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Copenhagen Fashion Week publishes sustainability progress

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

24 Jan 2022

Fashion

Image: Copenhagen Fashion Week; Henrik Vibskov SS22

Copenhagen Fashion Week has published its annual sustainability report, showcasing its progress on the second year of its 2020-2022 Sustainability Action Plan

In 2021, Copenhagen Fashion Week said it was able to reach most target it set for last year, including three targets that were postponed from 2020 to 2021 while also introducing new initiatives and activities, such as international partnerships around the 2023 Sustainability Requirements, and increase its focus on social responsibility.

A highlight it added was introducing new partnerships with trade fair CIFF (Copenhagen International Fashion Fair), the Norwegian Fashion Hub, Oslo Runway and the Icelandic Fashion Council regarding implementing its 2023 sustainability requirements. This means that as of 2023, an estimated 1.600 brands will comply with minimum standards set out by an expert panel. This includes pledging not to destroy unsold clothes, using at least 50 percent certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, using only sustainable packaging and having zero-waste set designs for their shows.

Another year 2 milestone was the selection of the requirements by the government-funded programme (Grøn Genstart) Fremtidens Tekstiler as the framework to train 50 SMEs in the Danish industry to lead to targeted action.

Copenhagen Fashion Week continues to implement sustainability plan

Copenhagen Fashion Week also adds that reducing its climate impact through reducing greenhouse gas emissions is still a high priority for the organisation. Since 2019 it has collaborated with Climaider, a certified gold standard carbon offset provider, to measure, reduce and counteract its CO2 emissions during Copenhagen Fashion Week. It has reduced emissions in all areas of its event production, such as ground transportation by only driving electric cars and providing an electric shuttle bus service, by no longer producing fashion week merchandise such as T-shirts, and only offering vegan/vegetarian food.

However, it adds that hospitality remains a “challenge,” as an international event and industry platform it is key that it continues to invite and host high-profile editors and buyers who wish to come to Copenhagen Fashion Week, especially as it looks to grow its international positioning.

For the autumn/winter 2022 edition, organisers are introducing a carbon offsetting fee to ensure all brands on the official show schedule at least offset their emissions through its climate partner. Brands who independently off-/inset show emissions will receive a refund of the carbon offsetting fee. As of January 2023, all brands on the official show schedule must off-/inset their show emissions to be eligible to showcase during Copenhagen Fashion Week as part of the minimum standards described in the 2023 Sustainability Requirements.

It also looked to tackle plastic waste in 2021. For its spring/summer 2022 edition, it collaborated with Danish company SmallRevolution to support show brands in collecting plastic waste from hand sanitisers and cleaning products to transform them into elegant podiums.

Organisers also banned single-use plastics such as plastic hangers and garment bags backstage at show venues to reduce plastic consumption and resulting waste and partnered with Grohe to offer water stations with reusable water bottles to attendees and show brands.

Cecilie Thorsmark, chief executive at Copenhagen Fashion Week, said in a statement: “The progress made during the second year of our Sustainability Action Plan shows the potential of our strategy and three-year targets to inspire and push fashion companies to embrace more responsible business practices.

“We strongly believe that the new Nordic partnerships we entered around the 2023 Sustainability Requirements set a major milestone that fosters stronger industry alignment and we’re very excited to seek out new partnerships internationally during this coming year.”

Looking ahead, the report states that while they are working on implementing and executing its targets from its first Action Plan, in 2022, it will also look even further ahead, into 2023-2025, setting new targets and refining our strategy for the years to come.

Another focus will be to continue pursuing international partnerships to amplify the impact of the 2023 Sustainability Requirements as it looks to drive change in the industry on a global scale.

Copenhagen Fashion Week
SUSTAINABILITY