Twyg, a local not-for-profit organisation and online publication, is calling on fashion designers who implement sustainable and circular approaches, and who foster ethical practices, to enter its second annual Sustainable Fashion Awards.
"The awards come at a time of deep introspection. Getting on with the business of fashion has been hard, sometimes impossible, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs, and the industry has had to think about the ethics and sustainability of its practices.
"In addition to these existential questions, the Black Lives Matter movement has drawn attention to the lack of diversity in the fashion system. These are issues that Twyg takes very seriously," Twyg said in a press release.
The 2020 Sustainable Fashion Awards will welcome back last year's judging panel, which includes Desiree Smal, Kelly Fung, Cyril Naicker, Aaniyah Omardien and Fezile Mdletshe-Mkhize.
Submissions will be judged according to specific criteria for each category. Twyg urges entrants to carefully select the most fitting award category as each designer can only be nominated for one category. All winners (except for the Student Award) will have been in business for at least one year and would be able to demonstrate:
• Ethical labour practices • Transparency in design and manufacturing practices and sourcing of materials
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Award categories for 2020
Innovative Design and Materials Award: Recognises a designer who has used techniques that minimise textile waste through innovative pattern cutting, the use of pre- and post-consumer fabric waste, and/or reconstruction techniques.
Trans-seasonal Award: Recognises a collection, garment, brand or designer who promotes trans-seasonal and versatile style. Accessory Award: Recognises an accessory or accessory brand which implements ethical labour practices, limits toxic chemicals and uses sustainable materials to create a quality item and considers end-of-life.
Retail Award: Recognises a retailer or a retailing initiative that enhances sustainability, including pre-loved/gently worn, swap shops, garment rental, and similar activities.
Student Award: A student who has produced a garment or collection that addresses the challenges of sustainability in fashion in the most innovative, beautiful and practical way.
Nicholas Coutts Award: Recognises a designer who uses artisanal craft techniques such as weaving, embroidering or botanical dying to make fashion that foregrounds, celebrates and values the skills of the person who makes the garment.
Influencer Award: Recognises a personality who has actively promoted sustainable fashion over the last 12 months and who has sparked relevant conversations.
Changemaker Award: The designers with the highest scores in the design categories will be judged against the criteria set for the Changemaker Award. This award recognises a designer whose career embraces sustainable and circular design practices.
This year's Changemaker Award is sponsored by Country Road and will be awarded to the overall winner – drawn from all the categories and based on the judges scoring results. Therefore this category will not be open for nominations. Country Road’s head designer Maria Rinaldi-Cant will join the panel for the judging of the Changemaker Award.
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“We are very honoured to be in a position to celebrate excellent work despite, and sometimes because of, the current circumstances,” said Twyg founder and director, Jackie May.
She added, “We would like to thank Country Road and PETCO, the PET plastic recycling company, who’ve made these awards possible. We’d also like to thank the British Council for their support that allowed us to explore circular design in Africa. We’re partnering with Rewoven on a series of digital masterclasses and events scheduled for November.
The deadline for entries is Sunday, 4 October 2020, and winners will be announced on Thursday, 19 November 2020. Qualifying work should have been made by September 2020 and designers should be currently working in South Africa.
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