© Messe München GmbH

ISPO 2020: Sustainability in the focus of the sports industry

In 1970 the ISPO sports trade fair celebrated its premiere in Munich. Today, 50 years later, 2,850 exhibitors from 55 countries showcased the latest sports innovations, trends and products – but also sustainability has become increasingly important.

ISPO’s concept for success is the early adoption of current developments and the constant change associated with them, said Klaus Dittrich, CEO of Messe München at the opening press conference. The 50th anniversary is no reason to look back but to think further into the future. This does not stop at the current offers – under the motto “50 Years of Tomorrow” ISPO continues to transform itself. In the future, ISPO will appeal to everyone who is convinced of the positive power of sports for society – and wants to take up on the protection of the planet.

Focus on sustainability
ISPO is taking a first important step by giving priority on sustainability and is trying to motivate companies to transform more decisively in terms of sustainability. Over the past 50 years, ISPO has developed into a valuable network in the sports industry, that bears great responsibility. The company is aware of this responsibility and wants to develop sports and outdoor to be the drivers of a global, sustainable change.

At this year’s ISPO, which took place in Munich once again, CSR experts and company representatives reported on current sustainability projects in the so-called “Sustainability Hub”, which was also providing themed guided tours around the exhibition space. The ISPO Product of the Year Award paid attention to sustainable products and ideas as well and also the ISPO startup competition sees more and more sustainable ideas and solutions.

CO2 savings, recycling and sustainability are the dominant issues among sporting goods manufacturers in view of environmental pollution and climate change. In the future, biopolymers will replace plastic, that is nowadays still used for skis, goggles, shoes, tennis rackets or surfboards. Biopolymers are biodegradable and the ecological balance is much better. Some ski and goggle manufacturers already rely on the material today.

Also the use of natural fibers instead of plastic is a current trend in the industry. A back protector made of several layers of pressed sheep’s wool, which warms or cools, is one of this year’s innovations and was awarded the ISPO Product of the Year Award in the snowsports segment in the “Hardware” area. A running shoe, which is supposed to consist of 53 percent natural raw and recycled material, convinced the jury as well and won an award in the category “Running Hardware”.

ISPO Brandnew 2020 | The best startups in the sports industry
With the ISPO Brandnew platform, ISPO has searched and designated the most promising newcomers of the sports industry since 2000. Which startups provide the most innovative and smartest approaches for the sports industry of the future? And which products can convince with real market relevance? Also, a Tyrolean startup presented itself this year at ISPO Brandnew: Bobsla, an e-kart snowmobile for winter. The electric snowmobile is powered by chain drive and is featuring a large sliding surface that has the potential to be used in ski resorts, hotels and ski schools and – assuming it is charged with green electricity – to enable everyone to participate in winter sports in an environmentally friendly manner.

The Austrian startup EXOlung won over the judges by pushing the limits of breathing apparatuses and is a worthy overall winner of the ISPO Brandnew Award 2020. The young company from Zell am See developed an underwater breathing apparatus, that turns underwater sports into something everyone can enjoy, whether they’re professional or amateur, for as long as they like.

The ISPO Brandnew Winners 2020 at a glance:

  • Winner Outdoor Adventure: KEEGO wants to reduce the use of plastic with squeezable titanium sports bottles
  • Winner Urban Outdoor: mvdham combines function, design and sustainability for active city dwellers by using only natural fibers
  • Winner Matchtime: SensuSport could change the training for professionals and amateur athletes in many sports
  • Winner Slopes & Parks: Switch Boards makes practicing moves and tricks on kickers and big airs possible in summer
  • Winner Body & Mind: Enda aims to present the lightest, most comfortable and cheapest running shoe from Kenya
  • Winner Future Mobility: COWBOY convinces with its concept of the connected bicycle
  • Winner Offshore: EXOlung enables the underwater experience with a low weight underwater breathing apparatus
  • Winner Connected Sports: Awayco simplifies the rental business for bicycle, winter sports equipment and surf gear

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