Julien Schmoll (Texworld): “Econogy Finder, our new tool for sustainable production”.
The Texworld and Apparel Sourcing trade shows, to be held from February 5 to 7, 2024 at Paris Porte de Versailles, will be implementing new actions in favor of more sustainable practices. In this exclusive interview for Pearls magazine, Julien Schmoll, Marketing and Communications Director at Messe Frankfurt France, shares his vision and Texworld Evolution’s progress towards sustainability. He outlines past and future initiatives, including the launch ofEconogy Finder, a revolutionary tool scheduled for January 2024.
Hello Julien! To begin with, how is Texworld Evolution currently positioned in terms of sustainability, and what initiatives have already been put in place?
Hello ! Texworld Evolution – which brings together Texworld, Apparel Sourcing, Avantex and Leatherworld – is increasingly committed to sustainability. We’ve made significant progress in terms of exhibitors, although it’s a gradual process. In the past, we had a dedicated fair, the Ethical Fashion Show, but we transferred this initiative to Berlin, considering that this fair was still too far ahead of these ethical and sustainable concepts in France.
We are currently working to standardize sustainability across all our textile trade fairs through Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise network. This network links some 50 trade fairs in 12 countries around the world, aiming to promote sustainability at all levels of the value chain, covering research and development, fabrics, apparel, subcontracting and more, thus reaching at least 500,000 players.
Tell us about Econogy Finder, the new sustainability tool planned for 2024. Can you tell us more about this?
Absolutely. Econogy Finder will be rolled out first at the Heimtextil show in January 2024, then in Paris at Texworld in February. It’s a tool we’re launching to highlight exhibitors committed to sustainable production. This directory will enable buyers to easily locate these exhibitors and filter their search according to this commitment. To guarantee this sustainability, we have set up a questionnaire to which companies respond by providing their certificates and labels, then an external auditor verifies this information.
What are the participation targets for February 2024 in terms of exhibitors committed to an eco-responsible approach?
We expect around 1,300 exhibitors at Texworld and Apparel Sourcing (Avantex and Leatherworld are held once a year, in summer), with around 10% of exhibitors hired. However, many companies that integrate sustainability into their production don’t always promote it, which can make the figures underestimated.
What regions do exhibitors mainly come from, and what types of products will they be offering?
Exhibitors come mainly from Asian countries such as Bangladesh, China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey, but also from European countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the USA, among others. In terms of products, they cover a broad spectrum from raw materials to finished goods, with a particular focus this year on sustainable clothing and fabrics.
What sustainable fashion elements and conferences will you be attending in February?
We’re planning a creative staging with trend forums called “Veritas”, and display areas showcasing exhibitors’ products. What’s more, our conference program will focus largely on sustainability and industry solutions, in response to the sector’s current concerns. Themes such as “How can we move towards a zero-waste fashion future?” or “Why and how can we communicate our social and environmental impact?
Finally, what are the group’s sustainable development objectives, particularly for the upcoming Paris editions?
At Messe Frankfurt, we are aiming for carbon neutrality by 2040 for our trade fairs in Frankfurt. We have already achieved certification equivalent to ISO 14001, and we continue to work on sustainable initiatives to set an example in our sector.
Photos: Messe Frankfurt France