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Press Release: Twyg Awards 2020 finalists announced

by | Oct 27, 2020

Twyg is honoured to announce the finalists of the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020. The awards celebrate South African designers leading sustainable, ethical, circular and regenerative practices in the fashion industry. The designers are intentionally improving fashion’s relationship with nature and people and reflect that fashion can be at the forefront of positive ethical, social and environmental change.

The winners will be announced on 19 November 2020.

Founder and director Jackie May says: “The judges’ decisions emphasise exciting directions in fashion such as the made-to-order manufacturing model, trans-seasonal clothing, the upcycling of plastic and textile waste, and increasing the use of handcraft and natural dyes. The attention to collaboration and the healing of our environment is inspiring.”

Cyril Naicker, national co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution who sits on the judging panel says: “Even though we faced a global pandemic, the quality of entries is indicative of a commitment to making fashion sustainable.” Prof Desiree Smal, vice dean Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg who is also on the judging panel, echoes this sentiment: “In general the submissions showed a real focus on reducing the environmental impact of fashion and to developing local supply chains.”

In addition to the design practices, it is notable that the judges appreciated social impact through upskilling and working in collectives. Aaniyah Omardien founder of The Beach Co-op says, “The focus on working as a collective was heartening, as was the need to reduce and reuse waste materials”.

The rigorous two-day judging process was independently audited by attorney Elisabeth Makumbi who summed up this year’s session: “The finalists were considered carefully with transparent, rational and equitable principles adhered to throughout the session. Congratulations to Twyg and its associated sponsors for providing a platform which merges fashion and sustainable development initiatives onto one stage.”

The full judging panel includes Kelly Fung (content creator), Cyril, Aaniyah Omardien, Desiree Smal and Fezile Mdletshe-Mkhize (founder and director of Fezile Fashion Academy), who had successfully judged the first Twyg Awards in 2019.

The judges selected three finalists in each of the Accessories, Trans-seasonal, Nicholas Coutts, Student, Retail and Influencer categories. A fourth finalist was included in the Innovative Design and Materials categories.

The Changemaker Award was not open for nominations. Instead, winners of the Accessory, Innovative Design and Materials, Nicholas Coutts, Trans-seasonal and Student categories will be judged against the criteria set for the Changemaker Award. This category is supported by Country Road which has sponsored R100 000 in prize money to the winner. Country Road’s head designer Maria Rinaldi-Cant will join the panel for the judging of this category.

Twyg consulted WWF South Africa on the criteria for the categories.

“We would like to thank the designers and the members of the public for the nominations. And finally from my team and I, congratulations to all the finalists!” says May. The winners will be announced at a small event co-hosted with the textile recycling company, Rewoven (which will be livestreamed) on Thursday, 19 November 2020 in Cape Town.

Here is the list of finalists, in alphabetical order [The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into]:

Innovative Design and Materials Award

This award seeks to recognise a designer or brand who uses 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.

• Anmari Honiball
• Lara Klawikowski
• Sealand Gear
• The Sewing Café

Click here to read more about the Innovative Design and Materials Award finalists.

Trans-seasonal Fashion Award

This award recognises a designer, brand or collection that promotes trans-seasonal and versatile style. It rewards quality garments whose design aspires to be timeless and which are 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.

• African Renaissance Designs
• Fields
• Tshepo Jeans

Click here to read more about the Trans-seasonal Fashion Award finalists.

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.

• Ivy Grace
• Matsidiso
• The Wren Design

Click here to read more about the Accessory Award finalists.

Retail Award

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

• Chic Mamas Can Do
• Convoy
• Mungo

Click here to read more about the Retail Award finalists.

Student Award

This award goes 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.

• KQ_Made
• Loskop
• VanKlan

Click here to read more about the Student Award finalists.

Nicholas Coutts Award

This award recognises a designer who uses artisanal craft techniques such as weaving, embroidering or botanical dyeing to make fashion that foregrounds, celebrates and values the skills of the person who makes the garment.

• Beagle & Basset
• The Seen Collective
• VIVIERS Studio

Click here to read more about the Nicholas Coutts Award finalists.

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).

• Nomfundo Liyanna Basini
• Yasmin Furmie
• Zolani Mahola

Click here to read more about the Influencer Award finalists.

May takes this opportunity to thank Twyg’s sponsors for the 2020 edition of the awards: clothing retailer Country Road, and the PET plastic recycling company, PETCO. The British Council made it possible for Twyg to explore circular design in Africa. Twyg has partnered with Rewoven’s Future of Fashion initiative and the African Fashion Research Institute [AFRI] on a series of digital masterclasses scheduled for November. In addition to the masterclasses, Rewoven and Twyg are co-hosting a small event on 19 November where the winners will be announced. The Cape Town Fashion Council has also offered its support.

May says, “It has been a great pleasure working with our partners and sponsors, without whom the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2020 would not be possible.”

About Twyg

Twyg is a not-for-profit company inspiring and supporting an eco-conscious and an equitable world. We recognise the urgency of the climate crisis and play a part in the solution. Our work is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals focussing on SDG12, sustainable consumption and responsible production patterns. We create content about fashion, food and places that don’t harm the planet nor people. We create bespoke experiences, workshops and campaigns in collaboration with like-minded organisations to inspire people to make sustainable, inclusive and ethical lifestyle choices.

About Country Road

Launched in 1974 with a simple white shirt, Country Road evolved to become Australia’s first lifestyle brand and a subsidiary to Woolworths Holdings Limited. A timeless aesthetic, premium fabrics and quality craftsmanship have become synonymous with Country Road across Woman, Man, Child, Teen, Home and Pet. The brand has stores within Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.


PETCO is South Africa’s national industry body accountable for managing the PET plastic industry’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). While we do not physically collect or recycle waste PET in South Africa, PETCO acts as a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) that uses its revenue to drive recycling activities, support collectors, guide product design, and build the required local recycling infrastructure necessary to keep the PET value chain moving in an efficient yet still affordable manner, on behalf of its members.

The Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards were launched in July 2019.

• The Twyg Awards have been audited by Elisabeth Makumbi.
• The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• The winners will be announced on Thursday, 19 November in Cape Town.


Jackie May
082 825 1855

Feature Image: Supplied by The Seen Collective

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