Fashionably sustainable

As recently shared on our Danish Sustainable Events blog, this week Copenhagen is hosting Europe’s second largest Fashion Show. Sustainability has become a very critical element of fashion design and manufacturing with mainstream and haute-couture  designers  such as Vivienne Westwood  champion better more ethical and eco practices. Next June,  Copenhagen will host  the Copenhagen Fashion Summit – the worlds most important meeting about sustainability and the fashion world.

While this is brilliant, if you have ever been to a Fashion Week, then you may have notices how incredibly wasteful and non-green the majority of them are. It seems that on whole the principle of sustainability need to be much better integrated into the organisation of the actual fashion shows.

To debate this question lets look to Asia and see how the Chinese approached sustainability with the Shanghai Fashion Week. For the 2011 Closing Show the organisers decided to take a bold step and work to make the event more sustainable. The attached sustainability report and video that we produced using the GRI Reporting guidelines shares their approach, their achievements and their learnings. It’s an interesting case study showing how organisers can implement sustainability into event even in areas where sustainable infrastructure, knowledge  and services are limited.

Asian Meetings Industry Predictions 2011

I was asked to provide my predictions for the Meetings Industry in 2011 for a nice article for CEI Asia. The document has some really interesting perspectives and makes for good reading.

CEI Asia Jan 11 Predictions.pdf

Here are my comments:

It has been a solid year for sustainability in the meetings industry and I am impressed by many of the actions taken by organisations around the world. Looking across the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) membership, I have seen a growing number of businesses that have elevated sustainability to a strategic management priority and have taken actions to embed CSR into day-to-day practices.

However, while 2010 was a good year we must ask whether ‘good’ is good enough? Global resource issues, destruction of nature and unhealthy practices continue. Oil prices will go up and the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity is only worsening. The meetings and events industry is not doing enough and together we need to step up, scale up and speed up. Sustainability is a key management competence. It is good for profit, builds trust and gives competitive advantage.

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