A Day In The Life of: Eva Kruse
Eva Kruse is a busy woman on a mission. As President and CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda and the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Eva has been ambitiously working towards promoting the sustainability agenda for the fashion industry since 2007.
This is no easy task, but with her business and media background – and a lot of faith – Eva is on a mission to make sustainability fashionable and to create change in the industry by guiding fashion leaders around the world to make sustainability a strategic priority.
This Positive Week, in celebration of industry leaders pioneering change, we caught up with Eva amidst her schedule to talk about family, career challenges, the Global Fashion Agenda…and her daily agenda too.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORKING WARDROBE? WHAT ARE THE FASHION STAPLES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING?
It depends very much on how my day looks. If I have a lot of meetings out, a pair of nice trousers, a top and heels are my go-to. But if I’m at the office all day and only have internal meetings, I’ll dress very casually – jeans, a hoodie and sneakers. Fashion has made it possible for women nowadays to replace heels with a cool pair of sneakers. For me, feeling like I can achieve anything comes down to my mindset… and a good night’s sleep.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I get up early, check emails and enjoy breakfast with my family before dropping my youngest off at day-care. By then I’ve already been up for about three hours and often I’m headed directly to a meeting in the city. Then I go into the office for lunch and on good days I get a few hours at my desk doing emails afterwards. Otherwise it’s straight into more meetings before I head home to the kids. Most nights I work after dinner, so it’s a constant juggling of my main roles in life: CEO, mother, wife and friend.
HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY IN YOUR CAREER?
I’ve done a lot of different things in the fields of fashion, media and business. I think the key to everything I’ve touched is that I’ve always been curious, ambitious and somewhat naïve as to what it would actually require to achieve the tasks I set my mind to. Had I known how difficult many things would be before beginning, I probably would not have begun the journey.
I’m driven by purpose and the urge to want to make a positive difference in life and in the world I’m part of. This has been a corner stone to everything I’ve done – whether it was in the magazines I made, the tv-shows I’ve done, building Copenhagen Fashion Week. Now with Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit, it’s about how we change the way we design, produce, and market fashion for the better of profit, people and planet.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH THE COPENHAGEN FASHION SUMMIT?
Our future. The fashion industry is not just one of the most influential, it’s also one of the most resource intensive. If we want to ensure a planet for generations to come, our industry must change. When the Copenhagen Fashion Summit launched nearly 10 years ago, sustainability was barely spoken about. We wanted to create a forum that could gather fashion’s decision makers from around the world and put this very important topic at the top of their minds.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACHIEVING THROUGH THE GLOBAL FASHION AGENDA?
We’ve managed to cement Copenhagen Fashion Summit as the leading business event on sustainability in fashion. We’ve also gathered a group of some of the world’s foremost companies (as of date Kering, H&M, BESTSELLER, Target, Li & Fung and Sustainable Apparel Coalition) to help shape our work. Together with them we publish our ground-breaking Pulse of the Fashion Industry report and CEO Agenda every year.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST WORK CHALLENGE TO DATE?
Time (and my own impatience). Firstly, that I only have 24 hours a day. And secondly, how much time things actually take to change, because they do take soooo much time. Big transformational changes in an industry takes time. They require collaboration across industries, societies, systems and nations.
IF YOU WEREN’T IN YOUR CURRENT PROFESSION, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I actually dreamt of being a doctor performing heart surgery or in other ways saving lives.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN LOOKING TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?
If I can do it anybody can. If you believe in yourself and work hard enough, you can accomplish just about anything. Of course there will be hard times, but if you keep believing and work with other talented people, you’ll make it.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN AND WHO GAVE IT TO YOU?
My grandmother, Didder Rønlund, 92, who has been a fashion editor for more than 70 years, and my dear friend of 15 years, told me to “never let the sun go down on an argument”. Always resolve your issues before going to bed, especially with your loved ones. That is an excellent piece of advice that has helped me clear out many issues along the way – and secured a good night’s sleep.