Observer Ethical Awards

Antiform collection 7. Photography Giles Smith. Antiform by Lizzie Harrison, MA Fashion and the Environment graduate, shortlisted for Observer Ethical Awards 2010

Antiform collection 7. Photography Giles Smith. Antiform by Lizzie Harrison, MA Fashion and the Environment graduate, shortlisted for Observer Ethical Awards 2010

Since 2008 it has been a great delight and insight to be involved in the Observer Ethical Awards as a judge in their sustainable fashion category. Deliberating alongside a stellar cast of judges and advisors, I have witnessed some incredible ingenuity and beauty with the purpose of replenishing rather than taking without giving back from the world. Led by Lucy Siegle, whose consummate negotiation skills have enabled us to reach consensus, sometimes not without some contestation, we have been able to award some great people and projects.

Now as they enter their ninth awards season, partnered from the start by Ecover, it is my great pleasure to be participating again in the search for the nation’s greatest ethically and sustainability minded products, practices and actions.

‘Sustainable Fashion’ is one of ten categories being considered, the one particularly close to us at Centre for Sustainable Fashion and indeed the one that raises the highest and most impassioned debate of course! It will recognise the best ethical and sustainable fashion piece from the past year.

The Observer says this best in class garment can have been created or adapted by you or you can nominate a piece that you have bought or acquired. What makes it sustainable? Have you re-invented the fashion supply chain to create this product? Perhaps you have run a small-scale project with the makers, or have designed a piece of apparel to last a lifetime? This might include a bourgeoning start-up, a social innovation, a collection that honours a particular location or community skills base, or a globally recognized brand, collective or initiative.

The Awards seek desirable, feasible, viable fashion that contributes to a prosperous world for all and equally seek people who are making the biggest difference in the journey to environmental and social justice throughout different industries, societies, and habitats.

There are a multitude of categories this year, from travel, to arts and culture, sustainable fashion, and Young Green Champion. You can find out here why the awards are so important.

It just takes a short time to enter and the awards are only able to be given those who register – so please don’t be shy, we know that great people and work are often humble and form filling is not many people’s greatest interest – but we know that there is some amazing work out there and we’d like to encourage you to put yourself forward or send this to somebody whose work you admire at www.observer.co.uk/ethicalawards before the closing date, 21st March 2014.

Dilys Williams – Director, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
@dilyswilliams