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July 2018

“ Helsinki Fashion Week was named The Most Progressive Fashion Event 2018” – Olivia Petter, The Independent

Illustration and Design by Studio Symbiosis


Nordic Fashion Week Association is an internationally recognised, not-for-profit non-governmental global problem solver. As an organisation, NFW is working to advance the Nordic and international sustainability of fashion, textile and trading industries. We give the fashion industry players a high quality platform to communicate transparently to consumers and B2B sector about their products, production processes, materials’ origin and life-cycles as well as innovations, solutions and their effects on both environment and economy.

We point out connections across different industries to foster collaborations and leverage advanced technologies, big data management, bio-economy etc. in order to inspire better solutions to existing initiatives and innovations’ challenges.We develop a framework to evaluate, scale up and commercialise innovations aiming to explore the ways to attract greater investment, R&D, visibility and multidisciplinary expertise through cross-collaborations globally.

In addition, we investigate the transition of the fashion industry into circular economy and tackle identified challenges in recycling systems, resources optimisation, application of full traceability tools and communication by testing the visions from theory to practice. Annually we showcase outstanding new sustainable brands and designers to international buyers and press.

We inspire industry leaders to rethink and recreate collaborative solutions with action-based agenda to set the right methods for the future.

“ Helsinki is the first fashion week aiming to reach 100% sustainability. Bringing together 30 brands to the EcoVillage that are driven by circularity and zero-waste approach.”— Melina Wu, VOGUE China

Since the first Helsinki Fashion Week in 2015, we have brought together people and concepts, talked about issues and solutions, and shared and listened to ideas to inspired each other without prejudices. Together with our partners and supporters Helsinki Fashion Week has created a annual platform and space for creativity and trade, in order to create public information for everyone to benefit from while moving across sectors, disciplines and geographical areas. Thus, in 2018 we asked our partners to imagine a world where everything was based on circular economy and sustainable values, a world that was connecting and co-creating between various industries and a place where waste was not an option. This anticipated utopia-like reality – the EcoVillage – finally materialised in Öljysäiliö 468 at Kruunuvuorenranta, Helsinki, during July 20–25.

The Helsinki Fashion Week EcoVillage brought together 35 designers from 16 countries, who all represented their unique visions of sustainable fashion and lifestyle. By inviting several international journalists from over 21 major publications Helsinki Fashion Week gained extensive international coverage ranging from Vogue to Marie Claire to V-Magazine, lifting Helsinki into the spotlight of the international audience. Most importantly, Helsinki

“Helsinki Fashion Week was not your average fashion week. This Finnish sartorial showcase was touted as the world’s first fashion week aiming for 100% sustainability offering a platform for labels that are both eco-friendly and fashionforward.” – Noor ul Sabah, Vogue Middle-East/Arabia

Fashion Week combined 48 partner organisations across 15 industries*, strengthening our tradition of openness and collaboration. The EcoVillage created networking possibilities and new business opportunities by engaging in cross-industry knowledge exchange through an exhibition, 6 workshops, 3 panel discussions, 4 partner events, and a start-up panel. Co-created with our partners, the interactive, free-of-charge and open-to-all EcoVillage offered unique experiences for both, industry experts and consumers, nurturing the visitor’s mental and physical wellbeing while introducing the latest advancements in technology and sustainable textile and fashion.

Therefore, 2018 was a year of selected partners who are looking into the future and better – already living it. The EcoVillage platform engaged in strategic partnerships with industry-leaders, entrepreneurs and companies representing different market segments and geographies, who lead by example in their dedication to drive sustainable and technological progress, while demonstrating strong creative leadership in support of Helsinki Fashion Week’s mission. With these carefully selected partnerships, we know we are able to target and offer only best products and services for local and international market, but also to inspire progress in creditable and innovative way. Now, we welcome you to take advantage of this momentum and take it from inspiration to exchange, from visions to strategy, and from words to action. We encourage all our partners to utilise this opportunity of the Helsinki Fashion Week EcoVillage by connecting, networking, interacting, and co-creating via new ventures and sustainable opportunities together with each other. We hope that you feel the same passion for being part of this unique and exceptional crowd as we feel for having you, but most importantly – we want to thank all of you for bringing the 2018 EcoVillage alive with us.






“New winds are blowing to the fashion industry from Finland; as Finland’s biggest fashion event Helsinki Fashion Week decided not to present any clothing or accessories made of animal leather starting 2019. We are looking forward seeing some amazing sustainable fashion next year!” – Embassy of Finland in New York

By Soren Jepsen , The Locals for British Vogue

At Nordic Fashion Week Association and Helsinki Fashion Week, we are committed to advance smarter consumption and environmental awareness through exciting entrepreneurial initiatives and brand partnerships. Since the beginning, our mission and main driver for action is our shared believe that those of us who hold the key to sustainability and responsible consumption must engage and encourage those who do not. Change is a collective progress and to make progress we cannot isolate anyone from it, thus we created the EcoVillage which is open to all.

Seeking to find and inspire concrete solutions to the fashion industry’s challenges related to the linear model of take-make-dispose that critically threatens our planet, communities and the global economic growth, the platform highlighted these extensive issues while proposing solutions through circular economy. Despite shared responsibility cross-industries, we strongly believe that fashion should lead the work towards circularity, not only for functioning in the core of the problem but also through fashion’s potential to influence the consumers, lifestyles and range of industries because of its creative power. We need industries who can not only lead by example, but which have unlimited resources when it comes to creativity and innovation for positive development. Thus, fashion as a major part of global economy and as a form of art fosters the ideal environment for such work, bringing people together and inspiring dialog, but also representing different voices across the supply chain, income levels and communities who are most affected by the changes in our environment

Hence, by engaging with top leaders across industries, we are ambitious to shape the sustainability landscape of the global fashion and lifestyle sector through drive and dedication. By focusing on research and implementation while distributing information and tools regarding production, marketing and consumption of fashion as a global society, we are set to contribute to the field work and invest in the long-term growth of the economy to ensure that we can all enjoy fair fashion and the planet in the future. Further following the philosophy that fashion is in everything and for everyone, we encourage other industries to see the true potential of fashion as a value creator for people and the planet. We are not looking to make sustainability fashionable, but fashion sustainable and approachable across borders. Positive and assured that change is in motion, we believe that taking ever-more conscious decisions on the leadership level will set an important example for practice throughout the enterprise structure. This change can position sustainability as the single most important source of progress and a strong company culture that stretches across functions and individuals with significant strategic implications. Thus, through the EcoVillage we strongly encouraged and keep on encouraging our partners and audiences to look at sustainability as the new normal and a strategic priority, not a technical issue. Following this ideology, we remain focused on showing cross-industries how to make sustainability actionable and profitable.

By Soren Jepsen , The Locals for Vogue Japan

To support making connections and accelerating cross-industry transformation throughout the year, we at Nordic Fashion Week Association and Helsinki Fashion Week are developing tools to facilitate solution sharing through numerous channels. For example, we recently published our new organisational website to function as the home-base for our research work and partners, while participating in UN projects and engaging in the production of the New Normal Collection piloted at HFW SS’19 with WWF and Infinited Fibre Company.

We also presented the EcoVillage concept for the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in August 2018 as a case and are looking forward to engage more in governmental and societal conversations in the near future. These project initiatives serve as sources of inspiration and know-how for our audiences, such as industry professionals and designers to provide tools in adopting more circular and sustainable approach. Meanwhile, the EcoVillage E-book will showcase the past year’s biggest developments and global lifestyle trends, providing an initial indication of how crossindustries, communities and individuals together with Helsinki Fashion Week and the fashion industry can work towards circularity to collectively shape the future. Delighted and honored, Helsinki Fashion Week was also invited to the Green Carpet Awards 2018, held during Milan Fashion Week in September, which is a great benchmark for sustainability at fashion weeks.

We are delighted to have witnessed through the EcoVillage and our work, how communities and consumers today are experiencing a strong fundamental shift in mindset that supports the new industrial revolution towards circular economy. In support of this view, in 2018 we strongly stated through our platform and partnerships that sustainability is no longer just a trend but a business venture, which can be turned into a profitable case that also considers cultural, environmental and social aspects of business. Only through such collective focus can we address the structural challenges that have so far slowed-down sustainable progress, in order to drive the innovation that is needed to develop tomorrow’s solutions. Meanwhile, realising that sustainability as a strategy can be daunting for those not placing it as a core focus, Helsinki Fashion Week is dedicated to guide, inspire and accelerate change for and with our global partners.

Our work does not stop at the EcoVillage, it only begins there. By bringing together new knowledge and specialists every year while strengthening our existing relationships, we continue to grow our network of leaders and navigate in the jungle of sustainability, helping our partners tackle greenwashing, find sustainable solutions that compliment product offering, innovate new business culture and brand identity, while distributing awareness to wider international audiences.

As we are standing at the dawn of this new fashion era, the growing awareness of consumers and professionals is creating opportunities for innovation and new business to crack the code on how we source, design, produce and dispose of not only fashion, but other lifestyle items as well. Hence, the EcoVillage had the aspiration to encourage a transition towards a fully circular lifestyle, where garments, accessories and footwear are all made of ecological, ethical and multipurpose materials that can be easily reused and recycled, which also inspired us to take even further steps in material innovation towards the SS’20 season.

Therefore, Helsinki Fashion Week made the decision of banning all animal leather products from our 2019 schedule, leaving space for new material developments and alternatives as a discussion starter. It was essential for us at the Helsinki Fashion Week to take these next steps to enable other possibilities while using some of fashion’s trademark creativity for leading the industry revolution towards responsible sustainable solutions.

The consumers and industry professionals across the world need to see that such production and progress is possible in order for sustainable fashion to leave its strictly guarded identity behind by becoming the only form for fashion and lifestyle – not only a niche or a marketing tactic.In conclusion, the 2018 has been a successful year for Helsinki Fashion Week, and statistics tell us that we are on the right path and ready to have an even bigger impact in the upcoming years. As we continue to view fashion from a different angle, we are expecting steady growth for 2019 despite this year’s setbacks in funding that limited the pre-event marketing and overall event footfall from initial predictions. Because of our unique value proposition and people’s willingness to cooperate, we have the ability to change the way we collaborate and do business on the 21st Century.

Helsinki Fashion Week 2018 Designer : Carl Jan Cruz

We already see a sustainable change in the industry and in the awareness of our consumers who remain optimistic about their local economies, with growing number believing that the economy will continue to thrive or stay the same for upcoming years. Following last year’s trends and our current research, consumers are planning on spending more especially on experiences and purchases related to leisure time, brick-and-mortar stores and online commerce. Cosmetics, fashion and food remain as the biggest consumption points when moving towards 2019, affecting our business and practice greatly. Recent global surveys and studies have also indicated that consumers remain willing to pay extra for personal services, quicker deliveries and ethical products while continuing to seek inspiration from multichannel sources and social networks. These modern consumers are highly receptive for ideas surrounding technology and artificial intelligence, particularly when speaking of tracking consumption habits for more personalised shopping experiences. With such fast-phased changes, brands and companies have to strategically position themselves anew, thinking what’s the best option to stand out and engage in an authentic and caring way. Following this new culture, the EcoVillage sought to offer experiences regarding technology, innovation and customer experience with the help of meaningful partnerships. We introduced our Helsinki Fashion Week App while offering authentic content and service providers for our audiences. One of the fastest growing AI trends being the face recognition, Helsinki Fashion Week introduced Valossa AI for mapping consumer experiences. We also brought on board brands who place customer experience in the core of their innovation work including Tesla, Leica, Q-Yachts. As the stream of sustainability is about shaping our society and industries for the future, there are no better voices to listen to than the ones who will profile the world of tomorrow. That’s why Helsinki Fashion Week targets the Generation Z (aged 14–19) and Millennials (aged 20–33), paying close attention to the media preferences and technology consumption habits of these globally Listening Today, Focusing on the Future By staying ahead and on top of the time, we are carefully mapping the specific wants and desires of these groups, where they go and what is their social stand. With many similarities, Millennials and Generation Z are both very unique consumers with the sharedbelief that a success of a business should be measured not only in its financial performance but in its ability to improve society at large. As these young consumers are eager to make a difference, they are each year growing into more powerful force of the marketplace who should not be underestimated. Creating personalised and group preferences of brands, products and services based on their expectations that extend from quality across whole business structure, the youth develop elevated buying behaviours leaving the rest to follow. These young consumers are hardworking and decisive, driven by their mixed views of traditional and aspirational attitudes towards money, spending and ownership. Taking a more liberal stand on equality, sexuality and the freedom of self-expression throughout each area of their daily-lives in comparison to previous generations, the consumers are more involved with the brand ethos than ever before. As socially and technologically empowered, Millennials and Gen-Z are looking to concretely challenge the status quo through a practical approach on lifestyle spending. Combined with their radical viewpoints of the society, they favour services and brands that take into consideration the environmental, racial and sexual diversity of their multi-colored reality. By uniting our forces with Helka Hotel and introducing diversity of models for the international audiences, Helsinki Fashion Week made clear that the platform would not tolerate discrimination of any kind, allowing everyone feel safe and like home leaving space for fully focusing on fashion. The visitors in 2018 were 17–37 y/o and represented diverse cultural backgrounds. In 2018, the gathered data indicated that our audience was slightly male dominant opposed to last years’ trends, which had been predicted based on our research and strategic positioning for 2018. The overall l expressions of the visitors in respect to circular economy were positive. Other feed-back gathered during the event and afterwards, has indicated strong interest and positive overall experiences of the concept and event itself .

“ …Helsinki Fashion Week 2018 was as eco-conscious as possible with Solar energy to power the entire event, yoga sessions beside the sea between the shows.”—Lynette Botha ,Marie Claire South African October print issue

“Helsinki Fashion Week banned animal-based leather as of 2019. The decision was to take and active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts.” — Scarlett Conlon, The Guardian

Press & Media

Reaching out across six continents

Helsinki Fashion Week was strongly noted by both, the local and international media, gaining large international visibility via industry players as well as press coverage over six continents. The event was featured in Vogue Japan, Vogue Thailand, Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Russia, Vogue Germany,Vogue Australia, Marie Claire Australia, Marie Claire Hungary, Marie Claire South Africa, Marie Claire Ukraine, Harpers Bazaar , Elle, Reuters, Forbes, New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, V Magazine, El Tiempo, Le Parisienne, British Vogue, Front page of American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Korea, Vogue Arabia, Vogue Thailand, and more, while on domestic news field the EcoVillage was notable in several channels, for example at Yle Aamu- Tv, YleX, Yle Online, Yle Uutiset , Ilta-Sanomat ,Metsälehti, MTV3 and many more!

Generating over 72 Articles, 200 mentions and large international Social Media visibility via partners, media, influencers and photographers reaching over 55 million.

Target markets of Helsinki Fashion Week are the Nordics, ASIA and Europe.

All Media coverages of Helsinki Fashion Week and the Nordic Fashion Week Association are earned media.

“ Helsinki Fashion Week is based on circular economy and in 2018 will showcase the EcoVillage-concept” – Borah Song, VOGUE Korea

“Fashion is a very big industry and sustainability has not been respected until few years ago. The important thing is that people begin to do it and don’t stop.” – Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor in chief of Vogue Italy and head of Vogue Talents

“Helsinki Fashion Week was very intriging and totally unconventional! This is a Fashion Week with breaks for yoga sessions, purified sea water and serving vegetarian industry waste food.” – Clare Press, Sustainability Editor-atlarge of Vogue Australia

Everything will be sustainable, with a “zero waste”
approach, cutting-edge green technologies and using renewable energy.

Nicoletta Spolini


Eco Village concept was based on a circular economy and
sustainable values, creating a world that encourages
connecting and co-creating between various industries.

Lynette Botha


Helsinki Fashion Week 2018
SS’19 EcoVillage


Helsinki Fashion Week 2018
SS”19 EcoVillage

EcoVillage e-Book