Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019 - Day 1 (Photo by Lars Ronbog/Getty Images for Copenhagen Fashion Summit)

As every year, also in this very rainy May 2019 (but perhaps absurdly, in the deep north it did not rain) the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, which reached and then celebrated its tenth edition, was held; between 15-16 May last, fashion leaders, politicians, NGOs, creative directors and innovators from around the world met at the grand setting of Copenhagen Concert Hall to discuss and find together actions and answers to the urgent issue of sustainability in the fashion industry.

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit event was organised by Global Fashion Agenda – the world’s foremost leadership forum for sustainability in fashion, under the patronage of HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark and this year, more than ever, all participants and organizers felt the clear urgency to act to stem and correct the bad practices of the fashion industry that go hand in hand with the climate crisis for which they are responsible.

According to the new Pulse of the Fashion industry 2019 report, if the pace of change that everyone is preaching and talking about does not improve, fashion will not only continue to be directly responsible for climate catastrophe and environmental pollution, but the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius during the remainder of this century will not be achieved.

Safeguard the planet, therefore, through new initiatives that brands, companies and organizations have presented during the forum. Here are some:

  • Nike, a signatory of the Global Fashion Agenda, announced its Circular Design Workbook to provide designers and product creators across the industry with a common language for circularity;
  • A new manifesto to deliver a circular economy in textiles. 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;
  • Kering luxury group, in the person of François-Henri Pinault, revealed that he has been tasked by French president Emmanuel Macron to create a “coalition” of CEOs and top companies in the fashion industry to join forces and set ambitious sustainability targets together;
  • Google 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.

Alongside the Summit, the Global Fashion Agenda also hosted seven leadership roundtables, where select fashion leaders, NGO representatives and government officials met to discuss the fashion industry’s most pressing sustainability issues and to collaborate to push the agenda forward.

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.

So turning words into action still seems to be the motto of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, actions partly done and others still to be done because, as we well know, it is always facts that speak and change the world.

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