An interview with Simon Angel, curator of the Sustainable Innovations Forum

11. February 2022

Our contact regarding the developments that are groundbreaking for our industry? Simon Angel – Curator of the SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS, which are presented every season at MUNICH FABRIC START. SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS offers a platform for exciting young designers who create extraordinary material developments and rethink the textile world – with these insights you are always one step ahead of the market.

Here is an overview of all SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS of the last seasons >>

Hey Simon, it’s good to see you. How are you?

Actually, I am really busy with the investigation of social impacts – next to the primal impact of this pandemic, we also have the secondary impact on society as a whole and the challenges to our personal selves to deal with. Right now, the personal impact of global challenges is reaching its peak. And yes, whenever the pressure becomes too much, people (and the society) have to dissociate from it in order to ‘save’ themselves or to cope with the challenges. For now, this is resulting in the creation of new realities, ignorance or even denial. We have to ask ourselves what is going on right now. And what is even real, and what’s not? What is the real real? And behind the actual challenges of Covid-19 and climate change, there might be an even bigger challenge: reliability.

This new reality we have to face – how do you suggest we find solutions?

As I just mentioned, there are two keywords that I can really relate to: reality and reliability. I am noticing that we have to unravel these words to the point that tickles our consciousness. Our moral compasses. What are we really fighting for? What are our real problems? To be clear, problems like climate change, consumer behaviour, the oversupply of clothing, Covid-19 and fake news are all big issues. For sure, it’s good and important to clean up this mess, but the solution is not only to clean it up. We have to get to the core, which is: Why did we lose connection to what is real in the first place? We have to find inspiration in that instead of just pointing out the negative aspects.

“We have to get to the core, which is: Why did we lose connection to what is real in the first place? We have to find inspiration in that instead of just pointing out the negative aspects.”

And how do you think we can do that?

I think we have to change the prefix from ‘pre’ to ‘re’… Rethink becomes pre-think. Re-cycle becomes pre-cycle.

Give this thought some time… It’s about pre-acting instead of reacting: we have to do something new to support the next generations and enable them to follow on from us. Reacting will never be inspiring. Responding to toxic things can never be fresh, inspiring, exciting or new. We cannot achieve a better future by relying on the toxic relationships that have already existed – with economics, fashion and other people.

The prefix ‘re’ in reaction or reconnection points out to what has already been there. But: What has already been there was tainted and can no longer help us. So we don’t want to react and reconnect, we want to pre-act, pre-connect, pre-do, pre-dict and pre-create. We need something pure, something fresh in order to make a change. Let’s make new pre-lationships in order to pre-connect with our future generations.

In terms of this year’s sustainable innovations, where can we find parallels to that pre-action?

We aim to focus on the real challenges, the real choices. What do we actually want?

The common goal is to be a real person in a good society with a pure relationship to nature. Our projects show how that can be done, how we can pre-act to make a change. 

Motorskins offer a solution to becoming lean and active with the pre-creation of movements and support.

Studio Panorama Fabrics pre-use the substance of light with their project Sunkolor, which incorporates the substance of natural elements – this is how we can be inspired and influenced by nature.

Another example of nature’s support for better fashion is Irene Purasachit’s project Flower Matter and the order of pre-action with nature as a collaborative partner.

With projects and innovations like these, we can respond to the real questions and real solutions and face the challenges that lie ahead in the coming years. We will present these and other SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS to you in detail here on our M/UNIQUE blog in the coming weeks.

A Sneak Peak in our E-Magazine: