The plan focuses on implementing sustainability requirements and setting new standards for participants to push the industry toward change. From January 2023, all brands applying for Copenhagen Fashion Week will be asked to meet minimum sustainability requirements to participate in the official show schedule such as pledging not to destroy unsold clothes, using at least fifty per cent certified, organic, upcycled or recycled textiles in all collections, using only sustainable packaging and having zero-waste set designs for their shows.
According to Cecile Thorsmark, “Copenhagen Fashion Week is the cultural and commercial meeting place of the Scandinavian fashion industry. This gives us an enormous responsibility and the potential to create impactful change in the industry at large. By taking this direction, we go from being a traditional event to being a platform for industry change.” Following the lead, participants of the CPHFW Fall/Winter 2020 presented collections largely made of sustainable, recyclable and ecological materials.
Carcel officially opened Copenhagen Fashion Week by presenting a runway without any models or clothes. The guests were surrounded by an immersive video installation with a large empty runway created by Kristian Kirk and Carcel founder, Veronica D’Souza. The video showing natural disasters was followed by the statement: “Welcome to the new decade, welcome to the walk. What season is this? How many seasons are there? How many seasons do we have left? We do not have the answer but any answer is the response.”
By raising questions about climate change and questioning overproduction and overconsumption practices in the fashion industry, the installation continued by the video interviews with imprisoned women in Peru and Thailand where all Carcel garments are made. According to D’Souza, “Status quo is unacceptable and the current business model of fashion is broken. The climate crisis has arrived on our doorstep, and being spectators is not how any of us want to be remembered. None of us can do this alone, we need to unite all creative minds to shape how fashion can be part of solving problems in society rather than causing them.” As a vivid example of how the status quo can be changed by standing together, right then and there, the guests were invited to take the stage by stepping up on the empty catwalk to change the walk.