Trailblazing sustainability initiatives unveiled at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019

Trailblazing sustainability initiatives unveiled at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019

May 24, 2019
Marcia González

Fashion leaders, policymakers, NGOs, creative directors and innovators from across the globe convened at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019 last week to demand urgent action on sustainability in the fashion industry

Hosted in the Copenhagen Concert Hall on 15-16 May 2019, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit marked its 10th anniversary and provided a platform for companies to unveil new solutions, launch new commitments, collaborate with industry peers and partake in agenda-setting discussions. The event was organized by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) – the world’s foremost leadership forum for sustainability in fashion, under the patronage of HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark.

It was clear at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019 that there is an urgency and united ambition to act now. The discussions and debates emphasized that companies must collaborate now, more than ever, to rectify the harmful consequences of the fashion industry and combat the climate crisis, resource scarcity and social implications. According to new findings in the Pulse of the Fashion industry 2019 update, if the current pace of change does not improve, fashion will continue to be a net contributor to climate change, and the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius during the remainder of this century will not be achieved. The Summit provided a forum for stakeholders to come together and rewrite fashion to safeguard the planet.

“We can solve the planet’s and the industry’s biggest issues – if we work together and take action now,” said Eva Kruse, CEO and president of Global Fashion Agenda. “We need bold leadership to accelerate the change and push policymakers to support this journey.”

Multiple companies chose to announce their new sustainability measures at the landmark event. Nike unveiled its Circular Design Workbook to provide designers and product creators across the industry with a common language for circularity. Nike is a signatory of the Global Fashion Agenda 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, which calls on fashion brands and retailers to accelerate the transition to a circular fashion system.

A new manifesto to deliver a circular economy in textiles was also announced. In a unique collaboration between EURATEX (European Apparel and Textile Confederation), Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI), Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), International Apparel Federation (IAF) and Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the manifesto calls on existing and forthcoming EU policymakers to rethink tools to establish a circular fashion system.

Google, meanwhile, revealed a partnership with Stella McCartney to measure the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Google is building a tool that uses data analytics and machine learning on Google Cloud to give brands a more comprehensive view into their supply chain, particularly at the level of raw material production.

This year’s Summit also presented an even larger Innovation Forum, enabling small and large companies to meet with 50 sustainable solution providers – equipping them with the tools to turn words into meaningful actions. More than 600 facilitated business meetings between fashion companies and sustainable solution providers took place during the two days of the Summit. The Innovation Forum exhibition area was expanded this year to incorporate the Design Studio, presented by Avery Dennison. Recognizing the influence of the decisions creative directors make on design, materials and the environmental impact of products, the Design Studio exhibited a unique curation of solutions specifically tailored to the needs of creative directors and designers.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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