The third annual Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, which will be held on Thursday 18th of November, celebrate and honour people and organisations working towards creating a better future for our planet and its people. This year two new categories were added to the list of awards. These are the Textile Maker or Mills Award and the CMT or Manufacturer Award. The addition of the new categories is part of the Awards’ efforts to recognise and include the industry’s entire value chain. In anticipation of the ceremony on Thursday (18 November) evening, the finalists are noted below.
In recognition of the craftsmanship of sustainable accessories, this award is given to the brand or designer who implements ethical labour practices, limits the use and waste of toxic chemicals as well as utilising sustainable materials.
Hand-crafted and eco-friendly, AuTerra honours a holistic and timeless craftsmanship of jewellery. In making simplistic, minimalist designs, that use reclaimed gold and silver from e-waste, their pieces transcend seasonal styles – creating pieces that can be treasured forever. All of their products are made in-house to control all facets of the manufacturing process. AuTerra is fully women owned and they make efforts to empower and employ women.
Using only materials that are sustainably sourced, upcycled or recycled, Ballo aims to minimise waste while still creating stylish, high-quality eyewear. Their products are all made in-house and by hand to increase employment and support the community. This allows them to produce in small quantities to reduce excess stock. They also offer free repairs for all of their products to increase longevity.
Using the ancient practice of macrame, Knot Again creates artisanal products weaved from locally supplied cotton and recycled T-shirt yarn. Knot Again dyes their products naturally, creating pieces that align with current trends. They also limit wastage through using recycled textiles.
Student Award presented by Levi’s®
This award is given to a student whose work challenges the status quo of fashion in creative and innovative ways. It specifically seeks out student designers who engage with environmental and social issues.
Longevity takes a modern approach to a 70s floral aesthetic. Relying on existing material, Longevity uses waste, off-cuts and discarded garments to decrease landfill waste and to shift to a circular production of fashion.
Using the ethos of ‘ancient rules in a modern context’, the Nehemiah Project draws on ancient knowledge and practices to create their clothes. Its use mostly off-cut fabric and waste material is a way of decreasing the brand’s carbon footprint as well as the springboard for creating new products.
Making something new from old items is at the heart of VOGT. The use of waste is part of the brand’s mission to tackle waste culture. Andrea Williams also aims to host workshops to teach skills and uplift the youth. Through her clothing and brand ethos, Andrea hopes to connect consumers to “our history, to ourselves and to our planet”.
Inspired by African culture and tradition, ZALI GRAI aims to create clothing that is rooted in stories of diversity, culture, creativity and heritage while using sustainable practices. The brand implements circular thinking in its use of plant-based materials, repurposing waste and small pre-ordered production.
Innovative Design and Materials Award presented by adidas
This award recognises the designer whose innovation reduces fashion’s impact, through minimising textile waste, reconstruction techniques, or other innovative techniques. Designers should also have a commitment to using sustainable fabrics.
Through a sensitive and innovative approach, nuun considers the impact on society and the environment in the creation of all products. The positive social and environmental impacts are evident in the employment of women and in the minimising of waste and in the sourcing of local, sustainable and recycled material.
Using textile waste and dead stock fabrics, Rethread focuses on innovative ways of upcycling second-hand clothes. All of their products are produced locally by an all-female team.
The Homeless Home Project
Focusing on design that benefits the user, the Homeless Home Project worked with both independent designers and users to create wearable bedding – a lightweight jacket that transforms into a sleeping bag. Being wind and waterproof with durable fabric as well as pockets for storage space, the design maximises functionality.
Trans-seasonal Award presented by BMW i
The Trans-seasonal Award celebrates the brand, collection or garment that transcends seasons and trends. Through versatility and multi-functionality, these designs are timeless and made to last. Judges also looked for committed to the preservation of garments after sale in repair services.
Size inclusivity and timeless clothes are at the centre of ERRE’s ethos. The brand’s aim is to make clothes that fit women’s bodies, not the other way around. With timeless silhouettes, colours that are unbounded by seasons and trends as well as high quality luxurious fabrics, ERRE’s clothing are made to be treasured for a lifetime.
Using only natural local fibres, FIELDS is committed to making clothes that are durable and long-lasting. The natural fibres used are biodegradable and ethically sourced. Classic silhouettes and comfort in both style and quality make the brand’s collections trans-seasonal. FIELDS also collaborates with local artists to uplift and support independent designers.
As the name suggests, SELFI is a brand that focuses on self-empowerment and self-care. Creative director Celeste Arendse only uses materials that are kind to our planet, taking into consideration the water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and the duration of its decomposition. Additionally, her work with charities is a commitment to empower her community.
Nicholas Coutts Award
This award is in honour of the late Nicholas Coutts, who explored traditional craft in his beautiful designs. This award, then, recognises the designer whose use of artisanal craft celebrates slow, ethical and sustainable production of fashion.
FVH x LM
Working with experts in their craft, FVH x LM puts craftsmanship at the centre of their work. Frances van Hasselt and Leandi Mulder (and their teams) use natural biodegradable fibres to limit waste and focus on a holistic approach to a sustainable circular textile economy through ensuring the animals, land and ecosystem are in harmony to produce high quality mohair, and quality products.
The Herd pays homage to and celebrates the beading culture led by Nguni women. In reviving and elevating this age-old skill, The Herd aims to shift an informal economic activity into the mainstream, increasing the value of handcrafted pieces. Mbali Mthethwa also hope that by supporting an undervalued industry, this would economically and socially benefit craftswomen.
VIVIERS hopes for its timeless, quality pieces to be treasured heirlooms. And so, creative director Lezanne Viviers pays special care and attention, and uses high quality fabrics that ensure the longevity of each piece. Through hand-cutting material and in-house production, VIVIERS limits waste.
Retail Award presented by Inscape
This award is awarded to the retailer or retailing initiative that practices and promotes a sustainable consumption of fashion, such as swap-shops, rental or retailing of sustainably manufactured items.
Housing 30 creatives, ranging from fashion, ceramics to artwork, AKJP Studio is committed to uplifting South African creatives. Supporting small business is an important facet of the work to mentor and develop young designers. The studio hopes to create a positive impact on society and the planet through inclusivity and environmental activism.
Through buying and selling second-hand clothes for children, Petit Fox aims to make high quality children’s clothes more affordable as well as kinder to the planet. It uses local suppliers and couriers as well as plastic-free packaging to lower the service’s carbon footprint. Unsold clothes are donated to shelters people who have been rendered homeless. Petit Fox hopes to destigmatise second-hand clothes.
Thrift Fest believes that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Originally a platform for second revenue streams and freeing up people’s wardrobes, Thrift Fest has developed into a popular site for second-hand clothing. The aim is to make selling and buying second-hand clothes accessible, thereby promoting a circular sustainable lifestyle for the everyday consumer.
Influencer Award presented by Reebok
This award recognises the personality or influencer that has produced content over the last 12 months to promote slow fashion. By using fashion communication, the influencer could also intersect with issues of inclusivity and environmental issues to spark important conversations while supporting circular fashion practices.
Pronounced ‘conscious’, cnscs_ views sustainability as decolonial, environmentally aware and a way of living that focuses on community and connection. Masego Morgan and Stella Hertantyo created cnscs_ as a way of fostering an online community and space where knowledge, ideas and resources around sustainable living can be shared.
Wijdan Hendricks started a blog over five years ago to share her journey of building a sustainable capsule wardrobe. She works closely with many local and small businesses in order to highlight the craft of designers and to promote slow sustainable fashion brands. Through her content, she hopes for her readers to be inspired to make more sustainable changes to their lifestyles.
Zulu is a prominent voice in fashion sustainability circles in South Africa. His work with upcycling democratises sustainability and presents easy accessible ways of making an impact.
CMT or Manufacturer Award
This award is presented to a ‘Cut Make Trim’ or manufacturer that is environmentally and socially conscious and demonstrates ethical practices as well as a commitment to reducing environmental impact.
Equator – the Belt Factory™
Equator takes into consideration the production, material and distribution of its products to maximise sustainability efforts. In training employees in sustainability, it ensures the production of belts with as little waste generation as possible and with energy and water saving strategies implemented.
Jaydu Creations is situated in Seawinds in the Cape Flats where poverty, unemployment, crime and violence permeate the area. Jaydu Creations is committed to social betterment though training and employment of women while allowing the employees the flexibility to work from home.
The Hat Factory
Established in 1936, The Hat Factory has been producing high quality hats which are made to order, eliminating excess stock. Their use of traditional millinery techniques nurtures and supports local crafters.
Textile Maker or Mills Award
As the production of local fabrics is integral to sustainability, this award seeks to reward as well as encourage the production of preferrred textiles including that use natural, regenerative and recycled fibres and non-toxic dyes.
Comfort and practicality are prioritised in the design of Adele’s Mohair products. The aim to produce designer knitting yarns, accessories and home textiles that can be washed and worn multiple times, is at the centre of the designs. Natural fibres of mohair (from Angora goats) and Merino wool (from sheep) are locally sourced and of the finest quality. Production waste is donated to prevent waste going to landfills.
Sett & Beat
Sett & Beat is a small textile studio based in Cape Town that uses natural and mostly South African yarn and raw materials. They hope to have a future where humans work in harmony with nature in a slow and considered process.
Bentum’s passion for natural fibres allows her to create the textures and material for each individual project she embarks on. The slow practice of making textiles is followed by dyeing, in which only natural dyes are used, to create a beautiful canvas for her project. Being handmade, Bentum is able to control the production and limit waste as well as the outcome of the pieces she produces.
- The winners will be announced on 18 November 2021 at an invite-only event in Cape Town. The event will be live-streamed via Twyg’s social media.
- Feature image: Ivana Cajini | Unsplash