How the winners of South Africa’s sustainable fashion world are wowing us now!

Stars of circularity, the ever-so-talented Katherine-Mary Pichulik, Cleo Droomer and Shamyra Moodley are among the line-up of winners at last year’s Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards who have accomplished some impressive feats since then. Almost a year later, let’s take a look at what these progressive, conscious fashionistas have been up to…

‘The past year has really been about thinking and dreaming into new ways of making, especially within my immediate communities,’ says Cleo Droomer, who has continued his exploration of zero-waste textile pieces. A ‘story-tailor’ and the designer behind Droomer, not only did Cleo win in the Innovative Design and Materials category presented by Polo South Africa in 2022, he was also the winner of Twyg’s Changemaker Award, which last year was sponsored by Country Road.

‘I’ve been exploring new projects and ideas, and I’m excited to be working with key partners who support me and my work to bring these ideas to life,’ he says. Alongside many other recent creative projects, Droomer created a patchwork dress with historical details for Aaniyah Martin, founder of The Beach Co-op, for the One Blue Heart zero-waste gala dinner in Cape Town in February 2023.

LaaniRaani, also known as Shamyra Moodley, was the winner of the Nicholas Coutts Award, which honours the late designer Nicolas Coutts. The award is presented to a designer who uses artisanal craft techniques such as weaving, embroidery or botanical dyeing to make fashion that foregrounds, celebrates and values the skills of the people who make the garments. Moodley is a mother, writer and self-taught fashion designer, whose unique pieces are handmade in her home studio from vintage and reclaimed fabric. She’s been on a whirlwind fashion adventure over the past few months, showcasing her work in Paris and Milan, and being selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives for 2023.

The Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards offer a much-needed platform for South African creatives, says Katherine-Mary Pichulik, the founder and creative director of Cape Town-based accessories brand Pichulik that took home the Accessories Award in 2022.
‘I was so grateful and honoured to be acknowledged by Twyg – a platform that is a forerunner for conversations around sustainability and ethical design.’ Pichulik’s handcrafted sculptural jewellery is exported across the globe and is regularly featured in international fashion magazines such as Vogue.

Together with the trio mentioned above, all of last year’s winners have demonstrated the enormous potential of sustainable South African fashion. Very soon, this year’s edition of the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards will shine the spotlight on another set of changemakers who prioritise a circular fashion industry. The finalists in the fifth edition of the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards will be announced on 14 November 2023 at a Country Road store at the V&A Waterfront. The overall winners are set to be named at an awards ceremony on 23 November 2023.

Ten designers and brands will be recognised for their implementation of sustainable, ethical, circular and regenerative design across an array of categories, including Accessories, Innovative Design and Materials, Footwear, Farm-To-Fashion, Social Impact, Emerging Designer, Retail, Tastemaker and Trans-seasonal Design, plus the Nicholas Coutts Award. The overall prize, the Changemaker Award (presented this year by The Foschini Group), with a R100 000 prize, is presented to a designer whose career has embraced sustainable and circular design practices.

This year, sponsors are The Foschini Group for the Changemaker Award category, plus the V&A Waterfront, Polo South Africa, SKYY Vodka, Pantone Sundays and Country Road, while partners include Cape Wools SA and the British Council’s #SouthernAfricaArts.

For more information about Twyg visit https://twyg.co.za/.

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