Preta Postcard: Copenhagen Fashion Summit Diary
Nina Farran, founder of e-commerce site Fashionkind.com, which brings together ethical and sustainable style from around the world, takes us along on her trip.
The latest installment of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit was held May 11 in the Danish capital's Koncerthuset, with fashion leaders and sustainability experts from around the world convening to discuss ways to get the industry to change.
Speakers and panelists included HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, model Amber Valetta, designers Eileen Fisher and Prabal Gurung, and activist Livia Firth.
One of the summit’s attendees was Nina Farran, founder of e-commerce site Fashionkind.com, which brings together ethical and sustainable style from around the world, from such brands as Ace & Jig, Rialto Jean Project, Lemlem, Veja, Coclico and Ryan Roche, as well as providing a platform for designers' stories.
Here is Farran's photo diary from her experience at the summit and in the beautiful city of Copenhagen.
Fashionkind Takes Copenhagen: We stayed at Bertrams Guldsmeden, a Green Globe certified 47-room hotel in Vesterbro, which is like Copenhagen's Meatpacking District. Green Globe is one of the most exacting certifications available to the hospitality sector. From the sustainable, local food to the organic cotton bathrobes and iLoveEcoEssentials ECOCERT certified skincare and bath products in each room, the hotel has a 360-degree sustainability management system.
Pre-party:The night before the Summit kicked off, I attended a dinner at a private residence in Copenhagen for a Fashion Unzipped gathering that I had been invited to through Nexus: a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. The entire flat had been decorated according to strict sustainability guidelines, which created the perfect backdrop for the night ahead. The evening was kicked off with five presentations from industry figures such as Christina Dean, founder of Redress; Inge Wallage, director of communication, Fashion for Good; and Veronica D'Souza, founder and CEO, Carcel. The floor of the presentation room was covered with black shirts from fast-fashion brands and featured a heaping pile of discarded garments in the corner, providing the perfect context for our call to action for quality, mindful and intentional creation and consumption.
Sitting down for dinner: The dinner that followed the presentations took place in the most beautifully decorated minimalist dining room; the Danes' knack for chic minimalist interior design is not to be underestimated. As we ate vegetarian sushi and snacks and sipped on delicious rose, we went around the table and shared what impacted us most from the evening. For me, it was the reminder that we are not alone in our desire to change the world — even across the globe — and that the power of community and collaboration is one of the greatest forces to do so.
The Summit: This year's summit focused on the circular economy and how fashion can play a part. Discussion ranged from how to use fashion — and a brand or designer's platform and voice — for positive change, to the best way to source materials, labor practices and more. The consensus was unanimous: Ethics and sustainability will shape the future of fashion, not only due to consumer demand, but also due to companies' bottom lines. Innovations from recycling systems to supply-chain transparency were shared, and conversations in breakout sessions were ignited over workers' rights — and their voices — as well as pricing and accountability. Throughout the summit, there were booths set up displaying everything from sustainable textiles (including one of our favorites, Pirarucu fish leather) to 3D sampling technologies, which enable designers to see how a garment would look on-body before having to create a physical sample, saving time, materials and capital.
The overall feedback from the summit was positive; however, there were concerns raised about the lack of exposure for artisans and workers behind the scenes around the world and about the focus being on large companies in the industry without mentioning small companies that are taking strides in the world of ethics and sustainability.
The day was filled with insightful discussions, lessons and challenges and culminated with a summit-wide call to action in tandem with the inaugural Pulse of the Fashion Industry study, produced by The Global Fashion Agenda and Boston Consulting Group, which concluded that the fashion industry's sustainability "pulse" is only 32 out of 100. The industry has a long way to go, but Fashionkind is excited to continue to play a part in moving it forward.
VIP Dinner after the Summit
This was my favorite part! A couple of hours after the summit ended, a number of attendees convened for the Summit Celebration Dinner at Langelinie Pavilllonen for an evening of drinks, dinner and dancing. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with other attendees, as well as panelists, from HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark to Amber Valletta.
We were each assigned specific tables at the dinner, and I couldn't have ended up a better one. I knew no one around the table, but I happened to sit next to Caterina Occhio, founder of Seeme, a jewelry company that employs women in Tunisia — often single mothers — who have suffered violence, resulting in their being ostracized by their communities. Needless to say, we immediately hit it off. Her vibrant energy and spirit were contagious, as were her intense knowledge of the jewelry industry and her desire to leverage her work in the space for positive change. The conversation couldn't have come at a better time, as we are on the brink of launching the Fashionkind Fine Jewelry Vault.
At one point I got up from my table and ended up bumping right into designer Prabal Gurung and Maxwell Osborne (Public School), and the rest was history. I will never forget being able to share my story — and that of Fashionkind — with Prabal, someone I so admire in the fashion industry. His unwavering confidence, conviction, passion and dedication to what is right are qualities that deserve the utmost admiration. He knows the power of fashion and how to use it to make the world a better place. I would be remiss not to mention the rapport Maxwell and I had. We've determined that we are brother and sister ... just trust me. P.S. Prabal and Maxwell (and Dao-Yi!): Let's do a FK collab, yes?!
"We grow clothes. We grow people. We grow business for good." — Eileen Fisher
"Doing less bad is not enough. We need to do more good."
"In order to do the right thing you have to pull back the veil and expose your flaws to the consumer who cares. That is how you can truly move forward." — Michael J. Kowalski, CEO, Tiffany & Co.
"Let's turn the race to the bottom into the race to the top." — Lucy Siegel, journalist
"Until we have total transparency from dirt to door of everything we have that goes on behind our products, we risk reputation damage and we are an untrustworthy business. This is not an option. This is a business — and a moral — imperative." — Simon Platts, director of Sourcing, ASOS (Supply Chain Transparency Panel)
"The future isn't a place we're going to, it's a place we're going to create." — Simon Platts
"Do one good thing and you'll want to do more good." — John Moore, designer, Outerknown
"My call to action for you: act." — Maxwell Osborne, designer, Public School
Must Eat, Drink, Shop and Do:
The blueberry pancakes at Next Door Cafe
Everything (!) at Mad & Kaffe
Chia-Porridge Summer Special Porridge at Grød
Vegetar-brunch at Paludan
Burger & fries at Bistro Royal
Risotto at Grød
Iced matcha, grapefruit "kyoto style" and avocado smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) at Atelier September
Grab-n-go: traditional hotdog from døp (with all the toppings!)
Mother: For the meat lovers: the prosciutto pizza; for the classic pie: the margherita pizza
Fischer: where to go if you're craving real-deal Italian food and a break from crowds of tourists
The Chicken from Hopballe Mill at Väkst
Everything (!) at Llama (it's tapas style, so order a few plates each)
The rhubarb trifle at Geist (to DIE for!)
The creme brulee donut at Paper Island
Time's Up: amazing vintage luxury finds for both men and women. Located right around the corner from døp — be sure to stop there for some pre-shopping fuel
LIAFI Studio: more vintage luxury, but with a more contemporary selection
Boutique: Barbara I Gongini & Salotto42 Collab Store: perfect for elevated twists on classic staple pieces in my favorite color (and the NYC uniform) black!
Home: Stilleben No. 22
Designers: Aiayu, Fonnesbech, Barbara I Gongini, Ganni, Henrik Vibskov, Shamballa Jewels
Must Drink: Aperol Spritz at Nebbiocolo
Take a stroll on Overgaden Oven Vandet: a beautiful romantic, quiet(er) street along the water
Sit in the lounge chairs along the water at Paper Island after grabbing a bite and a drink inside
Pack a picnic and head to the Botanical Garden
Wander the length of Sankt Peders Stræde in Nørreport
Bike the city (if you're brave enough) to experience it all at a leisurely pace