Drawing from a pool of experience within the ethical fashion sector, the intensive three month mentoring programme gave the designers the opportunity to develop their brand identity and refine their collection signatures. By boosting their business potential and focusing on a sustainable supply chain they are set to have a competitive edge with European buyers this autumn.
"Recognizing, nurturing and launching designers is essential to sustain a healthy fashion industry and as the world increasingly operates as a global village, breaking geographical boundaries is our future. The SLDF Ethical Fashion Designer Award is a bridge, a journey of discovery and cultural intermix, an opportunity for young designers to think of design as a universal language, understood by all."
Orsola de Castro, Founder of award winning eco brand From Somewhere
Luxury eco lingerie brand ‘Charini’ celebrates exquisite artisanal Beeralu lace through working with community enterprises in Sri Lanka. Charini’s S/S 2012 range also focuses on architectural support in design and sets a standard of no elastics, no metals, no underwire and no harmful dying. Wellbeing is at the heart of her working and production ethos. Charini Suriyage will be showcasing her collection at the London Fashion Week Esthetica this September.
Ready-to-wear eco brand ‘K. T. Brown’ has been inspired by the iconic Sri Lankan artist Ena De Silva and brings the mastery of surface design to work alongside her innovative pattern techniques of using circles as a base for garment structures. K T Brown’s vibrant collection also supports sustainable livelihoods, fabrics are sourced locally and all garments are exclusively made by the dedicated team at her studio in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Kanchana Talpawila will be showcasing her collection at PURE London this August.
The mentors who worked alongside the winning designers included, award winning designer Orsola de Castro, Founder of Reclaimed To Wear Filippo Ricci, Claire Hamer from E8ight ethical fashion consultancy, ethical fashion consultant Elizabeth Laskar, Soozie Jenkinson and Paschal Little from M&S, Subramaniam Eassuwaren from Carbon Consulting Company and Ajay Amalean from MAS Holdings Sri Lanka.
“We are proud and delighted to support the SLDF ethical fashion award. We really enjoyed being involved and working with all the designers throughout the mentoring process and congratulate all of them on their excellent work. We were inspired both by their creativity and their original and innovative approach to sustainable design” Head of Innovation and Quality for Lingerie and Beauty, M&S
The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) Ethical Fashion Award searches for and launches exceptional design talent from Sri Lanka and South East Asia into Europe. Supported by industry and commercial partners, the award aims to support South East Asian designers through brand and design development to reach new markets and expand their business potentials.
“We are excited to see the exceptional work of the winners of the SLDF Ethical Fashion Award. Both Charini Suriyage and Kanchana Talpawila build on the strong ethical manufacturing background of Sri Lanka, and drawing on the local artisanal roots to create fabulous, sustainable apparel. We are keen to build sustainable design capabilities of Sri Lankan designers and this is a strong first step towards that goal.”
Dian Gomes, Group Director, MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka
Supporting local artisanal communities, providing livelihoods through cooperative collaborations, up-cycling textiles to applying innovative techniques to save water and energy – the SLDF Ethical Fashion Award continues to celebrate a principled approach towards fashion and through partnering with European commercial platforms introduces international designers onto new markets.
“Design with a conscience that is socially and ecologically aware and active is the kind of design that can make a positive impact on society and our planet; and that is the kind of design that we need for the future and therefore the kind of design we need to encourage. SLDF Ethical Fashion Award recognizes of fashion designers and entrepreneurs who make sustainability and ethical commitments a core element of their practice. SLDF aims to encourage a new movement in fashion and design thinking, and this award is a key part of this creative revolution” Linda Speldewinde, Founder of Sri Lanka Design Festival, Sri Lanka
The ‘British Council –Sri Lanka’ and the Carbon Consulting Company have also supported the award as knowledge partners. The award will launch again this year as the SLDF continues to support young talented eco designers to launch into the European fashion platform.
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Notes to editors
ABOUT SLDF 2011
SLDF in its third year of operation the festival has become a highly sought-after platform for brands and organizations that are interested in aligning themselves with innovation, technology and ethical designing/manufacturing. In the years 2009 and 2010, SLDF was extremely successful in communicating Sri Lanka’s potential as a creative, ethical manufacturing, green hub for Asia.
Press contact: Elizabeth Laskar Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
K T Brown - www.ktbrown.biz
Sri Lanka Design Festival Ethical Fashion Award: http://www.srilankadesignfestival.com/