Mindful Fashion gala announcement

The finalists of the inaugural Mindful Fashion Circular Design Awards have been revealed with the winners to be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on the 30th November 2023.

An exhibition of finalists’ work will be showcased at the Circular Design Award Gala Dinner and tickets are open to members of the public.

If you’ve seen the film Fashion Reimagined, the Mindful Fashion Circuar Design Awards will make your heart sing, and this event is a must on the fashion calendar for multiple reasons.

The aim of the Circular Designer Awards is to inspire designers to reimagine the way clothes are designed, made and circulated for a low-carbon, waste-free future, and it encourages designers to explore the principles of the circular economy from a unique New Zealand perspective.

Weaving together wisdom from the cultural heritage of Aotearoa with local industry knowledge, the 86 entrants were encouraged to use their skills and resources to find innovative ways to design wearable fashion out of what would have otherwise been considered waste.

The finalists have been selected by a prestigious panel of judges from across the industry including Peri Drysdale, founder and CEO of Untouched World, Dan Ahwa, stylist and creative director at Viva, and award-winning textile artist Maungarongo Te Kawa.

The inaugural Finalists are:

● Nethasha Abeysinghe
● Josh Bognar
● Katherine Chow
● William Keane Jung-Ying Fitzgerald
● Whitney Henton
● Philippa Hoogsteden
● Izzy Levian
● Karlie Morrow
● Olivia Schaw
● Donna Stoble

With a $40,000 prize pool across the Awards, the finalists will be vying for; the Award for Creative Excellence, Award for Innovation that shows exciting Commercial Potential, Award for Excellence from an Emerging Talent and the Editorial Feature Award.

Jacinta FitzGerald, Mindful Fashion New Zealand chief executive says they are delighted with the standard of entries in the first year of the awards. “Designers really rose to the challenge. We are excited to be providing a platform for innovation away from current wasteful and polluting systems, and empowering designers to channel their creativity to be at the leading edge of change.”

● 400 per cent more clothes are consumed today than two decades ago and 150 billion new garments are now produced every year.

● Millions of tonnes of textiles are wasted annually; New Zealand produces 220,000 tonnes of textile waste per year. Auckland sends 70 rubbish trucks of old clothes to Redvale landfill each week alone. However, textiles are almost 100 per cent recyclable.

● Textile waste pollutes the environment, leaching chemicals and microplastics into the natural environment, and generating a disproportionately high volume of emissions as it breaks down.

● Around 80 per cent of the overall environmental and economic impact of a garment is influenced at the design stage.

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