The RIFT Summit Berlin — Responsible Innovators for Fashion & Textiles

The RIFT Summit Berlin – Responsible Innovators for Fashion & Textiles is an expert forum which will take place on Thursday, June 8th 2017 in Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei Palais Atelier as a satellite event to the WEARit Festival. The RIFT Summit gathers experts, creators and multipliers from various fields of the fashion and textile industries. Its aim is to foster responsible innovation in our industries with emphasis on forerunners within artisanal and industrial traditions, sustainability strategies and technological innovations. Join the driving forces with this curated expert forum and support the transformation of our industries in an inspiring atmosphere.

Big change is happening within the fashion and textile industries as companies try to incorporate innovative technologies – a future topic with high potential in growth and efficiency. As a start-up metropolis with dense research and development expertise, Berlin offers an excellent base for the movement of responsible innovation for fashion and textiles. Furthermore, the industry experiences a huge transformation as new innovations disrupt the textile sector. Berlin as a fashion technology hub has to face social, ecological and cultural challenges to connect each segment – craft, sustainability and technology – in an efficient and transparent way. Our approach is to connect experts within the industry to discuss the status quo and to set an agenda for future responsible innovation as a think tank within the fashion and textile industries.

All you need to know

The expert forum The RIFT Summit Berlin will take place on Thursday, Jun  8th 2017 in Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei Palais Atelier.

There will be two slots of best practice presentations  from european initiatives and businesses and a Future Forecast Session followed by networking and drinks at the opening party of WEARit Festival 2017.

Find your way on this Location Sketch


13:30    Get together

14:00     Intro & Keynotes

14: 45   Session I

16:00     Session II 

17:30     Closing Panel & Future Forecast

after 18:00     Opening Party Wear It Festival 2017

Extended Program

June 8 - 9, 2017: Wear It Festival


If you have any questions please feel free to contact us:

Registration closed


Rolf Heimann

hessnatur Stiftung

Rolf Heimann is a pioneer in the field of textile ecology with a career of almost 30-years. He developed environmental friendly paint systems and technologies for coating textiles. Also he led a consulting company for the ecological optimization of textiles. After more than 12 years as head of the corporate responsibility department at hessnatur he received the founding commission for the hessnatur foundation at the end of 2014. As a member of the board and expert on applied sustainability he is now  managing the strategically and operationally focus of the foundation.

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Thimo Schwenzfeier

‘Texpertise Network’ Messe Frankfurt

How smart and innovative textiles can change the future and where they can already be discovered today.

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Dr. Gottfried Betz

Strick Zella GmbH & Co.KG

In cooperation with the Institute for Microelectronic and Micromechanical Systems in Ilmenau Strick Zella developed a completely new technology of wireless textile buttons. Based on a 3D knitting technique they can be integrated into any textile. These wearables can be used to easily control electrical devices, e.g. door openers or smartphones over distances up to 30 m. They are drapable,  washable, and they breathe. With this patent-pending technology, Strick Zella as a network of research institutes and small business units compete with Google in the market segment of smart cycling clothes.

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Lusi Ajonjoli


Biotech fashion players disrupt the playing field. What is biotech fashion? How does it even work and must you be a university-trained scientist to challenge the fast-fashionista hegemony?
Cultural perceptions regarding fungi are undoubtedly its greatest foe— so let’s begin to embrace these misfits. For everyday consumers and designers to accept new ideas regarding biotech, it is important to understand how it works and what its implications are. The rise of designers hacking biology and scientists promoting #openbiotech (#diybio, #openscience, etc.) bode well for increased science literacy. This constellation is poised to makethe innovation of materials bloom and perhaps even more importantly how materials are produced. What is the future of fast fashion usurped by biotech and how does it look and feel like?

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Chris Doering

Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation

In a dynamically evolving and knowledge-driven society, impulses driven by a wide range of different perspectives are the engine of innovation. In view of this, the early inclusion of stakeholders from research, business, politics and society are becoming increasingly important in research and innovation processes.

When developing effective, sustainable future solutions, key factors to consider include future use options as well as societal needs, concerns and values. Hence research and innovation require also a dialogue with society. The Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation (CeRRI) develops new approaches and methods that allow research agendas and technology development processes to focus on societal demands from the very start.

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Thekla Wilkening


Kleiderei was founded in 2012 and works like a clothes library, offering a curated collection of vintage pieces or collaborations with (young) designers, from which the customers have the possibility to borrow up to 4 pieces in a monthly subscription. Either online at or at their shop in Cologne. Kleiderei also offers surprise packages including free styling advice. The concept serves as a wardrobe extension and an alternative to fast fashion consumerism. It’s the optimal playground for sustainable shopping - without a guilty conscience.

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Dr. Marcus Winkler

DITF - Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf

TCBL, Textile and Clothing Business Labs, aim to renew the European textile and clothing sector. They are exploring new ways to design, make and work together, inventing new business models to open up attractive markets. TCBL incourages their members to become part of a transformative ecosystem.

They’re taking advantage of new technology to bring together traditional craftsmanship with 21st century services and their new industrial scenarios rely on customer-driven production, applying innovative methods, materials, and tools. The business models of TCBL aid in keeping design and production local, focusing on diversity and excellence in niche markets.

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Dr. Carolijn Terwindt

ECCHR - Business and Human Rights

Despite codes of conduct and social audits, many factory workers still face regular overtime, low wages, and a lack of safety measures in the workplace. What are the legal incentives for European retailers to ensure minimum standards in support of sustainability strategies? Can buying retailers be responsible if workers are injured during the production labor? That is the central question in the lawsuit against KiK by four Pakistani claimants for the injuries of survivors and the deaths of the workers at factory Ali Enterprises. The presentation highlights some of the legal arguments and puts the case in a broader context of growing regulation, transparency, and corporate due diligence obligations.

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Ina Budde

Design for Circularity

Designing products and systems for a circular future of fashion is a global and interdisciplinary challenge. What are the opportunities of interconnecting technology solutions to foster collaboration and transparency? Let’s look into future-oriented technical innovations that will not compromise but enable recyclability and a closed loop of fashion.

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David Schmelzeisen

Institute for Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University

In the last decades up-and-coming Smart Textile players have significantly increased market demand for their products. However, due to high production costs commercial distribution has not yet been achieved. Existing pioneers generally don’t consider scalable production because subsequent processes are required to integrate Smart Functionality into each product, but to meet the market needs, flexible and cost-effective production processes are required. Considering Smart Functionality of the final product at an early production stage will offer flexibility, adaptability and resource efficiency. Therefore the product development has to address the material development as well as the production technology.

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Lisa Jaspers


How „new“ technologies can help „old“ craft technologies to not only survive but to thrive.

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Anne Prahl

Design Research Lab

Within the emerging context of designing for a circular economy – where all products should be designed to be durable, repairable and recyclable or biodegradable – the fashion industry needs to redefine its understanding of textiles by exploring what wearable materials could constitute in the future.

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