Twyg Awards to Spotlight Conscious Southern African Fashion Brands

Nominations are open for the inaugural Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, which recognise Southern African designers who have implemented a sustainable design approach and fostered ethical practices in the fashion industry.

Twyg is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to encourage sustainable living through a wide range of activities including campaigns, content creation and events.

Says Jackie May, founder of Twyg: “Our work supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: sustainable consumption and production, especially in the fashion industry. By acknowledging change-makers in fashion, Twyg highlights what the industry is capable of achieving, and shows its support of conscious fashion in a very complex industry.”

“Sustainability is complex and achieving 100% sustainability is an on-going and shared commitment,” says May. “The Twyg awards aim to create awareness around this and showcase the impact these designers have had in the industry.”

Selection process

The deadline for submission of nominations is Sunday, 18 August 2019 and the winners will be announced at an awards evening in Cape Town on 19 September 2019. Qualifying work should have been made by June 2019.

A panel consisting of Twyg partners at Fashion Revolution, SACTWU and SA Fashion Week will choose finalists. An independent jury will select the winners. Submissions will be judged according to specific criteria for each category. With the exception of the student award, all winners must have been in business for at least one year and would be able to demonstrate ethical labour practices and transparency in practices and sourcing.

Award categories

The Twyg Fashion Awards 2019 categories are:

• Innovative Design and Materials

This award seeks to recognise a designer who has made beautiful clothes using techniques that minimise textile waste through innovative pattern cutting, the use of pre- and post-consumer fabric waste, and reconstruction techniques. The award also seeks to recognise a commitment to using sustainable fabrics in a collection, and all submissions must demonstrate the extent to which materials have been sustainably sourced.

• Trans-seasonal Fashion Award

This award recognises a collection, brand or designer who 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.

• Sustainable 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 use recyclable or recycled materials.

• Sustainable Fashion Influencer

Recognises a personality who has actively promoted sustainable fashion over the last 12 months and 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).

• Sustainable Retail Award

This award will recognise 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.

• 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

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.

• Change-maker Award

This award recognises a designer whose career has embraced sustainable and circular design practices. The recipient’s collections 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.

For more information and to submit nominations, visit

The Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards are sponsored by PET plastic recycling company Petco.


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