Organisers of Copenhagen Fashion Week have unveiled their ‘Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022’, which is designed to reinforce the event’s environmental credentials.
Protest groups, such as Extinction Rebellion, have been calling for fashion week events around the world to be cancelled because of their role in promoting what they see as a hugely damaging industry.
Copenhagen Fashion Week, which runs until the end of this week, has responded by seeking to reinvent itself as a catalyst for industry change to more ‘sustainable’ practices.
Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week, said: “All industry players – including fashion weeks – have to be accountable for their actions and be willing to change the way business is done.
“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.
“Copenhagen Fashion Week is the cultural and commercial meeting place of the Scandinavian fashion industry. This gives us an enormous responsibility and the potential to create impactful change in the industry at large. By taking this direction we go from being a traditional event to being a platform for industry change.”
The Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022 presents how the event will transition to becoming more sustainable, by measures such as reducing its climate impact by 50 per cent and rethinking how it processes waste, with zero waste the goal by 2022.
From January 2023 all brands applying for a show or presentation during Copenhagen Fashion Week must meet minimum sustainability requirements to participate in the official show schedule.
Participants will have to comply with 17 minimum standards, including pledging not to destroy unsold clothes, using at least 50 per cent certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, using only sustainable packaging and having zero-waste set designs for their shows.
When submitting an application, all brands must achieve a minimum score based on points awarded for six areas of the value chain: strategic direction, design, smart material choices, working conditions, consumer engagement and shows.
A pilot test will be carried out in 2020 to collect data on the current baseline to determine the score required to participate in 2023.
“The action plan and its sustainability requirements reflect my conviction that highly ambitious goals are required to fully leverage Copenhagen Fashion Week’s influence and impact on the industry,” added Thorsmark.
“The urgency of the situation we find ourselves in today pushes me to believe that we can no longer simply hope that progress will occur of its own accord.”