Copenhagen Fashion Week has released its next action plan for 2023-2025 aimed at promoting sustainability and combating climate change in the fashion industry. With the worrying reminder from COP27 that we have “less than seven years to combat the severe impacts of climate change” the race is on to tackle one of the most significant issues the industry is facing.

The plan includes initiatives such as continuing to reduce the event’s carbon footprint, promoting circularity and reducing waste, and encouraging brands to adopt sustainable practices.

Photo courtesy of @cphfw/Instagram

Copenhagen Fashion Week paved the way back in 2020 when they established an 18-point minimum standards framework that addressed strategic direction, design, material choices, working conditions, consumer engagement, and show production. These requirements were rolled out in time for A/W23 with some of the key components including the ability to show that 50% of collection materials were certified, preferred, upcycled or deadstock which was met with great success.

The latest action plan includes an annual review of the requirements along with expanding the list annually to maintain and challenge standards.

This system doesn’t come without its challenges. There is criticism, similar to B-Corp certification, of the Minimum Standards Framework as it is based on a brand’s own self-assessment. However, the framework provides a standardized set of guidelines for companies to follow, making it easier for them to understand what steps they need to take to become more eco-friendly.

Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Week

While there may be criticisms of the framework, it’s clear that there is a growing demand for both Fashion Weeks and brands within the industry to prioritize sustainability. With consumers becoming increasingly interested in purchasing from companies that are environmentally conscious by adopting the Minimum Standards Framework, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and position themselves as upcoming leaders in the industry.

Along with practicing inner reflection on their own impact, CPHFW continues looking to educate brands to do better, the possibility of innovating business models may be the future of sustainable practice to encourage “reduce, reuse, repurpose, repair, rental or resale”. Additionally bringing academics together with industry allows for science-based practice which can be shared to allow brands to work together and inspire others.

With applications now open for Spring/Summer 24, we look forward to observing how brands adjust to the modernization of Fashion Weeks. Copenhagen Fashion Week continues setting an example for other fashion weeks and inspiring brands to take action towards sustainability and ethical practices.

Copenhagen Fashion Week is hosting their next networking event on April 21st at SPACE10 between 10.00-11.30. This event is for fashion SMEs and focuses on “Making fashion circular while creating less“. Click here for more information.

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