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Berlin Fashion Week heightens its sustainability requirements

Following steps taken by Copenhagen Fashion Week, the event taking place in Berlin will require its designers to meet new environmentally conscious targets.

In attempts to repair the fashion industry’s poor environmental reputation, numerous fashion weeks across Europe are heightening their sustainability requirements for brands and designers.

Back in April, Copenhagen announced it would be banning exotic animal skins and feathers from its runways, just two years after it decided to ban fur. It also stated that a minimum of 50 percent of designers’ collections should be made of ‘certified or new generation sustainable materials, such as upcycled, recycled, or deadstock fabrics.’

Now, Berlin’s organisers have decided to follow suit. Announced Thursday by the Fashion Council Germany, Berlin will adopt the Sustainability Requirements developed in Copenhagen, aiming to accelerate sustainability measures in the fashion sectors of both the Nordic and German markets.

Scott Lipinski, CEO of Fashion Council Germany, emphasised the collaborative feel of this initiative.

‘We want to lead by example and further start the conversation on this topic to stimulate a turnaround in the industry,’ he told FashionUnited. ‘We are convinced that this will not only influence upcoming collections, but also inspire emerging designers in their ground values.’

Instead of looking to compete with other fashion weeks to become the most sustainable, the event’s organisers have stressed the cooperative nature of the decision to make change, as well as the unified effort that will be needed to reshape fashion into a more environmentally friendly industry.

Chart: The Hidden Carbon Footprint of the Fashion Industry | Statista

While Berlin Fashion Week is aligning with Copenhagen Fashion Week’s Sustainability Requirements, adjustments will be made to better reflect Berlin’s unique values. The focus will include diversity, equality, inclusion, and creativity, echoing the city’s broader social ethos.

Germany will also place emphasis on transparency and traceability within the fashion supply chain. Lipinski hopes these efforts will encourage brands to communicate more openly with consumers about their production processes and value chains.

The concrete details of these criteria will be announced in the coming months, with full implementation for the 35 labels officially participating in the event set for February 2026. This gradual rollout includes an introduction and pilot phase to ensure a smooth transition.

Berlin’s commitment to sustainability is further supported by Michael Biel, the state secretary for the economy. He pledged financial backing of 180,000 euros until 2025 to bolster Berlin’s position as a leader in sustainable fashion.

 

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As both fashion weeks adopt shared values, the mutual goal is clear: to drive significant change in the fashion industry’s sustainability practices.

This collaboration is not just about setting better standards, but also about kickstarting a long-overdue cultural shift within the industry.

Making sustainability at top priority at these prestigious fashion weeks sends a powerful message to the global fashion community. It demonstrates the importance of inclusivity, transparency, and environmental responsibility – and shows that it is possible to achieve at the highest level.

As the fashion world watches on, the actions taken by Berlin and Copenhagen could set a new precedent for fashion events around the world, showing that the future of fashion can and should be sustainable and ethical.

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