Currently, these requirements mean that brands have to show that at least 50 per cent of their collection is made from certified, preferred, upcycled or recycled materials, as well as their commitment to due diligence across its supply chain. Other requirements, though, such as ensuring brands are “designing to increase the quality and value of our products economically”, are more difficult to assess.
“The documentation [required from brands] includes links to strategies, certification documents, codes of conduct [and examples of] public communication,” Frederik Larsen, co-founder of In Futurum, a consultancy that helped Copenhagen Fashion Week develop its sustainability framework, says. All submissions from brands are verified by a sustainability committee, led by consultancy Rambøll.
It’s worth noting that the process does rely on self-reporting from brands – a criticism that has been levelled at other initiatives, including B-Corp certificationwhich assesses a company’s social and environmental performance. However, in lieu of legislation and other fashion industry-specific guidelines, the current framework undoubtedly drives brands to be more ambitious in their efforts. “One of its most important purposes is to push sustainability in the industry,” Larsen continues.
“The minimum standards have made us undertake a range of initiatives to improve our sustainable practices, and helped us set goals for those areas we have worked less with, supporting us to stay on the right path and keeping our focus on what’s important,” Amalie Røge Hove, founder and creative director of A. Roge Hovesays. “It has also helped to establish a common language in the industry, especially in the Nordics, for what goals we are running towards, and striving to achieve together.”