Youth Fashion Summit 2017 – drafting the first UN resolution on fashion!
From May 9 to 10, the Youth Fashion Summit (YFS), a program led by the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA), brought together the new generation of students and fashion professionals with the aim of generating Inputs to transform the industry. Providing high-level discussions to real problems, this program aims to prepare new professionals with knowledge and networking, thus guaranteeing sustainable core values on the work of the professionals of the future.
The Youth Fashion Summit is part of the agenda of one of the most relevant congress in sustainable fashion today: the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (CFS) held annually in Denmark.
During the YFS 2017, fifty selected students were given the task of starting the first-ever draft of a United Nations’ fashion resolution, to be presented at official event later this year in New York City. The document was based on the demands put forward during the YFS 2016, which drawn upon the fashion interference in each of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, indicators calling on countries to mobilize efforts to end all ways of poverty, combating inequalities and tackling climate change.
The YFS was held in the two days preceding the CFS, and featured inspirational presentations, such as the event’s ambassador, blogger and influencer Susie Lau – which, in addition to directing its unique look at sustainable fashion issues, has been trying to understand how the press can inform consumers and help expand this transformation into action. Simon Collins, founder and CEO of Fashion Culture Design Series, gave the group relevant concepts on presentation, positioning and values of products and brands, encouraging designers to create attractive solutions, emphasizing the need to have a purpose.
“Create Value, Not Profit” Simon Collins.
Dax Lovegrove, Swarovski’s Global Vice President of Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility, brought to the summit different perspectives on the subject, noting that the changes towards sustainability address three different areas:
Foot Print: which refers to our relationship and impact to the environment;
Political Print: responsibility and social initiatives;
Mind Print: that talks about our change of mentality and behaviour.
The students were divided into 7 different groups, working on different SDGs, with the aim of developing ideas to form the first United Nations resolution on sustainable fashion. Each group was able to present and receive feedback on their ideas in a direct and sincere conversation with representatives from each sector: government institutions were represented by the European Environment Agency (EEA), Swarovski representing the luxury sector, H & M as mainstream fashion, Li & Fung as a manufacturer, and Greenpeace as a representative of civil society.
The result of this work was exhibited on the main stage of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, for more than 800 fashion leaders, NGOs, politics, universities and other important stakeholders. Presented by Professor Dilys Williams, Director of the Center for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion, representatives from each group expressed a brief version of the extreme points needed to be changed, calling on the industry and members involved to commit urgently. The full text can be read here.
“Sustainable fashion is not just the “right” thing to do, but it is where the future of fashion meets.” Susie Lau
Me, as a Circular Fashion Change Agent, founder of Cirkla Modo – a consultancy and educational firm attending Europe and Brazil, I feel definitely proud of being invited to contribute with my experience and ideas to the topic. And taking what Simon Colins said, that “it’s not what you say – it is what people hear“, and answering Livia Firth’s question whether the industry would hear it or not:
I truly expect so and can say I’m working (loud) on it!