Not New York, nor London or Paris: Next Thursday, May 11, a good dose of the crème de la crème of the international fashion scene will gather in contemplative Copenhagen for this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Now in its fifth edition, the summit is coming up with more than 50 high-profile speakers who will engage in panel discussions and conversations, addressing issues of sustainability under the headline “Commitment to change”. Amongst the speakers will be fashion designer Prabal Gurung, CEO of Hugo Boss Mark Langer, The New York Times chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, CEO of Tiffany & Co. Michael Kowalski, circular economy authority Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of Eco Age Ltd. Livia Firth, and sustainability leader William McDonough. The summit is under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and will be hosted by Amber Valletta, model and entrepreneur, and Tyler Brûlé, editor-in-chief of Monocle.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2016 from Copenhagen Fashion Summit on Vimeo.

One of the expected outcomes of the 2017 summit is the signing of a concrete call to action put forward by the non-profit initiative Global Fashion Agenda, the organizer of Copenhagen Fashion Summit, to create a unified effort among fashion brands and retailers in accelerating the fashion industry's transition to a circular system.

This year will also see the launch of the first edition of the “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report, which has been developed by Global Fashion Agenda together with The Boston Consulting Group. This annual report shall provide a common fact base on the current sustainability performance of the industry, to quantify the potential of sustainability in fashion and to provide recommendations for companies across the supply chain.

Eva Kruse, President & CEO, Global Fashion Agenda
Photo: Asger Mortensen
Eva Kruse, President & CEO, Global Fashion Agenda
Eva Kruse, CEO and president of Global Fashion Agenda, said: "Since last year's Summit, we've been […] evolving the format of the event. One of the major changes that I'm especially pleased with is the intensified focus on commitments and outcomes. By putting forward a call to action, which is already receiving substantial backing by key industry players, and by launching the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, the Summit is proving that it is able to take leadership and help unite the industry towards a better future."

In the days before the summit, students from across the globe will gather to draft a proposed UN resolution on fashion to be presented on stage at the summit and delivered to the UN later this year. The Youth Fashion Summit is a collaboration between Global Fashion Agenda, the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology and Swarovski, one of the principal sponsors of Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017.

Further promoting young talent, Turkish denim mill Isko (also one of the principal sponsors of the summit) will hold a special project derived from the 2016 edition of its annual talent contest Isko I-Skool and its style and design division Creative Room. On May 10, they will disclose the sustainable fashion designs of ten international design students from Japan to the USA. The winner will be chosen by a jury consisting of international fashion experts.

Denim sample in Isko's Creative Room


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Global Fashion Agenda is a recently established non-profit initiative with the aim to mobilize the industry to produce and consume fashion in a more sustainable way. It has partnered with Kering, H&M, Target, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Li & Fung as founding members.

View the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017 program here.

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