The sustainability pioneer is recognized for his work as the founder of eco-conscious brand Fundudzi at the inaugural Fashion Industry Awards SA.
Sustainability visionary Craig Jacobs, the founder of Africa’s first eco-conscious fashion brand, has been announced as the inaugural recipient of the Fashion Innovation of the Year award at the inaugural awards. South African fashion industry.
Jacobs, who created Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs as a way to celebrate the rich diversity of African culture and its ecological treasures, was one of 18 recipients in various categories announced at an event on Friday.
The Fashion Industry Awards South Africa (Fiasa), which was launched last year, aims to celebrate and recognize the excellence of today’s fashion industry pioneers and creatives.
“It is humbling to receive this recognition at a time when we are more sensitive to the environmental cost of fashion. When I started Fundudzi in 2004, that was not the case – many in the industry fashion industry were perplexed about my vision to bring positive change to an industry more concerned with hem length than carbon emissions,” said the fashion entrepreneur.
Jacobs, who is recognized as a leading voice on global sustainability and delivered the closing keynote at the World Retail Congress 2015 (Africa) on the topic of African innovation and sustainability, believes that the organic way of life is inherent in African culture.
Its label has imaginatively integrated African and sustainable materials, as well as an intrinsic awareness of the environmental impact of design processes, since its inception – using materials such as cashmere, bamboo, hemp, soy and corn-based textiles produced in Africa.
However, as a panelist at the Future Sustainability Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2020, he announced that simply incorporating sustainable materials into the production cycle was no longer enough.
Alarmed that clothing is increasingly becoming one of the biggest sources of landfill in the world, he advocates that brands must urgently turn to an integrated biodiversity strategy to bring about real change.
Fundudzi’s approach, ironically, draws inspiration from fast fashion’s fast-response model, but in a more considered way – the brand only produces limited units of each style at its brick-and-mortar partners, producing and resupplying units as needed. Meanwhile, online, Fundudzi is disrupting the traditional digital model of delivering as fast as possible with its ‘the value of waiting’ innovation, which states: “We cherish every fiber used to create our garments, and that’s that’s why we only pre-produce small minimum quantities of each style we offer. If we run out, our manufacturers will carefully make your garment to order, which is why the delivery window for this garment is between five days and six weeks.
Additionally, with the global leather industry contributing to the decimation of the Amazon rainforests in the quest for grazing livestock, Fundudzi is prototyping a new line of plant-based leather alternative accessories that will soon be launched.
For more details on visiting Fundudzi www.fundudzi.com.