"We're in business to save our home planet" - German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller started the sustainability tour with these fitting words under a Patagonia neon sign at the OutDoor by ISPO on the second day of the trade show.
It ended with the announcement that the green button would finally be introduced in Berlin on September 9th - the first federal seal for fair and ecologically produced clothing. Müller made a flaming appeal to the numerous listeners at the CSR Hub in Hall B6 during his keynote speech: "We only have this nature once. That's why we need to act sustainably, especially outdoors. It's all about everyone living responsibly and fairly."
Klaus Dittrich was, of course, one of the accompanying guests of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development during his two-hour visit to OutDoor by ISPO.
The Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe München was delighted with the prominent visit to the premiere of Europe's largest outdoor trade fair in Munich: "Just like Messe München, the outdoor sector is particularly committed to the topic of sustainability. Such high political support is of course particularly helpful."
But this tour brought much more than political lip service. In an interview with Federal Minister Müller, some of the companies made spectacular commitments to the topic of sustainability.
At the Adidas stand, board member Roland Auschel announced that the brand with the three stripes would "completely do without new plastic from 2024 on." The minister looked impressed at a shoe from the "Parley" range made entirely from recycled plastic and marine waste and found only one word: "Top."
At Vaude, too, Gerd Müller was impressed by an outdoor jacket in which wood fibres are processed to stop the pollution of the oceans with microplastic. In an interview with the minister Vaude boss Antje von Dewitz also announced that her company, as a pioneer in sustainability, will produce all things "either with a share of at least 50 percent of recycled material or natural products" by 2024.
The Federal Minister then described Vaude and Adidas as innovative "champions" who set an example in terms of sustainability. Vaude, with its popular product line "Green Shape", will also be one of the companies that will most likely receive the Green Button as pioneers.
Up to 50 companies from the textile industry will apply for the first federal label for sustainability in the industry. For von Dewitz, the "green button", just like the membership in the Fair Wear Foundation, is important for the sustainable future of the industry.
"We are not making any progress in the outdoor industry, because so far, all commitment has been voluntary. We are a major contributor to problems such as climate change, microplastics in the oceans or the extinction of species," said von Dewitz, adding that "we must become part of the solution to these problems. And the consumers must recognize how they can contribute to it."
Barbara Meier underlined that in addition to a rethinking of the outdoor industry brands, the behaviour of each individual consumer is important. The well-known model is the textile ambassador of the Federal Ministry and was accompanied by Federal Minister Müller on the OutDoor by ISPO tour.
"More and more consumers want to buy with a clear conscience. For me it's something like a gold-digger's game to find sustainable clothing for myself," said Meier. Her spectacular outfit on the tour of the fair was, in any case, completely fair and ecologically produced.
However, it was not for this reason that Federal Minister Müller enjoyed his visit to OutDoor by ISPO. Rather, he was visibly enthusiastic about the sustainability efforts of some brands. He spent a particularly long time at the booth of Deuter.
Managing Director Martin Riebel announced that from 2020 his company will completely forego the use of the climate-damaging PFC in backpack production. Then Gerd Müller had a lively chat with a man at a sewing machine. Deuter's promise of a worldwide and lifelong repair service is also a small component in saving our planet.