Reliance Industries’ R Elan ‘Fashion For Earth’ in collaboration with UN Environment and LFW launched Circular Design Challenge
I WAS A SARI has been adjudged the winner of the ‘Circular Design Challenge Award 2019’, India’s first award for sustainable fashion, at a gala event held at Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer Resort 2019. I WAS A SARI will receive a cash prize of INR 20 lakhs and an opportunity to present his/her collection at the upcoming Lakmé Fashion Week Winter Festive 2019.
The Circular Design Challenge, launched in August at the Winter Festive 2018 edition of LFW in collaboration with the UN Environment as a part of R Elan’s ‘Fashion for Earth’ initiative, received 900 entries from over 30 cities in India. In November 2018, a shortlist of 8 designers was announced who presented their collection at LFW summer resort 2019, today, and the eminent jury has selected the winner.
The award and a cheque of INR 20 lakhs was presented by Gunjan Sharma, CMO Polyester Business Reliance Industries Ltd. in the presence of Mr Atul Bagai, Country Head, UN Environment India and Mr Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President, Head of Fashion IMG Reliance, to Stephano Funari and Poornima Pande for their label I WAS A SARI. The jury gave an honourable mention to the runners-up, Aman Singh of label Bareek and Kanika Ahuja of label Lifaffa.
Reliance Industries Ltd.’s (RIL) ‘Fashion for Earth’ programme collaborated with UN Environment and LFW to launch the Circular Design Challenge to encourage designers and entrepreneurs to use innovative ideas by using materials from diverse waste sources including plastic. This initiative unraveled the country’s first award for circularity in fashion promoting sustainability across the value chain and, inspiring innovation and offering solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industry in the country. The award is a recognition of the environmental champions of tomorrow in the Indian fashion and textiles industry.
The 8 shortlist designers who showcased their collections, demonstrated creativity, innovative usage of waste and the ability to adopt sustainability and circularity in their collections.
From over 900 registrations and 30 different cites of India, the 8 finalists unveiled their collections before a jury that comprised eminent personalities in the business of fashion, environment, and sustainability:
Mickey Boardman (Editorial director and advice columnist for Paper Magazine, New York City)
Bandana Tewari (Lifestyle Journalist, Sustainable Activist, and Columnist, Business of Fashion)
Rahul Mishra (Indian Fashion & Textile Designer, Winner of International Woolmark Prize 2014)
Harsha Vardhan (Global Environment Lead – Supply Chain, H&M Group
Atul Bagai (Country Head, UN Environment India)
Neha Dhupia, (Indian Film Actress and Producer)
Jaspreet Chandok, Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance said, “We are very excited for our first winner of the Circular Design Challenge. The crucial part for us is now to track and develop the business and ensure genuine impact to the circular and sustainable narrative.”
While congratulating I WAS A SARI, Mr Gunjan Sharma CMO- Polyester Business, Reliance Industries Ltd. said: “Well done I WAS A SARI, for displaying a superb scalable fusion of circularity, sustainability, and the latest trends in fashion. I am pleasantly surprised to see the collections of all shortlist participants as the creativity quotient has transformed the circularity and sustainability outlines into workable fashion.”
CDC jury member and UN Environment India, Country Head, Atul Bagai said, “It is evident from the sustainable collections showcased in the Circular Design Challenge that circularity in fashion has unprecedented benefits not just for the fashion industry and business but also for the environment. Circular fashion can and should be mainstreamed to drastically reduce the fashion and textile industry’s environmental footprint.”
The fabulous collections displayed here have further bolstered our view that the initiatives like Circular Design Challenge are providing the enormous opportunities for budding concept creators, fashion designers and the entire textile value chain to exhibit their innovative ideas, designs with a focus on circularity and sustainability. We are confident that our various initiatives will help transform the entire Indian textile value chain to become a global leader in embedding circularity in their business strategy and operations.”
PROFILE OF WINNERS
Poornima Pande, 33, and Stefano Funari, 50, from Mumbai are part of I was a Sari an eco-ethical lifestyle fashion brand. Poornima has a degree in apparel manufacturing from NIFT and Stefano has studied at the Universita Bocconi in Italy. An underprivileged community of women in Mumbai made the products with the up-cycled pre-loved saris.
Their designs utilize existing resources in terms of fabrics and materials and reinvent them into unique pieces. The winning collection comprised recycling of plastic tarpaulin into a raincoat, bag and umbrella, a 3D appliquéd garment, bags, and shoes as well as a men’s wear creation, long T-shirt with funky logo and carry bag.