The Show Itself: Energetically Eco-Centric

Left: Talks on sustainability data and what you need to know about new textile regulations were popular with Performance Days attendees. Right: Sourcing starts at the Performance Forum where table and wall displays highlight the latest developments in functional fabrics.

Performance Days was off and running from the get go. An upbeat atmosphere, steady traffic in the aisles and packed attendance at Expert Talk presentations defined Day 1 of the show, which was held at the Munich fairgrounds on November 13-14.

The Performance Forum was particularly engaging owing to the show’s Focus Topic: Green Evolution; every fabric represented achieved a level of sustainable criteria determined by juried selection. A “Pop Up” area with additional exhibitors was stationed upstairs from the main concourse, and drew visitor attention. The advertised free coffee and snacks table may have provided some incentive, but those who “popped up” were pleased they did.

A mini conference called sustain&innovate debuted on Day 2 of the show. A series of excellent, eco-themed presentations ran back to back throughout the entire day. High-level execs from European brands and international textile companies provided lively discourse. So popular were the speakers and panel discussion that the stage area became a beehive of industry buzz. An unintended consequence, however, was quieter aisle traffic and some exhibitors commenting that the day was not as productive as they hoped.  

A spirit of sustainability was the main takeaway from this Performance Days. Newness came in the form of momentum in eco textile trends across all categories — from baselayer materials created from ginger to recyclable laminates, to biodegradable textiles, to undyed or solution-dyed products. These and other fabrications were among the 24 textiles displayed as “Jury’s Pick.” Culled from over 1000 exhibitor product submissions, items were deemed best of the best in terms of sustainability.

“Sustainability is a catalyst not a competition,” remarked one vendor, noting how the industry’s collective climate-consciousness has reached the next level to become a loud rallying cry for a cleaner, greener world. If it wasn’t already obvious, Performance Days made perfectly clear that eco is the engine driving textile innovation and members of the functional fabric community need to be on board, or left behind.

Up Next: Performance Days, April 22-23, 2020 in Munich.