“Copenhagen Fashion Week is dedicated to supporting and accelerating the sustainable development of the fashion industry. By promoting innovative business models, designs and solutions during our biannual fashion week, and by producing a more sustainable event, our goal is to help reduce the negative environmental and social impact of the industry, as well as to encourage more responsible production and consumption of fashion”

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Keenly aware of the fashion industry’s substantial environmental and social impact, Copenhagen Fashion Week announced in early 2019 its goal to intensify efforts to become a more sustainable event and industry platform. 

The raison d’être of Copenhagen Fashion Week is to support successful development of the industry, which is why we believe that implementing radical, sustainable changes is crucial to future proofing and ensuring a sustainable industry. To harness our capacity to propel change in the industry, we embarked on the sustainable transition of Copenhagen Fashion Week.

Being at the beginning of our journey comes with the realization that fundamental change is a complex, resource-intensive process that does not happen overnight. Becoming more sustainable means leaving no stone unturned, in addition to identifying key areas with the highest potential for positive change. We are currently developing a three-year plan to be launched in late 2019 that will introduce new standards for brands who wish to showcase their collections at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

“It’s not an issue that can be solved with a simple flick of the wrist, but I believe that it’s our duty as a leading player in the fashion ecosystem to take a thorough look at how Copenhagen Fashion Week can serve to benefit the fashion industry’s sustainability agenda to the greatest extent possible. […] As a trendsetting fashion week, we need to help make sustainability attractive. We have a voice and an ethical obligation to use it,” explained new CEO Cecilie Thorsmark in a press release in January 2019.

In order to deliver on our vision to become a leading sustainable fashion week, Copenhagen Fashion Week established in early 2019 a sustainability advisory board and initiated a strategic process in cooperation with our knowledge partner In futurum focusing on selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

COPENHAGEN FASHION WEEK SUPPORTS UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Our sustainability strategy is underpinned by the UN SDGs, the following four in particular, to map the sustainability potential of Copenhagen Fashion Week. They will be updated annually to reflect new initiatives and new knowledge. The release of our three-year plan will furthermore present our specific SDG targets and future initiatives. 

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

As co-founder of the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter, we work to ensure the well-being of employees in the Danish fashion industry and contribute to the creation of relevant and appropriate information on the beauty ideals the fashion industry is a part of creating. We also advocate for greater diversity in the fashion industry regarding, for example: ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, size and socio-economic status.

SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

We support and advocate for more conscious, sustainable production and consumption of fashion in all parts of the value chain. The launch in late 2019 of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s three-year plan, which is designed to accelerate the sustainable development of the fashion industry, will set new standards for fashion week participation, pushing the industry in a more responsible, future-proof direction.

Resource efficiency is also a centrepiece of the actual event production of Copenhagen Fashion Week. For instance in June 2019 we initiated a ban on single-use plastic bottles at all Copenhagen Fashion Week events, facilities, shows and showrooms, effective as of SS20. We also developed and published a free 15-step guide to inspire fashion brands to produce more responsible shows, presentations and events. The guide will be updated each season to reflect new insights and knowledge on responsible event production. In terms of our own production of fashion week activities, we always prioritize selecting sustainable options for supplies, including organic and preferably locally sourced food and snacks, sustainable beverages, no single-use plastic cutlery, straws or tableware, the most environmentally friendly busses available, electric cars and Fairtrade organic cotton staff t-shirts. We have stopped using goodie bags at our events.

As of 2020 we will release a sustainability report on our progress to hold ourselves accountable and to maintain transparency, while simultaneously encouraging fashion companies to do the same. 

SDG 13: Climate Action

Copenhagen Fashion Week’s own activities and projects are climate positive, mainly due to climate compensation and our support of a Verified Carbon Standard and Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance Gold Level tree-planting and forest conservation programme through RenSti. We offset the flights and hotel accommodation of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s invited international guests, our official opening dinner, the press busses (including the organic food and beverages served on the busses), the organic Fairtrade cotton shirts for staff, logo stickers for cars and we run a climate-neutral website. We furthermore only use electric cars during Copenhagen Fashion Week.

In 2020 our goal is to measure the event’s entire carbon footprint, including external events, in an effort to become climate positive the same year. We will continue to identify new solutions to reduce our impact, while being honest about using offsets to balance unavoidable carbon emissions.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

Whenever possible we only work with responsible suppliers and partners pioneering sustainable products or who have established ambitious sustainability strategies. Our main areas of focus are food, snack and beverage suppliers for press busses and other vehicles, merchandise partners as well as our hotel partner.

WHERE WE ARE HEADED

Although unable to directly influence the every-day decision making of brands, we will continue to use our role and our voice to make sustainability more attractive, to guide brands and to accelerate the industry’s sustainability efforts through our three-year plan, that will set new standards for brands presenting at Copenhagen Fashion Week.

We will remain ambitious, share our learnings and promote transparency, for example by acknowledging imperfection along the way. We strongly believe that every step toward more responsible business practices counts and that the sum of our efforts will ultimatelydrive the change we desire. An emphasis on collaboration between all stakeholders in the industry, including trade shows, industry events, industry associations and, of course, fashion companies, will help push this change.

ADVISORY BOARD

In January 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Week established a sustainability advisory board consisting of Danish and international industry experts. The Advisory Board serves as a sounding board and discussion forum for shaping the sustainable development of Copenhagen Fashion Week

Advisory board members:

Charlotte Eskildsen
Creative Director
Designers Remix

Eva Kruse
CEO
Global Fashion Agenda

Franciska Rosenkilde
Mayor of Culture & Leisure
City of Copenhagen

Mads Nørgaard
CEO and designer
Mads Nørgaard

Nicolaj Reffstrup
Founder
Ganni

Sandra Gadd
Business Development Director
Boozt Fashion

Veronica D’Souza
CEO and founder
Carcel

Amy Powney
Creative Director
Mother of Pearl

Clare Press
Sustainability Editor-at-Large
Vogue Australia

KNOWLEDGE PARTNER

In spring 2019 we teamed up with In futurum, a strategic consultancy advising design and fashion companies on responsible business, for the cooperation on our strategic process including the three-year plan described above.

CONTACT

To learn more about our efforts and goals, or to share insights and feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact us: info@copenhagenfashionweek.com or subscribe to our newsletter.