ISPO 2021

ISPO 2021

In the spirit of the past year, yet another significant event was held in a digital format – the showrooms of ISPO 2021 were resembling web shops and messages were coming through from interested parties just like on social media.

Flipping through the award winners and the exciting new brands, I couldn’t help but notice how the great innovations of the spotswear industry were reduced to flat photographs, lacking material and dimension.



Despite the slightly underwhelming experience, were there any benefits to the digital format? Yes, to start with the obvious financial benefit for companies not having to book expensive hotel rooms, or no time invested in booth construction, packing, no stress, no post-ISPO flus. Perhaps the biggest positive impact was the fresh air around Munich airport, which probably makes this edition of ISPO the most sustainable ISPO event so far.



Also, this year for me marked a personal design achievement – for the first time I attended ISPO as part of Mammut, a company I set my eyes on nowhere else than my first expo visit back in my Student years. It also marked one whole year at Mammut for my creative significant other.


After experiencing a dire need of newness, something fresh and unseen, for this ISPO edition, my attention was captivated by the newcomers. Many new and exciting concepts emerged from start-ups where the virginity of untapped territory is incubating excitement.


Following my thorough review of this year’s virtual presentations, I carefully compiled a list of the most exciting emerging brands and recent start-ups, currently on the rise. For seconds, I have included next seasons’ textile, color and mega trends forecasts.

New and emerging brands

  1. Ajuma

First on my list is a start-up founded in the home of ISPO, Munich. Fresh out of 2019, Ajuma was the first to create a device, preventing sunburns and reducing the risk of skin cancer, also monitoring the levels of vitamin D. UV-Bodyguard is designed for anywhere in the great outdoors and can be simply clipped or Velcro-attached to any sporting gear and connected to the user’s smartphone.

  1. Maporto

Even if just for their banana video, my next choice is another new company, founded by married couple Przemyslaw Chlebicki and Regina Chlebicka. It relies on an incredibly simple principle to allocate evenly the weight of a backpack in order to prevent back pains or tiring of the shoulder area. Maporto Relief System consists of tubes, taking the weight off the shoulders and distributing it towards the hips. If you’re wondering how it works (and for a little laugh), please follow the link below to see the banana squish test!

  1. ArcX Technology

The next device on my horizon is for everyone who likes jogging with that crazy upbeat music on but is not a fan of holding a smart device close to change the tunes. If you’re one of those people, you’d be glad to hear that UK-based company ArcX Technology have invented the first smart ring, designed for gym workouts or single-handed sports that controls playlists and other phone functions. It is specifically created to be worn on the index finger and controlled with the thumb, allowing complete freedom via Bluetooth connection. Yes, you can wear it with gloves…


Up next is an invention that would satisfy the foodies and the drinkers, as well as the nature-lovers. The Regensburg-based start-up BAGSOLATE created the first sustainable cooling backpack featuring an integrated insulation layer and made entirely out of sustainable materials. No more warm beer!

  1. GOT BAG

A bag that impresses with minimalistic design and great environmental ideation comes from the last start-up on my list – GOT BAG – a young German brand that created the first backpack entirely made out of ocean plastic. And the looks are also worth exploring!

Brands, picking up speed

Now, it’s time to pay attention to brands I’ve been following and see how they did at ISPO this year, presenting their innovative ways and inspiring us, designers, to be better!

  1. Nikin

Founded in 2016, nowhere else than in beautiful Switzerland, Nikin has been famous for one single initiative, taking planting of the sustainability notion quite literally. Planting a tree for each product sold has made them one of the great green voices of the generation, reaching half a million planted trees in the spring of 2020 and shortly after this, in December, scoring their ultimate goal of one million trees! If you’re wondering what that looks like, it is 81km² of new trees, or 11’345 football fields!

  1. On

I realize I might not be impartial here, since my second choice is also a Swiss brad, expanding with head-breaking speed. Running brand ON proved that great performance and sustainability can, in fact, go hand in hand. If in doubt, check out their winner in the category Sustainability Achievements – the Cyclon shoe!

  1. Nortletic AS

Next one up is proving to be a trend-setter for medical apparel composition and transparency – Nortletic AS displayed an anatomical design for a knee sleeve, which is not only extremely supportive during training but is also 100% plant-based (hear that might be the word of 2021…). This pure natural rubber, harvested from sustainably planted trees, helps production reduce CO2 emission up to 80%. The dye used reduces emissions with 96% compared to colors normally applied! Even the lamination is conducted with recycled Xtend and attached with water-based glue Aqua-A™.

  1. clim8

My love and curiosity for wearable tech brings me to the last on my list – founded in 2016, clim8 is already the hub to turn to when it comes to intelligent thermal technologies for wearables. What makes it so special to explore is its technology that monitors, analyses, activates and regulates based on user-specific needs, which is more than most tracking systems can provide. The North Face, Odlo, Ixon, Gore Tex and Burton are just a part of their portfolio and the wearable tech they provide has so far been successfully applied to baselayers, midlayers, jackets, gloves and clothing gear.

The most exciting part of ISPO for me have always been the color and textile trends and having them in a digital form has helped me compile a neat and inspiring report based on the ISPO presentation! Trends for next seasons are nothing but a counterstatement to the repressed state of the world so let your creativity flourish and get on with those inspiring trend reports!

Textile Trends Fall/Winter 2223




This textile trend has already been around for a while but in fall/winter 2223, finding the equilibrium between synthetic and natural materials in performance wear will be the way to go. It’s time to show the potential of natural fibers in contrast with the already established performance of synthetics!



The next textile trend is more about the looks, rather than the content of materials. Fabrics for next winter season will be distressed, brushed, pitted, piled, worn in order to create a more relaxed look.



So as to inspire and give the much-needed freedom, outer and second layers will be a visual explosion where both fabrics and trims are creatively livened up with color and texture.



This is the new futuristic approach with the inescapable touch of realism, encouraging us to pursue new technical developments like self-healing fabrics, high tenacity fabrics and unconventional materials.



This trend pleads for familiarity and sustainability to calm down the visual craze of the season.

Textile Trends Spring/Summer 23


Revival reflects the long sought-after escapism, both in terms of functionality and color!



As new life emerges and nature flourishes in the spring/summer season, natural ingredients will be in the base of all products – starting from natural insulations and recycled lightweight down to food waste, nuts, corn and beet for bio synthetics. The process of letting nature back into our life has already begun.



Through this trend, we step back to basics, allowing designs to feel natural and lightweight, evoking stability and trust.



Even if the whole world is put to a halt, doesn’t mean innovation should also hit pause, Deciper is all about innovation without limits and the journey of pursuing it!



Transmute is much about the clash between traditional and futuristic and finding the sweet spot in those (sometimes mutually exclusive) creative paths.

As a color fan, I can’t help but take immense pleasure from the color reports from the next few seasons! Here are some of the takeouts that are already inspiring designers to seek for those incredible color combos!


Color Trends Fall/Winter 2223


The core colors for the fall/winter season remain a solid and stable base for creative pops but this time they have a fresh and uplifting shade, bringing up the strong colors in each palette.



This is the antithesis to the disruption we can see everywhere else – delicate tones and various shades make for a fine, almost fragile look.



Those color palettes are nostalgic and pre-digital, inspired by sport as a pastime, not as competition.



This trend mirrors colors that are rebellious and grungy, very bold, inspiring freedom.



As always, nature is inspiration also in terms of color. For FW2223, however, it is the sky we’re looking up to for insights – with all its shades and moods subjected to a constant change.


Color Trends Spring/Summer 23

Soft Chaos

This trend brings up a shady neutral base with a hint of color coming through.



Recoup reflects the simple pleasures of sport pre-digitalization. Inspired by the bold colors of tennis courts and football fields.



The core grey tones are complemented by new zesty green and fizzy pink, giving the overall pallet a lot of lightness and energy.



Intense neon and metallic colors are bringing sports goods to life, establishing new envigoring trends!



Coming through more and more each year, the takeover of unconventional combinations is on every level for spring/summer 23.


Mega Trends Spring/Summer 23

Rhythmical movement

Contradictory to any obstacles coming our way, the constant inspiration to continuously adapt and evolve is the leading trend for the next seasons!


Home Truth

With sustainability carving its way through the sports industry, yet another aspect of it is definitely on the go – transparency in supply chains is not going to be just a trend, it will be a requirement.


Balancing Act

As the world’s population was diagnosed with overconsumption a few years back, it is now time to start considering solutions and planning our way out of it step by step. Big brands’ leftover stock and overproduction are still issues in the very heart of the concerning tendency.


 Think Different

As amazing globalization has been for industries to grow, for trends to spread and for inspiration to travel, it has certainly brought up another unprecedented issue upon us – homogenous design solutions. In the heart of this last trend is to inspire the fight against sameness and boredom and evoke new, ingenuous designs!


On this inspiring note, it is time to wrap up the ISPO report for this season and get back to the drawing board to reconsider what makes our products desirable, sustainable and innovative.




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