Sustainability as the theme of the future at Creativeworld

Posted by Rachel Westall on 13 April 2023

The subject of sustainability is gaining ground in the DIY community: This was impressively shown at this year's Creativeworld, which was held in Frankfurt am Main from February 4th to 7th. On the opening day, the leading international trade fair for hobby, craft and artists' supplies awarded its 'Industry Oscar' for innovative new products. Eleven of the 54 entries for the Creative Impulse Award were in the category 'Sustainable Product of the Year'. Sustainability in the holistic sense is also the focus of Creativeworld's new Special Interest Ethical Style: The leading trade fair brings together companies and their products and collections that are sustainable on the market.

Bright boxes stacked on exhibitor stand at trade show Under the guiding principle 'Meliora cogito' - 'I strive for the better' - the family-owned company Schmincke from Erkrath (Germany) creates artists' colours. For their liquid charcoal, the traditional company H. Schmincke took home the Creative Impulse Award for the sustainable product of the year. It offers the user a clean, dust-free way of painting, charcoal drawing and priming. The pigments used are of natural origin and are produced by charring fruit seeds from the EU region. With this innovation, the manufacturer is a shining example for a number of producers who are incorporating the concept of sustainability into their product range in a contemporary way.

As a networking and ordering platform, Creativeworld is a meeting place for the global creative sector and DIY scene. As a leading annual fair in this business, it brings trends to life early in the year. At this year's showcase for the sector, it was clear that manufacturers are increasingly enhancing their product ranges by adding sustainable products. In August 2022, for example, the Gomille product line of the company efco creative in Rohrbach (Germany), a range of decorative objects for hobby and craft supplies, was converted from a classic wood-based material, cut from entire logs, to an innovative and more sustainable one. The new material is a low waste product, as it is made exclusively of residues from wood extraction and processing, with an adhesive made from the pomace of cooking oil extraction. The only few leftovers from the production are fed back into the production process or used to generate energy. All steps of the production process are done in the manufacturing country of France. The wood comes from PEFC-certified forests within a 70-kilometre radius of the production site.

The Creativeworld fair reflects the importance of the topic by selecting a sustainable product of the year as part of the Creative Impulse Awards. In addition, with the Special Interest Ethical Style by Creativeworld, the focus was for the first time on sustainability-oriented exhibitors and their products. Accordingly, the special show Ethical Style Spot by Creativeworld also celebrated a premiere. In this context, the fair offered a stage to exhibitors' products. The special interest defines sustainability holistically: aspects such as environmentally friendly materials, resource-saving production, re- and upcycling, sustainable innovations, handicraft and socially responsible production are taken into account. The manufacturer Tudi Billo (Germany), for example, presented itself in the category 'Fair & Social Production' as part of the Ethical Style Spot. The company has its felt products manufactured in Nepal, where felting has a long tradition. In recent years, many new jobs have been created in felt production, almost exclusively for women, who can thus contribute to their families' income. The handicraft products are produced in small to medium-sized enterprises under fair and environmentally friendly production conditions.

Another exemplary company that deserves the label Ethical Style is Kremer Pigments (Germany). The family-run, medium-sized company specialises in the production and distribution of rare and historic pigments. Kremer was awarded 2023 by the jury in the categories 'Handmade' and 'Resource-saving production'. Trade visitors looking for exhibitors with a focus on sustainability will find an Ethical Style label on their stand: "This draws attention to suppliers who are doing remarkable things in the field of sustainability", explains Eva Olbrich, Director Creativeworld at Messe Frankfurt. Online, trade visitors can find relevant exhibitors literally in no time. "I experienced this year's Creativeworld live for the first time, and am just thrilled. It is a very special fair, full of a wealth of ideas, craftsmanship and passion", is how Olbrich sums it up looking back.

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