Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


April 30th, 2012

N.I.C.E – Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2012

The fashion industry is one of the comparatively most polluting and socially challenged industries – cotton production alone is the second most polluting crop after corn and the industry has long outsourced production to low wage countries and exploited low levels of regulation. While the challenges for the fashion industry may seem daunting, hope and willingness exists to pool resources and continue to raise awareness and share knowledge towards innovative solutions and an improved sustainability footprint for the global fashion industry.

This May 3rd 2012 we will be at the Copenhagen Opera House attending The Copenhagen Fashion Summit held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.  This is part of a range of initiatives under the project NICE – Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical – which is a joint commitment from the Nordic fashion industry to create a movement within the fashion industry towards a more environmental and social responsible fashion industry. NICE is facilitated by Danish Fashion Institute for Nordic Fashion Association.

We will be attending to link and network with such industry stakeholders and introduce African fashion and textiles to them and hopefully get them on board with what is happening in Africa. On speaking with the team we understand that there will not be anyone else coming who is representing Africa, hopefully this has changed since we spoke to them, but either way we are glad to attend and to be there discussing and representing Africa just from being there.

We also believe that the fashion industry has the potential to be an innovator, working proactively to address critical environmental, social, and ethical challenges on a global scale. To accomplish this, the UN and NICE have agreed on the development of the first sector-specific initiative under the Global Compact.

“As an industry facing serious and widely publicized social and environmental challenges, the fashion and textile industry is uniquely positioned to launch a sectoral initiative under the umbrella of the UN Global Compact,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact. “We are very excited about this effort and look forward to collaborating with NICE and its partners.”

Building on past successes, the 2012 Summit is determined to once again set innovative new objectives for a sustainable fashion industry towards 2020 and create new solutions for policy-making, joint ventures and hands-on projects for fashion companies.

Hosting the world’s largest and most important conference on sustainability and CSR in the fashion industry. Copenhagen continues to set the global agenda on environmental, social, and economically sustainable solutions the Copenhagen Fashion Summit will mark the sectoral approach from UN. With 800-1.000 international participants and key notes from leading international designers, fashion companies, and experts at the Summit a new fashion industry specific Code of Conduct based on the UN Global Compact will be launched. The main aim of this biennial summit is to gather key industry stakeholders to identify new opportunities and forward-looking solutions for the global fashion industry to tackle the growing sustainability challenges facing the planet.


With top executives from leading international industry decision makers and leading experts among the selected speakers the Copenhagen Fashion Summit continues to be the preferred networking platform for cutting-edge research and knowledge development on sustainability and CSR in the fashion industry.

  • Rick Ridgeway, Chairman of Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia
  • Helena Helmersson, Head of Sustainability, H&M
  • George Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact
  • Galahad Clark, CEO, Terra Plana
  • Bruno Pieters, Honest By. Bruno Pieters

copenhagen-fashion-summit – image

The Fashion Summit 2009 was a one-day event held at the amazing Copenhagen Opera House. The summit included lectures by prominent speakers, presentations, exhibitions, and a spectacular runway competition by Nordic designers. Industry experts and members of the fashion industry such a:
Laurent Claquin, Senior VP of CSR for PPR (Gucci Group)
Christian Kemp-Griffin, Chief Mission Officer of Edun
Manuel Baigorri, Director of Social & Environmental Sustainability of Levi Strauss & Co.
Julie Gilhart, VP and Senior Buyer of Barneys New York
Peter Ingwersen, Founder and Creative Director of Noir
Ros Harvey, Global Programme Manager of the Better Work programme
…gave inspiring speeches on how and why they work with CSR, and suggestions on what a more sustainable fashion industry looks like.

The strong coalition between the fashion industry (represented by the network organisation Danish Fashion Institute with its Nordic partners) and the UN will enable one of the world’s largest industries to move towards a more sustainable future. Eva Kruse, Chairman of the Nordic Fashion Association and CEO of the Danish Fashion Institute, said:

”We are very excited to be leading the process to develop a platform that can unite especially small and medium-sized fashion companies across borders globally to help tackle the challenges that our industry and planet faces. Fashion has historically had the capacity to affect the society as a whole, and therefore fashion is a great place to start building a new creative future aligned with the ecosystem we are all a part of. We look very much forward to engaging leading experts and leaders of international fashion companies in the work of creating a meaningful and ambitious tool for the global fashion industry.”

The main purpose of NICE is raising awareness and promoting responsible and sustainable business practices. As this involves a high level of new information and learning for the involved parties, it should be emphasized that NICE is an educational process making knowledge, network and information available to the fashion industry.

Look out for our report on this event in the following weeks


For more information see:



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