Widely recognized as the world’s leading event on sustainability in fashion, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit attracts participants from across the industry, from decision-makers, leading NGOs and experts to policy-makers and academics. And about to launch its sixth edition, the 2018 event will for the first time extend across two days, reflecting the increasing awareness and importance of environmental, social and ethical issues to the world of fashion.
The summit is the flagship event of the fashion platform Global Fashion Agenda. The Copenhagen-based organization is committed to mobilizing the international fashion industry to transform the way clothes are both produced and consumed, and works to convey sustainable practices and expert knowledge to mainstream executives and creatives alike. Set up in part to commemorate the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster - the Bangladesh garment factory collapse that killed 1,137 people and injured a further 2,500 - the Copenhagen Fashion Summit focuses on worker conditions as well as the use of finite resources and businesses’ impact on climate change, fostering discussion and aiming to facilitate industry-wide commitment on the most critical environmental and social issues facing fashion and the planet.
The theme for the 2018 event, which will take place on 15th and 16th May, is Commitment to Change, and as usual, a high-profile roster of keynote speakers will be leading the discussions. Among those taking part in this year’s program are fashion designer and activist Stella McCartney, Graydon Carter, the award-winning former editor of Vanity Fair, and Julie Wainwright, founder and CEO of luxury consignment e-tailer The RealReal, as well as Dame Ellen MacArthur, Pamela Batty, vice president of corporate responsibility at Burberry, and Nicolaj Reffstrup, CEO of Danish womenswear brand Ganni.
In addition, and as well as the now-familiar break-out sessions and the Leadership Assembly, which convenes industry decision-makers, civil and government representatives for closed-door roundtable discussions, the extra day this year has allowed space for a so-called Innovation Forum. This new platform will enable participating fashion brands to meet with companies from the entire length of the supply chain that offer sustainable alternatives, from innovative fabrics to green packaging solutions. It will also feature a pitch stage for the presentation of disruptive innovations, and host a ‘speed dating’ event which will see more than 350 pre-scheduled business meetings between brands and providers based on a prior screening and matchmaking process. The 2018 event will also bring together more than 100 students who are part of the Youth Fashion Summit and 100 academics from leading international institutions to share the next generation’s perspective on tomorrow’s innovations.
Since its launch, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit has become a focal point for agenda-setting discussions on the most critical environmental, social and ethical issues facing the fashion industry. And not only is it a space for participants to share their thoughts and experiences, but calls to action are made and progress on commitments is tracked and reported back each year to ensure that change is indeed happening.
Hosted by actress, model and entrepreneur Amber Valletta and editor-at-large of The Business of Fashion Tim Blanks, the 2018 Copenhagen Fashion Summit will take place at the Copenhagen Concert Hall and you can read more about the event here.
Main Homepage Photo: Thomas Rousing