Earlier this month we attended the Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, to discover new innovations in performance textiles, and hopefully discover a wide range of materials with a reduced environmental impact. Visitors were greeted by outdoor equipment and clothing manufacturers and brands, as well as dozens of suppliers and manufacturers specialising in outdoor and technical fabrics and finishes, many of whom are certified bluesign® partners.
bluesign® certification is a good sustainability indicator for performance fabrics, as it assesses water effluent, air emissions, energy consumption, worker safety, consumer safety, RSL/chemical residues, and responsible use of resources for textile products, from fibres and yarns to fabrics and final products; components for textile products, chemicals and dyestuffs, and textile processing techniques. The step of so many mills from the sector to work to the bluesign® guidelines showed a positive move towards a less harmful industry.
When talking to the companies it soon became apparent that sustainability is more of a priority in the outdoor and performance industry than in the fashion sector, with brands and mills both making it a priority to reduce their impact on the environment that they are designing for. By showcasing more of these innovations, we aim to showcase even more ways that the fashion textiles sector can lower their impact and improve on their business practices, and by proxy benefit through the reduction of waste and chemical outputs, and the saving of resources.
To round off the trade show, the European Outdoor Group hosted a Sustainability breakfast, which included presentations on topics including the environmental impact of the leather production process, cellulosic fibres, and the EOG’s latest projects. Overall it was positive to see commitment from many suppliers and brands to progress more sustainably, and hopefully seeing the outdoor industry bring greater cohesion to this journey will provide the fashion industry with more positive examples to build on.