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Categories and criteria for the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020

by | Aug 28, 2020

We have opened nominations for the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020. Once again, we’re looking for designers who implement sustainable, circular and regenerative approaches to design and who foster ethical practices in the industry. We want to celebrate all the good work that has happened this year.

The link to the nomination form is here. 

There are eight categories, but we’re only accepting nominations for seven categories. The Changemaker Award brought to you by Country Road will not be open for nominations this year as this category will be awarded to the overall winner – drawn from all the categories and based on the judges scoring results. Country Road’s head designer Maria Rinaldi-Cant will join the panel for the judging of this category. Please carefully select the most fitting award category as each designer can only be nominated for one category.

Our judging panel remains the same as last year and includes Desiree Smal, Kelly Fung, Cyril Naicker, Aaniyah Omardien and Fezile Mdletshe-Mkhize.

Submissions will be judged according to specific criteria for each category. We expect that all our winners will have been in business for at least one year (except for the Student Award) and would be able to demonstrate:

  • Ethical labour practices
  • Transparency in design and manufacturing practices and sourcing of materials

Qualifying work should have been made by September 2020. The winners will be announced on Thursday, 19 November 2020.

Designers currently working in South Africa qualify.

Innovative Design and Materials Award

This award seeks to recognise 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. The award also seeks to recognise a commitment to using sustainable fabrics in a collection. All submissions must demonstrate the extent to which materials have been sustainably sourced.

Trans-seasonal Award

This award recognises a collection, garment, brand or designer who promotes trans-seasonal and versatile style. It rewards quality design that aspires to be timeless and is made to last. This category also recognises brands that remain invested in garments after their sale, for example, through the provision of lifetime guarantees or repair services.

Accessory Award

This 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. Ideally it should be made of compostable materials, but, if not, it should be made using recyclable or recycled materials.

Retail Award

This award will recognise a retailer or a retailing initiative that enhances sustainability, including pre-loved/gently worn, swap shops, garment rental, and similar activities. The award is also open to retailers who support local producers, and sustainable design and manufacturing.

Student Award

This award will go to 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

To honour the talented young designer Nicolas Coutts, we named this award in his honour. Nicholas, who beautifully used and explored traditional crafts and techniques in his design, tragically lost his life at the beginning of 2019. This 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

This award recognises a personality who has actively promoted sustainable fashion over the last 12 months and who has sparked relevant conversations. On social media and other platforms, the influencer has explained sustainable issues factually and has cautioned against unsustainable fashion habits. The influencer supports conscious brands while promoting the Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). The Influencer Award will be selected in consultation with Esethu Cenga and Tshepo Bhengu of Rewoven.

Changemaker Award

Not open for nominations this year. Instead, 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. The recipient’s collection/s will have helped raise awareness of environmental and social issues. Criteria include choice of fabric, ethical labour practices, the extent of upcycling, the reduction of waste, and the use of non-toxic dyes. This designer demonstrates a commitment to promoting slow consumer fashion habits.


  • To enter: See the link to the nomination form here. If you have any problems please email
  • Image: Judge Kelly Fung with the winner of the Innovative Design and Materials Award Lukhanyo Mdingi
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