FASHION

End your week by streaming CFS+, the conference that wants to drive change in fashion

The conference is inviting industry leaders to discuss the challenges and possibilities to fashion under this year’s theme, ’Prosperity Vs. Growth’. And you are invited to partake.
By OLIVER DAHLE
October 07, 2021

Today, until tomorrow on 8 October, the fashion sustainability conference CFS+ is taking place. CFS+ are the digital equivalent of Copenhagen Fashion Summit. The conference, which is organized by Global Fashion Agenda, started in 2009 and have today become an industry-leading platform to discuss and collaborate on questions regarding sustainability within fashion.

With an impressive line-up of speakers – hosting fashion top executives, designers and sustainability experts – the two days will be filled with panels and presentations, that deals with this year’s theme ’Prosperity Vs. Growth’ from different angles. A theme that should spark an interest in many.

— Whilst prosperity and growth can be seen as contrasting terms, in some ways — they can also be complementary, and we want to represent the silent challenge between the two. Depending on one’s perspective, the terms can be argued as mutually exclusive, or in fact co-dependent. Our theme intends to create a constructive and action-focused dialogue about the limitations and possibilities presented within the sphere of the two terms, explains Federica Marchionni, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda.

”Whilst prosperity and growth can be seen as contrasting terms, in some ways — they can also be complementary, and we want to represent the silent challenge between the two.”

The event is taking place on a digital platform and will be inaugurated on Thursday morning with a welcome speech from, H.R.H. The Crown Princess of Denmark. It will then be followed by a series of talks and presentations. Some highlights are the talk between Yara Shahidi, actor and activist, and Tommy Hilfiger, head designer of Tommy Hilfiger. We will also see a one-to-one talk between Jenna Johnson, Head of Patagonia, and Olivier Fournier, Executive Vice-President Corporate Development & Social Affairs of Hermès, among many other things.

Ticket holders to CFS+ will not only be able to listen to the panels. The conference will invite people to network and actively engage with other participants. Through messaging functions and one-to-one meetings, people will be able to discuss and share knowledge. CFS+ will also host the Innovation Exhibition, a space where people will have the opportunity to meet with innovating companies working with the whole supply chain.

— This digital experience will continue our mission to move the industry from words to action, by representing, not just a meeting platform, but an interactive space for collaboration amongst industry stakeholders. The event will convene a broad range of core stakeholders across fashion, interlinked industries, investment, NGOs, and policy to explore how the industry can create prosperity for both people and planet. CFS+ will also showcase the Digital Innovation Forum — where attendees can connect with over 40 solution providers that are addressing sustainability challenges.

Federica Marchionni, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda.

Global Fashion Agenda last year published, in collaboration with McKinsey, the report Fashion on Climate. The report was harsh – if fashion continues on its current path, the industry will miss the 2030 emissions target by 50%. A true indicator that change is needed, which a vast majority in fashion could sign on. Sustainability, which previously was seen as a niched branch in fashion, is today something everyone is adapting to their businesses. That is why, according to Federica Marchionni, conferences such as CFS+ plays a crucial role in finding solutions and create a tangible change.

— We have certainly seen a surging interest in CFS+. Since the launch of Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2009, the agenda has greatly progressed. Back then, the conversation was pioneering and only very few brands were aware of the importance of bringing sustainability into their agenda. The conversation has now shifted from a need to create awareness, to a need to action immediate change – the question is no longer a ‘Why?’ but a ‘How?’

Today the sustainability discourse is more or less omnipresent in the industry and fashion events are today often accompanied by talks about the topic. What are your thoughts on this? How is CFS+ adding to the conversation?

— As these other events are beginning to reflect the important shift towards sustainable fashion, it is critical to recognise that we need to assess progress across every facet of the industry as well as define the direction the industry must take. It is beneficial to have an event centred around sustainable fashion that can connect like-minded and ambitious people from around the globe and encourage a unified sustainability mission. CFS+ inspires an open dialogue about the trajectory of the industry by convening key industries along with policymakers, investors, NGOs and academia. Moreover, with CFS+ we can directly link people to a carefully curated list of pioneering solution providers from around the globe.

Even though the environmental question might seem difficult to grasp and forecasts are anything but happy reading – Federica Marchionni sees the future with confidence and that it is achievable to reach change by working together. 

— Our mission is clearer than ever, the recent IPCC climate report reminded us that it has never been more important to remain determined as we reimagine our future. We must now unite and work together to prevent some of the worst-case scenarios laid out in the paper. Climate change comes with widespread implications beyond the obvious planetary consequences, having a ripple effect on everything from the economy to human health, where the consequences are not felt equally by all. We, therefore, need to focus on helping the industry on its journey to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Global Fashion Agenda will continue to work with the industry to address the multi-dimensional nature of sustainability – from policy engagement and insightful reports to our impact programmes like the Circular Fashion Partnership, Innovation Forum, Copenhagen Fashion Summit, and of course, CFS+, we are continuously striving to mobilise the fashion industry. We recognise that a more prosperous future is possible if we work together to drive impact.

View the preliminary programme of CFS+ here and buy your ticket to the event here.

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