Leaders assembled at the renowned forum for sustainability in fashion to mobilise action and usher in a transformative phase for the industry.
Thursday 29 June: Hosted in the Copenhagen Concert Hall, on 27-28 June, Global Fashion Summit convened over 1000 revered representatives from brands, retailers, NGOs, policy, manufacturers, and innovators to transform ambition into action. The Summit was presented by Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), the non-profit organisation that is accelerating the transition to a net positive fashion industry, under the patronage of HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark.
This year’s theme ‘Ambition to Action’, galvanised participants to transform ambitions into concrete actions that can drive the industry towards more sustainable practices, both socially and environmentally. Under this premise, the event presented content experiences focused on tangible and evidence-based impact, with over half of the programme dedicated to educational and action-oriented business case studies.
This edition included more speakers and content than ever before, with the dynamic and action-orientated sessions spanning across four different stages. The Summit also facilitated more than 10 strategic roundtable meetings that brought together executives and policy makers for productive dialogues on how to address pressing sustainability issues and act accordingly. The content integrated the five priorities of the Fashion CEO Agenda, alongside critical challenges and tangible opportunities relating to some of the key forces that are shaping the fashion industry today: data, policy and storytelling.
Attendees heard from 137 speakers including HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark; Antoine Arnault, Image & Environment, LVMH Group ; Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director & Founder, JW Anderson and Creative Director, Loewe; Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, European Commission; Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, Chief Delivery Officer, Maersk; Aude Vergne, Chief Sustainability Officer, Chloé; Nicolaj Reffstrup, Founder, GANNI; Fanny Moizant, Co-Founder & President, Vestiaire Collective; Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike; Óscar García Maceiras,
CEO, Inditex; Dr. Lewis Akenji, Managing Director, Hot or Cool Institute; Rachel Arthur, Advocacy Lead, Sustainable Fashion, United Nations Environment Programme; and many more.
Prominent brands, retailers and organisations unveiled new actions and initiatives at the event, highlights include:
• GFA launched the Global Textiles Policy Forum, a platform for governments and textile industry associations from around the world to: align on an ambitious sustainability pathway for the industry and the global policy frameworks needed; raise and amplify supply chain voices; and spread the likely impact of the EU Textiles Strategy outside of the EU. GFA also launched a new policy matrix to summarise the key legislations going on around the world implicating the textiles industry.
• GFA unveiled responses to the GFA Designer Challenge 2023, presented by Smiley. Heiko Desens, Global Creative Director of PUMA partnered with Nicole McLaughlin whilst, Hillary Taymour, Creative Director of Collina Strada created an alliance with CIRCULOSE®. The outcomes were showcased at the Summit alongside the release of two captivating new videos depicting the journeys of designers.
• Fashion Redressed is a brand-new online film series launching in September, presented by the Global Fashion Agenda and produced for them by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions. You can take a sneak peek at the series and calculate the impact your own wardrobe has on the environment.
• UNEP and UN Climate Change launched The Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook, a guide for fashion communicators to align efforts to sustainability targets. It shows marketers, imagemakers, media and influencers how to take action through countering misinformation, reducing messages perpetuating overconsumption, redirecting aspiration to sustainable lifestyles, and empowering consumers to demand greater action from businesses and policymakers.
• A landmark report from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the Fashion Pact and Conservation International was launched. It maps out how the fashion, textile and apparel industry can implement the first science-based targets for nature.
• The eight members of GFA’s newly launched Next Gen Assembly programme in partnership with the Fashion Values Programme and presented by Target, participated in a closed-door Roundtable alongside esteemed industry leaders. The Members were able to candidly share their perspectives and stories. Following the Summit, the stories of the Next Gen Assembly participants will be collated and communicated throughout 2023.
• Industry leaders unite in the CTI Fashion Initiative to drive circularity in fashion. Led by WBCSD, VF Corporation and Deloitte Switzerland, this collaboration will establish harmonized metrics, standards and best practices, anchored by the Circular Transition Indicators (CTI) for measuring impact, fostering accountability and advancing sustainable value creation.
Innovation Forum connected fashion companies with sustainable solution providers:
This year’s Summit also presented an Innovation Forum, enabling small and large companies to meet with 26 sustainable solution providers – equipping them with the concrete tools to quickly turn words into meaningful actions. More than 350 facilitated business meetings between fashion companies and sustainable solution providers took place during the Summit.
Federica Marchionni, CEO, Global Fashion Agenda, says: “I am filled with a sense of hope following the Summit. This year we focused on turning the aspirational to the actual – championing evidence-based actions that can redesign our business models with net positive at the core, improve the livelihoods of the millions of garment workers and protect and enhance our precious ecosystems. The will and intentions are there, I now look forward
to witnessing the shift to implementation to truly transform the industry.”
Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition was supported by Principal Sponsor, Maersk, a globally renowned leader in logistics that aims to deliver a more connected, agile and sustainable future for global logistics.
Global Fashion Summit: Boston Edition will take place on 27 September 2023, which will mark the second time the Summit has been hosted outside of Copenhagen in its 14-year history.