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Press conference | Frankfurt, 21 June 2022

Challenges as a motor for business opportunities: Textiles trade fair trio kicks off with panel talk between politics, industry and consultancy

Why are crises also powerful catalysts for textile innovation? How are digital prototyping and machine learning redefining design processes? And how are companies gaining decisive competitive advantages through new environmentally conscious technologies? These and other questions will form the central themes of the panel discussion at the opening press conference on the first day of Techtextil, Texprocess and the unique Heimtextil Summer Special.

Panelists Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office of the United Nations Office for Partnerships and co-founder of the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Innovation Agency at the London College of Fashion, Elgar Straub, Managing Director of the VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies Association, and Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt, will speak under the moderation of Alex Bohn, Style Content Director of the F. A.Z. Quarterly, will talk about the role of collaborations in innovation development alongside challenges as business opportunities - and how sustainability is continuously becoming a business-critical factor in the textile industry. Important strategic decisions with a view to the upcoming EU textile strategy and the supply chain law coming into force are also topics of the panel discussion.

Recording of the press conference 21 June 2022

The panelists at a glance

Lucie Brigham

Lucie Brigham, UN Office for Partnerships Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network

"Collaboration is key to foster transformative sector engagement and to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Mobilizing expertise, innovation, technology and resources can only be achieved through strong partnerships."

Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, connects relevant partners with the United Nations and, as co-founder of the Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network, promotes collaboration to jointly develop innovative business models.

Olaf Schmidt

Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies

"As a condensate, trade fairs make these diverse developments visible bundled on a global business platform - and at the same time make a decisive contribution to understanding sustainability holistically and being able to redefine supply chains holistically."

Olaf Schmidt has been Schmidt Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt for 15 years and in this function is responsible for around 60 events worldwide in the fields of technical textiles, home textiles, apparel fabrics, fashion and textile processing.

Elgar Straub

Elgar Straub, Managing Director VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies

"Mechanical engineering and technology providers are the enablers for solutions to today's biggest challenges: Sustainability, flexibility, and regionalization."

Elgar Straub is managing director of VDMA Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies. Within the VDMA, Textile Care, Fabric and Leather Technologies represents the most important German and European manufacturers in the sewing and garment machinery, shoe and leather technology, laundry and textile cleaning technology, and machinery for processing technical textiles sectors.

Matthew Drinkwater

Matthew Drinkwater, Designer, Visionery

"Emerging technologies are leading the textile industry into a new era, changing the way we create, communicate and consume products, redefining design processes as well as the deployment and tracking of ressources along the textile value chain."

Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, is a fashion tech pioneer. Specializing in immersive technologies, he develops technologies around 3D fabric simulations and machine learning for zero waste cutting.