The first time I met with the designers in Split to discuss a possible role for me creating their website and managing the marketing that comes with it, they told me that they were really pleased about me being danish because they love the Scandinavian style and of course the fact that we in Scandinavia have a lot of focus on sustainability. It made me really proud and it also made me think of all the ways we in Scandinavia focus on the subject. One event stood out for me and this is an event where countries from all around the world get together in Copenhagen to discuss sustainability in the fashion industry and what can be done to improve it. All 4 designers at KRUG builds their designs on a sustainable basis. You can read more about how we practise sustainability at KRUG.
Copenhagen Fashion Summit had their first event in 2009 and since then the event has been an annual one with the next one coming up on the 11th of May 2017. It is an extraordinary event being the world's largest on sustainability in fashion. The event gathers international key players from the fashion industry. As well as experts, NGO's, opinion makers, media and politicians. For the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2016 more than 1.200 industry professionals from 52 countries participated and gave their contribution to this amazing event.
The non-profit organization is there to inspire, motivate and is a hub for knowledge sharing. Eva Kruse, the CEO of Danish Fashion Institute, points out that the fashion industry is a very powerful communications tool and therefore everyone working in this field has an obligation to use this tool in a positive manner. Very few people really wants to hear about the windmill industry or the oil industry because it is simply not relating to our daily lives, but the fashion industry is all around us and we love to listen to the leaders in the fashion industry. It is a "sexy" industry and we therefore have the opportunity to reach out to people and influence what they see as hot or not. We more or less have the say in whether or not sustainability is a matter to be concerned about or not. This leaves us a big responsibility and one that we have to take upon us.
The UK based department store Selfridges was one of the companies discussing sustainability on the stage in the 2016 Copenhagen Fashion Summit. In the same year they were awarded the world's best sustainability campaign by a department store at the global department store summit. What Selfridges does different, and truly inspiring, is that they make their store a social centre and not just a shopping centre.
"A store should be a social centre, not merely a place for shopping" - Harry Gordon Selfridge
Their take on sustainability is; "Buying better, inspiring change", which they live out to its fullest in cooperation with their brand partners who comply with their values. "Buying Better" ensures that their brand partners meet certain standards on ethical trade, promotes best practise and champions new brands with a sustainable focus.
Selfridges, where sustainability meets creativity and everyone is welcome
Selfridges "Buying Better" stands for;
- NO fur
- NO endangered fish
- NO foie gras
- NO single-use plastic water bottles
- NO plastic carrier bags
- NO squalene
Selfridges is the second largest shop in the UK after Harrods and it has enormous power to influence the people. Their project Ocean in 2015 shows just that, where reusable water bottles become a must-have fashion accessory.
"We want to use our position to inspire our people, partners and customers to respect our environment, buy responsibly and champion sustainable products that contribute to healthy and happy communities. In short, we want to buy better and inspire change." - Anne Pitcher, Managing Director Buying Better
C&A Foundation and The Freedom Fund
At the 2016 Copenhagen Fashion Summit the C&A Foundation held a Dance Deal. For every dance, C&A Foundation donated 50 Euros to the Freedom Fund, which identifies and invests in the most effective frontline efforts to end slavery in the countries and industries where it is most common. 1.000 people danced for a good cause and in the end C&A Foundation donated 25.000,- Euros to the Freedom Fund.
There are an estimated 45.6 million people in modern slavery today.
Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017
I can't wait to hear about the outcomes for the 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit that takes place on the 11th of May at Copenhagen Concert Hall. The theme for the 2017 Summit is commitment to change, which means that they will present both tangible outcomes and call to action. They will make a toolbox achievable not just by the Summit participants but also a broad range of companies globally. The progress on the commitments will be tracked and reported back every year at the Summit to ensure that change is made. I am certain that we can learn a lot from these summits and we at KRUG will for sure take it all in and get even better contributors to the sustainable fashion industry. You can already now read about our view on what we as consumers can do to make a difference by changing your laundry routines or how we view the effect that fast fashion has on the world today.
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Anne Cathrine Lind Ceni