Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2016: ‘responsible innovation’

Copenhagen Fashion Summit

To overcome major sustainability challenges which face us all the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2016 asked for new solutions and new business models.

“The main summit was preceded by several days of satellite meetings and discussions by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the Youth Fashion Summit and Planet Textiles — making Copenhagen, at least for a few days, the epicentre for everyone and anyone in the fashion industry who is seriously thinking about our environment, the planet and the people who make our clothes” says Business of Fashion (BOF.

Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BOF also mentions that “integrating the event with royal, Danish government and European Union involvement means one also needs to respect certain protocols which, while a necessary part of the proceedings, slowed down the early momentum of the day with a series of repetitive speeches. Rather than focusing on actions and solutions, these trotted out similar facts and figures, most of which were already well-known to this audience of sustainability experts who were hankering for more concrete actions and debates. “ (BOF)

New innovations were quoted by WWD from Nike and Patagonia.  Hannah Jones, Nike Inc. chief sustainability officer and vice president  cited the example of Nike Flyknit. “The traditional way to make shoes has been to cut and sew. As you can imagine, cutting all of those pieces creates wasted material. Nike Flyknit disrupts this tradition in a radical way. With Flyknit, we knit the shoe’s upper out of individual strands of yarn. As a result, this technology produces 60 percent less waste than traditional cut-and-sew. It has saved 3.5 million pounds of waste since its launch in 2012,” she said, noting that Flyknit is now a billion-dollar business. “We can make money with sustainability,” she asserted.

She also stressed the urge to converge toward a single code of conduct, common monitoring protocols and auditing standards for the industry, in order “to have a real chance to change the industry at an accelerated pace.”

Rick Ridgeway, vice president of engagement at Patagonia, whom Amber Valletta, the summit cohost, introduced as “the real Indiana Jones,” said Patagonia came up with a very high-performance wetsuit made with natural rubber, replacing Neoprene. “It’s as performant as neoprene, or more. For extreme sports, having the highest-performance materials possible is a matter of life or death,” he noted.

During the three days in the run-up to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit the Youth Fashion Summit brought more than 100 students from more than 40 nations who had participated to made their pleas on stage for a brighter future for the fashion industry. Each demand integrated some of the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals adopted in 2015 at COP 21 into the fashion industry (…).

Youth Fashion Summit:

With +1,200 participants the Copenhagen Fashion Summit is on of the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion. It is a nonprofit event organised by Danish Fashion Institute on behalf of Nordic Fashion Association.

The Summit was first held in 2009 during the UN Climate Change Conference – COP15 – in Copenhagen, and again in spring 2012 and 2014.