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Young Professionals Workshops – Sympathy Lab x ISPO Munich 2022

From the 28th to the 30th of November Sympathy Lab hosted a series of workshops for young professionals live at ISPO Munich 2022. In these workshops industry experts sat down with newcomers from design, communications, innovations and retail departments from the sports, outdoor and textile industries. The goal?

Letting young people speak their minds and communicate their wishes and hopes for the future of their sectors and our planet.

ISPO Munich 2022

At ISPO, the world’s leading platform for sporting goods, the organisers laid a special focus on sustainability in the sector. In the center hall of the ISPO Munich 2022 trade fair an entire area called the „Sustainability Hub“ was dedicated to conversing about one of the gravest issues modern mankind is facing. In between reusable exhibition booth constructions, a long table served as a get-together spot for sustainability enthusiasts – and our Young Professionals Workshops.

The Sympathy Lab Young Professionals Workshops

Sustainable Design

How can we turn eco-design into reality? How can we design clothes innovatively and be revolutionary and sustainable at the same time? Is circular economy the way to make not only our products but also our design processes efficient and environmentally friendly?

Young designers and industry experts Anna Steyer and Joel Svedlund discussed these very important questions together in our first-ever Sympathy Lab Young Professionals Workshop. One of the key learnings from the session: Design is one of the first and one of the most important steps in creating sustainable products and services! But designers cannot do it all alone - the young creatives call for more collaboration between not only departments but whole companies and industries. We can all learn from each other.

Sustainable Communications

“Sustainability” – what exactly does that mean? How can companies communicate their stances on it in a transparent, authentic, and credible way? And how do we combat greenwashing in the industry?

In order to reach our goal of more cooperation and collaboration across all sectors, it is so important that we learn how to communicate truthfully and effectively - is what our young professionals had to say on the matter. In their workshop with industry experts Gabriel Arthur and Timo Perschke they worked on finding a solution to the current blockades in many communications departments that focus on sustainability. Our newcomers found that the best approach might be going straight to legislation with their demands.

Digital Fashion

Fashion is an art form – and a way to express yourself in daily life. But the fashion industry has been one of the biggest polluters of our planet Earth in the last few decades. Some companies already have an idea of how we could change this.

In the future, we might live in a digital world that some call the “metaverse”. How will we express ourselves there? Will our need to express ourselves shift to our digital selves? Is future fashion even still going to be physical?

Together with digital fashion expert Kim Berndt, our young professionals found that our world should not become worth escaping on this scale. But rather that digital fashion should become a support feature to our current real-world fashion by giving us new possibilities in the production and retail processes.

Future Retail

Speaking of retail - in recent times online stores have become more and more profitable – whilst retail locations are slowly being abandoned by their customers. This is not only due to recent developments like a global pandemic but also because shopping online is comfortable. Especially young people not only prefer shopping online but also don’t seem to see retail stores as favorable employers anymore.

Is this the end for in-person sales and retail stores? We don’t think so and neither do our young professionals who discussed these problems with industry experts Hermann Demmel and Stefan Herzog. Their conclusion: Retail just needs to become more exciting again. When you walk into a store, it needs to offer more than shopping online could - an immersive experience.

A new vision

For Sympathy Lab this past event has once again proven that communication and cooperation on all fronts are imperative for creating true change towards a sustainable future. We thank ISPO for providing us with a big stage, and our workshop sponsor Sympatex and production team Force of Disruption for their support in the cause. We are incredibly proud to be able to serve as a platform for cross-generational conversation and can’t wait to show you the outcomes of these relevant talks in the next season of our web series Sympathy Lab.


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