MISTRA Future Fashion Symposium

Opportunities and barriers for integrating social and environmental issues in different stages of the fashion lifecycle

Onsdag, 2 maj, 2012 - 09:00 to 16:30

The fashion industry is not only known for being an important economic actor in Denmark and abroad. The industry has also attracted negative attention for having significant negative impacts on people and the environment. A few examples are provided below:

  • Clothing has a high environmental footprint compared to others products (Chapman, 2010). For instance, extensive use of pesticides and water makes conventional cotton production one of the most polluting crops in the world (Giesen, 2008).

  • Chemicals used in clothing and textile manufacturing cause serious damage on local communities and the environment. Recently, Greenpeace launched a campaign against some of the world’s biggest fashion companies because hazardous chemicals were found in a number of major brands (Greenpeace, 2011a; 2011b).

  • Fashion creates a lot of waste. As an example, an average UK consumer sends 30 kg of clothing and textiles to the landfill and only 15 percent of disposed clothing and textiles are recycled and reused (Allwood et al., 2006).

Poor labor conditions at supplier factories constitute a serious problem to the fashion industry (Allwood et al., 2006). For instance, a Norwegian study concludes that 9 out of 13 textile companies had discovered problems with working conditions among suppliers within the last five years (Blomgren, 2011).

In recognition of the abovementioned social and environmental challenges, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA) has launched the MISTRA Future Fashion Programme, a four-year initiative intended to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the fashion industry. The research consortium has participation of scientists from a wide range of disciplines, covering areas such as sustainable design, management and innovation, consumer research, life cycle analysis, recycling, public policy making etc. More information on MISTRA Future Fashion Programme can be found here: www.mistrafuturefashion.com  

As part of the MISTRA Future Fashion Programme, Copenhagen Business School (CBS) will host an international symposium on sustainable fashion on May 2. The Symposium will have participation of both researchers and practitioners who will discuss the potentials for mainstreaming sustainability within the fashion industry. The focus of the Symposium is on the opportunities and barriers for integrating social and environmental issues in different stages of the fashion lifecycle – from design to final disposal and reuse of clothes.     

Speakers at the Conference

The MISTRA Future Fashion Symposium will have participation of a number of leading fashion practitioners and researchers. The list of speakers includes:

  • Desiré Rex (Swerea IVF): Moving towards eco-efficient textile materials and processes.

  • André Martinuzzi (Institute for Managing Sustainability): Sustainability/CSR approaches among European Fashion companies.

  • Catarina Midby (H&M): H&M’s work on sustainable fashion.

  • Esben R.G. Pedersen (CBS): Sustainability innovation and business models

  • Greg Peters (Chalmers): Assessing production: how much water did we use?

  • Anna Palme (Chalmers): Reuse, recycling and end of life issues.

  • Jessica Aschemann-Witzel (Aarhus University): Promoting sustainable consumption: Lessons from health promotion in the food sector.

  • Mikael Lindström (Innventia/Konstfack): Fashion for the public sector.

  • Patrik Hall (Malmö University): Policy instruments for sustainability.

  • Peder Michael Pruzan-Jørgensen (BSR): Global trends in corporate sustainability practices.

  • Rebecca Earley (Textile Futures Research Centre): Interconnected design thinking and processes for sustainable textiles and fashion.

  • Vigga Svensson (Katvig): Challenges and Opportunities from implementing sustainability.

  • Wencke Gwozdz (CBS): Sustainable Consumption and Consumer Behaviour.

Minor changes in the Symposium programme may occur. More details about the Symposium will be communicated to the participants prior to the event.


Registration for the MISTRA Future Fashion Symposium is required. Registrations should be sent on email to Jennifer Van Sickle (jvs.ikl@cbs.dk). Registration should include full name, title, organizational affiliation, telephone, and email. 

The deadline for registration to the MISTRA Future Fashion Symposium is April 20.

Participation in the MISTRA Future Fashion Symposium is free. The maximum number of participants is 100.

More Information

For questions about the event, please contact Asssociate Professor Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen (erp.ikl@cbs.dk), Copenhagen Business School Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR), Porcelænshaven 18, 2000 Frederiksberg C, Tel: +45 38 15 27 41.

Sidst opdateret: Communications // 12/10/2012