8 Consciously Designed Brands Spotted at Copenhagen Fashion Week '23
This autumn/winter 2023 edition of Copenhagen Fashion Week was marked by sustainability-driven efforts both for the Fashion Week’s operations but also for the brands, who were required to meet the high standards of sustainability set by The Sustainability Action Plan 2020-2022. To celebrate brands that “drive positive change and contribute to a more responsible fashion industry” 1, Copenhagen Fashion Week partnered with Zalando for the Zalando Sustainability Awards. Three finalists out of the twenty-eight brands who participated in CHFW this year were selected by an international jury of thought leaders, including sustainability and fashion leaders.
The three Zalando Sustainability Award finalists this year were the brands, Selam Fessanhaye, Stamm, and TG Botanical, each of which prove to be innovative, changemakers in the field of sustainable fashion.
1. Selam Fessanhaye
Instagram | @zelamfezzahye
Based in | Sweden
One of the finalists of the Zalando Sustainability Award at Copenhagen Fashion Week 2023 and multi-award-winning designer, Selam Fessanhaye, has earned the moniker, “Changemaker” because of its diverse representation on the runways and space-making for underrepresented communities. Since its introduction to the fashion world in 2018, this Swedish-based designer has made social and environmental sustainability the core of its design, communication, and business model. The use of leftover materials and upcycling of preloved garments that are reworked embodies the brand's circularity and sustainable thinking. Garments are produced locally to maintain production transparency and made to have multiple lives for owners, working to reduce environmental impact. In a short time, Selam Fessanhaye’s sustainable mindset and diverse representation have drawn attention from media outlets, such as Vogue Us and Harper’s Bazaar, and garments have been worn by the likes of Beyonce, Lil Nas X, and Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.
Instagram | @stamm.exchange
Based in | Denmark
Stamm is another finalist of the Zalando Sustainability Award at this year’s Copenhagen Fashion Week autumn/winter 2023 edition. Driven by principles of forward thinking and exchange, the Danish brand offers gender-fluid high fashion with a low-key approach of a global outlook, an inclusive, and embracive character. Designs, which are dimensional and organic shapes that provide variability in styling for all genders and backgrounds, are created for longevity and made from consciously sourced materials. These sustainability-focused garments are handmade from naturally processed Indian fabrics combined with recycled man-made fabrics. Furthermore, the brand aims for transparency and traceability through the supply chain and uses RDS-certified goose down and kapok fibre fillings 1.
3. TG Botanical
Instagram | @tg.botanical
Based in | Ukraine
Based in Ukraine, TG Botanical is the third finalist for the Zalando Sustainability Award at the Autumn/winter ‘23 Copenhagen Fashion Show. Stated as being “a clothing line for which technology and nature are in tune”, TG Botanical exhibits earth-toned pieces, a direct result of the sustainable plant-based fabrics, nettle, flax, and hemp, used in production. The farm-run brand experiments with natural dying processes that use plant pigments obtained from tansy flowers, acorns, onion husks, and coffee beans. Made up of a team of 30 talented women, the brand is involved in every part of the local production process, as they planted the fields where they source their environmentally- sustainable fabrics. The brand’s conscious practices don’t stop at production, partnering with RE-leaf to produce packaging made from recycled leaf litter. Overall, TG Botanical works to maintain social and environmental sustainability through the production life cycle of their products.
4. (di) vision
Instagram | @di_vsn
Based in | Denmark
(di)vision’s motto “Create from what already is” perfectly sums up the brand’s sustainable business model. Launched in Copenhagen in 2018, the brand transforms Italian-sourced deadstock into “one-of-a-kind” garments, which are locally produced. To avoid the environmental impact of overstocking, products are made from the amount of fabric available. Once the fabric runs out, it will not be used again. However, the mainline designs are made from a mix of cut-and-sew products and pre-existing products bought in bulk, allowing customers to buy their favorite designs in different consciously- sourced fabrics. Under (di)vision’s
(di) construct line, vintage stock like Old Carhartt jackets or levis jeans, to old tablecloths, military tents, or parachutes are upcycled into new innovative garments that will only be produced as unique 1-of-1 items in their Copenhagen studio. The brand also practices social sustainability by supporting small businesses in the production process. Overall, the minimalist production processes used by (di)vision help reduce the environmental impact of overproduction in the fashion industry.
5. The Garment
Instagram | @the.garment
Based in | Denmark
The Garment is a Copenhagen -based women’s clothing brand that focuses on a singular aesthetic and minimalist approach to fashion to promote its aim for timeless pieces. “Owning less by buying right” sets the foundation for this mission. As part of 1% for the planet, the brand donates 1% of annual revenue to non-profit organizations that are dedicated to protecting the planet, its ecosystems, and its wildlife. Going a step further to maintain transparency, the CO2 impact of each garment produced is calculated through the production process and works to offset the equivalent amount through a partnership with the Norweigan climate company, Chooose, creating a tangible way to combat climate change.
Instagram | @holzweiler
Based in | Norway
Holzweiler is an Olso-based clothing brand whose products are built for durability and provides repair services for their products to extend their lifespan and reduce waste. Employing processes to increase sustainability, the brand aims for supply-chain traceability, where producers are screened, circular economy processes, and customer involvement. Materials are certified, recycled rather than virgin, and durable to reduce environmental impact. Plastic-free packaging is also used. Holzweiler goes a step further by offering resell and rental services for their products to prevent them from ending up in landfills.
Based in | Denmark
Founded in Copenhagen in 1994, Munthe is a “conscious heritage” 3 brand offering women’s luxury ready-to-wear clothing that “represents the carefree attitude of the cool, casual Scandinavian woman” 4 Sustainability, combined with art and driven for female empowerment push this bran to practice conscious design and production by selecting sustainable materials, an improving process. Munthe implemented a policy framework to support more sustainable practices including CSR strategy, Code of Conduct, preferred low-impact material list, animal welfare- a climate, travel, packaging, wrapping, and purchase policy. Supporting the best working conditions for employees and suppliers is also part of its social sustainability measures.
8. Rabens Saloner
Based in | Denmark
Rabens Saloner is a brand where culture meets sustainability. The women’s clothing brand uses natural handmade and dying techniques from Bali for its fabrics to create one-of-a-kind tie-dyes. Inspired by people, nature, and cultures, Rabens Saloner celebrates the diversity of women through their garments which are produced based on the Triple Bottom Line. Certified fabric and limited mixed fabrics are used to create each garment, which at the end of life is aimed to be turned into vintage pieces. No unsold clothing is destroyed for this brand.
Inclusive, innovative sustainability drives these brands to make the fashion industry better for our planet; however, these are only a few of the growing number of conscious brands from around the world. If you are interested in learning about more sustainable brands and sustainability tips, subscribe to ConsiderBeyond Newsletter to keep up to date, and download the ConsiderBeyond App to discover more brands!