By Robin | November 08, 2022

Bluezone is Leading the Industry into the Future

On August 30th and 31st, Bluezone hosted its biannual show, turning Munich into the global denim hotspot for two days. As a part of international fabric trade show Munich Fabric Start, Bluezone attracts denim professionals from all over the world who share passion for and knowledge about denim. It is not just a meeting of denim professionals; it is also an opportunity for all those present to put their heads together and strive towards a more sustainable and responsible future for the industry.

Being the first post-covid show (fingers crossed it is), this year’s Bluezone left nothing to chance. The show ran smoothly from beginning to end. It was well organized, nicely decorated, and it fit in perfectly with the overarching Munich Fabric Start show. Major denim mills were given space to showcase their latest innovations, and leading companies from up and down the supply chain showed how they could help brands and manufacturers. Bluezone also provided a platform for education, giving heavyweight industry insiders the podium, from which they equipped their listeners with future-proof denim knowledge.

With this latest show, Bluezone proved once more that they are not simply connecting sellers and buyers. Bluezone is a leading platform for those who want to transform the industry—particularly those who want to overhaul the mindset of the industry.


BluezonePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


Bluezone ‘Campus’

This year’s Bluezone theme was ‘Campus’, and this idea was woven through the show beautifully, with even the smallest details being brought into line with the concept. Bluezone was decorated to look like a true-blue campus complete with lockers, yearbook photos of staff and presenters, and even a basketball court in the center of the show. The staff were wearing limited Bluezone uniforms that had been developed through a triple collaboration between design studio SAATMUNICH, denim mill EVLOX, and Koen Kuik and Robin Denim. More information about the Bluezone Campus collection can be found here.

Far more than just a catchy theme, ‘Campus’ was an opportunity to highlight Bluezone’s important mission to embrace and advocate technology and education as industry-shaping tools. The theme made Bluezone’s mission clear: they would continue their ongoing attempt to purify the industry by embracing, educating, developing, and innovating.

The Bluezone Campus show included many of the world’s leading denim manufacturers, including ISKO, Candiani, and Evlox. Naveena presented a collection in collaboration with the world-renowned Mohsin Sajid of Endrime, and there were also leading trim suppliers, washing companies, and design studios, all of whom form essential links in the denim supply chain.

On the education side, Bluezone joined forces with the Transformers Foundation, a partnership of denim industry players who have joined their voices together to call for positive and sustainable change in the industry. Transformers hosted lectures and generated conversations about ethics and sustainable innovation in the industry. The joining up of Bluezone and Transformers Foundation is very meaningful, as both are looking towards the distant horizon—at the future of the industry. Together Bluezone and Transformers are paving the way towards more innovative, sustainable, honest, and transparent developments. That they have so much support from the industry is a testament to the integrity of so many industry operators.


BluezonePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


We reached out to Selçuk Taș, Sales and Marketing Director at Denim Team, an Istanbul-based garment maker, and the world-famous Ruedi Karrer (a.k.a. @swissjeansfreak) and we asked them how they experienced the Bluezone ‘Campus’ show. Here are their responses:

Selçuk Taș: “We think that the ‘Campus’ theme was beautifully chosen and very well-matching with denim. The denim fabric is perfectly matching the old-school look, and the decoration objects were in a perfect ambiance at Bluezone. Compared to previous Bluezone themes, ‘Campus’ was the best elaborated and the most successful!”

Ruedi Karrer: “After the pandemic, and in a time of very uncertain global perspectives, the denim industry is trying to strengthen their physical visibility again, and I would say that Bluezone made it very well. The ‘Campus’ theme was set with many presentations about sustainability and the credibility of the whole denim industry, which is getting more and more focused on poor labor work, greenwashing and the bad reputation of fast fashion. The denim industry has to change dramatically their current ways of production to escape these dilemmas and to survive in a good way in the long term. Bluezone is taking responsibility to take care about ecological and social topics and is leading the way in improving sustainability, which is not easy in a time where consumers think that washings, pre-fading and stretch denim are trendy.”

No matter who we spoke with during the show, every visitor mentioned being genuinely happy to reunite with their colleagues in denim. After a seemingly endless period of digital-only meetings and shows, Bluezone helped us remember that digital gatherings can never replace physical denim trade shows. Like warp and weft, we must be physically woven together. We must meet each other in person and share our passion. We must keep moving forward together, celebrating all things denim and, whenever possible, sharing our brothers’ and our sisters’ burdens.


BluezonePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


Bluezone; Education, Innovation and Repurposing 

With inflation raging around the world, along with war and other global uncertainties, the denim industry (like so many other industries) is trying to find its balance in the post-covid world. After years of growth and prosperity, fault lines have opened up in what had seemed to be settled territories. We urgently need to adapt to the new global reality. The only way forward is to keep investing in innovations that can help us do less with more and, in the process, help us create a more sustainable and responsible product.


The New Purpose

We reached out to Bluezone curator Panos Sofianos, a much-esteemed denim friend to many, and we asked him how trade shows have changed over the years and how Bluezone will lead the industry to the future of denim. Panos told us that Bluezone has become a multidisciplinary event that aims to educate and help define the new role of denim in terms of function and real values. Originally, trade shows were crucial in terms of sales and visibility in the industry. Operating like an advanced marketplace, trade shows brought together sellers and buyers seasonally, helping businesses to showcase their latest developments. This purpose changed very over the years.

What has changed, though, is the role of trade shows in the industry, which naturally evolved into knowledge campuses and innovation hubs. Panos sees Bluezone as a one-way road, leading the industry on its journey towards sustainability, responsibility, and transparency. Bluezone is helping place the planet’s needs in the spotlight, and they are helping the industry to carefully consider what legacy they will leave to their children and grandchildren.

According to Panos, Bluezone has changed its direction to establish new clusters that serve innovation and responsible performance. By choosing the best among the interested exhibitors and academic courses and choosing speakers who are not afraid to speak the truth, Bluezone is putting wind in the sails of the industry, pulling it back on course. Concepts such as Keyhouse and ReSource showcase the industry’s latest sustainable developments, equipping and inspiring visitors for a more ethical and prosperous future. Bluezone has tried to make an everlasting impact on the industry and has invested deeply in efforts to permanently change the mindset of stakeholders. This is their mission, and they will continue it in the years ahead.


BluezonePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.


20 years of Bluezone is coming up soon!

Bluezone’s next show is planned for January 24th and 25th of 2023. As good as this last show was, the next one promises to be even better. Bluezone will be celebrating their 20th (!!) birthday, and we are expecting a true-blue celebration! After years of visiting Bluezone and getting to know the superteam behind the show, we are sure of the fact that Bluezone will stick to its new purpose: becoming a sustainable business platform for the denim industry with a strong commitment to excellence and a highly innovative approach.

​​Make sure to block the 4th week of 2023 and come to Munich to be part of Bluezone’s 20th anniversary show. Join the conversation about the future of our industry, discover the latest innovations, and get inspired with relevant denim knowledge. We hope to see you there!



BluezonePhoto courtesy of Koen Kuik.