Besides the umbrella organization Copenhagen Fashion Week, the fashion week consists of a line of other actors including the trade fairs: CIFF/CIFF KIDS, Vision, and Gallery. The event altogether is the most important sales and PR platform for the Danish fashion industry in regards to national and international buyers and journalists. The estimated number of visitors during fashion week is approximately 35-40,000 and 40% of these are foreign visitors; there are approx. 35-40 runway shows on the show schedule every season. Each season more than 500 media including bloggers cover Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Courtesy of the official press kit I hereby want to republish a truly interesting background read on DK fashion industry, because one of the reasons Frön was established is the poor export and visibility of fashion industry in the Baltic Sea Region, hence we inevitably look up towards the Danish scene and know-how (we intend to cooperate with). So, here goes.
"The financial situation of the Danish fashion industry – 2013
Although the financial crisis began more than five years ago, the financial recession has yet to be replaced by progress. This concerns both society in general and the cyclical fashion industry especially.The sale of clothes, shoes, and accessories can still not be characterized as exuberant but after an economically tough 2012, where recession ruled across the board (from domestic wholesale to export), 2013 showed vague signs of improvement.
From 2012 to 2013 the total turnover in the fashion industry rose – excluding retail sale – with 0.3 percent to 38.7 billion DKK. Numbers from Dansk Fashion & Textile and Statistics Denmark indicate this rise.
The reason behind this minor rise in turnover is to be found beyond Danish boarders, since the export of Danish Fashion rose 2.7 percent in 2013 compared to the prior year. Combined export makes up nearly 60 percent of the Danish fashion industry’s turnover and in cash that amounts to 22.9 billion DKK in 2013. If you take a closer look at export it is still near markets that does the hard work. Danish fashion industry’s top three export countries are Germany, Sweden, and Norway, which combined equals half of the fashion export.
However, the large markets that were behind the biggest progress in 2013 were located a bit more south. The top export performer of 2013 was the French market, which rose with 15 percent compared to 2012. Other markets also rose in 2013, namely Belgium (+13 percent), Great Britain (+8 percent), and Italy (+8 percent).
The heavy Danish market
While export indicated a positive development, 2013 was tough in a different way for the Danish fashion companies’ domestic wholesale. Once again the turnover dropped. The past five years the Danish wholesale has been struggling on the domestic market. In 2009 the domestic sale was nearly 15.1 billion DKK while in 2013 it ended up at 14.2 billion DKK.
This development is mutually dependent on the development in the domestic retail trade, which also struggles. According to numbers from Statistics Denmark (repeated in WEAR’s report ’Den Danske Modebranche 2014’) clothing sales has been dropping since the end of 2007 – with minor exceptions - and since the end of 2009 clothing sales has even been above the index of retail trade in general. From a positive perspective exactly this cyclical sensitivity means that the fashion industry is an industry, which can expect the most progress once the cycle in the national economy and consumer trust turns around, writes WEAR.
Development in e-commerce
Danish e-commerce is continuously on the rise - since 2009 the combined Danish e-commerce has almost doubled. According to Danish E-commerce Association (FDIH) the combined e- commerce turnover in Denmark was 32 billion DKK in 2009 while the number in 2013 had risen to 62.4 billion DKK. According to FDIH’s yearly report the product category ‘clothes, shoes, and jewelry’ has accumulated to approximately 16 percent of all e-commerce in Denmark. Thereby, the fashion industry is the second largest online product category only surpassed by the product category ‘film, music, games, and toys’, which also makes up approximately 16 percent.
However, it is worth mentioning that the report shows a heightened tendency to purchase through foreign online shops. Since 2010 the Danish online shops’ share of the accumulated web sales for Danish consumers has declined with 10 percent meaning that Danish online shops in 2013 made up 69 percent of the Danish consumers purchases.
According to FDIH 20 percent of the Danes’ purchases in the product category ‘clothes, shoes, and jewelry’ in 2013 were made through foreign online shops.
Sources: Dansk Fashion & Textile and Statistics Denmark, FDIH (including ’Dansk e- handelsanalyse 2013’), WEAR’s report ’Den Danske Modebranche 2014’"
Another super important issue in fashion is its sustainability but as far as I have had encounters with the industry, being the brand manager of Keta Gutmane, in Latvia where I live (nor EST or LT nearby), sustainability is not a topic often spoken about, hence please take a moment to read the official stand of CPHFW on the issue.
"Fashion week sharpens its focus on sustainability
Copenhagen Fashion Week has intensified its focus on sustainability and launches among other things a line of fun, exciting, and green festival events for citizens to participate in.
When Copenhagen Fashion Week week begins on Sunday it is with a larger focus on sustainability than ever before. Both professionals attending the industry event Copenhagen Fashion Week but also ordinary citizens attending the open Copenhagen Fashion Festival will get to experience it.
CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week, Eva Kruse, explains the enhanced sustainability focus:
“A year ago Financial Times proclaimed that Copenhagen Fashion Week was the greenest fashion week around. That is of course a position we would love to take since we already work intensely with the industry on making it more sustainable. In April Copenhagen was the host of the world’s largest summit on sustainability in fashion, and this season of Copenhagen Fashion Week we are proud to present both brands and initiatives in the program showcasing sustainable solutions and great designs made with care to both people and planet.”
Thus, when fashion week kicks off on August 5 it is with the opening show by Barbara I Gongini, a brand that designs beautiful quality fashion in sustainable materials and based on ethical principals.
Open events on sustainable fashion
With Copenhagen Fashion Festival people in town can look forward to a line of open events centered on sustainable fashion. All citizens are for instance invited to the fashion exhibition New Nordic Fashion at Nikolaj Kunsthal. The exhibition gathers contributions from almost 20 of the Nordic countries’ most prominent brands such as Filippa K, Designers Remix and Marimekko. Through the use of sustainable materials – e.g. milk, seaweed, and recycled bottles – all have created appealing designs without compromising the environment. The exhibition runs from August 4-10.
Thursday August 7 the Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish Parliament, opens its doors and invites the public inside for a debate. With the topic “Do consumers care about how clothes is produced?” representatives from the fashion industry, politicians and the industry’s CSR watchdog DanWatch discuss the consumers’, politicians’ and the industry’s responsibility regarding production conditions.
A green shopping route Green Walk maps a line of shops in Copenhagen that sell sustainable lifestyle products. The route aims at making it easier for the consumer to find the sustainable but fashionable alternatives. Friday August 8 at 1pm The Minister for the Environment Kirsten Brosbøl will leave her footprint on the route when she visits selected stores with CEO Eva Kruse.
As the culmination of the fashion festival, City Hall Square will be transformed into a huge clothing swap market, Global Fashion Exchange. This happens on August 9 and everyone is invited. The purpose of the event is to come to terms with the throw-away culture and put focus on the more sustainable consumption patterns."