The sustainable catwalk

Every year designers and brands show off their new collections during what is called “fashion week”. In the past, only the high fashion houses such as Chanel, Armani, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton would show off their collections on the runway. These collections would only contain Haute Couture (high fashion in French), which are one-of-a-kind pieces that take roughly 400 hours each to be created. Every year the fashion houses had to participate in the Spring/ Summer fashion shows that take place in January, and in the Fall/ Winter fashion shows that take place in July. Nowadays, high fashion brands still hold 2 fashion shows each year, however, some brands have also added extra seasons such as pre-fall, and resort and cruise. Besides, nowadays non-high fashion brands are also using runway shows to show off their collections including brands such as Fashion Nova.

So a lot has changed for fashion week. But that’s not all, sustainability is also becoming more prominent in fashion. Therefore, today we will take a look at sustainable fashion shows all over the world

Sustainable fashion week all over the world

Paris, Milano, and London are popular places when we talk about fashion week. However, did you know that many countries hold a fashion week specifically focussed on sustainable fashion?

The Netherlands

Staying close to home, we will be starting off with the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week (DSFW). This whole week revolves around sustainable fashion, with new sustainable collections, workshops, and inspirational talks across the whole country. There are also many other activities planned such as clothing swap parties, expositions, and pop-up shops. This week mainly focuses on the progress that is being made in the fashion industry, and how brands are implementing sustainability in their products and production. This year the 8th edition of DSFW will start on the 23rd of September.

For more information on the DSFW please visit their website (please note this site is in Dutch so for more information you can also contact me)

Denmark

But the Netherlands is not the only country with a sustainable fashion week. In Scandinavian countries, sustainable fashion is also very popular. This is not at all surprising seeing as Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are the highest scoring countries on the Sustainable Development Goal Index. Just like the Netherlands, these countries have fashion weeks that have activities revolving around sustainable fashion.

Let’s take a closer look at the Copenhagen fashion week. In 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Week revealed their Sustainability Action Plan for 2020-2022. The action plan contains what the event is planning to undergo. The plan includes reducing the climate impact of the event by 50 percent and rethinking the waste system for the event so they can reach the goal of zero waste by 2022. By making these changes the Copenhagen Fashion Week aims to implement new standards for sustainability and change the requirements in the industry. The Copenhagen Fashion Week supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by the UN, and focuses on three SDGs in particular:

  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals

    SDGs UN

For more information on Copenhagen Fashion Week please visit the website

Germany

Another interesting fashion week is the one in Berlin. Messe Frankfurt launched a business and communication platform called NEONYT. This is a global hub for fashion, sustainability, and innovation. Their vision is to change the world of fashion together through collaboration, communication, and entrepreneurship. NEONYT includes many activities including an Ethical Fashion Show. Next to this, there are also many conferences that can be visited. The event actively integrates the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and incorporates them in various formats.

For more information on NEONYT please visit their website

United Kingdom

This year starting on the 11th of September until the 19th of September the first-ever edition of Sustainable Fashion Week (SFW) in the UK will take place. The focus of this SFW will not be on fashion as seasonal trends, but more on inspiring, empowering, and upskilling the community to create a healthy and sustainable relationship with fashion. This week will provide a program with activities to form new fashion habits that will not harm the planet of the people.

For more information on the UK sustainable fashion week please visit their website

Australia

Eco Fashion Week Australia was launched in 2017 by Artist Zuhal Kuvan-Mills. During this week designers, businesses, and the community work together to raise awareness about environmentally conscious fashion. The program for this fashion week includes runway shows with sustainable designers showcasing their new creations. But this fashion week also has other activities such as exhibitions, workshops, and seminars. The Eco Fashion Week Australia is set to take place again in November 2022. 

 For more information on Eco Fashion Week Australia please visit their website

Asia

In Hong Kong each year the Fashion Summit is held. This is Asia’s sustainable fashion event, and like the other fashion weeks, the whole program revolves around sustainable fashion. However, this event is more like a conference than an actual fashion week with runway shows, etc. The event has many keynote speakers who will take about different subjects that are connected to sustainable fashion. This year the event takes place on the 9th and 10th of September.

For more information on the Fashion Summit please visit their website

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