Denmark Implements Ethical Charter To Protect Models' Health

Photo courtesy of Kasper Nybo

Photo courtesy of Kasper Nybo

The Danish fashion industry has signed the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter in order to ensure the protection a well being of models health.

Denmark’s Fashion Ethical Charter, which was first put together in 2007, it was originally based on a number of recommendations for terms for models involved with fashion weeks. The new 2015 charter now instead contains rules and sanctions that apply year around and now stipulates that brands must carry out an obligatory ‘psychological and physical’ health check assessments before working with models – in order to spot eating disorders or mental health issues.

According to the charter, models must be 16 or over in order to be employed and must receive monetary payment for their work (instead of sample garments in place of actual payment).

In a statement Eva Kruse, chief executive of the Danish Fashion Institute said: ”Recently in Denmark and abroad there’s been some gloomy examples showing that problems with the beauty ideals the fashion industry creates continue to exist. The stupendous amount of support being given to the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter speaks for itself; the Danish industry is aware of its responsibility and is prepared to take a collective step towards models having better well-being and towards a body image that is healthy and not sickly. We think that the fact that the industry is taking such an active part in the charter will have a much greater impact – also in the long run – than legislation issued by the authorities and fines, which have been discussed, for instance in France.”

The debate on thin models and distorted body image has never been more heated or more current. The move follows public outrage, after Danish magazine Cover featured a very thin model, who critics labelled ‘emaciated’.

The Charter is not government legislation, but does have some serious weight. Admission to Copenhagen Fashion Week’s, Denmark’s official fashion show and event schedule now require all participants to now adhere to the regulations and be charter signatories.

Denmark is one of the most ethical of all fashion countries, hosting the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion, the Copenhagen Sustainable Fashion Summit. Danish Fashion & Textile’s managing director, Thomas Klausen, thinks that one of the reasons for the large amount of support is that social responsibility is already important in Danish society and especially in the Danish fashion industry ”Of course I’m proud that we’ve succeeded in drawing such a large part of the Danish fashion industry together on this important cause, but it also honestly does not particularly surprise me. In Denmark we have a tradition for taking responsibility for our fellow human beings – which is true both in our society in general, but also specifically in the fashion industry, where in the recent decade we have worked intensively with sustainability and social responsibility.”