Winner gets $2,000 in AfDB, UNEP Sustainable Fashion contest

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By Temitope Ponle

Abuja, Dec. 14, (2020) The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Fashionomics Africa initiative is inaugurating a competition to support designers for sustainable fashion, according to a statement from AfDB on Monday.

The first Fashionomics Africa online contest would invite African fashion brands pursuing environmentally friendly measures, sustainability and circular economy actions to participate in.

The designer who submits the “best sustainable design” would win 2,000 dollars and other prizes.

A four-member panel of judges representing the AfDB, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Parsons School of Design and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation would choose three finalists on Jan. 22, 2021.

Vanessa Moungar, AfDB’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.

“The public would select the winner via an online vote on the Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace and mobile application between Jan. 25, 2021 and Feb. 8, 2021.’’

The statement noted that the competition would be open to textile, apparel and accessories entrepreneurs from 18 years or older.

Entrepreneurs who have inaugurated fashion businesses (with a maximum of 50 employees), and whose sustainable designs have been produced within the last five years, are to apply.

Applicants are also expected to submit pictures of their products, details of their sustainable business model and explain how their start-up is environmentally friendly and innovative.

In addition to the cash prize, the winning fashion brand would receive a certificate.

The brand would also have the opportunity to showcase its creation by taking part in online events and sharing insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry.

Furthermore, the winner would have access to a network of media insiders and industry experts, and receive mentoring and networking opportunities from competition collaborators.

Fashionomics Africa is an initiative of the AfDB to increase Africa’s participation in the global textile and fashion industry value chains.

For example, 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.

“The Fashionomics Africa online competition aims to celebrate African fashion brands that will change how we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and that encourage a more sustainable change in consumer behaviour.’’

The application deadline is Dec. 31.

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