Material Stories

Each season, the material is one if not the most important factor in apparel design. Therefore, designers, product- and material managers find in this section the stories and inspiration to create apparel collections. Click on the photo to request a sample or to contact the supplier via email (don't forget to mention the article name) for more information.

Texts and pictures by Alexa Dehmel – active sports design & consulting

Avoiding Microplastic in Midlayer Fabrics

The New Shirt

The new generation of outdoor shirts is faced with responsible design and embedded sustainability through: Reducing, reusing, recycling, use of plant-based or food waste materials.

We strive for comfort, natural protection from UV-rays and insects, as well as anti-odor and wicking properties. You will find high gauge knits, as well as woven checks in a variety of sizes with colors ranging from sun yellow to naturals with red, blue or green shades.

Tell your shirt story using the latest fabric developments from the PERFORMANCE FORUM choice, among them recycled Polyester, Seawool®, Abaca, Woodpulp, Refibra™ or recycled Elastane. All fabrics are bluesign® certified.


Avoiding Microplastic in Midlayer Fabrics


Slowly but surely, we all realize that when washing our garments, especially polyester or nylon midlayer fleeces with brushed backings, we contribute to a strongly underestimated issue: Microplastics.

„Every time you wash clothes, you are releasing microplastics into the sea, but we know little about the amount and distribution of such material from different types of textile. Globally, microplastics from laundry represent one of the largest primary sources of pollution, together with particles from car tires.“ ( news online 01/2020)

„A new study finds that the amount of plastic pollution in our seas is likely to have been severely undercounted. The true number may be higher than the amount of zooplankton, which underpins our marine ecosystem and helps to regulate the climate. Using nets with a fine mesh size to filter microplastics, the researchers estimate that the total global surface microplastics stands at around 12 to 125 trillion particles. The particles predominantly came from fibres from textiles such as ropes, nets and clothing.“ (green queen online 06/2020)

In this selection you find midlayer fabrics that use natural fibers or 3D-constructions on the backside to replace microplastics-emitting brushed polyester backing. This way, microplastics in the ocean can be avoided easily.



Light windbreakers will be key components for outdoor activities in many of next years’ collections. Sheer and lightweight sustainable high-density fabrics boast new levels of tensile strength and airy volumes.

The focus lies on recycled performance polyesters and nylons, with water-repellent or waterproof qualities combined with breathability and tear-resistance. Such fabrics become actively resilient and protective when deployed as an outer layer for diverse active purposes such as cycling, running, hiking, and more.

For this story, we selected some outstanding items from exhibitor’s submissions for the PERFORMANCE FORUM:

Sustainable Dyeing Technologies


When it comes to dyeing technologies, the world appreciates that more and more sustainable solutions are being developed while considering the impact on the planet, especially in reducing waste, abstaining from the use of chemicals and conserving water.

Natural dyes, for example dyestuff from food-waste, tea, plants, flowers, herbs and spices are starting to scale up, along with waterless synthetic dyeing processes, even evident in fluorescent colors. There is a move away from bleaching, allowing for the presence of optical whites.

The popularity of natural dyes and undyed fabrics are bringing about new key color palettes with beautiful neutral shades.

The PERFORMANCE DAYS exhibitors offer us a great selection, from which we would like to present some carefully chosen items. Sustainable dyeing technologies will certainly play a significant role in future responsible product strategies.

Post-Corona Sustainable Outdoor Cloths


What are the demands for the sustainable Outdoor Apparel of tomorrow?

The key words might be “responsible & diverse design”, “trans-seasonal developments”, “real product purpose”, ”cleaner processes”, “longer life products”, and so on…

Consumers are individual. Each desire something different from the activewear industry. Fulfil the consumer needs for practical and comfortable clothing, embracing the anti-excessive and anti-waste movement, as well as the longing for sustainable innovations in textiles that help to save our climate. Consumers seek both protection and performance.

In this material story choice, you might find some fabrics that could inspire you to refresh active silhouettes into technical lifewear that matters:

Innovative Food-Waste Materials


We all try as best we can to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve our planet as clean as possible for future generations. Most of us are not aware that „Climate experts have identified food waste as one of the top sustainability problems worldwide and the United Nations environment program has an ambitious goal of eliminating half of all food waste by 2030.“ (CNN online, March 18/2020)

Outstanding for the PERFORMANCE FORUM this season were submitted fabrics containing „Oyster Shell“. Oyster shell is sourced from the food industry, grounded into fine powder and mixed with recycled polyester or recycled nylon. These yarns often branded as SeaWool® provide thermal regulation, anti-static, anti odor, moisture management, natural handfeel and wrinkle-resistance properties.

In this selection you will find fabrics with Oyster Shell as well as fabrics with fibers from Castor Oil Plant, Coffee Shell and Pineapple Leaf:



Yes, they are definitely back: “Leggings”. They appear in many active design capsules, as a core item and for many activities. They stand for diversity and inclusivity.

The varieties seem infinite: The “Performance Leggings”, the “Armour Leggings”, the “Flex Leggings”, the “Compression Knit Leggings”, the “Adjustable Leggings”, the “Pop-Seam Leggings”, the “Cut & Sew Leggings”, the “Crafted Leggings”, the “Seamless Leggings”, and so on…

It takes a couple of ingredients for a designer and developer to create the “Perfect Leggings”. One of them is the right sustainable fabric choice. Among the many exhibitor portfolios, we selected our favorite developments which could facilitate this process for you. Be inspired:



Hemp is claimed to be one of the strongest and oldest fibers in textiles. Due to its fantastic eco properties, such as requiring four times less water in the growing stage than cotton and returning up to 70% of the nutrients back to the soil, as well as being naturally antibacterial and UV cut it’s making a strong comeback.

Abacá, a species of banana plant native to the Philippines, is grown as a commercial crop in the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica. The plant, also known as Manila Hemp, has great economic importance, being harvested for its fiber. Paper yarn is strong, breathable, hypo-allergenic, hydrophobic and hydrophilic, quick dry and lightweight.



In this story, outstanding fibers are highlighted that will create new opportunities in innovative and sustainable collection creations:



In these times of new work-life balance, self-care as well as focus on physical and mental wellness, we welcome innovative approaches for sustainability and multiple purpose values in fabrics. The spotlight is on beauty, wellness, anti-aging, healing and restoring.

Brands will be able to satisfy their health and beauty conscious consumers by boosting benefits achieved by adding vitamins, minerals, amino acids, argan oil, aloe vera, collagen and more. That means that moisture management and thermoregulation will be allied by protection from radicals, cellulite reduction, particular next-to-skin softness or other intelligent properties.

The carefully chosen fabric selection from the PERFORMANCE DAYS exhibitors may contribute to creating forward-thinking collections reflecting the new consciousness.

Modern Nomads Stay @ Home Go Comfortwear

Modern Nomads Stay @ Home - Comfortwear

The first of our stories leads on how covid-19 is acting as a catalyst for a seismic change in the textile industry. We will see comfort becoming a key differentiator for consumers. Our homes have become multipurpose spaces, such as office, school or activity centers. With the rise in working from home and telecommuting tools, above-the-keyboard dressing will become the norm.

We found beautiful “comfortwear” fabrics: A couple of woodfiber blends, but also recycled PA, PES or Elasthan, as well as biodegradable stories… an abundance of sustainable solutions. The colors come in neutral and commercial shades. All of them will dress your customers perfectly as well, when they decide to venture outside.

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