Fashion Updates

Key insights from the World Fashion Summit 2023 that ignite transformative action

Published: July 22, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

Despite the significant growth of the sustainability conversation in the fashion industry over the past five years, there is still a sluggishness in taking action. In light of this, the World Fashion Summit, held in Copenhagen, adopted the motto ‘From ambition to action’ this year. The purpose of this annual gathering of prominent brands is to drive the industry towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

Federica Marchioni, the executive director of the Global Fashion Agenda organization, which organizes the summit, emphasized the need for immediate action rather than setting deadlines. “At present, it is not appropriate to discuss plans for the next five or ten years; the focus is on acknowledging and learning from their current endeavours and future undertakings, as well as exchanging insights on their practices and obstacles,” Marchioni conveyed to Vogue.

Amidst the proceedings, notable speakers including Jonathan Anderson, the visionary behind Loewe and JW Anderson, and Antoine Arnault, the leader of image and environmental initiatives at LVMH Group, shared insights into their sustainability strategies. Other major brands including Nike, Kering (the owner of Gucci), and Inditex (the parent company of Zara) also took the main stage to share their initiatives.

In line with the summit’s theme, this year’s event featured three additional smaller phases. These included case studies presented by brands like Allbirds, which unveiled its first prototype of a zero-carbon shoe, as well as Chloé and Vestiaire Collective, who joined forces to launch an instant resale platform. In terms of innovation, Ruby Laboratories, a California-based startup that transforms CO2 from manufacturing waste into textiles, was highlighted.

One of the most impactful discussions at the summit revolved around The Orr Foundation, a non-profit organization from Ghana working to address the immense textile waste problem in Accra’s Kantamanto market. The market receives a staggering 15 million clothing items every week, and young women and girls risk their lives carrying heavy bales of clothing on their heads. Sammy Oeteng, the community engagement manager, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, “People are dying, the local textile industry is almost dead… Now is not the time to debate it; we need to act.”

The World Fashion Summit serves as a platform for industry leaders to come together, exchange ideas, and drive meaningful change. While progress has been made in raising awareness about sustainability, the focus now must shift towards concrete actions that will create a greener and more ethical fashion industry for the future.

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