Sustainable Consumption Trade Fair
At the end of October, the first Heldenmarkt – or Hero’s Market – took place in Düsseldorf, Germany. The sustainable consumption trade fair has been touring for the past 5 years throughout Germany, making stops in Berlin, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Munich, Hamburg, Bochum, and now Düsseldorf in cooperation with VeggieWorld and the Paracelsus Messe. With just one singe entrance ticket I was able to see the work of more than 200 exhibitors. The Alten Schmiedehallen on the Böhler grounds in Düsseldor are flooded with light, and because it is so spacious, the visitors had enough room to not only discover many new things, but also just linger around. And of course there were many things to try out and even more things to purchase. Companies dealing with food, fashion, cosmetics, living spaces, mobility, finance and insurance presented their products and services. The visitors received additional input and were able participate in creative activities that were offered in presentations and workshops for both adults and children.
Design labels and creative thinkers from NRW
As an ökoRAUSCH blogger, I paid special attention to the design labels and creative thinkers from our region who have dedicated themselves to sustainability.
Karin’s Fair Shop
At the Heldenmarkt, Karin Trommer presented sustainable and ethically produced leisure wear and equestrian articles. Her assortment of shirts, pants, boots and other accessories are all from select brand name companies that belong to the complete concept of her online shop. Karin Trommler also has her own label, Tonka Natur. In the picture below you can see one of her vests made out of organic canvas cotton and high-quality Clarino pleather, that was made in Germany. You can find all of her products here: www.karins-fair-shop.de
MCL coffee dregs
Food upcycling – both culinary and creative – is Carmen Zirngibl’s project. Her stand presented her MCL coffee dregs edition. In her blog, she describes how you can avoid throwing away food and how you can make using left-overs to a delectation. Her MCL coffee dregs edition features hand-made lamps and scarves made out of coffee grounds and egg cartons. Besides these waste products, she uses bonding agents made from natural, food-safe substances and natural oils and wax to treat the surfaces of the products. Go online to find out more about her products and recipes: www.mycookerylog.com
The Wuppertal natives Larissa Ueberholz and Marvin Kirchhoff founded their own fashion label in 2015 and presented their products for the second time this year at the Heldenmarkt. Having presented their label in March 2016 in Bochum, they came to Düsseldorf to get Heldenmarkt visitors interested in their fashion label for men and women. Human Family stands for holistic responsibility on all levels. If you want to find out just how fair and sustainable every part of their clothing items are, just check out their website where you can also find a description of the company’s entire value chain: www.human-family.com
Tanz auf Ruinen
This label, whose name can be translated loosely as “Dancing on Ruins”, describes itself as an upcycling workshop and think tank. Their stand at the Heldenmarkt was colourful and visitors could marvel all kinds of material and products that have been given the gift of a second life: Customised belts made out of bicycle tyres, notepads made out of floppy discs and book covers and old records have been turned into scarves and watches. Thomas Zigahn makes all of these products himself and visits trade fairs, presenting and selling his upcycled products. In addition, he has a showroom in Dortmund that is open every Tuesday. Find out more on his website: www.tanzaufruinen.de
mama afrika – spiritwork
Martina Zenker’s stand was an eyecatcher for anyone who loves different kinds of material and artisan craftwork. She has been a distributer for hand-made, fair trade jewlery, living accessories and decoration for over 16 years. The products are supplied by her partners in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Madagascar. Together with EL PUENTE, mama afrika advocates for fair international trade. If you missed the chance to see this stand at the Heldenmarkt, you should take a look at the homepage and the products offered in their online shop: www.mamaafrika.de
Repair Café HS Niederrhein
Repair Café is an idea hosted by the Asta University of Applied Sciences of the Lower Rhine with open workshops in the towns of Krefeld and Mönchengladbach. Their slogan reads: Don’t trash it, repair it! In 2014, students brought the idea to the campus where they help people interested in repairing their belongings by supplying tools, material and know-how. Two people involved in the project were at the trade fair to present their concept of an open workshop, supported by the volunteer organisation MURKS? NEIN DANKE! e.V., an initiative that I find equally worthy of support. You can find a list of the upcoming Repair Cafés here: Veranstaltungen der beiden Repair Cafés am Niederrhein.
The NRW consumer assistance office was at the Heldenmarkt to inform visitors about the MehrWert project in NRW. This project was initiated to support and advise citizens on how to be more environmentally friendly and save more resources. They started up a student contest in cooperation with the University of Wuppertal (degree programme Media Design) and the Folkwang University of the Arts: “The goal of the contest is to encourage students to develop communication concepts and design products that help raise awareness about the value of food in the private and public sectors.” You can find out more about the project here: www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw
My visit to the Heldenmarkt in Düsseldorf was definitely worth it. I was so wrapped up in interesting conversations with the above mentioned exhibitors from NRW that I missed out on the culinary highlights. But judging by the many visitors who walked away with their bags full of new treasures, this trade fair had a great number of delicacies and products that visitors couldn’t help but take home.
This year, you can still visit the Heldenmarkt in both Stuttgart and Berlin: www.heldenmarkt.de