Customers are canny. Today, it’s simply not enough to tag a collection as ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’. We demand more: Are the fabrics biodegradable? What’s the manufacturing process? How are they affecting humanity and the planet? To echo this call to action, the International Woolmark Prize 2020 announcement – a hotbed of emerging talent - signalled transparency and reinforcing supply chain integrity is at the forefront of their minds. The winners will be announced in February 2020 - with 10 finalists (see below) presenting six fully traceable Merino wool looks to a panel of industry experts and leading creatives.
Richard Malone - among the 10 finalists - highlights this conscious shift. Of his practice he describes: "Each jacquard fabric can be traced back to the weaver, and in turn how it was spun, dyed and woven. I worked with Econyl yarn to develop beautiful recycled fishing net jerseys that are breathable and desirable." Elsewhere, the UK-based designer works with local British weavers to create one-off pieces, uses recycled past offcuts to create appliqués and padded garments and upcycles previous season’s private client’s toiles.
The International Woolmark Prize is the world’s leading talent development program, and as fashion industry priorities evolve, so do the expectations of the prize. "We see traceability and supply chain integrity as a way to empower brands and customers to make better choices," explains The Woolmark Company managing director, Stuart McCullough. "By ensuring these emerging designers are equipped with the knowledge, support and access to the most advanced supply chain partners, the International Woolmark Prize continues to push the agenda for best practice."
Provenance - a platform that enables businesses to outline the origin, journey and impact behind products – is the IWP 2020 official traceability partner. Enabled by blockchain, mobile and open data, their software helps brands to gather and share key product information and stories in a way that’s secure, trustworthy and accessible - bringing the supply chain to the shopper, online and in store. Cool, huh? On that note, meet the nominees vying for the (£113,000) prize…
Matthew Adams Dolan - USA
Namacheko - Sweden
GmbH - Germany
Ludovic de Saint Sernin - France
Feng Chen Wang - United Kingdom/China
BLINDNESS - Korea
BODE - USA
BOTTER - The Netherlands
Richard Malone - Ireland/UK
A-COLD-WALL* - UK
Discover the IWP’s 2020 ones-to-watch.