Nearly 30 designers are set to showcase their collections over a period of four days at the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week this month (March).
Some of the international designers include Kanika Goyal and Siddartha Tytler while the Sri Lankan designer pool includes Charini Suriyage, Dimuthu Sahabandu, Indeevari Yapa Abeywardena, Sharmila Ruberu, Dinesh Chandrasena, Asanka De Mel, Dinushi Pamunuwa, Fouzul Hameed, Amilani Perera, Aslam Hussein, Kamil Hewavitharana and Jai by Aashki amongst others.
In 2020, the focus of CFW is to encourage all the participating Sri Lankan designers and connected stakeholders to embark on a responsible journey. This focus is primarily to align the Sri Lankan fashion design industry on a responsible path, while celebrating the effort and the story of every garment. This will also profile the industry and showcase the intention of participating designers. Sri Lanka will be the first in the region that will embark on this collaborative program.
The “Responsibility in Fashion” program by HSBC Colombo Fashion Week introduces three responsibility and circularity-based initiatives, which are actionable impacts and with this HSBC Colombo Fashion Week opens the door for the stakeholders of the Sri Lankan fashion design industry to embrace and start on a journey towards circularity.
It also presents a platform for anyone in the region to utilize this program to further their responsible and sustainable goals.
This is the first-of-its-kind in the world with solutions that are relevant, cutting-edge, and easy to adopt. This was a result of months of research and behind-the-scenes efforts.
The three actionable impacts are – Garment Enhancement Guarantee, Garment Disposal Plan and Return-After-Use-for-Repurpose, these three take every garment towards achieving Circularity and making every attempt to save them from ending up in a landfill.
In addition to the above, a first-of-its-kind garment evaluation tool is being introduced, The Responsible Meter. This tool evaluates every garment presented at this season of Colombo Fashion Week and it will continue from here. It is based on environmental, societal and organizational wellbeing.
CFW has maintained emphasis on developing the next generation of Sri Lankan fashion designers since inception and this consistent focus has resulted in CFW receiving the highest number of applications for the Emerging Designer Program this year. 13 high potential young designers have been mentored and selected to present their collections in what will be the biggest Emerging Designer showcase to date. This is an important sign for Sri Lanka’s fashion design industry. These young designers will also incorporate the Responsible Meter and the 3 actionable impacts into their collections under the guidance of CFW.
“The fashion industry now features among the top 5 most polluting industries in the world. It was always in our hearts to create a responsible and actionable program that could be very relevant not only to Sri Lanka, but also for key fashion countries in the world to adopt. We’ve been working on it for the last few years and I am happy that we’re the first in the world to implement such a program.” said Ajai Vir Singh, Founder and Managing Director of Colombo Fashion Week.
In its 17th year, HSBC Colombo Fashion Week has stayed true to its vision of creating a multi-pronged platform that has revived, enhanced and developed the fashion design industry, and expands this vision further with the new path of Responsibility-in-Fashion.
HSBC continues to be the Title Partner of Colombo Fashion Week’s Summer edition and has been an important part of the journey for the past 13 years. “As the leading international bank in Sri Lanka, we are delighted to partner Colombo Fashion Week as the title sponsor for the 13th consecutive year. As one of the largest banking and financial services organizations, HSBC aspires to be a leading global partner in financing, managing and shaping the transition in to a low carbon future. In Sri Lanka, HSBC in partnership with IUCN and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), are enabling the development of a strategy for the local apparel sector to transition into a low carbon environment resulting in Responsible Fashion. We are glad that CFW has adopted the theme from 2020 and beyond” said Mark Prothero, CEO for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives.
“Responsibility in Fashion has been a fundamental pillar at CFW. Amidst a mass wave of greenwashing, CFW designers have pledged to implement “actionable” plans on their journey towards a circular fashion system. Its role in creating a direct dialogue with the consumer makes the Responsible Meter the value system that is required to make a real change. We take pride in leading this change in collaboration with the designers who are showcasing this season” said Fazeena Rajabdeen, CEO and Director of Colombo Fashion Week.
HSBC Colombo Fashion Week is hosted by Hilton Colombo, its base for the last 11 years. “Hilton Colombo is proud to partner with CFW who share similar interests in taking clear action towards doubling our social impact investment and halving our environmental footprint. We support the fashion industry by partnering with a recycling plant to convert used plastic to yarn for a Sri Lankan clothing brand whilst striving to save the planet and make you look good! Guests are encouraged to purchase these garments, available at our gift store, with a portion of the proceeds going to the conservation of sharks and turtles. Further we are focusing on responsible sourcing amongst other initiatives in giving back to our community,” said Manesh Fernando, Area General Manager- Sri Lanka, and General Manager Hilton Colombo.
To further immerse the fashion consumer and encourage designers a special show called “RE” has been created, where participating designers will bring to life the responsible impacts in their collections. It captures sustainable design in fashion, and with this show we celebrate a collaboration with another creative discipline – architecture.
“As we continue to partner with Colombo Fashion Week we are inspired by this year’s approach of reinforcing sustainability in the world of fashion.” said Timothy Wright, Vice President and General Manager, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, the Official Hospitality Partner this season. “These efforts are in line with our own endeavour to merge luxurious travel experiences with meaningful initiatives for the environment at large.”
On its journey of developing fashion in Sri Lanka, Colombo Fashion Week has formed strategic partnerships with Sri Lanka’s leading and like-minded brands. HSBC as the Title Partner; Hilton Colombo as the Official Host Hotel, TRESemmé as the Official Hair Care Partner; Shangri-La Hotel Colombo as the Official Hospitality Partner; Vogue Jewellers as the Official Jewellery Partner; Vision Care as the Official Eyewear Partner; High Commission of India as a strategic partner presenting Indian designers; Jaguar Land Rover as the Official Automobile Partner; Hameedia; Dialog Club Vision; Ramani Fernando as Official Hair and Make-up Partner and Emerging Media as the Outdoor Digital Media Partner. All of these entities share and extend their support towards the vision and aspirations of Colombo Fashion Week.
This season of HSBC Colombo Fashion Week will take place from the 18th to 21st March 2020. For more information on Colombo Fashion Week’s Summer 2020 edition visit the official website www.colombofashionweek.com. Follow Colombo Fashion week on Instagram (@colombofashionweek) and Facebook (@colombofashionweek) for the latest updates, photos, videos and more.