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Together for a more sustainable textiles industry

Billy Hunter

Partners plan to collaborate in furthering the implementation of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

17th December 2019

Billy Hunter
 |  New York


At an event held yesterday at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the Texpertise Network of Messe Frankfurt, the Conscious Fashion Campaign and the United Nations Office for Partnerships provided insights into their future cooperation. Over 100 guests from the press, business, politics and associations met to learn how the partners plan to collaborate in furthering the implementation of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the fashion and textile industry.

The Executive Director of UNOP Robert Skinner, opened the event and highlighted the importance of global engagement of the private sector and other stakeholders for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr. Skinner said that the international fashion and textiles industry have the potential to advance the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Together with Messe Frankfurt and Conscious Fashion Campaign, UNOP welcomes the opportunity to reach a broad and professional audience, raise awareness of the goals and galvanize support. Mr. Skinner, who moderated the event, invited Ambassador Jürgen Schulz, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, to deliver opening remarks.

Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board at Messe Frankfurt, explained: “Along with digitalisation, sustainability is a topic currently exerting a significant influence on the global textile industry. Messe Frankfurt has been accompanying this development with its worldwide textile events under the umbrella of the Texpertise Network for more than ten years. It is therefore a logical conclusion that the Sustainable Development Goals should be integrated in our worldwide textile events to generate acute awareness of the importance of sustainability in the textile industry.”

Kerry Bannigan, Founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign, stated that we need more examples of leadership for change like Messe Frankfurt to make the next decade the most impactful yet. Through our global event partners, the Conscious Fashion Campaign will integrate education, advocacy and ultimately engagement while also seeking to implement sustainable and circular event operations and logistics.

With its Texpertise Network Messe Frankfurt supports the Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of the cooperation with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and UNOP. The goals will be presented at the more than 50 textile events organised by Messe Frankfurt at venues around the globe. Planning currently includes interactive information stands, presentations, discussion forums, fair tours and the integration of special activities in the trade fair programme.

Heimtextil, the world's biggest and most important trade fair for home and contract textiles that attracts around 3000 exhibitors and expects 65,000 trade visitors from 7-10 January 2020, will be the next stop on the tour to present the Sustainable Development Goals. During the opening press conference Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office for the United Nations Office for Partnerships will present on 7 January. Moreover, the goals will be presented and discussed at an interactive stand in the Green Village and be integrated into the Green Directory for the first time. For the past 10 years, this index has listed sustainably producing companies at Heimtextil. In 2020, the Green Directory will comprise a record 262 entries. as well as in the form of panel discussions.

The next event directly after Heimtextil is Neonyt (14-16 January 2020), which takes place once again during Berlin Fashion Week. In the framework of its international conference format Fashionsustain, Neonyt will feature, amongst others, the panel ‘SDGs X Fashion – The UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’. Speakers will be Lucie Brigham, Zachary Angelini, Environmental Stewardship Manager at Timberland, Alexander Gege, Manager Sustainable Business Development at the Otto Group, and Harold Weghorst, Global Vice President Marketing at Lenzing AG.

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