A big event casts its shadows: this weekend, the European Babywearing Conference (EBWC, #EBWConf15) is taking place in Bristol, UK. So, why are we participating, you may ask? There are several reasons for it:
Wow! The Flemish Babywearing Association has organized a high-level conference (First Flemish Babywearing Conference April 24 – 25) offering many interesting presentations and workshops to the conference attendees. Among the lecturers were Arie Brentnall-Compton (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance), Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis (talking about the clinging-young concept) as well as Prof. Reinhard Graf (paper on the positive impact of babywearing on the hip development). Graf’s paper was a subject of major interest to the babywearing audience and he had to answer many questions after his presentations.
ZipIn Ellipse – do you know this manduca accessory?
In the busy trade exhibition at the conference, the manufacturers of baby carriers and slings presented their latest products and answered many questions. At the manduca booth, attendees could learn about a small accessory that most of them did not know before: manduca ZipIn Ellipse which has become something like an insiders’ tip (for carrying newborns and small babies in the manduca) to the babywearing consultants in Germany. For all of you who do not know it:
The ZipIn Ellipse is a fabric panel that fits into manduca’s back extension. Due to its elliptical form it adapts the shape of the manduca to the natural curve of the small baby’s spine.
At Wickelkinder, babywearing is a matter close to our heart. In order to help parents become familiar with the numerous medical and psychological benefits of babywearing (please see also list of benefits at the end of this article), it not only takes good carrying devices but also experts from various professions. In Germany, there are primarily the babywearing consultants and midwives whom we are supporting with special purchase conditions or with information booths at their congresses and conferences.
The eco trade fair INNATEX has become a fixed date in our event calendar (2015: January 24 -26). But what is a baby carrier doing at a trade fair for sustainable textiles, you might ask? Well, for us, it is quite clear! After all, the manduca is an ecological baby carrier. This is why we have been exhibitors at the INNATEX (which is – by the way – Europe’s largest international fair for sustainable textiles) since our first version of the manduca was available in 2007. And of course, we always have something new to show.
Back in 2007, when we first put manduca on the market, we felt a bit like pioneers, because the manduca was one of the first ecological baby carriers. While organic cotton was only available as an extra for other baby carriers, it was quite clear that we would use exclusively certified organic cotton for the manduca, right from the start. For the basic manduca model, we used organic cotton in combination with hemp – which is also a very sustainable material, as hemp is a very robust and undemanding plant (no need for pesticides). And all the other manduca collections are made of 100% organic cotton.
When looking for a textile fair trade, we discovered the INNATEX celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2007, and it featured a wide selection of fashion and textiles, shoes and accessories. All items at the fair have been produced sustainably since the criteria for exhibitors are stringent (to be an exhibitor at the INNATEX is a distinguishing feature for producers as 50% of their product range has to use textiles from controlled organic cultivation. All in all, the INNATEX is the right place for our manduca.
Looking back at the INNATEX – the baby sector was first
The INNATEX started in 1997 with around about 50 exhibitors presenting ecologically produced textiles – niche players, so to say. They were pioneers, too, and to a large extent came from the baby sector, presenting clothes for babies and children. Not many of them foresaw that the baby sector with its ecological orientation would become a true trendsetter. Just as the ecological companies have been growing year by year, the INNATEX has become a leading trade fair for sustainable textiles and a meeting place for renowned exhibitors from all over Europe (more than 250 in 2015). And the exhibitors and visitors are broadening their horizons, too. Whereas it used to be only important to produce with natural fibers, the focus is now additionally on ecological and socially sustainable cultivation and production methods and the manufacturing conditions of the textiles.
Green fashion en vogue
Today, the interest in ecological textiles has grown considerably – organic products are a big success beyond the baby sector as well. That is why ecological textiles are no longer only found among the traditional eco brands. Conventional brands have also discovered the issue of sustainability. Eco fashion is chic and trendy, and plays a part in the FashionWeek in Berlin, too. In 2014 the INNATEX organizer co-staged the Green Lounge during the Berlin Fashion Week in cooperation with the Ethical Fashion Show and the Greenshowroom.
manduca novelties at the INNATEX 36 – January 24 – 26, 2015
Of course, we are not setting off to the fair without something new. We will not only be presenting our GOTS-certified manduca Sling and our brand new collection manduca PureCotton, but will also be showing a new product that will be available in the spring: a new manduca accessory to enable comfortable carrying of bigger toddlers. Like all manduca accessories, this accessory is easy to use but will make a really big difference. Look out for more information coming soon.
International fair for sustainable textiles
January, 24 – 26
Messecenter Rhein-Main, 65719 Hofheim-Wallau, Germany
The very first Australian Babywearing Conferenceoffered a lot to be discovered, plenty of news to take in and quite a few prizes to win. The babywearing enthusiasts certainly got their time and money’s worth thanks to a diverse agenda and numerous stalls with amazing products.
Sponsored by manduca
Being the very first Babywearing Conference in Australia, the event was something extra special.
So for us at manduca, supporting this conference was a matter close to our hearts.
Our local representative, Fertile Mind (manduca Australia), was present at the conference. As well as being a platinum sponsor, they also made a significant contribution to the realisation of this event.
In keeping with the exceptional nature of the conference, the Fertile Mind stall offered an exceptional surprise for their visitors:
Right after being at the Kind + Jugend, our manduca baby carrier travelled to the Mir Detstva in Moscow, which took place September 24th – 27th. The Mir Detstva is the biggest trade show for specialist retailers of baby and children’s products in Russia and beyond.
manduca – a carrier for Russia
In Russia, there’s a lot of interest in baby and kids’ goods and a growing demand for high-quality products, as demonstrated by the rising number of people attending Mir Detstva. This year, even more visitors turned out than last year: in 4 days, 30000 people came to see 593 exhibitors in three halls. It really was a case of “be there or be square”, so of course our manduca was present, too!