I love fashion. Of course I love clothes and I love the creative minds, the ambitious people and the rapid pace, but above all what I love the most is the power of the fashion industry. Fashion has a reach beyond any other, influencing us consciously and subconsciously. It makes us love, desire, excite, reject and change. Over and over again. On top of that, fashion is also one of the world’s largest industries and one of the most resource intensive when it comes to the use of energy, raw materials, pesticides, chemicals, water and manual labour in (low-wage) countries.

The world is facing serious climate change and other severe issues affecting our habitat, influencing both animal and human life. The global fashion industry has an immense impact on the environment and on the millions of people who work in the industry, making it one of the most important industries worldwide. This is especially since it also holds a tremendous capacity to spark change that could potentially influence the lives of millions and have a monumental effect on our planet.

With such influence comes a responsibility to generate new business models and to apply the creative and innovative forces of the industry to bring about a transformation toward greater sustainability. Concepts like circular economy, recycling, reuse, new materials, longevity and lasting quality are among the innovative drivers for new business models that can lead to innovation and stronger businesses while also minimising the impact on people and our planet.

Of all the things I do in life, this is what I’m most passionate about and is the reason we initiated the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2009. We wanted to establish a platform for likeminded people to meet, for sustainable brands to shine and a forum for sharing knowledge, innovations and solutions. My aim was to start a movement and then to keep the ball rolling in the fashion industry until consumers everywhere are also inspired to change.

This year’s theme, Responsible Innovation, emphasises once again that Copenhagen Fashion Summit is a catalyst for change. The commitment to and momentum surrounding the 2016 summit have been overwhelming. The impressive speaker line-up and list of participants, with leading companies from more than 50 nations, prove that decision-makers from the worlds of fashion, politics, media, academia and NGOs are ready to take on said responsibility. They are poised to kickstart a discussion on new business models and solutions for a more sustainable fashion industry.

Looking back at the summits that have taken place in the past seven years, I’m proud to say that searching for brands and people able to take the stage and present their work, ethics and innovations is no longer a struggle. Their numbers have clearly grown. We all know there’s still a long way to go but every step matters, even the smallest.

Consumers play a pivotal role in honouring or supporting companies that improve their eco-footprint.
However, I do not believe that consumers will be the ones to kickstart change in fashion. The reality is that the initiatives begin with YOU – the industry leaders, the top management, top designers, the clever editors, the researchers and scientists, the NGO’s and the policymakers.
Thus, as a powerful industry we must set a good example for consumers by offering them a desirable and sustainable choice and by leading the way.

I really do love fashion – especially when I feel empowered and optimistic about where we can drive sustainable development as an industry.

I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the support the summit team and I have received, our greatest thanks extended to our special advisors Jan Olesen, Julie Gilhart and Thomas Tochtermann, for their tireless efforts and great success in attracting key people to the event. We also owe a large debt of gratitude to all our sponsors, speakers, panellists and media partners for providing content and depth to the summit’s framework and to helping spread the word.

Let’s #restartfashion



The theme of Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2016 was ‘responsible innovation’. Major sustainability challenges face us all and it is thereby immensely important for the fashion industry to continuously develop and improve the way it functions.

To overcome these challenges, we need new solutions and new business models. With emphasis on responsible innovation, Copenhagen Fashion Summit aims to be a catalyst for change.

In May 2016 Copenhagen gathered key players from the global fashion industry, who shared their knowledge and ideas on new and sustainable solutions, the hope is to inspire, motivate, and give tools to implement a sustainable mindset and create a brighter future for the fashion industry.

In the video section you can relive all the keynotes, panels and breakouts. Let's #restartfashion

Copenhagen Fashion Summit Manifesto

In support of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit VICE bring you a host of content encompassing several formats as a means to present the main issues revolving around fashion and sustainability.

The goal is to stimulate discussion around the themes of fashion and sustainability, putting the spotlight on the people that are turning such junction into reality – their inspirations, aspirations and their prospects for the future. The video below is VICEs manifesto.

Discover the VICE Sustainability Room HERE

You can relive the entire day of sustainability talk with our video replays


Having grown up with greater awareness of environmental issues than any generation, today's youth represent the single best hope for the implementation of sustainable practices in fashion and the wider society. During Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the more than 100 students from across the globe who took part in this year's Youth Fashion Summit presented their ideas.

On 25 September 2015, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will dictate the global development agenda until 2030. The Youth Fashion Summit, held in the two days prior to Copenhagen Fashion Summit, explored how the SDGs can represent opportunities for companies to align their own sustainability goals with broader societal aims.

Organised by Danish Fashion Institute and the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA) in collaboration with other leading Danish design schools, the Youth Fashion Summit invited more than 100 students from around the world to showcase industry-specific examples and ideas for corporate action related to the SDGs. A finalised framework for the fashion industry was launched at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2016.

Prior to the summit, participating students attended seven webinars with various themes ranging from new business models and systemic thinking to CSR communication and slow fashion, enlightening them about various aspects of sustainability – and unsustainability – in the industry.



Julie Gilhart Julie Gilhart Fashion consultant
Jan Olesen Jan Olesen Managing director, MARIOTESTINO+
Thomas Tochtermann Thomas Tochtermann Advisor for Fashion & Luxury and Consumer

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Johan Arnoe







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