Gifts Today magazine

Sustainbility to be key at Ambiente 2016

Ambiente 2016 launches new Ethical Style Guide so buyers can find sustainable consumer-goods at a glance

Ecological, fair, social – consumer interest in sustainably made products is rising from year to year. But what exactly does sustainable mean? Which products are made in a demonstrably more energy-efficient or environmentally-friendly way than comparable competitors' products? And which companies also pay attention to the social aspects of production?

In an expanding and highly complex market, the international Ambiente consumer-goods fair offers buyers orientation and transparency with the new Ethical Style Guide. 

“For us, it is important to inform our trade visitors about the sustainable consumer goods to be found at Ambiente. This is all the more important because there has so far been no certification for products for the home, giving and furnishing along the lines of what we have known for years for bio-foodstuffs or natural cosmetics. With the Ethical Style Guide we want to make it easier for buyers to orientate themselves in this growing market segment and to promote the trade in sustainable and fairly produced consumer goods”, says Nicolette Naumann, Vice President Ambiente/Tendence.

The exhibitors to be included in the Ethical Style Guide have been selected by an independent jury including experts Rudi Dalvai of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization), Kees Bronk of the CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) and Lutz Dietzold of the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung). The other jury members are Ralf Müller of TÜV Rheinland, Gerhard Friesacher of Changemaker AG and Sabine Meyer of Side by Side plus the experts for textile sustainability criteria, Max Gilgenmann and Mimi Sewalski of online shop.

“This guide will undoubtedly contribute to set tendencies and create greater awareness among exhibitors and buyers to take on more social, economic and environmental responsibility. As a member of the independent jury I was quite surprised to see how many exhibitors have applied to be listed in the first edition of this guide and it has been a challenge to do the final selection”, explains Rudi Dalvai, President WFTO, World Fair Trade Organization, from the Netherlands.

Jury member Ralf Müller, Head of the Solar Fuel Cell Technology Department of TÜV Rheinland in Cologne, also gives the guide a positive rating: “Messe Frankfurt is taking a step into the future with the Ethical Style Guide. The selection of exhibitors and their products is based on the jury's evaluation of the information provided by the exhibitors and aims to give potential buyers initial orientation with regard to seven predetermined sustainability categories.”

The individual categories are 'Eco-Friendly Materials', 'Eco-Optimised Production', 'Fair & Social Production'; 'Re-/Upcycling Design', 'Handmade Manufacturing', 'Sustainable Innovation' and 'Lifecycle Design Concept'. In the brochure, they show which exhibitors are active in which fields.

The companies selected in the 'Eco-Friendly Materials' category include, for example, Capventure from the Netherlands and Allpa from Peru. For 'Eco-Optimised Production', the guide lists, inter alia, Koziol from Germany and the Portuguese company Porcelanas da Costa Verde. The 'Fair & Social Production' category is represented by companies such as the Dutch Handed company and Calypso Chile.

Among the companies to be found in the 'Re-/Upcycling Design' category are Daff from Germany and Recycled Glass La Mediterranea from Spain. Products characterised by 'Handmade Manufacturing' are offered by exhibitors such as Deco de Trend from India and Kinta from the Netherlands. For the 'Sustainable Innovation' category, the jury selected companies such as Capventure from the Netherlands and GreenPan from Belgium. Many of the manufacturers are to be found in more than one category. Thus, the products from Deco de Trend, for example, also stand for a 'Lifecycle Design Concept'.

At the fair, the exhibition stands of all exhibitors selected for the guide will be marked with the 'Ethical Style' label. From mid-January, visitors will be able to find all companies selected using the exhibitor search engine at Thus, buyers will have an unparalleled overview of sustainably and fairly manufactured products, which are becoming increasingly relevant on the market, both before and during Ambiente.

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