Sustainability Requirements

AW24 Copenhagen Fashion Week Helmstedt Backstage Tonya Matyu 4 jpg

The Sustainability Requirements introduce a minimum set of standards that all CPHFW show & presentation schedule brands had to conform to since January 2023

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Sustainability Requirements

As of 2020 Copenhagen Fashion Week introduced their first Sustainability Action Plan that set out to incur longterm change within the fashion industry.

That Action Plan introduced a minimum set of standards that all show & presentation schedule brands must conform to. Since the January 2023 only show & presentation schedule applicants whose sustainability efforts meet the minimum standards will be considered for the official Copenhagen Fashion Week show & presentation schedule.

In March 2024 Copenhagen Fashion Week launched revisions of the Sustainability Requirements based on industry developments and learnings from the past years as well as close observations and mapping of the EU policy landscape! These updates will replace the current framework and be the new mandatory admission criteria for brands on the official show & presentation schedule as of January 2025.

Read in detail about the revised Sustainability Requirements framework, as well as the current Sustainability Requirements and Minimum Standards.

The framework spans six focus areas covering the entire value chain. In addition to those, brands are asked to answer an additional set of questions to get insight into their current standing on their sustainability efforts. Currently, the Minimum Standards include 19 action points.

Find out about the changes made to Minimum Standards and the Additional Actions.

We ask to note that the Sustainability Requirements are a framework used in the application process of Copenhagen Fashion Week (their application may differ for external partners) and are not a certification scheme or audit. Hence, they are not an additional or new reporting system but have been developed as an essential part of the application process for brands wishing to showcase their collections at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

With the Sustainability Requirement being part of the CPHFW application process, brands are being screened against their answers and documentation for the Minimum Standards by an external Screening Committee to validate, not audit responses.

By implementing this framework, CPHFW is not claiming ourselves nor the brands on our show and presentation schedule to be inherently sustainable or to execute sustainability efforts perfectly. Rather the framework creates a basis and common language for CPHFW and our brand network and sets the expectations to be met when wishing to be part of our fashion week.

The wording for the framework derives from sustainability as a concept within business operations today and refers to the actions and agendas of businesses working to reduce their environmental impact while promoting social justice.

The Sustainability Requirements were established in recognition of already existing guidelines, tools, codes of conduct, standards, certifications and/or agendas, many of which have been taken into account in their development stage for a shared focus. Brands who follow and support existing agendas should therefore be able to comply with our requirements.

Current Minimum Standards – Effective until January 2025

Strategic Directions

  • We work strategically with embedding sustainability and international standards on human right
  • We include diversity and equality in our management approach and actively consider these aspects when hiring staff, especially for management positions
  • We do not destroy unsold clothes from previous collections


  • We design to increase the quality and value of our products economically and materially and inform our customers about the value of longevity
  • We find a second life for our samples

Smart material choices

  • At least 50% of our collection is either certified, made of preferred materials or new generation sustainable materials, upcycled, recycled or made of deadstock
  • We have a preferred materials list in place
  • We have a list of restricted substances in place, following the requirements of the EU REACH Directive, and engage with our suppliers to ensure compliance
  • Our collection is fur-free

Working conditions

  • We are committed to exercising due diligence in our supply chain according to international guidelines and standards and work with our suppliers to ensure e.g., freely chosen employment, secure employment or no child labour
  • We are committed to operating a safe, healthy and respectful working environment for all our employees, free from harassment and discrimination and where everyone enjoys equal opportunities regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, political/religious/ sexual orientation, physical appearance and ability

Consumer engagement

  • Our in-store and online customer service staff is well informed about our sustainability strategy
  • We educate and inform our customers about our sustainability practices on multiple platforms
  • We do not utilise single-use plastic packaging in store or for online orders but offer recyclable, recycled or repurposable alternatives


  • Our set design and showcase production is zero waste
  • We do not utilise single-use plastic packaging backstage during fashion week but offer recyclable, recycled or repurposable alternatives
  • We offset or inset the carbon footprint of our showcase
  • We are signatory of the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter and consider diversity and inclusivity when casting models