Sustainability newsletter update: October 2021

Nikolaj Storm backstage

Welcome to the second edition of our Sustainability Newsletter, starting with a short SS22 recap!

During the SS22 edition of fashion week, we proudly announced our partnership with the Norwegian fashion industry, represented by the Norwegian Fashion Hub and Oslo Fushion Festival, aligning with our 2023 Sustainability Requirements.

This season, we've also been incredibly excited to partner with YouTube to ensure our runway is experienced live by our global audience. SS22 has been nothing short of an extraordinary season, thanks to the brands, tradeshows, guests, and viewers who tuned in from around the world to watch the catwalks happening live on YouTube.

In September, our CEO Cecilie Thorsmark was in conversation with WGSN President & CEO Carla Buzasi for their podcast series Create Tomorrow, chatting about the role and future of fashion weeks!

Brands in Action

Every newsletter we showcase Nordic brands taking action on sustainability and for this second newsletter, we're excited to highlight two of the SS22 season's show brands - Soulland and Zalando's Sustainability Award winner Nikolaj Storm!

Soulland x Create2Stay

Founded in Copenhagen in 2002, Soulland produces high-quality clothing with a timeless twist striving to support independent manufactures while sourcing as locally as possible. Their take on a modern clothing brand deeply roots design principles and aesthetics with artisanship. At the heart of their DNA, Soulland aims to ensure fairness and balance between social, environmental, economic, and cultural value through e.g., mapping their value chain for heightened transparency or having a full life cycle approach.

To prolong the lifespan of their products and to avoid them ending up in landfills, together with Create2Stay, Soulland created a resale platform where Create2Stay supplies the platform and handles the logistics. Through the resale platform, customers are offered an easy way to send back clothes and give them a new life: After signing up, customers receive a return label which is free of charge for them. In addition, they receive a voucher worth 25% of the original retail price of the items sent back, valid for both, new or second-hand pieces. Clothes are repaired if needed, and in case that's not possible, they will be recycled. Currently, this service is available in Denmark with the goal of expanding to other markets in the future.

"For a long time, we have worked on different ways of re-selling Soulland styles - it makes a lot of sense for us from a responsible community and commercial point of view. We know a lot of Soulland styles are collectables and by bringing them back into our community we can prolong the lifespan of each piece of clothing."

Jacob Kampp Berliner, Co-Founder & CEO

Nikolaj Storm Copenhagen

For the second iteration of the Zalando Sustainability Award, the prize was awarded to Nikolaj Storm Copenhagen during the SS22 edition of fashion week! Nikolaj will receive a financial prize and a partnership with Zalando in developing an exclusive collection that will continue to explore sustainability solutions in design across materials, production processes, technological solutions, and traceability.Nikolaj Storm is a streetwear brand built on the philosophy of making gender-neutral clothing while creating awareness about sustainability. Looks are created in a broad variety of materials, ranging from recycled plastic bottles (rPET) over cork or Tencel to silicone leather, with hand-drawn prints made with eco ink. It is key for them to include responsible materials in their collections and to thereby show their customers that sustainability can be both bold and colorful.

The SS22 collection entitled "TECHNO TEAPARTY" is inspired by classic Victorian teaparties mixed with the underground techno scene of Berlin. It is also inspired by the stories and backgrounds of people, which is represented by the diversity in the cast, in both fashion film and runway.

"My dream is to show people how inclusive, colorful and bold responsibly-made streetwear can be - and the "TECHNO TEAPARTY" was a manifestation of that."

Nikolaj Storm, Founder & Creative Director

Solutions for Positive Change

In this newsletter, we're focusing on solutions tackling "strategic direction", which is the first focus area of our 2023 Sustainability Requirements. Embedding sustainability in the overall business strategy will support brands to set milestones, keep track of their progress and measure impacts. Hence, having a strategy in place will allow companies to understand the interconnectedness of all aspects that set responsible and caring business practices apart.

  • Circulytics: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation developed Circulytics to measure a company's current circularity level. The tool helps brands in the transition towards more circular business models as it can - across the entire company's operations - reveal the extent to which circularity has been embedded. Once the company has a greater idea of their current standing, they can outline next steps for implemention to improve.The Circulytics tool uses a wide group of circular economy indicators for its assessment in areas such as strategy, innovations, and material flow.
  • Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi): Founded in 2015, SBTs are scientifically calculated targets that precisely inform any company or organisation how fast and how much they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to comply with the earth's temperature target of 1.5-Celsius degrees. Companies submit their GHG reductions targets to the SBTi which then will validate them or not if they are in alignment with the overall 1.5-Celsius degrees target. Having a third party validating a target strengthens companies' commitment.
  • Sustainability Reporting with the SDGs: The GRI standards are the most used sustainability reporting standards globally. More recently, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were incorporated into these to foster corporate transparency and accountability. The SDGs articulate the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues across the world. Using the GRI standards in combinaiton with the SDGs enables companies to assess those SDGs they should act on and to develop targets.
  • Fashion For Good (FFG): Based in Amsterdam, FFG is a platform for innovation and an educator both offline (museum and events) and online (resources library for circularity incl. tools, guides, and reports) as well as webinars. The innovation platform encompasses three programs: a start-up accelerator - giving access to funding and expertise; a scaling program - giving access to fundings and expertise; and the Good Fashion Fund - an investment fund pushing the implementation of sustainable innovations within the fashion industry.

Get inspired!

Every newsletter, we will feature inspirational articles and books to read, podcasts to listen to, documentaries or movies to watch, rising Instagram accounts to follow, and webinars and events not to miss. Read on for this newsletter's selection!

  • Read: The summary from the Sixth Assessment Report by the IPCC: Climate Change Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying released in August 2021. This summary enables you to better understand the effects of the climate crisis today and how different regions globally are impacted by it.
  • Listen: Chasing the Holy Grail of Circularity powered by the Business of Fashion Podcast. The discussion covers ways in which fashion brands can tackle the waste challenge with recycling innovations, new recycling technologies, and smarter use of data analytics.
  • Watch: The documentary Breaking Boundaries: The Science of our Planet going over the Nine Planetary Boundaries framework put forward by a group of scientists in 2013. The planetary boundaries are nine neutral and interlinked processes regulating the Earth system's stability and resilience.
  • Follow: @storiesbehindthings, a London-based storytelling platform exploring the intersection between sustainability, climate and consumption. Their mission is to challenge how people view sustainability and showcase that also small actions matter.

EU policies in the textile sector

Like in the previous edition of this newsletter, we are delighted to feature updates on relevant EU policies in the textiles sector with you which are kindly provided by Global Fashion Agenda. Here come this summer's political and legislative evolvements.

With several key EU proposals impacting textiles awaited by the end of 2021, the Policy Hub - Circularity for Apparel and Footwear has had a busy period: Since June 2021, five new position papers have been published, reflecting the views of more than 500 brands, retailers, manufacturers, NGOs, and other stakeholders behind the Policy Hub. Find an overview here!

Recommendations to policymakers include critical success factors that must be taken into account to make the upcoming EU Textile Strategy impactful and efficient such as e.g. supporting the deployment of robust due diligence practices or building needed infrastructure to enable garment reuse, repair, and recycling at scale.

Take a look at the positions here:

June 2021: Accelerating Transparency for Apparel & Footwear
July 2021: Textile Waste as a Resource: Infrastructures, Waste Shipment, and Secondary Raw Materials Market
August 2021: EPR for textiles, joint position paper; EU Textile Strategy Position Paper; and Sustainable Product Policy - Setting Design Requirements for Apparel and Footwear

Powered by Maria Luisa Martinez Diez - Senior Public Affairs Manager, Global Fashion Agenda

Partners in Spotlight

As a non-profit organisation, Copenhagen Fashion Week is run on 15% public funding and 85% commercial partnerships. The commercial partnerships we take part in are based on a shared vision of sustainability and innovation and, are set in place to ensure the best possible experience for participating brands, press and buyers.


In 2021, Zalando became a strategic partner of Copenhagen Fashion Week for three years, sharing a common vision and joining forces to accelerate sustainability in the fashion industry and to celebrate designers that want to drive positive change.

Zalando is one of Europes leading online platforms for fashion and lifestyle, aiming to have a net-positive impact on people and the planet. Focusing on tech-driven innovations, they collaborate across the entire industry to enable behavioural change. Increasing ethical standards making sustainability assessments mandatory for both private labels and partner brands is also on Zalando's agenda.

Last Tuesday, Zalando hosted a webinar on circularity. Find recent announcements below:

Zalando accelerate circularity in the fashion industry
Scaling the redeZIGN for circularity collection

Care & Repair pilot

"We are very proud of our partnership with Copenhagen Fashion Week - a partner that shares our ambition to drive collective change towards sustainability in the fashion industry. Collaboration is in the DNA of Zalando and with more than 45 million customers in 23 markets, we want to use our scale and innovative technology to raise the bar, and believe we have a strong partner in the European fashion ecosystem."

David Schneider, Co-CEO, Zalando SE

Skt. Petri

Skt. Petri has been the official hotel partner of Copenhagen Fashion Week for a decade, welcoming our guests and designers twice a year during fashion week.

It is housed in a heritage-listed building built in 1928 by architect Vilhelm Lauritzen and was renovated to maintain authenticity while offering a biophilic sanctuary of laidback luxury. At the heart of Skt. Petri's DNA is the promise to guests, employees, and the surrounding community, to incorporate sustainability in all areas without compromising the values of operating a luxury hotel. Skt. Petri is ISO 14001 certified and committed to continuously improve its environmental impact.

"To partner with Copenhagen Fashion Week is a great asset for Skt. Petri. Copenhagen Fashion Week has helped position Copenhagen as a design- and fashion destination, not only in Scandinavia and Europe but all over the world, which has not only proven positive for us as a hotel but also for our business."Emma Cox, Marketing Manager, Skt. Petri