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Sustainability meets design: Best practice examples, "cooking show" and material studies inspired at the online event

1 Sep 2022

As part of the online event series for the international consumer goods fairs Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld, Messe Frankfurt hosted three renowned expert speakers digitally. They presented the various aspects of sustainability in their varied lectures. At the online event Sustainability meets Design, the focus was of course also on the relationship to design, underpinned by current examples. The topic was enthusiastic: over 1,400 interested people from more than 80 countries registered and were able to take away valuable ideas.

Moderator Zackes Brustik (right) and Dorothe Klein, Head of Content Consumer  Goods Fairs, at the opening of the Future Retail online event. Photo: Messe Frankfurt
Moderator Zackes Brustik (right) and Dorothe Klein, Head of Content Consumer Goods Fairs, at the opening of the Future Retail online event. Photo: Messe Frankfurt

Before the three leading trade fairs Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld present the latest trends in sustainability and design live to trade visitors in Frankfurt am Main on 3-4 February 2023, the free online event Sustainability meets Design provided initial insights into this multifaceted topic of the future. The focus was on the question: How do sustainability and design fit together? Three experts gave very different answers to this question - whether through best-practice examples, the presentation of alternative materials or even a "cooking show". But the answer was always: yes, sustainability and design go together and are the dream team for the future.

Accompanied by the moderation of Zackes Brustik, Susanna Björklund presented interesting designers and new product ideas at the first lecture "Sustainability and Empathy in Design" on 31 August 2022. The trend analyst and journalist from Finland naturally placed the main focus on the aspect of sustainability. She also rated the topics of transparency, quality, and empathy, which are closely linked to sustainability, as important. "I want there to be an encouragement to change. Design triggers an emotion just as much as the feeling or desire to act sustainably," Björklund said. She used several examples to show that functionality, design and sustainability can go hand in hand. She introduced the new generation of designers who automatically think sustainability into the design process. "This is the future," said Björklund.  

Dr. Harald Gründl, Chairman Institute of Design Research Vienna, invited the participants to his "kitchen" for a cooking show. But it was not about new dishes or meals. In his lecture "Circular Design Rules", he presented "recipes" for how the circular economy works - with good and bad "ingredients". The focus was on the ten R's: in recycling, he cut up a PET bottle and used it to illustrate how small the proportion of plastic is that returns to the material cycle. "My example on refurbishment you all see very clearly on your electricity bill. Just replace an older light bulb that consumes 40 watts with an LED bulb that only consumes 8 watts - that's refurbishment and sustainability," said Gründl. With his ten "dishes" he wants to give the participants a taste for switching from a linear culture of consumption to a circular economy.   

In terms of content, Dr. Sascha Peters, Owner and Managing Director of the Future Agency for Materials and Technology Haute Innovation, followed on directly from the previous speaker. He picked up on the circular economy again in his presentation on "Sustainable Material Technologies" and used concrete examples to demonstrate the implementation already in place. Biomass and the use of biodegradable materials played a decisive role for him. "In the 1960s, we took about 70 per cent biomass from the environment, today it is 160 per cent. A rethink is urgently needed here," Peters said. His solution lies in recycling and new bio-based materials that are both durable and rapidly renewable. "Natural and technically produced materials must be separable, that's the only way sensible recycling works," Peters said. Just about any biomass is valuable for production, from coconut fibres to mushrooms to fish scales. "Just think out of the box," was his credo.

The two presentations by Susanna Björklund and Dr Harald Gründl were recorded in German and English.

They are available at: free of charge at any time.

The lecture by Dr. Sascha Peters was not recorded for copyright reasons. However, he is already firmly booked for the Conzoom Solutions Academy at Ambiente from 3 to 7 February 2023 and will give a similar talk there.

The next online event will take place on 12 October 2022 and will revolve around the latest developments in the Hospitality sector. More information will follow shortly.

The topics of the online events are of equal interest to retailers at Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld and will be given their own platform at the trade fairs from 3-4 to 7 February 2023: the Conzoom Solutions Academy. Here, experts will speak daily on a separate stage about the latest trends and developments in the retail sector and provide further impetus for onsite and online business.

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will in future be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition centre.

  • Ambiente/Christmasworld: 3 to 7 February 2023
  • Creativeworld: 4 to 7 February 2023

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  • #ambiente23 #ambientefair #homeofconsumergoods
  • #christmasworld23 #homeofconsumergoods #christmasbusiness
  • #creativeworld23 #homeofconsumergoods #creativeindustry


Ina Gerbig


Ina Gerbig

Information on Ambiente
New perspectives open up undiscovered opportunities: As the leading international consumer goods trade fair, Ambiente maps the changes in the market with an eye to the future. For five days, it presents a unique mix of ideas and products - and is the platform for global trends. For Table, Kitchen and Housewares, the fair is the unrivalled No. 1 in the Dining segment. In Living, all styles and market segments can be experienced around the home, furnishing and decorating. Giving presents gifts and personal accessories in all facets and will in future offer high-quality stationery as well as articles relating to school supplies. The new Working section fleshes out the working worlds of tomorrow. With its future-oriented HoReCa and Contract Business segments, Ambiente also has a strong focus on the international contract business. The major themes of sustainability, new work, design, lifestyle, digital expansion of trade, and future retail accompany the event, as do a large number of industry events, young talent programs, trend presentations and awards ceremonies. Due to its unrivaled product range in terms of breadth and depth, it is unique worldwide and offers the best connections for making contacts and finding new business partners.

Information on Christmasworld
Christmasworld focuses on the strongest-selling and most emotional time of the year and exploits the success factor of experience at the point of sale like no other consumer-goods trade fair. This makes it the world's most important ordering event for the international decorations and festive decorations sector. Every year in Frankfurt, it presents the latest products and trends for Christmas and all other festive occasions. In addition, it provides innovative concept ideas for the decoration of large and outdoor areas for wholesalers and retailers, shopping centres and city centres. Christmasworld offers the entire range of decorative and festive articles - from hand-blown Christmas tree baubles, ribbons and packaging to large-scale light displays for shopping centres and city centres.

Information on Creativeworld
Creativeworld is the world’s leading trade fair for the international hobby, handicrafts and artists’ requisites sector. At Creativeworld, exhibitors show their latest products, techniques and materials for decorative crafts, graphic and artists’ requisites, handicrafts, textile design, graffiti, street art and creative hobbies. And, as a trend and business platform, the trade fair is the first important venue of the business year. Creativeworld is the ideal order platform for the wholesale, retail and specialist trades, DIY markets, garden centres, the internet and mailorder trades. With its multi-faceted complementary programme of events, Creativeworld is a source of new ideas, inspiration and expert knowledge.

Home of Consumer Goods - the new one-stop store for the global order season
Under the motto "Home of Consumer Goods", Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will be held simultaneously for the first time at one of the world's most modern trade fair centers from February 3-4 to 7, 2023. The newly created combination of three successful leading trade fairs at one location at one time thus combines their strengths and thus offers an unprecedented, simultaneously available, future-oriented product range in quality and quantity. Global business with large volumes is intensified. Messe Frankfurt will continue to offer the largest platform for global sourcing outside China. Frankfurt is thus the center of the global order season, strengthening synergy effects and efficiency for all participants, and is thus the one, comprehensive inspiration, order and networking event for a globalized industry. This is where the newest trends are presented and the global metatrends are experienced and made visible.

Nextrade - the order and data platform for the home & living industry
The digital order and data management system Nextrade for brands and retailers in the consumer goods industry extends the trade fair and enables orders to be placed at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.

Conzoom Solutions - the platform for retailers
Conzoom Solutions is a knowledge platform that offers the consumer goods industry a wide range of studies, trend presentations, workshops and guidelines for the point of revenue. It provides a complete overview of Messe Frankfurt's international portfolio in the consumer goods sector – bundling a wide range of information for retailers.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is one of the world’s leading trade fair, congress and event organisers with their own exhibition grounds. With a workforce of 2,200 people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 28 subsidiaries, it organises events around the world. As in the previous year, annual sales for 2021 were significantly lower owing to the COVID-19 pandemic: approximately €154 million compared with Group sales as high as €736 million in pre-pandemic 2019. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. Sustainable business practices are a central pillar in our corporate strategy and strike a healthy balance between ecological and economic interests, social responsibility and diversity. Another of Messe Frankfurt’s strengths is its powerful and closely knit global sales network, which covers around 180 countries in all regions of the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are using our digital expertise to develop new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.

With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

For more information, please visit our website at: