On Thursday May 11th the fashion world gathered in Copenhagen to focus on sustainability in the industry. The event held in the DR Koncerthuset assembled fashion leaders and sustainability experts from all around the world. I had the great pleasure to take part of this amazing and inspiring summit. In this post I share the key thoughts and takeouts I left Copenhagen with.
United Nation expects the global population to rise to 8,5 billion people by 2030 and thereby the apparel consumption will double from 62 million tonnes to 102 million tons. In the face of this it is more important than ever to deliver products with positive impacts on the environment and society overall.
The Pulse of Fashion – the first ever industry report was released with the Boston Consulting Group. Using the Higg-index showed that the health of the fashion industry scores only a 32 point out of 100. Furthermore The Global Fashion Agenda among other organisations called for action and commitment to change. Fashion brands and retailers publicly committing to a progress towards a circular business model – an approach of reusing and breaking down products at the end of their life cycle.
“For a world beyond the next season”
Miroslav Duma launched Fashion Tech Lab – a new venture that funds, connects and develops cutting-edge technologies and sustainable innovation with the aim of transforming the fashion industry. The industry calls for innovative solutions and new technology. One great example is Orange Fiber that creates fabrics from citrus juice by-products. Miroslav Duma pointed out that Zero-waste is a win-win situation. “Create gold out of garbage”.
There is still much crucial information about the practices of the fashion industry that remains concealed. If we know the facilities where our clothes are being made, if we have access to factory, mill and farm lists where brands are sourcing then the public can help hold the industry to account for bad practices and encourage good practices. Crucially, it requires brands to share this information publicly. Michael Kowalski the chief executive of Tiffany & Co pointed out that it is important to expose flaws to consumers who care in order to move forward. Customers want to engage in companies that are doing good.
Collaboration is key and the understanding of the system: organisations, brands, manufacturers and re-processor to create a community of change. Partnerships with the fashion industry, governments and NGOs are crucial. In a panel where Livia Firth, the founder of Eco-Age discussed together with Jessica Simor and Ulla Tørnæs a quote caught my attention. “What we wear – everything relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
Read about my Runway to Sustainability project HERE