Magazine for Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Technology

Contact restrictions, home office, and altered daily lives – our lives in 2020 were radically changed. This was also the case for various sectors of the economy, including the textile and clothing industry. The pandemic did and continues to demonstrate to us daily how fragile and vulnerable human life remains. And: how irreplaceable physical closeness to others is, and the great inner desire for perceptible physical experiences. However, with crisis come opportunities and stimuli for change. Under the motto “Still Physical”, manufacturers recount their personal success stories in 2020 – the industry can look forward to a selection of sustainable materials curated exclusively by the PERFORMANCE FORUM Jury. Areas of focus: natural fibers that highlight wellbeing aspects, plant-based materials that make us strong and excite on an emotional level, bio-nylons, and bio-based finishings that rethink function. “Still Physical – Your Success Story of 2020” will be on display online as the first of its kind within a trade fair week from 17 to 21 May 2020.

Transformation: Technology first? The pandemic has forced us into new, primarily digital forms of living and working. Our daily lives are characterized by home offices, homeschooling, and online meetings. The opportunities that digital technology provides us with helping us on the one hand in navigating the challenges of the current time – while on the other hand, leaving us feeling drained and overwhelmed. We seek a counterbalance to our largely digital daily lives. This also heightens our awareness of how reliant physical and mental wellbeing is on movement outdoors in nature and on unfiltered interaction with fellow humans. The desire for real, physically perceptible experiences has grown incessantly within the last year. In the same context, people nowadays are strongly driven by technological progress – yet how far can we allow technological change to go and how do we wish to live in the future? Long before the pandemic, the trend towards self-monitoring and control of important bodily functions developed. The sports industry developed tools to measure levels of performance and monitor bodily functions with the goal of enhancing performance. Self-optimization, body shaping, and health promotion have become standard nowadays. Staying healthy and keeping fit are now social imperatives in our performance-oriented society. The pandemic has made us rethink, made us pause – with sustainable function still in focus, yet function needs to be rethought for the future, distancing ourselves from mere performance enhancement, and embracing clothing that facilitates people in feeling good.

Touch & Feel Most people have, above all, missed hugs and caresses over the past year. The hustle and bustle of everyday life keep us on the move, yet we also need places to retreat to where we can find relaxation and draw new strength. In a visual, digital world, one sense has been forgotten: the sense of touch. Materials trigger completely different reactions, consciously or unconsciously. Moreover, the surface texture is also decisive in the functionality of a fabric, lending it its unique characteristics. In times of contact restrictions and lockdown, there is a need for a space for emotions, regeneration, and for physical wellbeing. This is also reflected in the desire for appropriate apparel that leaves a pleasant sensation on the skin. Lightweight, warm, and of a softer nature, plant-based fibers fulfill the desire for comfort and promote wellbeing.

We are physical – we are nature How will we shape and adapt the post-pandemic textile and apparel industry? The Corona crisis once again reminds us of our existential bond with the natural world. While humanity fights against the spread of a deadly virus with social isolation, one thing is doing well: our planet. It is recovering from all the exhaust gases that are released into the air daily by cars and factories. From the greenhouse gases caused by long and short-haul flights. From more waste than ever before left behind by hordes of tourists worldwide. And we, too, seem to need a recovery break from the daily sensory overload, the everyday hustle and bustle, the restlessness, and being in constant online mode. There is a shift in focus towards taking time out in nature, whether in the form of a morning run, a mountain hike, or a yoga session on the grass. Winding down and activating all the senses – feeling, sensing, and discovering what I need to feel safe and secure outdoors.

Your success story 2020 How have fiber manufacturers and material experts lived through the year 2020? What has touched them? Which experiences have shaped their latest innovations? Does the crisis also present opportunities? The chance for something new, for a rethink, on an even more sustainable, more ecological path? Which highlights, which stories are worth communicating and where did the focus lie in 2020? Various material manufacturers already started to focus on sustainability and the cautious use of resources some time ago. Innovations in the areas of materials and in processing methods are the driving forces of the development towards more sustainability. However, we need to realign all processes and structures in our supply and production chains and adapt them to the needs of a resource-conserving, responsible industry. A pioneering example of such alignment was the decision of PERFORMANCE DAYS to only present sustainable materials at the PERFORMANCE FORUM from the November 2019 trade fair event onwards. Additionally, the setting up of the new digital sourcing platform “THE LOOP” shows how technology can be implemented aside from material and processing innovations in such a way that our procedures and structures can be adapted to difficult conditions.

Informative & up-to-date: the digital trade fair week from 17 to 21 May 2021

As usual, the highlighted fabrics from the Focus Topic “Still Physical”, which the exhibitors have defined as their personal success stories, will be available shortly on the PERFORMANCE DAYS website highlighting all details and facets. At the same time, visitors will be able to view the entire PERFORMANCE FORUM selection of current innovative materials as chosen by the PERFORMANCE Jury. Viewing materials, ordering samples, interacting with exhibitors! Register now for free for THE LOOP and keep up to date.

The PERFORMANCE DAYS team looks forward to your visit during the digital trade fair week from May 17 to 21, 2021.

SAVE THE DATE: PERFORMANCE DAYS winter fair as a hybrid event The hybrid option remains the concept of the future:

The entire PERFORMANCE DAYS team is already looking forward to the hybrid winter edition of the fair on December 01-02, 2021 in Munich. The registration process for exhibitors for the event is now available. Further fairs scheduled for 2021:

September 28-29, 2021 Functional Textiles Shanghai by PERFORMANCE DAYS, Shanghai October 27-28, 2021 Functional Fabric Fair by PERFORMANCE DAYS, Portland

December 01-02, 2021 PERFORMANCE DAS Functional Fabric Fair, Munich Register now as an attendee for The Loop at, discover what the platform has to offer, and look forward to what’s new for summer 2023!


The PERFORMANCE DAYS Digital Fair takes place from May 17 to 21, 2021!