Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags have successfully proved their importance as the international business hub for the volume sector, able to present an integrated offer for footwear and accessories. The events attracted more than 12,000 visitors registered from 111 countries, in line with the organisers' expectations.

"During the four days of the fair we received a selected public of professionals, who welcomed the novelty of Gardabags, for the first time inside the Exhibition Centre in pavilion D - says the Chairman of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi Roberto Pellegrini. An added value in the layout of the events, on which we will continue to work to give more and more space to an integrated and quality offer of shoes and accessories".

The opening talk "The sustainability of the fashion system supply chain" presented interesting ideas on the theme of sustainability, increasingly strategic for companies and also present in the stylistic choices of the collections.

 Lars Doemer, Director and co-founder of GoBlu, an international service company and sustainability accelerator for companies in the fashion system, illustrated in his speech the strategic levers for companies that choose to take the path of a more ethical and environmentally friendly production. The key word is transparency, within a coherent path ofawareness that leads to growth with one' s own supply chain. The focus on the supply chain is concretized in some virtuous examples: the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Textiles and Garment are two projects that lead companies interested in operating in those markets to a progressive mapping of all production partners.

Even in fast-developing economies such as China, traceability systems for the supply chain are evolving rapidly, thus putting the brands that have entered these markets in a position of urgency to make their supply chain transparent - something that was totally unthinkable only five years ago.

For companies that are now embarking on the path to sustainability - as Lars Doemer suggests - a constant dialogue with their supply chain can become an opportunity to share good practices already implemented by suppliers, from which to develop new solutions more focused on business needs.

Tiziano Guardini, fashion designer who won the Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging Designer in 2017, and who is particularly attentive to the ethical and sustainable aspect of fashion, has brought an important testimony on sustainable choices from the point of view of creativity.

Once again, with our opening debate, we have focused on a strategic asset for the sector, trying to give our public of companies, buyers and professionals concrete tools to guide their business choices for the future," says Giovanni Laezza, general manager of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi.Today, sustainability is a real opportunity to protect the planet, but it is also an indispensable tool for being competitive at an international level. As the Riva del Garda Fierecongressi company (the only Italian trade fair body with ISO 20121 certification for Sustainable Event Management Systems), we are also committed to improving ourselves in order to reduce our impact on the environment and to promote a 'culture of sustainability' together with our stakeholders".

The 1,462 exhibitors at the 92nd edition of Expo Riva Schuh (of which 266 were Italian and 1,196 were foreign), and the 83 exhibitors at Gardabags presented their collections for the next SS 2020 on an exhibition area of over 33,000 square metres. 39 countries were represented, including Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Germany.

 "We are satisfied with the progress made by Gardabags, an event that wants to grow and give more and more space to a production of bags and accessories in quality leather. 35% of the professionals registered at Expo Riva Schuh indicated their interest in visiting Gardabags, a figure that is significantly higher than in previous editions. - says Carla Costa, head of the Riva del Garda Fierecongressi Trade Fair Area. We have chosen to particularly enhance the image of the new space, which is the result of an important real estate operation and an interesting project for the redevelopment of an old industrial complex. In the relaxation and networking are – Hangar D - we welcomed a moment dedicated to fashion trends withthe style coachCarla Gozzi, who was inspired by the style and quality of our stands. Our goal is to carry on working to make the event a laboratory of creativity and inspiration for professionals and operators in the sector".

More and more brands have proposed in their collections models that have a low environmental impact, using natural or recycled materials. For footwear, organic cotton is preferred for uppers, together with materials such as recycled rubber or natural rubber, as well as vegan footwear. Talking about bags, the protagonists are rattan, straw, fabrics and inserts of natural elements, such as stones and shells. Four major macro trends have been identified: PLAY & FUN, UNCONVENTIONAL SHAPE, FUNCTIONALITY and NEW MATERIALS.

For women, platform sneakers and big heels with precious details always play a leading role. Beach style slippers are also very popular, featuring a croco texture and glitter details. The python pattern returns, together with fluorescent colours, for a look in full nineties revival.

The male collection saw the return of moccasins and lace-ups, yet revisited in a comfortable version, for a relaxed and original style.

Men proudly sport strong colours, and they are more and more consciously choosing quality leathers and natural materials.

For children, the proposals reflect the trends for men and women, in a colourful and playful style.

The next appointment with Expo Riva Schuh and Gardabags is from 11th to 14th January 2020.