The top trade fair for sports professionals, ISPO Munich features over 2,800 exhibitors presenting their latest sports products in segments such as snow sports, outdoor, health and fitness, urban, and team sports. Our researcher noted that, rather than a focus on innovation, the show focused on bringing industry-related issues such as sustainability and clean manufacturing to light. Here are some of our top takeaways from the show. 

Recycled and eco-friendly materials: Pontetorto showcased Biopile, the first pile fabric that does not release microplastics into the world’s waterways. The sustainable fleece was developed with German outdoor brand Vaude and has 100% biodegradable Tencel on the inner brushed side of the fabric.

High-tech insulation technology and lightweight synthetic and natural alternatives to down insulation: Best Product was awarded to Imbotex for its RECASHMERE insulation. Comprising 90% recycled cashmere and 10% PLA, it is available in a number of weights and applicable for outer apparel, jackets, footwear, sleeping bags and gloves. Imbotex collects and recycles old cashmere sweaters though their ‘life after love’ program. The sweaters are broken down with the scraps used to create the insulation. And, DuPont highlighted Intexar Heat  in partnership with the Formosa Taffeta Company (FTC) at the show. Intexar Heat is a powered smart clothing technology for on-body heating. When powered, the revolutionary stretchable ink and film creates a comfortable warmth. The heater feels like fabric, does not rely on cables, thick wires or big batteries, and can stand up to very cold environments.

PFC-free finishes that maintain performance in terms of water repellency and breathability with the ability to apply onto natural fibers: Nano technology was featured for Best Product of membranes and coatings by Nanomembrane. Nanofibers can create an absolutely perfect second skin that will never let water through, that will always release all water vapor, and will stop wind. The Nanomembrane company is the first company in the world to start using nanofibrous membranes for sports and outdoor clothing. It can be laminated with cotton, wool, or silk to give better performance. The interest in this product will increase with the notable development of natural fibers within the performance sector.

Super light multi layers, innovations around natural and engineered seamless knitting, and seam-free bonding technologies: An ISPO Gold Winner in the snow sports category, Energy Accumulator EVO ThermoSyphon by X-BIONIC allows the athlete to maintain optimal performance levels for longer because the technology is able to covert sweat into energy. The unique, three-dimensional knitted construction allows the wearer’s sweat to be channeled through the X-shaped ThermoSyphon structure. As a result, the physical state of sweat changes from liquid to steam, which enables improved moisture management and vertical ventilation. 

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By Kerrie Masone,