Thursday, 27. October 2016
Sustainability is a necessity, not a trend
- ISPO TEXTRENDS introduces new ECO ERA area
- ISPO AWARD rewards commitment to sustainability
With strong ties between the sporting and natural worlds, sustainability is taking on an increasingly important role within the sports industry. Economical production processes, new options for recycling, and the associated product innovations are currently bringing about changes to what is on offer. ISPO TEXTRENDS is embracing this development and introducing the new ECO ERA category for innovations that are protecting the environment as well as enriching the market. Plus, new products that are environmentally friendly will be awarded bonus points by the ISPO AWARD ECO JUDGING PANEL.
ISPO TEXTRENDS will be introducing its new ECO ERA area for the first time at ISPO MUNICH 2017 between February 5 and 7, where the sustainable textile innovations of the future will be put in the spotlight.
The ISPO AWARD judging panel will also be giving out bonus points for sustainability to scores and awarding a special prize for outstanding commitment to environmental protection. The winners will be announced at the start of 2017. For further information, head to: ispo.com
Some sports brands already have close ties to nature, increasingly presenting themselves as having a holistic corporate philosophy founded on sustainability. And the number of these brands is growing steadily. Customers also expect transparency when it comes to information being provided on product manufacturing processes and now give even more thought to their own consumer behavior.
Benjamin Marias, who is a member of the ISPO AWARD judging panel, sees sustainability as a necessity rather than a trend: “There will come a point when the mass production of the modern age is no longer feasible. Thanks to the likes of 3D printers, for instance, consumers will increasingly start to become manufacturers themselves. Products are becoming more robust and there is more scope for them to be recycled. We can also expect the concept of rental products to become more widespread“.
Sustainable products have moved away from the niche sector, with businesses now working hard to drive the standards and opportunities forward. ISPO AWARD winner Patagonia impressed the judging panel with its wetsuits made from Yulex natural rubber, while Picture Organic Clothing is currently following suit with another natural innovation. With their crude-oil-based development, these two brands are offering the first alternative to the surfing wetsuit in almost 60 years.
As a reaction to growing consumer demand, the development of new materials is an excellent way to create exciting new products, for example on the basis of renewable resources that have never been used before. Member of the ISPO TEXTRENDS judging panel and trend researcher, Louisa Smith, endorses this major development. She views sustainability as an ongoing process that is bringing inspiration for brand-new products to the textile industry: “In the sports sector, functionality is key. There are suitable sustainable solutions on the market made using recycled materials, resource-efficient production procedures, and safe chemical processes. Consumers’ health is the key concern. New synthetic materials are of particular importance, offering huge potential for environmentally friendly collections alongside the more common natural materials.
For Anna Rodewald, a member of the ISPO AWARD judging panel, sustainability is all about looking ahead: “Companies who look forward to the future and act accordingly will gain a real competitive edge through innovations in processes, relationships, and business models. Standards that have been established for some time or even just recently been developed can provide guidance here. Examples include the Global Recycled Standard and the wool standard launched not long ago by Textile Exchange. The Higg Index from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition creates a common assessment standard for raw materials, forming the basis for a standardized language and approach for the textile manufacturing chain“.
You can find further information on the ISPO AWARD and the terms of participation here. The deadline for applications is January 13, 2017.