The Main Takeaway from Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2018

Katrin Ley, managing director, Fashion for Good. Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Katrin Ley, managing director, Fashion for Good. Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

If you have been following the Copenhagen Fashion Summit from the comfort of your Instagram, we’re here to break down the top takeaway from the fashion industry’s leading sustainability summit: the fashion industry needs to embrace a closed loop fashion system.

What exactly is that, you may ask? A closed loop fashion system is the opposite of the current industry standard of a  “take, make, waste” life cycle that begins with unsustainable practices and ends directly in the landfill. Instead, the goal of a “closed loop” system, or a “circular” economy, is to create a garment or good with sustainability and the end of use in mind so that once its life has run its course, it can be renewed again to create a big circle of never-ending, renewable resources.

This is an idea praised by many in the fashion industry, but one that is not so easy to implement. The sector needs scalable solutions to enact change in their production. They must begin with sustainable materials and design, a business model that allows for renewal and the operational capacity to carry out the task.

“To have the circular economy be a virtue, we have to have goods and services. Not bads and services. We need to have goods in the first instance,” said panelist William McDonough, chief executive, McDonough Innovation (CRADLE TO CRADLE). “So let’s design things that are good, then circulate them.”

Watch an inspiring Summit panel below, moderated by Katrin Ley, managing director, Fashion for Good.