges. It's also nice to see that visitors take their time and have a systematic approach. This shows: the system is embraced. The efforts undertaken by the trade fair company for the Resource Area have paid off. A great commitment," Heike Hess, Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft, said.

"Many visitors have now understood that they should be curious and open to all the things happening here. The atmosphere speaks for itself. Content, dialogue and communication are the key parameters for this form of interaction. It's nice to see that exhibitors and visitors now know what to expect at Keyhouse. Sustainable Innovations hone in on this spirit and start dialogue to convey the message in a nutshell," Simon Angel, curator Sustainable Innovations, said.

Proving a resounding success was the launch of the new Sourcing Area at the recently opened Business Club Munich located directly across from the MOC. A selection of 75 international apparel manufacturers and producers presented their services for the segments Womenswear, Menswear, Accessories, Corporate, Couture and Tailored in Hall 8. Alongside the most important German-speaking ready-to-wear manufacturers there were also renowned retailers spotted looking for producers. On top of this were visitors from the Baltic countries, from Russia and the Netherlands.

"It was a right and important move to locate the new sourcing format at this venue. We receive corresponding feedback from exhibitors and many visitors. We have already received confirmation from all exhibitors at this stage that they will be back next time. It is important that 'manufacturing and production' are presented here in Munich and get such exclusive exposure," Sebastian Klinder, managing director Munich Fabric Start, said.

For the 7th time now the HighTex Award was presented for outstanding achievements in innovative and sustainable product development as part of Munich Fabric Start. The winner was RDD Textiles from Portugal.

"We consider the HighTex Award as both a recognition for outstanding performance and as a motivation for novel innovation projects. It is a sustainable contribution to a clean future and a conscious handling of resources thanks to innovative material use. Our heartfelt congratulations go to the three winning enterprises - they have earned our respect for their efforts and commitment of all participants and their forward thinking product developments," Claudia Mynott, communications director Munich Fabric Start, said. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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