Creative Denmark white paper - Sustainability by design

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Creative Denmark highlights the Danish fashion industry and the values it is driven by through innovative cases, interviews, video portraits of creative frontrunners and its new white paper.

The Danish fashion industry is driven by finding smarter ways to create fashion that is good for people, the planet and business. We are eager to do business and collaborations with partners who are driven by the same passion. With this focus, Creative Denmark highlights the Danish fashion industry and the values it is driven by. Through a collection of innovative cases, interviews, video portraits of creative frontrunners, and its new white paper, Creative Denmark showcases how we can improve business models and create systematic industry change.

With a global fashion industry that strains the planet's resources and the livelihood of its people, the world needs smarter fashion. Fashion that is functional. Timeless. Crafted to last from quality materials. And responsibly produced.

In the Danish fashion industry, we are driven by finding smarter ways to create fashion that is good for people, the planet and business. And we are eager to do business with partners who are driven by the same passion.

Here, you can meet some of the leading creators of Danish fashion, learn about their values, be inspired by the solutions in the new white paper "Sustainability by design" and connect with the Danish fashion industry.

Copenhagen Fashion Week’s 2023 Sustainability Requirements

Acknowledging CPHFWʼs potential to drive change beyond their own activities, they present the ambition to accelerate responsible business practices in the industry as part of their Action Plan.

CPHFW has launched the 2023 Sustainability Requirements, due to come into effect in January 2023. The requirements stipulate that brands must achieve a certain score to be eligible for a show or presentation on the official schedule.

Brands can earn points based on six strongly interlinked focus areas covering the entire value chain, including strategic direction, design practices, smart material choices, working conditions, consumer engagement, and show production.

Furthermore, all shows and presentations on the official schedule must comply fully with a set of 18 Minimum Standards or they will not be considered for participation, regardless of how high their overall score is.

The requirements provide a brand-individual score based on the six focus areas and are weighted based on level of innovation, ambition and transformational potential. They also consider existing certifications, standards and agendas.

Systematic Industry Change

Partnership and collaboration across the fashion industry have the potential to drive the sustainability agenda forward. Through skill sharing, doubling up resources and working towards a common goal, it is possible to create meaningful change on a global scale. Despite this, brands can find navigating these relationships time-consuming and complex, often choosing to work on individual sustainability targets instead.

Copenhagen Fashion Week CEO, Cecilie Thorsmark, discusses the challenges of forming meaningful partnerships, how they can help create change and how CPHFW’s 2023 Sustainability Requirements are acting as a guiding tool for brands

What does partnership or collaboration mean to you?

When two or more parties come together in a shared vision with a common direction. It could mean they work on the same project, or that they share a vision while working parallel to one another. It is making sure that there’s always a strategic alignment, a shared vision and a common framework to make sure that we pursue the same targets.

For CPHFW, it means developing a code of conduct for our commercial partners. It is important for us to have this in place to make sure that we have a shared set of values and goals, especially within the field of sustainability. We want to mirror ourselves in our partners and vice versa.

Why is partnership needed to create global and meaningful change in fashion?

What characterizes the fashion industry is that it is made up of SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises – which means it is fragmented with many players. If they all pursue individual sustainability strategies then it might not create impact. The sheer complexity of sustainability makes it necessary to have a shared vision and one framework for the industry.

Read the whole interview in Creative Denmark's white paper here.

"Giving brands three years to make changes and the tools they need to do so was our way of emphasizing that we’re doing this for them and not against them – we’re with them in this." - Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO, CPHFW

The full White Paper is available here.

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