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Karl-Johan Persson first speaker for Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2020
Karl-Johan Persson

Karl-Johan Persson first speaker for Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2020

The first prominent speaker unveiled for the 2020 edition of Copenhagen Fashion Summit is Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M Group. He will be in conversation with Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director of The New York Times, to address how high-street brands can rethink the current business model.
The current fashion model and the trajectory of growth are pushing the earth beyond its planetary boundaries and challenging social justice. The 2020 Summit will address the theme Redesigning Growth to steer a discussion on how businesses can approach profitability and reconfigure the parameters of success within our planetary boundaries.
“I’m thrilled that Karl-Johan Persson will be joining us at the 2020 Summit, which will delve into the theme Redesigning Growth. A vast amount of people are unable to afford luxury fashion, so finding solutions to produce sustainable fashion for the masses is crucial. H&M Group has been spearheading sustainability in fashion for more than a decade, and due to their position globally, they have a huge role to play in creating the path forward for a sustainable business model that is in balance with people and our planet,” says Eva Kruse, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda, organiser of Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Copenhagen fashion summit

Persson was appointed CEO for H&M Group in 2009. During his first 10 years as CEO, H&M Group took big steps towards its vision to lead the change towards a circular fashion system, putting tremendous effort into identifying and promoting sustainable innovation, thus challenging the conventional way of thinking.
“The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of our time and, together with the rest of the fashion industry, we have a huge responsibility to address it. It will require collaboration and innovation that can accelerate the transition to a circular economy while enabling sustainable growth. We urgently need to establish how we can provide fashion to a growing population while lowering our climate impact and promoting inclusion and transparency every step of the way,” says Persson.
As the Fashion Director of The New York Times, Friedman leads its global fashion coverage on all platforms. Renowned for her direct and critical approach to fashion, Friedman offers incisive commentary on the industry’s role in sustainability and is thus able to embrace and understand the timely urgency of the 2020 Summit’s theme:
“One of the most pressing issues currently facing fashion is how to reconcile the drive for growth with the need to behave responsibly when it comes to production, supply chain, and the lifespan of clothes – and whether these are actually irreconcilable objectives. How big is big enough? And what will it take to make us answer that question?” says Friedman. – Press release
SUMMIT TRACKS TAILORED TO KEY EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
To dive deeper into specific issue areas, the 2020 Summit programme will be divided into four tracks tailored to key executive functions within fashion brands and retailers: 1) Top leadership (CEOs, COOs and CFOs), 2) communications and marketing, 3) design and creativity and 4) sourcing and purchasing. The aim is to deliver sessions that provide targeted insights into topical challenges. Essentially, the four Summit tracks will allow executives to select job functions to focus on the exact sustainability challenges their company faces. Sessions will be open to all attendees.

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