Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023 winners announced

Uni Form by Luke Radloff. Picture: Supplied.

Uni Form by Luke Radloff. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 27, 2023


Fashion is one of the biggest contributors to environmental waste. According to Earth.Org, 92 million tons out of the 100 billion garments produced each year, end up in landfills.

In a bid to reduce the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, organisations like Twyg have started the Sustainable Fashion Awards.

This platform is designed to encourage designers to be environmentally conscious.

At the awards, hosted at Centre for the Book in the heart of Cape Town, designers, the media, finalists, judges, sponsors and visionaries gathered to usher in the 2023 cohort of sustainable fashion’s finest.

And the winners of the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2023 are:

Emerging Designer Award presented by SKYY Vodka and Pantone Sundays

Handed by entrepreneur Nandi Dlepu, founder of pop-up store, “Pantone Sundays”, this award is given to a current student or young emerging designer who is challenging fashion’s status quo and engaging with environmental and social responsibilities in a playful and creative way.

The winner was Khumo, the brains behind “Studio Khumo'’.

Accessories Award

This award was handed by Twyg’s partnerships manager, Benn Ndzoyiya and it won by Verse from “Verse Studio.”

This award recognises a brand or designer who implements ethical labour practices, limits the use of toxic chemicals and utilises sustainable materials in the design and production of accessories.

Footwear Award

This award was handed to “Reefer Shoes” by Electric South producer Tshireletso Tshwenyane.

This award recognises a brand, cobbler or designer who makes quality, durable footwear using sustainable materials.

The award also recognised those who have implemented ethical labour practices and had limited use of toxic chemicals during the design process.

Innovative Design and Materials Award presented by Polo South Africa:

Handed over by Valecia Beukes of Polo, this award recognises a designer who uses innovative techniques to reduce textile waste and the negative environmental impact of fashion.

It was won by “SinCHUI”, a Cape Town label designed by Robyn Agulhas.

Trans-seasonal Design Award presented by Country Road

Handed over by Connie Swartbooi, head of marketing at Country Road Group RSA. It was won by South African luxury fashion brand “Munkus”.

This award acknowledges quality design that aspires to be timeless and made to last through versatility and multi-functionality.

The winning brand/designer is also invested in the life of their garments and supports slower production cycles.

Farm-to-Fashion Award

The winner in this category was Botanical Nomad and the was handed over by Petrone Oelofse of Cape Wools SA.

This award celebrates brands or designers who are committed to cultivating transparent and traceable supply chains.

It also recognises designers who advocate for regenerative textile practices, make garments from 100% natural fabric, and use no fossil-fuel-based synthetics and as few toxins and chemicals as possible during the design process.

Nicholas Coutts Artisanal Fashion Award presented by the V&A Waterfront

With a R10 000 cash prize from the Coutts family, this award was handed over by Sylvia Tekanyo, senior manager: Digital Marketing at the V&A Waterfront, in honour of the late Nicholas Coutts, who explored traditional techniques in his designs.

This award recognises a designer who uses artisanal methods to create fashion that foregrounds the skills of garment workers and local communities.

Winning this award was “Uni Form” by Luke Radloff.

Social Impact Award

Handed over by jury member Esethu Cenga, the CEO of Rewoven, this award is open to organisations working in the fashion and textile system and honours those who have a direct positive impact on people.

This includes raising awareness about social concerns, creating employment opportunities, and encouraging good and fair working conditions. “Taking Care of Business“ won this category.

Retail Award

This award was won by “Style Rotate”, a local community-led rental fashion platform.

It was handed over by Andrea Nagel, the editor of “Sunday Times Lifestyle”.

This award recognises a retailer or retailing initiative that prioritises sustainability by including pre-loved and gently worn clothes, swop shops, garment rental and similar activities.

It also seeks to acknowledge supporting local producers, vertical and regional supply chains, and sustainable design and manufacturing.

Tastemaker Award

Handed over by jury member Sharon Armstrong, fashion director of the “Sunday Times”, this award goes to a photographer, stylist, influencer or content creator who has actively promoted slow, sustainable fashion and/or slow living over the last 12 months, and who has sparked relevant conversations. It was won by South Africa's fashion guru and curator, Felipe Mazibuko.

And for the coveted Changemaker Award presented by Foschini, “Munkus” by Thando Ntuli took it home, along with a R100 000 cash prize to further her career.