Putting their money behind sustainable fashion in South Africa, Country Road is sponsoring the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards and a R100 000 cash prize for the winner of the Changemaker category.
Founder and director of Twyg, Jackie May, says, “There is a popular belief that SDG17 is the most important of all the SDGs. It recognises that with strong partnerships and co-operation we are able to build a better future faster and more efficiently. We all know this to be true: together we are stronger.”
“So we are very proud to be partnering with Country Road, a company that has long-committed to sustainability. With their support, we are now able to further encourage and inspire sustainable fashion practices in South Africa. In addition to the support Country Road is offering Twyg, the Australian brand is supporting the winner of the Changemaker Award with a cash prize. By doing this, Country Road is helping our mission to transition the industry from a linear and unsustainable one to a sustainable and circular one,” says Jackie.
Country Road has been on a journey to be a leader in sustainability for many years and has made public commitments to ethical trading; sustainable farming and sourcing of raw materials; energy efficiency; water management; reducing waste and employee well-being.
Country Road understands that there is a significant upside in putting sustainability at the forefront of the brand, Elouise Brink, Country Road Senior Marketing Manager 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 made this partnership with Twyg a perfect opportunity to seek out and work with the best designers and innovators in South Africa. Now more than ever, it is important to slow down and consider alternatives that are not only good for business, but also for our society and environment.”
The company’s head of design (Woman and Child) in Australia, Maria Rinaldi-Cant is excited to join the distinguished local judging panel, Desiree Smal, Kelly Fung, Cyril Naicker, Aaniyah Omardien and Fezile Mdletshe- Mkhize for the Changemaker Award category. “South African talent is undeniably original. To be able to appreciate upcoming designers who align with our commitment to sustainability and diversity, is really a great privilege,” she says.
Brink says “Aside from the generous cash injection to boost the Changemaker winner’s business, we believe this award will also help them grow even further, by giving them the acclaim and recognition by their peers and a global brand.”
Twyg’s Changemaker Award recognises the overall winner of the Twyg Awards as a designer whose career has embraced sustainable and circular design practices. Judges pay special attention to environmental, social, and economic integrity – putting the lens on responsible choice of fabric, use of non-toxic dyes, ethical labour practice, upcycling, and waste reduction. The winner’s collection should also have helped raise awareness around environmental and social issues, and they should demonstrate a real commitment to promoting slow consumer fashion habits.
Country Road recently partnered with Australia’s inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards which recognises the country’s diverse talents. These NIFA elevate and celebrate the stories that are coming out of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Australia through their fashion design.
Entries to the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards close on 9 October 2020, and the winner will be announced on 19 November 2020.