In the Loop: CFW Launches a Sustainability Action Report - Riley Studio

In the Loop: CFW Launches a Sustainability Action Report

by Riley Studio |

This week has been significant for sustainability events across the world. From the Future Fabrics Expo in London, the ChangeNOW Summit in Paris, The Slow Factory’s Study Hall Summit in New York and Copenhagen Fashion Week, we’re feeling thoroughly inspired and ready to keep implementing solutions.

In relation to the fashion industry, we were interested to find out more about Copenhagen Fashion Week’s new Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022: Reinventing Copenhagen Fashion Week - Reducing negative impacts, innovating our business model and accelerating industry change. Aiming to lead by example, they have set out targets to disrupt a traditional and wasteful event, transitioning CFW into a platform for industry change. 

All industry players – including fashion weeks – have to be accountable for their actions and be willing to change the way business is done. The timeframe for averting the devastating effects of climate change on the planet and people is less than a decade, and we’re already witnessing its catastrophic impacts today. Put simply, there can be no status quo,urged Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week.

After announcing their intentions in 2019, they spent a year of strategic development devising the plan, with the help of experts including Ganni’s founder Nicolaj Reffstrup, Global Fashion Agenda’s CEO Eva Kruse and Vogue Australia’s Sustainability Editor-at-Large Clare Press.

So what is in the plan?



  • Reducing CFW’s climate impact by 50%, while continuing to offset unavoidable carbon emissions of fashion week operations, shows and presentations.

  • Exploring alternatives to allow a wider audience to watch the shows via digital solutions in order to minimise travel.

  • Aim to become zero waste by setting targets, including a ban on single-use items and by having a strong commitment to full reuse and recycling. 

  • Developing a code of conduct for suppliers and partners. 

  • Accelerate sustainable development in the industry. 

  • Lead by example to encourage the industry’s transition to responsible and innovative business practices. 

  • Launch of the 2023 Sustainability Requirements, which will come into effect as of January 2023, stipulating that brands must achieve a certain score to be eligible to apply for a show or presentation. Brands can earn points based on six strongly interlinked focus areas covering the entire value chain, including: strategic direction, design practices, smart material choices, working conditions, consumer engagement and show production.
  • All shows and presentations on the official schedule of Copenhagen Fashion Week must comply fully with 17 minimum standards or they will not be considered for participation, regardless of how high their overall score is. Some examples of standards are pledging not to destroy unsold clothes, using at least 50% certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, using only sustainable packaging and zero-waste set designs for shows.

We can’t wait to follow the progress of this Sustainability Action Plan, and applaud CFW for taking an important, brave and critical step forward in the journey towards a sustainable fashion industry. We hope that fashion weeks around the world will collaborate and develop their own strategies to reimagine and reinvent the traditional fashion weeks schedule, in order to make a positive impact. 

To read the full report (which we really recommend), download it here.


* Images from Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022: Reinventing Copenhagen Fashion Week - Reducing negative impacts, innovating our business model and accelerating industry change