Innovation with natural materials

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ISPO visitors explored circularity through two new Sustainability Hub formats at this year's edition: the Material Lab and the Circular Experience.

The Sustainability Hub has a new innovation area

From November 28th to 30th, 2023, the "Who's Who" of the sustainability community came together at the Sustainability Hub by ISPO Munich – which aims to showcase and immerse participants in groundbreaking product innovations and services while collaboratively shaping the future of outdoor sports.

Against the backdrop of the EU Green Deal's comprehensive implementation, addressing pivotal sustainability queries becomes imperative. The inception of the Sustainability Hub in 2010 marked a commitment to providing a dedicated space for innovative and impactful solutions, complemented by best practice examples. With the imminent rollout of the Eco Design for Sustainable Product Regulation (ESPR) under the umbrella of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), ISPO Munich aims to captivate visitors with this year's focal point at the Sustainability Hub: "Circularity."

ISPO visitors emerged into the topic of circularity within two new formats that the Sustainability Hub was introducing at this year’s edition: the Material Lab and the Circular Experience.

Sixteen exhibitors showed what can be done with fungi and other biological contents

The Material Lab

In the Material Lab, visitors could experience innovative materials in a very tangible way and get inspired by a range of materials such as bio-based polymers, biodegradable yarn and textiles, and plant-based down feather alternatives. We explored emerging material innovations made from biowaste from eggshells, agricultural byproducts such as pineapple leaves, algae, hemp, and more with the objective to provide valuable impulses for new solutions within the sports industry.

The emphasis of the Material Lab was to inspire and inform by showcasing the source materials, intermediary processing steps and final materials. Among other examples, visitors could delve into Ananas Anam's textiles produced from pineapple leaf fiber, explore the cutting-edge technology of shoe sole foams manufactured from algae, courtesy of Bloom or the bio-based polymer made out of castor beans developed by Arkema.

The Cloudneo running shoe from On Running is an innovative approach to mono-material design.

The Circular Experience

The second new area, the Circular Experience, revolved around one specific circular material: mycelium – the root-like structure of fungi. The Circular Experience was a curated space where visitors got the opportunity to learn about the innovative potential of mycelium as a raw material for many industries, including sports. The various steps of the life cycle of mycelium-based products were shown in an inspirational and tangible way. After seeing mycelium in its natural state, visitors could witness firsthand how mycelium is cultivated in a laboratory setting, guided by the expertise of Fraunhofer Institute. Next, the exhibit was unveiling a diverse array of products and materials born from mycelium, including cutting-edge creations such as the mycelium helmet by Studio Mom, packaging solutions or leather-alternatives, as well as mycelium-based alternative meat by Mushlabs. To complete a circular value chain, we were exploring the end-of-life stage of mycelium, where ideally its natural degradation process unfolds. This holistic exploration of mycelium's lifecycle serves as a testament to the innovative potential of this extraordinary circular material.

MycoColors aims to establish a fungal based non-toxic and natural alternative for the textile and fashion industry.

What’s next?

With ISPO Munich 2023 now concluded, it's evident that the sports industry is embarking on a transformative path toward sustainability and circularity. This year's event went beyond showcasing the future of sports – it actively contributed to shaping it. For additional details on ISPO Munich 2023 and registration for OutDoor by ISPO, please click here.

For any questions regarding the ISPO Munich in general, please contact:

Alexandra Denker, Category Manager Sustainability at Messe München

For any questions regarding the Sustainability Hub, please contact:

Anna Rodewald, Co-Founder of GreenroomVoice

For any questions regarding the Material Lab & Circular Experience, please contact:

Leonhard Nima, Founder of Studio Nima


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