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Fashion trade shows are a lucrative business. They have been catering to an industry that demands access to the latest seasonal trends for a long while now. As expectations change, trade shows are finding themselves having to let go of some of their traditional methods in favour of more modern ones. They realise that to stay ahead of their game, they need to be open to change. One of those changes has been the inclusion of a fashion innovation space.

 

Changing The Formula For Good

Of the many global fashion trade shows taking place every year, Munich Fabric Start (MFS) is listed as the 2nd biggest trade show in Europe. Presenting two editions per year, February and September, the textile tradeshow attracts over 20k visitors each season. 

 

“We present concepts as solutions with future-orientated applications of materials and marketable production processes. There is great potential here for synergies and collaborations, which if applied in the correct combination to one another will have lasting effects on the industry,” explained Claudia Mynott, Communication Director at MFS. 

 

Looking to stay ahead of the game, MFS  introduced a new space in 2016. The KEYHOUSE quickly became an area that celebrates innovation and creativity. Presenting pioneering development from brands who show unrivalled potential, the KEYHOUSE has been successfully giving fashion traditionalists a taste of the future, by triumphantly introducing trendsetting smart technology. Driven to future-proofing the fashion business, the KEYHOUSE also showcases sustainable developments through expert workshops and trend seminars.

 

5 Key Takeaways from this season’s KEYHOUSE

Putting into practice, the future of the textile and fashion industry, this season, the KEYHOUSE presented ways one can experiment, evaluate and rethink how the fashion industry can explore alternative resources and processes. 

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT DIGITALISATION 4.0

 

The Digital Fabric Lab at the KEYHOUSE addressed one of the most important topics of the future of fashion. Presenting valuable insight into the future of digital fabric, the lab also approached significant challenges that such a process can bring to the table. 

 

Looking to accelerate the production processes, the Digital Fabric Lab demonstrated how this new achievement could look in practice. On this Sebastian Klinder, Managing Director for MFS said, “We are convinced that in the future there will be a digital twin for every fabric or button presented through an innovative analysis process that can be increased many times over.”

 

OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE WORLD

 

Pauline van Dongen is a fashion tech designer who has been a pioneer in the fashion tech space. Working together with a Dutch research centre, the Holst Centre, van Dongen presented a smart textile pop-up lab during the 3-day event. 

 

Housed in the KEYHOUSE, the workshop gave attendees a lesson in printed electronics. Exploring how to build intimacy of clothing, attendees were given a one on one class on how printed electronics, which are thin, lightweight, flexible and some cases stretchable, can enable products and materials to become interactive. 

 

By demonstrating the process of creating smart textiles using printed electronics, the pop-up lab allowed attendees to find out just how easy it is to integrate technology in a garment using an assembly procedure of heat bonding.

 

3D KNITWEAR ON DEMAND IS NOW A THING

 

Girl and the Machine have evolved into New Industrial Order. Looking to overcome today’s problem of overconsumption, co-founder Rosanne van der Meer brings experience to the KEYHOUSE. 

 

“3D knitting is a way to produce clothes in one piece without cutting,” stated Rosanne. Her presentation, Knitcloud, introduced the industry to the world of knitting on demand— their objective to show that knitting machines are accessible to everyone. “We offer a Digital Tailoring System (DTS)  an On-Demand Order System (ONOS). Knitcloud will be the first ecosystem for personalised 3D knitwear,” said Rosanne.

 

FUSION OF BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY AND FASHION

 

Bringing business, technology and fashion to Munich Fabric Start’s KEYHOUSE this season, KPMG and Microsoft’s partnership represents how the merger of business and technology is essential to the progression of the fashion industry. KPMG showcased change by introducing Hololens, disruptive technology designed to transform communication.

 

By creating processes to collaborate and explore, KPMG has found a new way to satisfy customers through their Omni Channel solution, which enables companies to gain a full 360° view of all customer touchpoints. Their overall goal, to empower employees with actionable processes that will fulfil the customer success story, offered attendees a new way to satisfy the modern customer successfully.  They did this by introducing a combination of HoloLens, a new POS system, better process management tools and social media engagement designed to usher in a new world of retail fashion.

 

INNOVATION TO DYE FOR

 

It is no secret that the textile industry is the world’s second-largest polluter of water. Today’s textile mills are responsible for dumping chemical-laden, used dye water into oceans and streams leading to unnecessary eco destruction. At the KEYHOUSE, Sustainable Innovation’s curated by Simon Angel introduced new radical approaches designed to change the dyeing process. This is because it is a procedure that uses a lot of water and produces harmful chemicals that hurt our already vulnerable environment.

 

There are two types of dye, natural and synthetic. Natural dyes are derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources—roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens. Synthetic dyes are man-made. These dyes are made from synthetic resources such as petroleum by-products and earth minerals. The use of natural dyes over synthetic dyes is encouraged, but the hard truth is that the fashion industry still uses a lot of synthetic dyes. 

 

Bringing sustainable colours to the textiles industry is Julia Kaleta. She presented the Atlas of Sustainable Colour(s)- a compendium of graduated shades and tones derived from plants, food leftovers and bacteria. Among many others, the book included Nikolett Madai, founder of Dyeluxe. Madai, who was also present at the stand, explained that she is looking to close the gap in the cycle. She is doing this by processing by-products from the food industry. It is a concept she refers to as ‘Grave-to-Cradle. It allows her to exploit unexploited materials. The good news is that the ‘growing’ book is still in its early stages, so it is a project that we should keep our eyes on.

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