The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa initiative is launching a competition to support designers of sustainable and circular fashion.
The Fashionomics Africa online competition aims to celebrate African fashion brands that will change how we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and that encourages a more sustainable change in consumer behaviour.
A four-person judging panel representing the African Development Bank and the other competition collaborators – the United Nations Environment Programme, Parsons School of Design and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, will choose three finalists by 22 January, 2021.
The competition aims to highlight some of the continent’s best designs, outfits, accessories or footwear, with the most sustainable and innovative features:
Textile, apparel and accessories entrepreneurs from Africa, aged 18 years or older, who have launched fashion businesses (with a maximum of 50 employees), and whose sustainable designs have been produced within the last five years, are invited to apply.
Applicants will submit pictures of their products, detail their sustainable business model and explain how their start-up is environmentally friendly and innovative.
Competition organizers say examples of sustainability and circularity elements might include materials used, the design process, cleaner or greener production processes – including shipping methods or ways to reduce carbon footprint.
Vanessa Moungar, the Bank’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society said:
“Sustainability is at the heart of our work with Fashionomics Africa. The first edition of the Fashionomics Africa competition is an excellent opportunity for the Bank to showcase the immense talent and creativity of African fashion designers striving for a more circular fashion industry and economy, while remaining true to their heritage.”
Fashionomics Africa is an initiative of the African Development Bank to increase Africa’s participation in the global textile and fashion industry value chains.
The textile and fashion industry accounts for nearly 10% of global carbon emissions, ranking as the world’s second-largest industrial polluter, after the oil sector, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. However, the industry provides high levels of employment, foreign exchange revenue, and products essential to human welfare.
Around the world, a ‘take-make-dispose’ model of consumption of items made from finite resources is giving way to a more circular and inclusive fashion value chain, which, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, designs-out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use, as well as regenerates natural systems.
In addition to the cash prize, the winning fashion brand will receive a certificate and the opportunity to showcase its creation by taking part in online events and sharing insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry.
The winner will have access to a network of media insiders and industry experts and receive mentoring and networking opportunities from competition collaborators.
To learn more about the Fashionomics Africa online competition and/or to submit an entry, click here (link is external).
The application deadline is 31 December 2020 at 23:59 GMT.