Every now and then, the Sealand Crew takes some time away from the studio. We pluck the yacht sail scraps from our hair, put on our best jackets made from old kitesurfing kites, and head to one of the glamorous events of the high fashion world’s calendar. The most recent ‘now and then’ was last Thursday, 19 September. Sealand had not only been invited to the Twyg (pronounced ‘Twig’) Sustainable Fashion Awards 2019, we were nominated as a finalist for three out of the seven awards of the evening.
Twyg is a South African fashion brand that is encouraging a modern eco-conscious and forward-thinking lifestyle. Founded in 2017 by legend of the media world, Jackie May, Twyg is based on the premise that we can no longer ignore the climate crisis, nor pretend that it is not a direct product of human action. Twyg aims to play its part in the solution by becoming a medium through which to tell stories that inspire others to act in the fight against climate change. In addition, Twyg creates bespoke experiences and campaigns in collaboration with other brands and organisations that share their values. In July 2019, they hosted the first Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards, and invited Sealand to join other leaders of the industry for the event.
After much anticipation in the Sealand studio, the night of the award ceremony arrived. Jasper was somehow chatting more than he usually does, and Mike stood next to him with the standard ‘I’m just stoked to be here’ look on his face. After much talking, photographs, and glasses of champagne, everyone took their seats and the awards ceremony began.
Photo Cred: Twyg
Sealand was nominated as a finalist for The Sustainable Accessory Award, The Sustainable Retail Award, and The Changemaker Award by a judges panel of Kelly Fung (Head of Content at Superbalist), Cyril Naicker (National Coordinator of Fashion Revolution), Aaniyah Omardien (Founder and Director of The Beach Co-Op), Desiree Smal (Senior Lecturer of Fashion Design at the University of Johannesburg), and Fezile Mdletshe (Founder and Director of Fezile Fashion Academy). As the ceremony got going, the upcycled butterflies in Mike and Jasper’s stomachs fluttered and anticipation grew. When Cyril Naicker called out ‘Sealand Gear’ as the winner of the Sustainable Accessory Award we were over the moon.
'The Judges' - Photo Cred: Twyg
The Sustainable Accessory Award ‘recognises an accessory or accessory brand which implements ethical labour practices, limits toxic chemicals, and uses sustainable materials to create a quality item and considers end of life.’ Cyril Naicker, who presented Jasper with the award, said, ‘[s]ustainability has been embedded as a core brand value long before this became fashion. Not only are Sealand accessories upcycled and recycled, they are fashionable, look great, are made well and are good for the environment.’
The event was a resounding success and would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of PETCO. PETCO, a PET plastic recycling company, fulfils the PET industry’s role of extended producer responsibility. It is a voluntary industry-driven and financed environmental solutions for post-consumer PET plastic.
On Friday morning, Jasper arrived at the Sealand Studio, Twyg in hand, to cheers from the studio crew. We are honoured to have received the prestigious award, and it has inspired us to work harder and think further out the box. We look forward to next year – when we will hopefully add a few more Twygs to our awards shelf.