There is no better way to start the year than to lose yourself among the thousands of homes that are comprised within the commercial offer of Heimtextil, the most important international home textiles and interior design fair in the world. In our tireless search for trends and sustainable products, it is a “must” to understand how the home of the new decade will be. The organizers delighted us with a long program of conferences, panel talks and tours in which the word “sustainability” was the leitmotif of everything that wants to be modern.
The panel discussion ‘Securing the future of the next generations – sustainable strategies for manufacturers and retailers’ was one of the highlights of the four-day programme. It presented practical examples from Lenzing, Vossen and IKEA and introduced the new state-run ‘Grüner Knopf’ textile seal and the global Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations to the interested trade audience.
It is a reality. Whether start-up or traditional company, no manufacturer will be able to avoid environmentally friendly materials and production processes in 2020. Yes. Sustainability is the major overarching theme of the industry. At Heimtextil 2020, green aspects were at the top of the fair’s agenda. The event is promoting the industry's commitment to sustainability and giving green pioneers a platform. The tenth edition of the Green Directory, the exhibitor directory for sustainable producers, included more pioneers and newcomers than ever before with 259 companies. The ‘Green Village’ was 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 presented themselves. Yes. Even big names are placing value on textiles made of certified materials and avoiding plastic packaging. For example, the Krefeld-based company Deco Design Fürus with its OceanSafe brand is one of the pioneers in the field of recycling management.
Our first stop was undoubtedly Trends Spaces, the exhibition that the fair organizes every year to inspire interior designers, press and architects about the trends that our homes, hotels and stores will become seasoned with in the coming years.
Indeed, this design show showed that not only talks about sustainability but also embraced it in practical terms. With the motto “Where I Belong”, visitors interested in design could experience around 1000 exhibits by international exhibitors 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, was also progressive and sustainable. Here, visitors could explore the nature and production method of innovative materials.
Overconsumption of scarce natural resources is driving Designers to rethink and reclaim waste materials in intelligent and sensitive ways. As well as offering environmental benefits, these innovations signal a shift in our relationship with materials and a reinterpretation of value. From single-use plastics to textile offcuts and pre-loved clothing, Designers are intercepting industrial and domestic waste streams beforw they reach landfill, and haversting these alternative raw materials to create useful and desirable products.
With the world’s population expected to exceed nine billion by 2050, should we be looking to the ever-abundant organic waste stream from humans as a way to replace contemporary polluting syntetics? From the byproducts of agricultural industries to the clippings on hairdressers’ floors, experimental Designers are re-evaluating organic waste matter to transform low-value or unwanted materials into products that are not only functional but also beautiful and far removed from their origins. Among Orange Fiber and Piñatex, we discovered other biological amazing byproducts:
Many of the natural material son which we rely have been over-farmed and excessively cultivated for centurias, so resources that are abundant today may be scarce in the future. To Harvest sustainably, we need to be flexible and inventive, basing our manufacturing on what is currently and locally available. The mainstream textile industry has traditionally drawn heavily on natural resources, with catastrophic consequences in terms of pollution and over-explotation. Now, naturally resilient varieties and widely forgotten heritage fibres are coming to the fore as viable, sustainable alternatives. Natural Assets shows a series of projects that span both high-tech and tradicional techniques to unlock the hidden qualities of some of the world’s most abundant and bio-positive plant life.