Copenhagen Fashion Week: Green Rules and Sustainability


Sustainability is not simply a passing fashion, it is the key to our future. A strong statement by the just-ended Copenhagen Fashion Week, which livened up the Danish capital in the last days of January.

The event went beyond Scandinavia’s latest trends in clothing, accessories and looks to turn into a a “platform to protect the environment”, as stated by CEO Cecile Thorsmark at the opening ceremony.

Street Style, Autumn Winter 2020, Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark - 28 Jan 2020
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock
Street Style
Street Style, Autumn Winter 2020, Copenhagen Fashion Week, Denmark – 28 Jan 2020

To this end, a three-year action plan was designed: 17 goals that fashion brands will need to make reality by 2022, if they wish to be featured in future editions of the Copenhagen Fashion Week.

Such goals are ambitious, but not enormous or impossible to reach

Thorsmark assured

otherwise we would lose the fashion industry’s support, and nothing would change

Whereas the CFW wants to make a difference, and to make it now:

The timeframe for averting the devastating effects of climate change on the planet and people is less than a decade

she went on

and we’re already witnessing its catastrophic impacts today. Put simply, there can be no status quo

The minimum sustainability requirements for fashion houses include ensuring that unsold garments are not destroyed, and using at least 50% of organic or recycled fabrics in the new collection, but also redesigning shows for them to be zero waste, with everything used being recyclable, and constantly monitoring their carbon footprint – the greenhouse gas emissions associated to the event production – to eliminate all impacts.

Single-use plastic bottles have already been banned from the CFW, and plastic clothes hangers  will be too by the next two years. Meanwhile, during the Scandinavian fashion week, guests and models only navigated the capital by electric car, and digital solutions are now being considered for the future, to allow a global audience to attend the event without taking planes.

Copenhagen’s strategy is centered on the environment, but does not forget people either: working conditions need to be sustainable as well, respect human rights and protect the workers’ health, whereas brands should act to raise the consumers’ awareness and curb the consumption of fast fashion, where everything is disposable and deteriorates rapidly.

With this manifesto, the Danish fashion week pursues three goals from Agenda 2030, the United Nations’ program for sustainable development: ensuring sustainable production and consumption, taking action to combat climate change, and joining forces to succeed.

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