Copenhagen Fashion Week launches ambitious Sustainability Action Plan

Copenhagen Fashion Week launches ambitious Sustainability Action Plan

Copenhagen Fashion Week (CFW) unveiled its previously flagged Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022 on Tuesday, the plan being designed to “reinforce the event’s sustainability profile and, more importantly, to push the industry to accelerate its sustainability efforts”. It involves ambitious actions that will impact all those labels showing at the event.

Copenhagen Fashion Week

At a press conference just before the official opening show of the event, CFW’s chief executive Cecilie Thorsmark said that “all industry players — including fashion weeks — have to be accountable for their actions and be willing to change the way business is done”.

She added that “the timeframe for averting the devastating effects of climate change on the planet and people is less than a decade, and we’re already witnessing its catastrophic impacts today. Put simply, there can be no status quo.”

Her aim is that CFW can “go from being a traditional event to being a platform for industry change”.

So what does the plan involve? It has two arms, the first presenting how the event itself will transition to greater sustainability. That includes initiatives such as reducing its climate impact by 50% and rethinking waste systems in all aspects of event production. Zero waste is its goal for 2022. 

But it wants to influence the wider industry too and Thorsmark  added that the plan additionally “focuses on the bigger picture by outlining how [CFW] will implement sustainability requirements and set new standards for participation to push the industry toward necessary, comprehensive change”.

In practice, this means that from January 2023, all brands that want to stage a show or presentation at the event “must meet minimum sustainability requirements to participate in the official show schedule, as presented in the action plan’s 2023 Sustainability Requirements”.

The are 17 minimum standards, such as “pledging not to destroy unsold clothes, using at least 50% certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, using only sustainable packaging and having zero-waste set designs for their shows”. Meeting these standards will be assessed by a points system.

A pilot test will happen this year to collect data on the current baseline “to determine the score required to participate in 2023”.

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