Arts & Lifestyle Inaugural awards call for entries from sustainably minded fashionistas, entrepreneurs and businesses

Inaugural awards call for entries from sustainably minded fashionistas, entrepreneurs and businesses

Sustainable fashion awards show green is the new black

True to its ethical mandate of seeking new opportunities to support entrepreneurs in South Africa’s circular economy, the PET Plastic Recycling Company (PETCO) has come on board as sponsor of the inaugural Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, which are open for nominations until August 18.

The eight award categories* are aimed at recognising South African designers who have adopted a sustainable design approach and fostered ethical practices in the fashion industry.

Aside from the student award, all nominees must have been in business for at least one year and be able to demonstrate ethical labour practice and transparency in practices and sourcing.

The platform provides winners with the opportunity to raise their business profile through recognition from industry peers and media exposure around the awards.

The judging panel includes Superbalist head of content Kelly Fung, University of Johannesburg fashion design academic Dr Desiree Smal, Fashion Revolution South Africa coordinator Cyril Naicker, Durban University of Technology lecturer Fezile Mdletshe-Mkhize, and Aaniyah Omardien, founder of The Beach Co-op, an NGO focused on changing consumer behaviour through clean-up activations.

Judging takes place in the first week of September and the category winners will be announced at an awards evening in Cape Town on Thursday 19 September 2019.

PETCO stakeholder relations manager Janine Osborne said the organisation is proud to support the efforts of non-profit organisations such as Twyg to create platforms that encourage sustainable living.

“Our greatest asset is the remarkable network of partners we work with every day to achieve our recycling and sustainability goals.”

Osborne added that R1.2 billion was injected into South Africa’s downstream economy last year from the designing, manufacturing and distribution of products made from recycled PET plastic.

She said the value of PET plastic as circular material drove the sector’s approach to waste management, with PETCO’s model underpinning industry-driven and financed “cradle to cradle” packaging solutions.

“PET bottles are made from one of the few polymers that can be recycled into the same form – and they can also be recycled into polyester fibre which is used in a wide range of textiles for clothing, household goods and industrial purposes.”

Twyg founder Jackie May said she was grateful for PETCO’s support of the inaugural fashion awards.

“We salute their continued efforts of imposing accountability over the entire life cycle of PET products and packaging. Sustainability is complex and achieving 100% sustainability is an on-going and shared commitment,” said May.

“Our work supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: sustainable consumption and production, especially in the fashion industry. By acknowledging changemakers in fashion, Twyg highlights what the industry is capable of achieving, and shows its support of conscious fashion in a very complex industry.”

May said calls for a sustainable approach to a greener future in the fashion industry had become overwhelming, with top UK designer Stella McCartney launching the UN Sustainable Fashion Industry Charter for Climate in December 2018.

“The Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards aim to create awareness around this issue and showcase the impact designers have had on the fashion industry of the SADC region.”

Twyg partners at Fashion Revolution, Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) and SA Fashion Week will choose finalists, while the panel of judges will select the final winners.

For more information on the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards’ categories and to submit nominations, visit www.twyg.co.za.

* Award categories include:

Innovative Design and Materials; Trans-seasonal Fashion Award; Sustainable Accessory Award; Sustainable Fashion Influencer; Sustainable Retail Award; Student Award; Nicholas Coutts Award; and the Change-maker Award.