The spring edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS runs on March 20–21, 2024, at the Messe München Exhibition Center. Here’s an overview.

This year’s edition of PERFORMANCE DAYS will once again be shedding its light on fabric, fiber and material innovations for performance wear – but without neglecting last year’s addition: footwear that takes a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach. New special areas, workshops and an exciting supporting program will burnish the trade fair’s importance as an information platform.

In spring, PERFORMANCE DAYS will be presenting innovations, highlights and trends from the functional-fibers segment for the spring/summer 2026 season. Messe München will be providing a larger exhibition space, in Halls C1 and C2, to accommodate the addition of a dedicated footwear area. What will not be new is exhibitor presentations of material highlights from the development and production of sustainable and environmentally conscious materials.



Also not new – expertise in the fiber sector aside – will be the trade fair’s role as a platform for information and a forum for an inspiring exchange of ideas in the industry. In addition to the popular EXPERT TALKS Area, there will be the forward-looking TREND FORUM (whose topic for this year is “Beyond Bottles”), the INNOVATION ZONE, a dedicated FOOTWEAR AREA, the SUSTAINABILITY LOUNGE and, for the first time, a special workshop area, the REALITY ZONE.

The future of polyester: In search of alternatives to PET recycling

From the beginning at PERFORMANCE DAYS, the Trend Forum has been an important information platform, offering exciting insights and outlooks on future developments in the fiber sector, with a strong focus on sustainability. This spring, the forum and its jury of experts will again be considering a special Focus Topic: “Beyond bottles,” which aims to show how important alternatives to PET recycling are now and will be in the future.


The variety of polyester types and microplastics and the need to replace PET with alternative raw materials pose challenges for the industry. Textile-to-textile recycling will play a key role, especially in upcoming legislation and circular-economy principles. At this year’s jury meeting in the run-up to PERFORMANCE DAYS, manufacturers presented a wide range of alternatives. René Bethmann, Conductor of Technology & Consultant at Vaude Academy for sustainable business and a jury member, confirms this: “Many great alternatives show that you no longer just need the bottle to generate a sustainable feedstock for polyester production. From bio-based variants to T2T recycling and new carbon capture or CCU variants, we have seen options that work without bottle recycling. In this respect, we are on the right track here and are increasingly moving towards a commercial level.”

The Focus Topic breaks down into six categories, all of them exciting alternatives to conventional PET recycling:

  • Membranes
  • Fabrics that have been mechanically recycled
  • Fibers that have been chemically recycled
  • Carbon-captured materials
  • Bioplastics / biobased fibers
  • Others

Sustainability Lounge at PERFORMANCE DAYS

Source: Sustainability Lounge at PERFORMANCE DAYS

Daniela van Gelder, who handles product development for fabric and trims at Vaude and is also part of this year’s expert jury, says: “One alternative is polyester, which is created through textile recycling. At the forum, we differentiated between chemical recycling and mechanical recycling. Depending on where the feedstock comes from, a different recycling process makes sense. This is extremely important to be able to recycle any form of textile waste in the future, regardless of where it comes from in the circular supply chain.”

The expert jury’s final selection will be shown at the INNOVATION FORUM in Hall C1.

Areas and platforms ensure top information exchange

The exclusive supporting program in particular underpins PERFORMANCE DAYS’ role as a top information platform. On both days of the trade fair, visitors will find exciting discussion rounds, specialist presentations and industry and trend talks at the popular EXPERT TALKS. The spring schedule promises some top speakers, among them Karla Magruder of Accelerating Circularity, with a presentation on behalf of the Alliance of Chemical Textile Recyclers.

European Outdoor Group (EOG) founder Mark Held will be looking back on 20 years of the European Outdoor Group and venture an outlook on future projects. Cyndi Rhoades of WornAgain will be talking about the status quo in recycling technology. Dr. Mark Taylor and Dr. Alice Hazlehurst of the School of Design at the University of Leeds will be focusing on washing tests for textiles, and René Bethmann will be examining this year’s Focus Topic in a keynote speech.

Head judge Alexa Dehmel’s overview of the innovations and highlights from the TREND FORUM and the trend preview by Nora Kühner have become fixtures of the program.



Live workshops with a corporate partner will be a permanent part of the show from now on, thanks to the REALITY ZONE platform, which will be making its debut at the spring trade fair. For this edition’s key topic, elaborated in close cooperation with Accelerating Circularity, polyester recyclers from the industry and textile manufacturers will come together to show how textile raw materials can be integrated into processes and products. The aim is to give all players in the circular economy an opportunity to participate in textile-to-textile systems.

Last but not least, at the SUSTAINABILITY LOUNGE, partners will be showing the latest developments in sustainability and, above all, where they expect to take things in the future.

The industry must first of all engage in some intensive exchange, and gather the courage to cooperate. Anna Rodewald of Greenroom Voice, co-manager of the lounge, is looking forward to many exciting new partners: “I can only emphasize again and again how important it will be in the future to work more closely together as an industry on the topic of sustainability. The SUSTAINABILITY LOUNGE has created the perfect framework for this, and I have also received this feedback from the partners.”

A new fixture: FOOTWEAR AREA now integrated

The newly integrated FOOTWEAR AREA with its own FOOTWEAR FORUM, which will be reporting on innovations and highlights from the footwear sector and celebrated its premiere in October, has been particularly well received. Now in spring, PERFORMANCE DAYS is embracing the footwear segment for the second time, solidifying itself in this area as an innovation platform for sustainable materials and developments.

Nina Conrad, sustainability consultant in the textile and leather industry and co-initiator of the new FOOTWEAR AREA, sees enormous potential for footwear at the trade fair: “The introduction of the new footwear area was already warmly welcomed by both exhibitors and visitors in the fall. It seamlessly complements the existing offering in the apparel sector, and some apparel exhibitors have even joined the footwear area, creating a dynamic synergy. This unique opportunity greatly simplifies the search for materials, components and suppliers for footwear designers and product managers, something no other trade show currently does. The Footwear Forum has also received exceptionally positive feedback and is praised as informative, innovative and inspiring. There is of course room for expansion, but we are determined to move forward step by step.”



Marco Weichert, Managing Director of PERFORMANCE DAYS, also supports the expansion into footwear: “We are on the right track to establish PERFORMANCE DAYS as a top information platform and important industry meeting point. Adding the footwear segment to our offering confirms that we are making the right decisions when it comes to providing first-class information for exhibitors and visitors. There is an enormous amount of transfer between apparel and footwear, which is why it is important to provide a separate area for footwear. Many materials are also used in the footwear sector, and there is a huge amount of overlap here.”

Reactions have been the same throughout the industry – the opportunity to view innovations from the fiber and materials sector in footwear as well as performance wear has proved convincing across the board. Brands such as Lederfabric August Renz KG, Monteiro Ribas, SneaKnit, Modern Meadow and Kuori GmbH have already confirmed their participation as exhibitors for the spring.

SAVE THE DATE: PERFORMANCE DAYS - March 20 & 21, 2024; Munich Trade Fair Center (Hall C1&C2)

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