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”It was clear from the Summit that there was a united ambition to act now”

We sum up the leading business event on sustainability in fashion, Copenhagen Fashion Summit, after last week’s 10th-anniversary edition.

The annual event has become the nexus for agenda-setting discussions on the most critical environmental, social and ethical issues facing our industry and planet. Organisers Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) is being described as the world’s foremost leadership forum for sustainability in fashion.

— In short, we convene major fashion industry decision makers to push the sustainability agenda forward, says Travis Peoples, Chief Operating Officer of GFA. He joined earlier this year from Adidas, where he led Global Strategy for one of Adidas Group’s sport categories.

What were this year’s highlights?

— First of all, it was particularly special as it marked the Summit’s 10th anniversary where we took the time to reflect on the progress we have made, but also highlight what urgently still needs to be done. We brought together 1300 participants from 48 countries and facilitated over 600 meetings between brands and innovative solution providers to turn words into action. Plus CEOs from some of the biggest fashion companies in the world including PVH and Kering took to the stage to voice their perspectives on the state of the industry and the road ahead. It was clear from the Summit that there was a united ambition to act now if we are to combat the climate crisis.

And what other projects do you have coming?

— We have a lot of ideas and plans on the horizon. Recent research in our Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2019 Update revealed that the industry is moving too slowly and not keeping up with the overall growth of the fashion industry. So, we need to urge immediate collaboration among fashion leaders and policymakers if we are to safeguard the industry and our planet. We aim for Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit to continue growing in scale and impact, by accelerating more innovators and facilitating more widespread collaboration, says Peoples. He adds:

— It’s important for us to not just focus on the issues, but to find and adopt the solutions. Sustainability needs to be integrated into business models from the start and an automatic consideration in any purchase. Any change is better than none at all.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering.
Eva Kruse, President and CEO of Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark.
Travis Peoples.