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Changing the world through fashion: Eva Kruse at TEDxCopenhagen

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On the brink of potentially dangerous climate change and with attention on corporate social responsibility soaring to new heights, the world needs innovators -- both people and businesses - who can lead the push toward more sustainable solutions. The fashion industry has the potential to be one such innovator, working proactively to address critical environmental, social, and ethical challenges on a global scale. Consumers -- you and I - can play a pivotal role in transitioning the fashion industry towards more sustainable business models that significantly reduce the social and environmental impacts of the industry. My talk is about what every one of us can do to improve our personal footprint and the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry. Eva Kruse is CEO and President of Danish Fashion Institute and Copenhagen Fashion Week. She is also board member of several organizations and companies among them for instance: Nordic Fashion Association, Wonderful Copenhagen and Birger Christensen. Danish Fashion Institute is behind the world's largest and most important event on sustainability and fashion: The Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the next to be held April 2014. Since she graduated in entrepreneurship and leadership from The KaosPilots, Eva Kruse has worked within the worlds of fashion and media, including positions as editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Eurowoman and as a TV host with the Danish television. In 2005, Eva Kruse was one of the co-founders of Danish Fashion Institute and Copenhagen Fashion Week. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Text Comments (29)
JSONG Way (25 days ago)
Inspiring and encouraging speech! Thank you for leading fashion industry revolution!
Ash Ussenova (6 months ago)
how come tshirt be organic? what about transportation? there is no such thing like organic clothing to be fond at any retailer at all. in machu picchu they do clothing made of lama fur. but its kinda far away.
F (9 months ago)
I clicked just so i can laugh at her. Turns out she's 100% right
Pristin KyulWoo (1 year ago)
My dream is to go to Fashion industry but I'm afraid to destroy our planet. :'(
John Thomson (1 year ago)
Fashion is there to create demand, which in turn fuels the industry. It exists entirely to create obsolescence. Go green, wear your clothes out. Her advice on wool is totally true. Sure it doesn't wear as long, but it looks good for much longer, and often comes in Classic styles. Also, most wool is just thrown out by sheep farmers. No point wasting time and money recycling old wool garments.
Burag Gürden (1 year ago)
Are you people kidding? She is disgusting. I am ashamed for being the same kind as she.
Burag Gürden (1 year ago)
Hi Camila, "fashion" is a theme that I even do not enjoy discussing. However you are studying in a beautiful continent, with beautiful and pioneering minds. If you like to take a critical stance and practically create a meaningful term paper revolving around fashion, I would recommend you to analyse the value chains in textile industry and try to reflect what sustainability would mean to the very first chains of the industry. As I stated earlier, the understanding of sustainability is substantially different to final product seller than the raw material producer, who is constantly subject to systematic exploitation within the current business cycles. Even one step further, you might study how "buen vivir" movement approaches to fashion and the subsequent temporary feeling of satisfaction it creates. There is no sustainability for 7.5 billion consumers, it is something like talking about peace while 7.5 billion tigers are walking around... Therefore we should reuse and reduce our demands from environment. Akin to buen vivir, there is degrowth movement in Iberian peninsula, "prosperity withouth growth" movement in the UK. All these movements would dominate in the long term but in the short, when we come to your paper: Global fashion industry is so much segregated that fashion lovers/followers are distanced from all the realities of the world that both companies and customers deliberately ignore the destructive impact of continuous over-consumption and delegate the responsibility to the vicious cycle of economies. I do find her speech disgusting since she creates a dream world by assuming so many fictive stories about sustainability and the functioning of the industry. What sustainability would mean to is complete business cycle responsibility of the seller, like in your case "the multinational brand" should be accountable for the living and working conditions of each finger touching each fabric of each apparel. I hope this contributes to your paper structure. Best
Hi Burag, i'm a fashion studant in São Paulo, right now, i'm working on my term paper, and i'm really trying to make it as a way to research and discover a professional path that include a health and ethical workplace... a professional life that contribute whit society. I don't want to be a remarkable designer, just to build a happy and non abusive professional life whit what I'm studying. I had a experiance as a intern in a famous italian multinational brand that have a franchise here in Brazil, it was about luxury fashion, and I hated it, from the botton of my hart... I honest don't believe that the profession that you chose dictates your caracter, or if you are shallow or whatever... that for me is lack of knowledge of how things really work... and a litlle bit of prejudiced behavior, I hope that you don't believe that to. There is from lawyers to engineers, farmers, shareholders...A bunch of businessmen that don't know the first thing about fashion but know how to make money out of it... On the office that i used to work, there were only two people that had major in fashion, so it is indeed everybody's problem.... Reading your response, I understoond what you meant in the first comment, and it's a really important point, i agree whit you, but i'm looking for some concepts more expecifics that i can use, like what she mention in some parts of her speech about sustainability for example... Something that can help me to not reproduce that kind of abusive and selfish professional posture... thank you for you response,if you have any knowledge or tips that can help me on my project it would be awesome!
Burag Gürden (1 year ago)
Ok, minute by minute: Left side: what she says – Right side: what I say Fashion is fascinating, trendsetting, I help the industry earn more money, by making you all want something new – Who says that? According to whom? Who gets satisfied by the fashion, fast fashion, constant consumption, addiction to trends? Fashion is widely known as the strongest tool of mainstream capitalism to make individuals unsatisfied and unhappy with the things they possess and make them ask for more, strive for more, work for more… Due to fashion, people are continuously judging themselves since there is this perception of ever-changing dress sizes, “best” models, “best” body weights, “best” types of hair color, “best” styles of hair cut… Fashion is consciously (through many means, such as media, advertising, education, market, including this “Ted-talk”) and subconsciously (trough physiological methods via various every-day channels, social media and advertisements being the major channels) imposing people the idea that they should live such a life to fill in and adjust to predetermined shaped and forms (which is again constantly changing); the most basic example is the fact that ladies try so hard to be some number 36 in body size to fit in some number 36 night dress, namely the idea of fitting yourself to a predetermined form and not the vice versa, which would be “being happy with your size and shape, and finding a suitable dress to your body, whatever your weight or waist width etc is…) That’s the nature of the business – If something is exogenous, meaning that it is exposed to an existing system from outside, which we know “fashion” is such a thing, since human nature tends to keep and value his/her belongings (the scientific fact that we keep stuff to remind us our experiences, the experiences of our ancestors, our identity etc.) rather than exploiting them in a short time and throwing them away. That’s creating jobs, that’s a good thing from the cotton farmer to the shop assistant – Good to whom? We can’t simply assume and claim that the cotton business is “good” to those people. Are they also involved in this talk? Do they mention cotton industry as their livelihood? In the global scale cotton farming have one of the highest child-labour rate, cotton farmers are starving in south Asia. Does she even know how much a shop assistant getting paid? I live in Sweden, and probably she lives in Copenhagen, 1 hour far from my home. It’s very easy to tell in Denmark or Sweden that people are happy by being a shop-assistant, without even asking them. But the evillest fact is talking in behalf of cotton-farmers, which do not even exist in our “Nordic” region and assuming this business is good to them where people literally die from for picking cottons 12 hours a day every under sun. I am tired enough. It’s only the first minute of the talk. People of the planet, brothers, sisters. Do research, criticise and seek for the truth, do not get impressed easily since my country has lots of people to impress you and “make you all want something new”, don’t let someone else play the God to you.
Danny R (1 year ago)
Burag Gürden care to explain your baffling remark? What exactly are you criticizing? Because I heard a great speech.
why she is disgusting?
Macarena Algorta (1 year ago)
Awesome!. Soo inspiring.
Dana Plantasia (1 year ago)
Love it
harnaaz miley cirus (1 year ago)
Hey! Can I get in written what she said as soon as possible. Do help! 🙂
coletta morandini (1 year ago)
Always useful to listen. Thanks from Italy.
Napier Latierra (1 year ago)
that was great speech! join each ideas!
Capsule Method (1 year ago)
What a great TEDx talk!
great speech!
Berfin Eroğlu (9 months ago)
Justine Leconte officiel so glad to see your comment here ❤
Peter Janik (2 years ago)
Globalization = concentration of the destruction for the local ecosystems for the higher profitability.... More than fashion seasonable trendy things are an ecoLOGICAL future steps on our magnificent RAREST LIVING planet 🌍 Earth.
The Cookie's Room TV (2 years ago)
Absolutely stunning talk, I am sharing these beliefs and ideas, I created my own blog and vlog and I am now getting involved in ethical Fashion. Thank you so much for your positive energy, positivity and amazing references, this is going to change the world of Fashion. I would love to know more about you. Best Cookie from The Cookie's roomTV
fцику мцику (1 year ago)
I hope your ethical fashion is truly ethical by not contributing to animal exploitation.
Li Jennifer (3 years ago)
awesome.awesome.Thanks for this knowledge
So how much water is used for grinding the clothes into new fibres? and how much energy from machines that does the job? Isn't it just new ways of doing things but just moving the energies around?
Yeah, Apple also starting some buildup here in Denmark I wonder why they don't use the solar ideas. But maybe it's coming later.....I guess we'll have to see where time leaves this issue.
1Jarra (3 years ago)
I take your point, but it's the start of something that could be extremely effective! At least there can't be as much water used or toxic pesticides used in the process. Also, what if those recycling plants/facilities could be run on sustainable, renewable power? Apple is preparing for a huge 'solar farm' in the Monterey area which will be able to completely power all of its stores throughout California. There are also power cells that have been created which dramatically increase the output of electricity that is put into them, and companies such as Google are purchasing these to help run their own offices and centres. We are not going to be totally neutral, that is true, but in connecting all of our options and possibilities, the changes we make could be tremendous. 
Nicholas Krøyer (4 years ago)
Pia, I'm all for not hurting animals where it's possible. And I don't wear fur. But wasn't fur the first and most natural thing you could ever wear? And btw, she works for Danish Fashion Industry, which consists of 200 companies in the fashion industry - some with a darker, and some with a brighter perspective on sustainability. She wants to turn things, and it takes guts to say something like this when her salary consists of if the fashion industry likes what she is doing.
Pia Mørk (4 years ago)
She works for the fur trade industri - Kopenhagen Fur! Now that's what I call false marketing! The largest fur trade Company in the world want a green image?! Fur is not green! The fur trade industri is all about bloody cash, apathy and ignorance!
MissEvilLyn (1 year ago)
what is your source? I couldn´t find any fur connection. She is the CEO of the Danish Fashion Institute.

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