Econogy: Realignment of sustainability activities at Messe Frankfurt’s global textile trade fairs

Event formats for sustainable management, such as lectures, info walls, guided tours, discussion forums and much more. Photo - Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network will in future be realigning its sustainability-related event formats at its more than 50 textile trade fairs worldwide. The information, discussion, education, and networking formats for sustainable management are then entitled “Econogy”. The basis for this is provided by the new common self-image of the international textile trade fairs. With this step, sustainability as a current topic and increasing sales driver in the global textile industry is moving even more into the focus of the textile events at Messe Frankfurt.

Economic success in the global textile sector can only be achieved with a consistent sustainability strategy. Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network is now taking this development into account and is realigning the sustainability activities at its more than 50 textile trade fairs in 11 countries. The aim is to promote the topic of sustainability in the textile and fashion industry even more than before and to closely relate it to the requirements of economic and social change.

A new cross-fair strategy was developed for this step, which, among other things, creates a common communicative umbrella for the sustainability activities of the events for the first time, provides for the strategic further development of content formats related to sustainability and harmonizes the sustainability checks of the fairs. The realignment offers better orientation for customers and partners within the Texpertise Network, creates cross-fair synergies and makes the sustainability activities of the exhibitors at the fairs more visible and measurable.

Econogy – orientation, know-how and transparency

Under the title “Econogy”, the sustainability activities of the Texpertise Network will in future provide orientation across trade fairs and internationally. The term “econogy” summarizes economy and ecology in one word and shows how crucial sustainability is today for the economic success of a company: Sustainability is increasingly becoming an integral part of all entrepreneurial thinking and acting. “The complexity with regard to the social, economic and ecological change in the entire textile value chain continues to increase, which makes it all the more important for our textile fairs to offer orientation, to make innovative approaches of the exhibiting companies visible and to exchange knowledge between all those involved of the textile value chain”, stresses Olaf Schmidt,

The creative inspiration for the term “Econogy” is the famous quote from David Suzuki, Canadian biologist, publicist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize: “Let’s give the economy back the eco!” *

In this sense, the uniform designation “Econogy” then applies to the sustainability activities at all textile fairs of Messe Frankfurt, in Frankfurt and gradually also worldwide. A newly designed icon accompanies the communication of “Econogy” and offers a high recognition value.

Knowledge transfer, curating, orientation play an increasingly important role for the industry and thus also for the events of the Texpertise Network. This also has to do with the fact that the discussions surrounding the term sustainability are themselves changing. Above all, the EU textile strategy on circular and recyclable textiles, supply chain laws at national and EU level or the planned EU directive on green claims require companies to have additional know-how, targeted actions and transparent communication.

* “We’ve got to put the ‘eco’ back into economics.” Speech by David Suzuki, 10/31/2008,  West Coast Green  Conference, San Jose, California.

Content formats according to the mix-and-match principle

The knowledge offerings and content formats related to the topic of sustainability are therefore also undergoing a strategic reorientation. In this way, partners, exhibitors and visitors receive additional added value for their positioning and personal training. The content formats will be further developed in terms of content and concept and then exported to textile events abroad. Uniform naming also creates transparency and recognition value here. The trade fair tours for suppliers and products that produce sustainably will then be called “Econogy Tours” across all events, the directories for sustainable exhibitors will become “Econogy Finder” and the lectures on the topic of sustainability will in future be called “Econogy Talks”.

Alignment of the sustainability checks

For many years, exhibitors of more sustainable products and services have had the opportunity at the international textile trade fairs of the Texpertise Network to undergo a sustainability check if they wish and, after a successful check, to be listed in special trade fair guides. In the future, these checks will be harmonized across trade fairs in order to create more orientation, transparency and customer friendliness across industries and countries. Visitors and partners can network in an even more targeted and better way with the reliable and transparently curated exhibitors.

For these checks, Messe Frankfurt works with independent external sustainability experts and always includes the current status of recognized seals, certificates and indices. From 2024, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proclaimed by the United Nations will be integrated more stringently and measurably into the sustainability checks. In the future, this will make it more transparent to which SDGs individual formats or measures contribute.

The complex topic of sustainability is also constantly being further developed and promoted within the company. Because Messe Frankfurt is aware of its responsibility for people and the environment and has high expectations of its business partners in terms of ethical standards.

Based on the Code of Conduct and Messe Frankfurt’s overarching corporate strategy, Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network for the “Textiles & Textile Technologies” area has formulated its self-image for implementing the topic of sustainability at the company’s global textile trade fairs. The website provides more information on this and the resulting measures

Sustainable commitment for more than 15 years

Whether by creating platforms for networking and for better visibility, whether through further training and knowledge transfer, partnerships, or own initiative: With the Texpertise Network, Messe Frankfurt has been working for almost 15 years to accelerate innovation and change in the textile and fashion industry in order to advance the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2023, the first SDG Report of Messe Frankfurt’s Texpertise Network was published. The report summarizes Messe Frankfurt’s global commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as part of its global textile trade fairs and provides an outlook on further planned measures and goals. More on this at:

The company Messe Frankfurt has also been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2010 and last year launched a Sustainability Board that strategically develops the topic of sustainability at the company level.

Texpertise, the textile business network

The Texpertise network of Messe Frankfurt combines current topics, trends, and events related to the textile business and connects more than 500,000 industry participants from all over the world. With more than 50 events in eleven countries, Messe Frankfurt is the international market leader for events in the textile industry along the entire textile value chain. In collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, supported by the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, Texpertise informs and mobilizes the textile sector to implement solutions for social, economic, and environmental change. The aim is to create awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals at all textile events of the Texpertise Network – from Frankfurt to New York, Atlanta, Shanghai, and Paris.


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