2020: Major challenges, new opportunities

Interview with the organizers of FABRIC DAYS: Sebastian Klinder and Frank Junker about flexibility, new perspectives, alternative planning and the necessary transformations in our industry


Sebastian Klinder

2020 presents our industry and the entire economy with new challenges – what exactly awaits FABRIC DAYS visitors and what are you most looking forward to?

Sebastian Klinder (Sk): With FABRIC DAYS we are organising a concentrated business trade fair from 1 – 3 September 2020 with around 300 German and European exhibitors. In about 700 collections the novelties for Autumn.Winter 21/22 will be presented across 5 categories. Something we are especially proud of: Thanks to long standing partnerships with leading German textile agencies, many of the collections by European manufacturers will be shown exclusively and only in Munich this season. Above all, there is the chance for visitors to exchange ideas with suppliers and partners, to gather inspiration and to experience fabrics and additionals in real life.

Frank Junker (Fj): We are simply very much looking forward to welcoming the textile industry again after half a year of not seeing each other in person. Our enthusiasm is also reflected in our main theme for the Autumn.Winter 21/22 season: HOPETIMISM stands for a new era in the textile and fashion industry, showing new ways and perspectives. A spirit with which we can simultaneously design future oriented products and processes that are geared to market needs in a time that is very challenging for the industry. In addition to the selected high-quality exhibitor portfolio, FABRIC DAYS will feature a Trend Forum under the seasonal title HOPETIMISM.

How does it feel to organize the textile industry’s first physical trade fair after lockdown?

Fj: In general, we are very happy that, despite considerable hurdles, detours and many challenges, we have succeeded in organising the first textile fair after the lockdown. The last months have been exciting and dynamic. Fortunately, we have been able to rely on our experience as well as a certain flexibility within our network and team to create a suitable event format in the current situation.

Sk: With the measures we have taken, we are now well positioned to offer the industry the usual professional and inspiring working atmosphere in Munich. The fact that we have the support of the textile industry for this event lets us enjoy a special level of trust.

Frank Junker

Flexibility and adaptability are particularly in demand this year. How do you keep your focus when everything is turned upside down at short notice?

Sk: As an established industry partner, it is part of our philosophy to organise a trade fair for the textile industry even under the new, very dynamic conditions. Our aim is not only to implement necessary hygiene measures on a long term basis, but also to plan with different scenarios and to position ourselves flexibly. In such extraordinary times, it is important for us to provide solutions and to believe that there is always a way forward. And even to discard plan B and flexibly implement plan C within a very short time, if the situation requires it. However, all of this can only be realised together – with all exhibitors, visitors and participants of FABRIC DAYS.

Fj: That’s right, adaptability and creative solutions are currently demanded of each and every one of us. We are all working on ways to continue our daily lives WITH Covid-19, not after Covid-19. In the end, this applies to the entire industry. We must stick together in this time. Establishing trusted partnerships, synergies and concentrating on the essentials are what matters most right now.

What lessons can the industry learn from this crisis and where does Munich Fabric Start itself see opportunities?

Sk: In these times, it becomes very clear to us what the industry expects and needs from us. Future trade fairs will be good indicators for possible changes and opportunities – the keywords are: ordering behaviour, digitalisation and circular economy. These are topics that can completely restructure the textile industry along the entire supply chain right through to the consumer. The most important learning we can do is to continue to respond flexibly to the changing market needs and to offer the industry a platform for information and inspiration.

Fj: We see opportunity in the fact that generally, the industry is now moving closer together again. What counts here is cohesion and the right industry partnerships to simultaneously define new solutions as well as new processes. That’s why it is particularly important right now to maintain a transparent and open dialogue with partners and customers. Trust, reliability and communication are now indispensable.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to our long standing partners: our loyal visitors, exhibitors and service providers! THANK YOU for your great commitment, your flexibility, your resolve to find new solutions, mutual trust, for their new visions and unique know-how. Your support motivates us to courageously and consistently continue on this path together.