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Copenhagen Fashion Week Moves Towards Sustainability

The Copenhagen Fashion Week team has announced their plans to rethink the organisation of the Fashion Week and an ambition to become a zero waste event by 2022.
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The magnitude of fashion, one of the largest consumer industries in the world, is likely to increase by as much as 81% over the next decade - this will happen due to the growing population and the growing middle class. Furthermore, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, emitting up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the emissions of all international flights and maritime transport combined. According to Cecilie Thorsmark, head of Copenhagen Fashion Week, urgent and immediate action is needed over the next decade to avert the effects of the climate crisis.


For some time now, Copenhagen Fashion Week has been discussing how to make the fashion industry sustainable, becoming more involved in the issue each season and trying to communicate about it as much as possible. What's more, this season has become especially exceptional and important for the event - not only were the collections showcased, but also a sustainability strategy for 2020-2022 was presented.


The fact that the fashion industry is exhausting our planet is obvious. Due to the abundant use of land resources, such as water and energy, humanity has reached a stage where there is an urgent need for transformation. In other words, the status quo of companies developing fashion businesses needs to change. According to C. Thorsmark, all members of the industry, including fashion weeks, must be held accountable for their actions and be determined to want to change the course of business. Fashion Weeks are not only a symbolic and cultural focal point of the fashion world, but also a platform where new visions, trends and talents emerge. Therefore, fashion weeks have a huge potential to drive change. "We can move from the source of inspiration and the initiator of the conversation to the mediator of the action," the Copenhagen Fashion Week guide said.

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GESTUZ 2020 Autumn Collection

Sustainable Fashion Industry Plans

The Copenhagen Fashion Week team's plans relate to two key areas. The first is the rethinking of the Fashion Week's organisation and the ambition to become zero waste by 2022. In the coming years, efforts will continue to be made to optimise the actions of the Fashion Week's organization, which would actively reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent:

  • disposable plastic hangers, garment bags and other disposable materials are to be banned unless documentation indicates that they will be reused;
  • working with suppliers and partners who integrate sustainability into their business base;
  • developing a code of conduct for suppliers, sponsors and partners; continuing partnerships with sustainable venues;
  • during deliveries, refusal of any plastic containers, plastic straws and supply of only vegetarian or vegan, locally produced food;
  • transporting the guests only by electric cars;
  • collaborating with other fashion weeks and organisations to further accelerate the sustainable development of processes;
  • preparing and publishing an annual sustainability report.

And that’s only half of the event’s organisational changes that have started to take place.

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Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE

The second direction of the sustainability plans is focused on the brands participating in the fashion week. From 2023, all brands wishing to present collections will have to meet established sustainability criteria for the Fashion Week. It will cover six strongly interlinked key areas of activity and will encourage brands to redefine business practices that play a key role in current market mechanisms. Here are some of the requirements for trademarks: at least 50% of clothing must be made only from certified, organic, recycled or second-life materials; recycling rather than destruction of unsold residues; continuous improvement of the quality of clothing, especially with regard to the criterion of durability; maintaining a dialogue with brand consumers and informing them about sustainability strategies; abandonment of plastic packaging; the principle of equality and diversity in the recruitment of staff, especially in management positions.


The plans announced for the next two years will not only address vital issues, but also make Copenhagen the capital of sustainable fashion. As of today, Scandinavian fashion is not only a mecca for minimalist design and well-groomed fashionists, but also a shaper of sustainable fashion opinion. There is no doubt that this will give Danish designers even more awareness, recognition and success, what can be measured by both Instagram followers and real profits.

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Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE
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Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE.

Winter Trends

It seems that the collections of Scandinavian brands presented this season have been relegated to the background - however, we must agree that the climate crisis is a problem that needs to be addressed. One form of solution lies in design and innovative, creative ideas. So what are the winds of fashion trends blowing in the coming cold season?


It is also worth mentioning that not only Danish, but also Swedish and Norwegian designers present their collections in Copenhagen. Observing the collections, the Old Celine stylistic trends, which represent strong and hard-working women living in the city, going to meetings, inevitably marching to grocery stores after work, taking children to their karate training, and performing hundreds of other important daily chores, came to the fore. In other words, such fashion is practical, comfortable and portable, as well as very minimalist when the look is made up of several basic garments, giving up extra details and accessories.

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BY MYLENE BIRGER 2020 Autumn Collection
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GANNI 2020 Autumn Collection

Another very interesting creative direction this season is the Humana phenomenon. It seems that more and more designers are creating collections that look like second-hand clothes and seem a bit worn out. This trend comes from the popularity of second-hand stores, and brands more than ever need to pay attention to the choices and consumption habits of the new generation.


The main colours for the coming year are beige and lilac, accompanied by shades of black, white, rust or terracotta pink and brown. The huge influence of fashion of the 1990s can still be felt: puffy and wrinkled sleeves, oversized jackets, classic le smoking suits. Among the most popular patterns we see all types of checked fabrics, but animal patterns do not lose their popularity either. Interestingly, it seems that patterns hidden in grandmothers' chests are returning. Do you remember tapestry sofas and flowery scarves? Only now are these prints transferred to clothing. Varnish is a novelty for next year. It is everywhere - in outerwear, trousers, jackets and handbags.


However, the biggest triumph of this Copenhagen Fashion Week is, without a doubt, the raincoat. Forget fur coats - a raincoat is the new expression of style. Of course, the climate crisis has had a big impact on this - winters are becoming more warm, snow is turning into rain, so fur coats must be replaced with other clothing.


The next cold season's must haves: oversized trench coat, raincoat, blown jacket, lacquered clothes, a huge bright scarf, high-heeled cowboy or kerchief type shoes, oversized classic type suit.

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Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE.
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Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE.
1590696477804927 copenhagen cphfw fall 20 day 2 by styledumonde street style fashion photography20200129 48a9641fullres
Copenhagen street fashion, photo by STYLEDUMONDE.

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