GREEN MACHINES: Stella McCartney, Christopher Raeburn and Bottletop are among the 10 fashion businesses that have been awarded the inaugural CO10 Leadership Award, which recognizes companies that put sustainability at their core.
The award is presented by Common Objective, a network that connects more than 10,000 professionals in the fashion, retail and textile industries to share knowledge and best sustainability practices. It will be awarded virtually in the spirit of sustainability.
The other winners are Osklen, Indigenous, Outland Denim, Mayamiko, Sonica Sarna Design, Ethical Apparel Africa and The Rajlakshmi Cotton Mills.
“The industry has seen an incredible amount of traction over the past year, from increased consumer demand and government engagement, to the abundance of new entrants that focus on sustainability,” said Harold Tillman, former chairman of the British Fashion Council.
He added that the overall CO Leadership Awards are aimed at creating a milestone moment for fashion to champion innovators.
A panel of judges, including representatives from Farfetch, Kering and Vivienne Westwood, selected the 10 winners.
The winners were chosen based on their ability to marry sustainability strategies with commercial ones. The key criteria, according to organizers, were mission, business model, products and services, impact, sustainability roadmap and communication strategy.
Not only will the 10 brands be recognized for their contributions to sustainability, they will also be connected to like-minded businesses with “the right kind of sales, marketing and production channels to advance their strategies,” according to Tillman.
“Their businesses will be amplified to a 12,000-plus network of professionals and organizations through exclusive content and an algorithm boost in our search-ranking. They will become part of a community with a wealth of insight,” he added.
Raeburn said he was excited about the opportunities that will come out of winning. “It’s fantastic to be recognized for our contribution to the industry as it recognizes the full spectrum of the fashion business, from the supplier through to the brand. This is how we approach responsible design,” he said.
“It’s been a challenging journey, but one that has allowed us to build a manifesto for change. As we enter the beginning of a new chapter for the business, we’re working toward producing zero waste in the Raeburn Lab, to truly close the loop,” Raeburn added.
The designer has made his mark in the industry for creating environmentally responsible designs by using deadstock fabrics and reworking them into garments under the brand’s Remade, Reduce and Recycle ethos.
Remade items are produced from fabrics such as military parachutes; Reduced pieces are created from manufacturing waste, and Recycled products from reused plastics.
The designer has just marked his 10th year in business and last year was named global creative director of Timberland. Under his new role, Raeburn will work with Timberland on footwear, apparel and accessories to bring his sustainability ethos into Timberland’s creative strategy and retail spaces.