Circular Experience & Material Lab exhibition at ISPO Munich 2023

From November 28 to 30, 2023, the “Who’s Who” of the sports industry met at the annual ISPO Munich to show and experience product innovations and to shape the future of sports together. ISPO Munich is the world’s largest multi-segment trade fair in the sports business, with visitors from all around the world, including representatives from most major brands, suppliers, retailers and more.

Sustainability is undoubtedly of growing importance, not only at ISPO Group, but also in the sports industry. This is why the Sustainability Hub was introduced in 2010 to provide a dedicated space for innovative and impactful solutions in the field of sustainability. In 2023, ISPO Munich wanted to go one step further and inspire visitors with this year’s focus topic of the Sustainability Hub: “Circularity”.

Studio Nima curated a new exhibition as part of the Sustainability Hub, unveiling the future of sports through the lens of circularity: the Circular Experience & Material Lab.

The Circular Experience revolved around one specific circular material: mycelium – the root-like structure of fungi. Visitors got the opportunity to immerse into the fungi kingdom and learn about the life cycle stages of mycelium and its innovative potential as a raw material for many industries, including sports. After seeing mycelium in its natural state, visitors witnessed firsthand how mycelium is cultivated in a laboratory setting, guided by the expertise of Fraunhofer Institute, Mycocolors and Fraxinea. Next, the exhibit unveiled a diverse array of products and materials born from mycelium, including cutting-edge creations such as the mycelium helmet by Studio Mom, packaging solutions or leather-alternatives, as well as mycelium-based alternative meat by Infinite Roots. To complete a circular value chain, the exhibition explored the end-of-life stage of mycelium, where ideally its natural degradation process unfolds.

The aim of the Material Lab was to inspire and inform by showcasing the source materials, intermediary processing steps and final materials of innovative biomaterials. Among others, visitors could delve into Ananas Anam’s textiles produced from pineapple leaf fibre, the typha-based down alternative developed by Ponda, traceless’ biomaterial made out of agricultural waste and explore Arkema’s bio-based polymer made out of castor beans that is the source material of the fully circular ON running shoe.

This year’s fair was not just about showcasing the future of sports but actively shaping it. It’s clear that the sports industry is poised for a transformative journey towards sustainability and circularity. Let’s keep the momentum alive for a more sustainable future in sports!