Saturday, 19 May 2012

Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2012

I was recently emailed asking for my views on the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. At first I was excited: ‘Someone wants to know what I think and publish it’. I read further into the email and I realised it must have been for someone else (boo) as the email went on to ask for my opinions due to my attendance. Not for me then; I politely replied and told the sender I believed that they had contacted the wrong person as I did not attend. Should I have done this or should I have blagged my way through to get my name in an article? Who knows?

Not all bad, the email actually highlighted the conference to me so I researched further. I discovered the conference was organised by NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical) whom I had previously come across during my studies.

In attendance were 1,043 key industry stakeholders of the fashion industry (yes, unfortunately I was not one of them) from 27 different countries with the focus on discussing ways on how to involve and engage consumers in sustainable consumption.  The summit unveiled 16 principles for establishing an ‘industry-wide common ground for ethical and fair business’:

Human Rights

1. Businesses must support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.
2. Businesses must make sure that they are not complicit in human-rights abuses.


3. Businesses must uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
4. Businesses must eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

Child Labour

5. Businesses will not accept child labour and do their utmost to determine the correct age of the workers employed by them and their subcontractors.
6. Businesses must eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


7. Businesses must support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.
8. Business must undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.
9. Businesses must encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Anti Corruption

10. Businesses must work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.


11. In businesses where animals are used for labour and/or production, such animals must be treated with dignity and respect. No animal must be deliberately harmed or exposed to pain.


12. Businesses and their designers must work actively to encourage and support sustainable design and design processes.


13. Businesses must through their choice and treatment of models promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy body ideals, and the models’ minimum age must be 16 during fashion weeks and other occasions where the workload is excessive.


14. Businesses must work towards transparency in their supply chains.


15. Businesses must work towards a stronger commitment between retailers, suppliers, and subcontractors to reinforce the development of a secure mining industry.

Monitoring and Evaluation

16. All businesses involved must at all times be open and accessible for announced, semi-announced, and unannounced audits for monitoring and evaluation of compliance with the code of conduct.

Please follow link to view the NICE Code of Conduct Manual in more detail. This is a 112 page pdf, not easy reading. I plan to start reading (or at least browsing) now, it may take a while.

If someone thought I went this year, I can only hope I’ll get an invite next year. It may just happen, you never know.

Image sources: Ecosalon

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