Sweden Cancels Fashion Week Citing Sustainability

Photo: Highsnobiety / Getty Images / Michael Campanella

Photo: Highsnobiety / Getty Images / Michael Campanella

While today, it seems as if every country hosts its own fashion week, and indeed ‘It’s always fashion week somewhere’ has become a well-worn phrase, there’s one part of the world that will be missing from the calendar this season. Slated to take place from 27th to 29th August, the Swedish Fashion Council has decided to cancel Stockholm Fashion Week, with the aim of finding a more sustainable alternative.

“Stepping away from the conventional Fashion Week model has been a difficult, but much considered decision,” said Jennie Rosen, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council. “The Swedish fashion industry is extensive and growing, so it is crucial to support brands in their development of next-generation fashion experiences.” And to this end, Rosen made it clear that the move doesn’t mean the end of fashion weeks in Sweden, but that simply a different format was needed to support the development of brands and set new sustainability standards.

The announcement comes as the industry continues to debate the value of staging runway shows for buyers and the media, and whether they still make sense for brands. The traditional fashion week model has already been eschewed by several well-established designers, many of whom have looked to adopt a ‘see now, buy now’ strategy, and emerging labels are increasingly looking to social media and other digital tools to promote their brands.

Commenting on the Swedish Fashion Council’s decision, Karin Elwin, global marketing director of Stockholm-based J. Lindeberg said, "Of course we think it’s unfortunate that Stockholm Fashion Week are cancelling for the next season, since it has been a great arena for Scandinavian fashion brands. However, we understand the reasoning.” And she went on to say how the company are looking forward to the development of the new platform, which the council has said it plans to unveil later this year.

Whether other countries will follow Sweden’s lead remains to be seen. But Rosen believes that the council is putting “the past to rest” and focusing on creating tools and platforms that will help support and prepare the industry for the future.