Neonyt: About the importance of transparency and authenticity

By guest author Iris Schlomski, Editor-in- chief of Textile Network

The Neonyt community has been live and on air – from January 18 to 22, 2021, with numerous panel discussions and interviews.

Even though the digital format cannot (and should not) replace a real meeting of the community and the experience of the new sustainable collections and their protagonists, the 24,000 followers of Neonyt on Air in the last week speak for themselves: The need for information on topics that lead to a more sustainable fashion industry is growing. © Neonyt, Messe Frankfurt

  The next Neonyt in summer is scheduled to coincide with the premiere of Frankfurt Fashion Week and together with the “Presenting Partners” Conscious Fashion Campaign and United Nations Office for Partnerships as hosts. © Neonyt, Messe Frankfurt

Playing a key role in the digital event were its “Presenting Partners” Grüner Knopf, Hessnatur and Oeko-Tex. Transparency in fashion, or in textile supply chains to be precise, has been a topic of conversation for a long time now. But the events of the past year and the coronavirus crisis have shown us once again:

  • Something needs to change in the textile and fashion industry – customers want immediacy, transparency and authenticity.
  • How that can be achieved was discussed by more than 20 speakers from the sustainability scene during Neonyt on Air.

Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director Neonyt:

“The reach of Neonyt on Air, which goes way beyond its actual community, has shown us the importance of partnerships and the need for collaboration and that together we will find a way to make sustainability a universal topic – in society and across all industries.”

As well as the Due Diligence/Supply Chain Act that is currently being discussed in Germany, there was also a spotlight on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Olaf Schmidt, Vice President of Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt:

“Once again we have noticed that innovative ideas and new concepts need a space for discussion and dialogue, the right audience and a fresh outside perspective. That is something we will always offer – whether physically or digitally. Of course we really hope that the next time we see each other in person will be in the summer, when the premiere of Frankfurt Fashion Week supported by Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships will host the future of fashion.”

Around 24,000 international followers, including from the worlds of politics, economics, the IT sector, the lifestyle business and of course the textile and fashion industry, accessed the Neonyt on Air content more than 120,000 times during the digital week.

The contents will remain accessible on the Neonyt Instagram account or directly here:

Keynote presented by Hessnatur/ Andrea Sibylle Elbinger, CEO

  • Andrea Sibylle Ebinger, CEO of Hessnatur: “2020 showed us more than ever the needs of the environment but also of the textile and fashion sector. At the same time, it showed us that we can change how clothes are made in collaboration. Let’s continue to strengthen partnerships with each other, because innovations and ideas, big or small, lead us to be better in our doing.”

Panel Discussion mit Annika Sauerhoefer, Product Manager Made in Green by Oeko-Tex, Mirjam Smend, Gründerin der Greenstyle Munich und Andreas Bothe, Head of CSR & Sustainability von Bay City & Chiemsee

  • Annika Sauerhoefer, Product Manager at Made in Green by Oeko-Tex: “Companies should meet the responsibility for people and the planet on their own initiative, without any regulations from the government. It should be normal that workers’ rights are respected, but as we have all seen, unfortunately that isn’t working.”

Interview with Anosha Wahidi and Max Gilgenmann, Content Director Neonyt

  • Anosha Wahidi, Head of the Sustainable Supply Chains Unit at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development: “A Due Diligence Act will regulate the requirements clearly and bindingly in the future. And the Green Button shows consumers which companies are already complying with their due diligence obligations.”

– Panel Discussion with Dr. Sabine Schlorke, Global Head Manufacturing of the IFC World Bank, Christian Heller, CEO of Value Balancing Alliance e.V., Hans-Jürgen Walter, Global Leader Sustainable Finance bei Deloitte and Darius Nader Maleki, Project Manager bei der Maleki Corporate Group

  • Transparency and circularity not only in products and materials, but also with regard to the financing aspect – what role can banks and investors play in the creation of a sustainable future and a balanced investment strategy?

– Panel Discussion with Johannes Fürst, Head of the Blue Lab by Drip by Drip, Anurag Gupta, Managing Director of Usha Yarns and Gunnar Heller, Head of CSR & Member Compliance bei Foursource.

  • The sustainable sourcing of materials has become more important than ever before. How to recover from the crisis and create a more sustainable future for the entire industry?

Interview with Elisabetta Baronio, Sustainability & Responsibility Manager by Timberland, and Max Gilgenmann, Content Director Neonyt.

  • A “net positive impact” by 2030 – that is Timberland’s goal. To achieve it, the cult US brand has set itself the goal of having a net positive impact on nature by designing 100% of its products for circularity and making them from natural materials sourced from regenerative agriculture.

Panel Discussion with Franziska Dormann, a representative from the Global Organic Textile Standard, Rapha Breyer, Textile Policy & Partnerships at Fairtrade and Ingo Strube, sustainable consumption at German´s Federal Ministry of the Environment

  • Guaranteeing transparent processes and supply chains, preserving brand credibility and building up consumer trust are the most important and also difficult aspects for certifiers and environmental labels. And in these times of the coronavirus in particular, it is proving a real challenge to maintain the quality of the certifications at a high level and to guarantee good and transparent results.

Panel Discussion with Christian Schultze-Wolters, Director of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, Stefan Rennicke, Founder and CEO of Kaya&Kato and Michael Krake, Deputy Director General at the federal Ministry of Economic Corpoartion and Development.

  • The journey that an item of clothing covers before it ends up hanging in our wardrobe and the conditions that it was made under should become more transparent and traceable with the use of blockchain technology.

Interview with Svein Rasmussen, world-class windsurfer, future fighter and CEO of Somwr & Starboard, and Thimo Schwenzfeier, Show Director Neonyt.

  • Consumption that contributes to protecting the environment, reduces the amount of plastic in the ocean and ensures that mangrove trees are planted – still a utopia or already reality?

Neonyt on air is a format that continues to fuel and keep alive the important discussion about a real increase in sustainability in the fashion industry, especially now in times of the Corona pandemic. Even though the digital format cannot (and should not) replace a real meeting of the community and the experience of the new sustainable collections and their protagonists, the 24,000 followers of Neonyt on Air in the last week speak for themselves: The need for information on topics that lead to a more sustainable fashion industry is growing.