News: Copenhagen Fashion Week sets sustainability standards

Copenhagen Fashion Week focuses on sustainability and stands out from big fashion shows

Copenhagen Fashion Week sustainability
Source & Copyright by Copenhagen Fashion Week, Nikolaj Storm Copenhagen

Author: Vivien Vollmer

  • The first sustainability report provides a status update on the 2020-2022 action plan
  • Copenhagen Fashion Week forms the central platform for "sustainable fashion"
  • The Sustainability Award is presented in cooperation with Zalando

Copenhagen Fashion Week aims to spark change in the fashion industry

Copenhagen Fashion Week (CPHFW) is reshaping the concept of fashion events and setting itself apart from other major fashion shows with its sustainability plan. The second Fashion Week of this year will take place from the 10th to the 13th of August. A long-term change was previously initiated with the Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022. The first annual sustainability report for 2020 now reports on its successes as well as remaining challenges.

The sustainability requirements are in line with the Goals of the UN agenda and have been checked by independent experts. According to the latest report, the carbon emissions of the CPHFW have been reduced by 20%. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 2022% by 50.

Source & Copyright Copenhagen Fashion Week

Commenting on the sustainability report, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Cecilie Thorsmark, explains: “Although unable to meet every one of the goals set for 2020, most goals were accomplished and we look forward to continuing the work”. As a pioneer in the industry, Copenhagen Fashion Week would like to encourage and inspire other companies in the industry.

The significant environmental and social impact of the fashion industry has prompted the CPHFW to make further efforts and intensify its activities to achieve its mission. In addition, the event is intended to function as an industry platform for networks of mindful brands.

Sustainable fashion at the heart of CPHFW

With sustainability as the center of the Fashion Week, the event offers an opportunity for many brands and designers to present their own projects and efforts. The event thus serves as a stage, but also as a network for the exchange of knowledge. In this way, the event draws attention to sustainable brands.

The Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022 also sets standards and requirements for the participants. This is supposed to trigger changes in the fashion world and create greater transparency. However, there is also a risk of not being able to fully detect greenwashing. To increase transparency, the sustainability activities of companies must be critically examined and assessed by independent experts.

Source & Copyright Copenhagen Fashion Week, Nikolaj Storm

Award for sustainable brands

In order to highlight special achievements, the "Zalando Sustainability Award" was developed with cooperation partner Zalando. All participating brands have the chance to apply for this. An international jury of experts, including Arizona Muse, examines the sustainability strategies of the newcomers and votes on a winner.

These 20.000 brands could hope for the title, prize money of 3 euros and a partnership with Zalando: Nikolaj Storm: Young, Danish streetwear - Mother of Pearl: Sustainable luxury women's fashion - Teatum Jones: Socially conscious fashion with a message for inclusion and positive identity . This year's winner was Nikolaj Storm. That E-commerce The company broadcasts the finalists' fashion shows and the subsequent announcement of the winner on its own website - Zalando Greenhouse. With Zalando Greenhouse, the platform provides both physical and digital experiences at Fashion Week.

Questioning the sustainability of fashion weeks

Overall, Copenhagen Fashion Week and its partners like Zalando are sending a positive signal. The show received a lot of media attention and thus increased awareness of sustainability in the fashion industry. To what extent Fashion Weeks represent a sustainable format is debatable. Because don't we want fewer fashion items, fewer trends and fewer seasons? In this case, the CPHFW has taken a good step, not only with its own goals, but also with the selection of designers based on sustainability criteria. This puts large fashion groups under pressure to act.

Zalando's sponsorship also has two sides of the same coin. A company like Zalando is certainly not associated with sustainability in the industry, but it can have a very large impact. The promotion of young sustainable brands is to be rated positively. Positioning sustainability as a central topic in the media can be devalued as greenwashing, but it can also be seen as a sign of taking on increasing responsibility. In the fashion industry, however, we need more than one symbol: We need a change in supply chains, fair working conditions, sustainable raw materials and less waste generated by fashion - and quickly. Established corporations are facing major challenges that they now have to face.


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