For the second consecutive year, Country Road partners with Twyg to award the winner of the Changemaker category with a cash prize of R R100 000
Twyg, the not-for-profit company dedicated to inspiring change and supporting a more eco-conscious and forward-thinking future, will host the third annual Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards come 18 November 2021. The awards were launched in 2019 to recognise and celebrate the bold steps taken by eco-conscious and forward-thinking South African designers.
Lara Klawikowski, the Cape Town-based designer and recipient of last year’s Changemaker Award waxes lyrical about what the prize money has meant to her and her business. “It was an incredible gift as it helped me sustain my business during the pandemic at a time when almost all events were cancelled, and sales were low. It’s meant that I’m able to continue creating, designing, thinking of the future and planning ahead knowing that I have the financial resources to do so.”
Making changes through sustainable fashion
The Changemaker Award recognises designers who have embraced sustainable and circular practices, paying special attention to environmental, social and economic integrity. This includes responsible fabric choices, the use of non-toxic dyes, upcycling, waste reduction and ethical labour practices. Adds Twyg Founder and Director Jackie May, “Sustainable fashion considers the future of the planet and the people making and wearing the clothes. It’s important to make clothes that people will love and that will last. We need to respect people’s emotional connection to clothes but also the people who make them, their work environments, their skills and their creative input.”
She also has an unwavering belief that designers and consumers need to start making more informed choices. “We have a very short time to turn things around before it’s too late. Twyg is really trying to inform and educate everyone about sustainability and the urgency to change the way we make and consume things.”
At the forefront of sustainable design
Country Road has been on a sustainability journey for many years now and is at the forefront of implementing a sustainable design approach in the fashion industry. The brand has made public commitments to sustainable farming, sourcing and using raw materials, waste reduction, energy efficiency, ethical trading and employee well-being. Sponsoring the Changemaker Award is just another way Country Road is helping the industry take significant strides.
According to Country Road Senior Marketing Manager Elouise Brink, the brand understands that there is an upside to sustainable fashion. She explains, “When you approach sustainability with a deep commitment, as we do, it is important to find local platforms who are working towards the same vision to support and promote sustainable fashion practices. This, along with our brand’s mission to support local design talent, has made this partnership with Twyg a perfect opportunity to seek out and work with the best designers and innovators in South Africa.”
Eco-conscious design is worth investing in
“There’s been an incredible boost in the interest and value of my work and this has shone a spotlight on how my way of designing fashion in an eco-conscious way is something worth investing in,” Lara enthuses about her win. “I’ve also had the opportunity to showcase my latest collection at South African Fashion Week, which is the leading marketing platform for businesses in fashion in the country. It has also led to selling my designs online for the first time through Plain Tiger, a South African sustainable luxury online platform. They give designers the option to sell their designs on a made-to-order basis, which is especially great for smaller brands as it prevents overproduction and dead stock. In this way, my business can operate in a sustainable way, and my product can reach more customers both locally and internationally.”
This year, in addition to the cash prize from Country Road for the overall winner of the Changemaker category, the design, textile, CMT and retail winners at the 2021 Twyg Awards will each receive an EcoStandard assessment of their brand. SA Fashion Week will also be giving the Changemaker a three-designer shared show.
Jackie concludes, “This has been the most incredible journey for me as the founder of Twyg. I’ve been blown away by the response and what I’ve learned from the experience. We are very excited about the next awards and looking forward to seeing what the newest batch of designers will be showcasing. A big thank you to Country Road for being our partners in this. It’s a great honour.”
Entries for the third annual Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards are now open.
Nominations close on 11 October 2021.
To apply, please visit https://twyg.co.za/awards/