An interview with SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS curator Simon Angel – the Dutchman who is always on the search for interesting young designers, outstanding innovations and the latest novelties in the textile world. You will find Simon and the four SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS he chose this season in the foyer of hall 4 at FABRIC DAYS.

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  1. Simon, what new innovations can we expect this season?

Rethinking old traditions and adding a contemporary note to them can create innovation – sometimes you don’t have to come up with something entirely new to be innovative. This edition ‘the new thing’ is referring to something old like weaving, repairing and recycling. For example, weaving with solar-panels from Pauline van Dongen, repairing as value-creation from Studio Mend or value adding applications by Auxetics and industry ready, recycled bioplastic fabrics by Studio YouYang. All these projects use traditional crafts and materials, but in a new and innovative way.

2.         In 2020, the Corona pandemic brought the world to an unscheduled stop. But the crisis has also sped up the movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle. How will this shape innovation?

As you know, I’m an optimist. This year’s developments actually encouraged change. How you look at things makes a big difference in order to get yourself in the right inspired mode. Pandemics or heatwaves are nature’s way of confronting us. Just like we are experiencing changes in our environment, the nature experienced changed by humans for years and is now responding to us. All this is leading us to a dialogue with nature – a much needed one. Bit by bit we realise we exist as part of nature. Designers, scientists, the industry and consumers change their habits and question old methods. Finally, most of us start to realise what is necessary to ultimately save our world. We can only achieve that, when we are searching to find the balance with ourselves and with nature.

  1. It is the sixth time that you are curating the SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS. How has this year’s edition been different?

The responses to sustainable innovations are new. The dialogue is getting serious. For example, have a look at the location of the Sustainable Innovations forum this year: It has moved from the Keyhouse to the main hall, right in the heart of the industry. Right at the spot where the big changes happen.

  1. This year’s innovations are all about the material: textiles created out of biowaste fabrics, adapting its shape to the environment – can you give us a glimpse into the material of the future?

With the Sustainable Innovation forum, we present the near future and showcase what already is possible. As you can see, this future finds its inspiration in old traditions, crafts and resources. But what comes after that? It is hard to predict as the world is losing its linearity as we know it. More and more, we are moving towards an era of adhocracy. Transferring this into the material and textile world: design and shapes will not be the main focus of designers anymore. Materiality and comfort will experience a comeback – and we will have to redefine the product development process and all that entails. We have to open our minds and let go of expectations. We have to source from our universal knowledge to create something that in this form has never been there before.

Youyang Song

Studio Mend

Pauline van Dongen

Iris Bekkers

  1. How can we see the current situation as an opportunity to innovate, rather than for all the challenges it presents?

This situation shows on a holistic level, that humans have to develop themselves and challenge the Status quo. Enjoy the experience as it opens up new horizons which we could never have dreamt of. Look at the Munich Fabric Start, with the Fabric Days they showed how to deal with unforeseen  obstacles and ever changing circumstances – a pretty good demonstration of a future recipe for attitude, mental shift and permanent dialogue. So yes, let’s see every day as a chance for a better tomorrow.

Learn more about Simon’s sustainable novelties for the season Autumn.Winter 21/22 during the three days of FABRIC DAYS from 1 – 3 September 2020 at MOC Munich.




1 SEPTEMBER 2020 · 9.30 AM – 6.30 PM
2 SEPTEMBER 2020 · 9.30 AM – 6.30 PM
3 SEPTEMBER 2020 · 9.30 AM – 4.00 PM



MOC Munich | Halls 1 – 4 Ground Floor
Lilienthalallee 40
D – 80939 Munich