Copenhagen Fashion Week Sets Precedent by Banning Exotic Skins

Snakeskin boots will be banned at the Copenhagen Fashion Week.

For the last several years the fashion industry has started taking a stand on clothing made out of furs and leathers, but somehow exotic skins and feathers slipped through. Beginning next year however, things are going to start changing.  Copenhagen Fashion Week has recently announced that they will enforce a ban on collections featuring these materials, marking a significant move within the fashion industry against these contentious materials. This initiative positions Copenhagen as a trailblazer in sustainable fashion practices.

As we explored last year in our article What Is Sustainable Fashion?, sustainable fashion is starting to become the norm in the industry. What this means is that as time goes on, more and more people are expecting that the clothing they wear to be designed, manufactured, distributed and used in ways that can be maintained without impacting the environment in a negative way. This includes clothing made from natural and organic materials, clothing that uses recycled materials, clothing with low waste designs, and more. It’s a way to prevent our planet’s natural resources from being deleted.

Copenhagen’s ban isn’t entirely a new idea. Chanel and Burberry, as well as regional fashion weeks such as those in Melbourne, Helsinki, and Stockholm, have banned furs from their lines and on their runways in recent years. As mentioned however the stigma surrounding exotic skins still managed slip through. At that point fur seemed to be the bigger evil, perhaps because of the amount of media coverage it received. Fur has always been the main target of animal activists as well, with some of them splashing models and others wearing fur with animal blood.

This decision by Copenhagen Fashion Week reflects a broader commitment to sustainability within the fashion community. In 2020, the Danish capital established stringent eco-requirements for brands participating in its fashion week, including a prohibition on fur. Building upon this foundation, the event now strengthens its stance by extending the ban to include wild animal skins and feathers.

In addition to the ban, participating brands must demonstrate increased utilization of sustainable materials, responsible sourcing practices, and designs conducive to repair and recyclability. Copenhagen Fashion Week aims to support brands in meeting these new standards through educational initiatives such as webinars.

Under the leadership of CEO Cecilie Thorsmark, Copenhagen Fashion Week is poised to implement these standards effectively next year, signaling a new chapter in the industry’s pursuit of sustainability and ethical fashion practices.

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