Sports Industry in Upheaval: From Algae Power to Recycling Management

These Are the Sports Trends at the ISPO Munich 2020

At ISPO Munich 2020, exhibitors present the trends of the new decade. takes a close look at the innovations of the industry. From megatrends like neo-ecology to future mobility.

At ISPO Munich 2020, manufacturers will be presenting their latest innovations.

The sports industry is entering a new decade. But which trends will be the most influential? The ISPO Munich 2020 from 26 to 29 January offers a foretaste of this, when exhibitors will present their innovations to the worldwide audience. takes a look at the most important innovations.

The megatrends of the next ten to fifteen years are:

  • neo-ecology
  • digitalization
  • mobility

Be active. Be responsible. Be creative. Under these three mottos, ISPO Munich 2020 offers unique insights into the future of the sports industry.

The textile industry in particular is breaking new ground in the overall social megatrend "Neo-ecology" and is convincing with innovative, intelligent technologies. This makes outdoor clothing highly functional and at the same time ecologically sustainable. In addition, they are like a booster for the entire industry, which is also increasingly radiating to the hardware sector.

For example, the (e-)bikes of the future will play an increasingly important role in the megatrends of digitalization and mobility. On the one hand because they will fundamentally change urban mobility, on the other hand because the new "smart mobility" combines sport and sustainability.

In addition, the changes within the major trend "Urban Outdoor" are interesting: Originating from a longing for more nature in the city, the trend is now synonymous with a more sustainable lifestyle and a feeling for nature in the middle of the city. Urban Outdoor has become a real trading place and continues to show increasing trends.

Closed-Loop Economy Booming

Trend scientists at the "Zukunftsinstitut", the German Institut for future research in Frankfurt, declare neo-ecology to be the most important megatrend of the 2020s. The consumer trend becomes an economic factor, an individual philosophy of life becomes a global identity.

Many years ago, the US American manufacturer of insulation fibers PrimaLoft committed itself to the development of sustainable functional fabrics. Jochen Lagemann, Senior Vice President/Managing Director Europe & Asia PrimaLoft: "A major topic that we believe will play a central role in the future is the circular economy. We have been researching and developing here for some time. In the meantime, independent tests have shown that our PrimaLoft bio-fibres are renewable in the sense of true recycling management. In this process, polyester is broken down into its constituent parts, which can then be completely processed into new basic material for technical materials without any loss of performance - over and over again.

Lagemann is also proud of the fact that, for example, the Primaloft P.U.R.E. (Produced Using Reduced Emissions) manufacturing process has reduced CO2 emissions by up to 48 percent - in contrast to production processes in which the insulation fibers are bonded together using furnace heat.

ISPO Award Gold Winner Outdoor adidas TERREX PRIMALOFT PARLEY ANORAK Jacket
Sustainable: The Primaloft insulation in the Adidas Terrex Futurecraft.loop anorak is made from plastic waste.

Another brand which has also been gaining ground in the field of sustainability for some years now is the Norwegian clothing brand Bergans. Together with the Finnish bio-fibre manufacturer Spinnova, they have set themselves the goal of further developing cellulose-based textile fibres.

The first result of this collaboration is their "Collection of tomorrow | future.labs.05.A". The backpack from the collection has accordingly won the ISPO Award in the field of sustainability.

The "Post-Petroleum" running shoe Condor from the French brand Veja is "Product of the year" at the ISPO Awards. In four years of development work, Veja has managed to produce a running shoe that consists of 53 percent natural or recycled materials such as sugar cane, banana oil and rice waste.The aim is to push ahead with these developments.

JackFor its new Ecoloader backpacks, Wolfskin relies on 100 percent recycled materials for all plastics used. The highlight is the padding of the back and shoulder straps made out of Bloomfoam algae foam.

In addition to good damping properties, the natural product scores points in the production of the foam: the algae clean the water, which can be fed into the natural cycle in drinking water quality.

Consumer Goods Are Being Questioned More Critically

The Zukunftsinstitut sees a further trend in the fact that the community is becoming more and more important for the people, just like regionality and fair trade. Topics that are also playing an increasingly important role in the sports industry, as the example of from Kenya proves.

The start-up was supported by ISPO Brandnew The Enda Lapatet running shoe was chosen by the jury as the winner in the category of Body & Mind and is a model example of the trends for 2020: The Enda Lapatet running shoe is designed in cooperation with Kenyan athletes and produced locally.

The newcomer confidently presents itself as the lightest, most comfortable and most affordable shoe in its class, which at the same time wants to make its contribution to the economic development of the African country.

Laufschuh Lapatet der kenianischen Firma Enda
Top running shoes made in Kenya: the Enda Lapatet

Future Mobility and Digital Solutions for More Consumer Awareness

Trend researchers see the bicycle as one of the most important everyday objects of the future. More and more people are moving to cities. In order to be mobile on the go and at the same time make a contribution to the environment and their own health, more and more city residents are turning to (e-)bikes.

The magic formula of the future is at this point Smart Mobility. The start-up company "Cowboy" has been awarded at ISPO Brandnew in the Future Mobility category, as the Belgian inventors took the next step towards the networked bicycle. All functions of the bike are app-controlled and monitored in the model "2019". From anti-theft protection to battery status to switching on the integrated lights and navigation.

With its app, the US start-up "Awayco" wants to dust off the rental business and make a lasting impact against waste and over-consumption. The winner of ISPO Brandnew in the "Connected Sports" segment has already integrated 20,000 high-quality bicycles as well as winter sports and surfing equipment at over 150 locations in his app. Customers book and pay via the app, and the retailers can use it to showcase their online presence.

The ISPO Award winner iVibe with its Insole 1.0, a vibrating insole made in Germany, is completely in tune with the health megatrend. The vibration plates are operated online via an app, in which exercises and training goals are also recorded and directly uploaded to Google Fit or Apple Health.

Urban Outdoor: Super trend from casual tech to 100 percent nature

Emerged from a longing for more nature in the city, Urban Outdoor has become synonymous with a more sustainable lifestyle and a sense of nature in the middle of the city. It has become to a real marketplace and continues to show increasing trends. Eric Yung, Vice-President International at Polartec, understands the fusion of function with fashion to be "casual tech" and sees in it a market with massive potential and which already became real.

A consequence of the changed usage behaviour Yung says: "Young consumers are increasingly expressing the need for clothing made of technical and versatile fabrics that they can wear for many different occasions. We now work with many exciting brands like bleed clothing, Yeezy, Bonne Gueule, Banana Republic, Champion, Fila, Moncler, Bailly, Diadora, Acronym."

The Berlin label "mvdham", founded in 2018, also allows design and function to merge and reinterprets urban outdoor clothing - especially for city dwellers. The young German label relies exclusively on natural fibres, as in its own development LAPALUE, an upholstered two-layer fabric made of silk and wool. Mvdham has won with his concept at ISPO Brandnew in the field of Urban Outdoor.

Adidas has mastered the balancing act between function and fashion in an inspiring way with its TERREX PrimaLoft Parley Anorak "Made with the Loop Creation Process": Style, combined with functionality and sustainable production from recycled plastic waste from the oceans has made the anorak a Gold Winner in the ISPO Award category Urban Lifestyle.

The Italian ski clothing label "Spyder" wants to bring the magic of the slopes into the pedestrian zone. Felix Burmann, Sales Manager Europe at Spyder: "We have developed our own "Mountain to Metro" collection, which combines style and function, and also transports the skier's image into urban space".

Multifunction: The New Independence

For the US technology producer Gore-Tex, it is clear that design and technology will become even more important in the future outdoor sector: For example, the trend is towards light, very comfortable shoes with a fit like stockings, coupled with an urban design of knitted shafts or shafts made of very soft leather.

In combination with narrow silhouettes, flat soles, other sole rubbers and profiles. Waterproofness in tandem with climate comfort will play an even greater role in this respect. Multifunctional outdoor shoes with urban style stand for versatility and independence from weather and style.

Andreas Marmsoler, Global PR Manager at Gore-Tex: "We see great potential here for us and our brand partners. Fashion brands use our highly technical waterproof Gore-Tex technologies in shoes, such as the waterproof Converse Chuck Taylor, or in jackets, such as the Supreme Gore-Tex Court Jacket.

Share article