Reducing water use, contamination focus at Neonyt

05 Nov '18
4 min read
Courtesy: Neonyt
Courtesy: Neonyt

Minimising fashion industry’s impact on water consumption and contamination will be the focus of Neonyt and Fashionsustain, both of which are to be held between January 15 and January 17, 2019 during Berlin Fashion Week at Berlin. Approaches that lead to fashion industry making an active contribution to preserving the vital resource will also be discussed.

Neonyt is the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation. The international conference format Fashionsustain is part of Neonyt.

“Water means power – and responsibility”. With these words, Thimo Schwenzfeier, show director of Neonyt, perfectly sums up the relevance of the whole water theme. “Hardly any other industry in the world uses as much water as the fashion industry. Neonyt presents inspiring best-practice examples from the world of fashion and provides new stimulus to encourage a change in thinking – in a constructive and progressive way,” continues Schwenzfeier. And indeed, these days it’s almost impossible to talk about fashion without considering the topic of water. Whether in the cultivation and harvesting of raw materials, the production of the garments, in particular dyeing and other finishing processes, the washing or in connection with microplastics – in the cycle of fashion, water is ubiquitous.

The international conference format Fashionsustain will be dedicated to the subject of water. The focus will be on the strategies being deployed by companies to measure their negative impact caused by water consumption and water pollution and to effectively reduce it. High-profile speakers from innovative companies will be presenting visionary approaches to help preserve this vital resource.

The topics discussed in the conference will be brought to life in the “Showcase of Change” exhibition area. From material innovations to experimental prototypes, capsule collections and special editions down to research projects – the Showcase of Change will be presenting an inspiring spectrum of innovations.

Before that, from January 14 to 15, 2019, the Thinkathon – a space for open dialogue and creative thinking processes – will be held. In this collaborative design-thinking format, multidisciplinary teams develop highly innovative and sector-relevant responses to specific challenges set by leading industry representatives. Companies such as the Fashion Council Germany, Hugo Boss, Microsoft Hololens, KPMG and Zalando set the challenges at the previous two Thinkathons.

The Neonyt Trade Fair, the central part of the global hub Neonyt, will also be shedding light on the two poles of fashion and water from a neo-new perspective. By presenting water as a trend topic in various ways, the largest trade fair for sustainable fashion is raising awareness and calling for a new way of thinking. Whether inspiring material innovations or new dyeing techniques and formulas, Neonyt Trade Fair’s exhibitors will showcase new approaches to minimise water consumption and contamination caused by chemicals and microplastics.

Around two thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water and fashion is also inextricably linked to the element. Following on from the term “CO2 footprint”, the term “water footprint” has also established itself in the last few years. Not really surprising, since the virtual water consumption of a pair of jeans made of conventional cotton is around 11,000 litres of water[1]. The large amounts of water used to grow cotton are required in hot, mostly dry regions near the equator, where there is often an acute water shortage anyway. For one in six people, water shortages are already a bitter reality. And the intensive use of toxic pesticides in the production of cotton is also damaging to people and the ecosystem.

Fashion also plays a central role towards microplastics : washing a single garment can release up to 700,000 microscopic pieces of plastic and gradually contaminate the oceans and drinking water. According to Greenpeace, 35 per cent of all microplastics in the ocean consist of fibre particles that have been washed out of fashion textiles. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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