The Copenhagen Fashion Summit convened leaders in fashion, sustainability, and human rights on May 11, to discuss cutting edge issues affecting the fashion industry. The day-long event included panel discussions on the circular economy, supply chain management, and the convergence of fashion and politics in both the U.S. and Europe. Here are some of the highlights from the summit:

Julie Gilhart led a discussion with Eileen Fisher and Teslin Doud from Eileen Fisher, Inc. on creativity, sustainability, and commitment to the customer. Gilhart—a leader and visionary in sustainable style—gave us one of our favorite quotes of the day: “We have fast fashion, we should have fast solutions.”

Simon Collins moderated a very stimulating panel discussion on fashion and politics entitled Fashion for a Cause. The panelists included Public School’s creative directors Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, designer Prabal Gurung, and Outerknown’s John Moore. When asked about the role of politics in fashion, Public School’s creative directors discussed their “Make America New York” hats, explaining how they’ve used their brand as their voice. Prabal Gurung noted that with the global political changes, these may be challenging times, but it is also a very exciting time. Gurung kept the audience engaged throughout the entire panel—highlighting key policy issues and social causes for fashion and for society. “It is extremely important that we empower our girls and women,” said Gurung.

Collins ended the panel by encouraging the audience to engage with someone with whom they disagree.

The final panel of the day focused on industry-wide collaboration for sourcing and sustainability, featuring executives from Target, H&M, Kering, Li & Fung Trading, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Kelly Caruso—president of Target Global Sourcing—noted that sustainability should be a value that we all support across the industry. The panelists also discussed the importance of innovation when addressing sustainability and the need for more transparency in the supply chain.

The summit also included panel discussions on technology innovations, responsible mining and fine jewelry with Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, and a session on fashion advocacy with Livia Firth of Eco-Age. Additional information on the 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit is available here.

Photo Credit: Copenhagen Fashion Summit

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