Anish Malpani of label ‘Without’ from India wins CDC 2023

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Designer Anish Malpani of label ‘Without’ from India has won the 5th Circular Design Challenge (CDC) – India’s biggest sustainability award organised by R|Elan, the next-gen fabric brand of India’s largest conglomerate – Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), in association with the United Nations in India. The challenge culminated at a finale show at the UN House during Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI. Felipe Fiallo from the European Union was announced the runner-up.

With the aim to give a global platform to fashion design talent that integrates sustainability in design and production to reduce waste and pollution and recycle products, Circular Design Challenge (CDC) embarked on a worldwide expansion to the EU, UK and the Asia-Pacific region.

Anish Malpani, the designer behind the ‘Without’ label in India, has won the 5th Circular Design Challenge (CDC) 2023, India’s premier sustainability award.
The CDC, organised by R|Elan, a fabric brand under Reliance Industries Limited, in partnership with the United Nations, aims to promote sustainability in fashion design and production.

Circular Design Challenge (CDC) is India’s largest award for designers and entrepreneurs that recognises and promotes circularity, sustainability and innovation in the fashion and textile industries. The fashion and apparel industry are amongst the highest polluters and CDC attempts to transform the ecologically intensive sector. The CDC advocates for the recognition of India’s heritage, the relevance of creating fashion labels with social impact, and the necessity of adopting a circular manufacturing model to advance sustainable practices that address extractive impacts on the environment.

The brand ‘Without’ by Anish Malpani brought great eyewear fashion on the ramp but with a revolutionary patent pending technology. Recycling discarded Multi-layered Plastic Packaging (MLP) ‘Without’ transformed it into a fashion item. Recycled packets of chips were created into stylish sunglasses that had functionality at their roots – they were UV polarised, comfortable and durable. The ‘Without’ brand has empowered the lives of waste pickers and created products that offer guilt free consumption that is truly circular in its essence.

Ecuador national, Felipe Fiallo, based in Italy, created a footwear line that was an amazing effort at combining digital fabrication, style and of course sustainability. Designing highly unconventional footwear, Felipe combined his creative sensibilities around the bio mimicry of nature and combined technology with craftsmanship. Deeply respectful of the environment, Felipe focused on Regenerative designs and promoted cradle-to-cradle sustainable practices for the fashion industry. The footwear ranged from knee high boots to almost futuristic in style and appearance ankle booties. The geometric structure in the black/white for the ankle high boots almost had a space age feel.

Five years ago, RIL and the United Nations pioneered this creative and innovative platform that nurtures, mentors and promotes environmental champions – torchbearers of sustainable design and manufacturing practices – and advocates of sustainable production and consumption.

CDC has identified and supported remarkable winners who combine fashion with environmentally friendly innovations. Some past winners include I Was A Sari, which upcycles discarded saris, while empowering women artisans, Malai Biomaterials Design, which creates sustainable alternatives to leather, Bandit, which masters the art of upcycling various materials into eco-cool products, and Pieux, which focuses on recycled materials and modular garment construction. Moreover, the platform has supported 25 alumni through workshops and networks to gradually transform the fashion ecosystem.

CDC partners across borders include the British Council for the UK, Redress for Hong Kong/Asia Pacific, and Istituto Marangoni for The European Union, the company said in a press release.

The winner, Anish Malpani received funding worth ₹15 lakh, CDC trophy, and a six-month mentorship programme along with a stand-alone showcase at Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with FDCI in March 2024.  Felipe Fiallo, the runner up received funding worth ₹5 lakh. The winner and runner up will be mentored by Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution & Creative Director of Estethica.

“CDC is one of the most remarkable initiatives to promote circularity in material usage by Reliance Industries. The CDC has nurtured, mentored, and promoted environmental champions leading circular and innovative collections using sustainable and recycled materials. The Challenge has established itself as the largest sustainable fashion award in India. The initiative has played a crucial role in promoting circularity and sustainability in the Indian fashion industry, and after four editions in India, we have now gone international to promote sustainability, and circular economy adoption globally,” Hemant D Sharma, sector head – polyester, RIL, said.

“The world is facing a triple planetary crisis of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change. The Circular Design Challenge (CDC) demonstrates that fashion can be a powerful driver for responsible production and consumption, weaving together style and sustainability. It also resonates with the global Lifestyles for Environment (LiFE) movement, recently endorsed by the G20, and the increasing urgency of environmentally conscious lifestyles and consumer choices. The CDC and LiFE are important threads in the UN partnership tapestry, and we are thrilled that the CDC is bringing its message to the global catwalk for the first time. This reflects the centrality of India as a leader in both sustainable culture and climate action. Where India, and its fashion industry goes, the world will increasingly follow,” Shombi Sharp, UN resident coordinator, India, said.

“After witnessing the growing participation and appreciation for CDC over the last five years, taking CDC to the global stage aligns perfectly with our vision of promoting sustainable fashion worldwide. Together with R|Elan and the United Nations in India, we have elevated the Circular Design Challenge to become the biggest sustainability platform within the country. As we move forward, our focus is on making this platform an even greater success on an international scale, alongside our global partners and welcome creative minds from around the world join us in our mission to promote sustainable fashion,” Jaspreet Chandok, group vice president, Reliance Brands that organises Lakme Fashion Week in partnership with Fashion Design Council of India, said.

Cristina Cancer, Istituto Marangoni head of alumni, career service & industry relationship added on Felipe Fiallo being the runner up, “As one of the leading educational institutions focused on Fashion, our mission is to train the new generation of Designers creating a culture of circularity and sustainable fashion and an eco-conscious mindset. We are really proud of our Alumnus Felipe Fiallo because of his strong commitment to sustainability recycling and we are honored that he was recognised as the runner up of this edition of the CDC because with his work and innovative approach he perfectly represents the values and vision of this new eco-conscious culture.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RR)

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