Fashionomics Africa ContestFor Fashion Entrepreneur -2023 ($ 10,000) Cash Prize

Fashionomics Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, Parsons School of Design, strategic consulting and communications agency BPCM, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, invite interested African fashion brands to apply to the sustainable fashion online competition.

The online competition is a challenge prize run by the African Development Bank that aims to celebrate African fashion brands that will change how we produce, buy, use and recycle fashion and that encourage a more sustainable shift in consumer practices.

The contest is open to fashion entrepreneurs of 18 years of age and above, operating in the textile, apparel, and accessories industry in Africa. Entrants must pursue environmentally friendly, sustainable and circular economy measures to qualify. 


1.1. Eligibility criteria

The contest is open to fashion entrepreneurs of 18 years of age and above (proof of age will be requested), operating in the textile, apparel, and accessories industry in Africa. 

Entrants must pursue environmentally friendly, sustainable and circular economy measures to qualify. 

Priority will be given to youth (18-35 years old) and women-led fashion businesses.

Applicants should have an African passport and / or live in an African country and have an identification document like a passport, national ID Card or Voters Card issued in an African country.

Participants must have launched a fashion business* and operate in the textile (fabric making), apparel (clothing) or accessories (jewelry, bags, etc.) sector. Recently launched businesses are encouraged to apply. Proof of business registration will be requested.

1.2. Definitions

Fashion industry businesses: a fashion business is defined as a business generating at least 30-50% of its revenues from one of the following business lines: the design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising and promotion of all types of apparel. This spans from the most rarefied and expensive haute couture (high sewing) and designer fashion to ordinary everyday clothing.

Sustainability (applied to the fashion industry): designing and producing items in a way that balances social, economic, environmental and institutional considerations to meet the needs of society and future generations, while taking into account the entire value chain.

Circularity: the concept of circularity provides a model to transform the current economic model towards a sustainable future. As outlined in the United Nations Environment Programme circularity platform, circularity’s underlying objective is that materials should be kept at their highest possible value as they move and are retained within the value chain. This reduces the use of natural resources and environmental impacts per unit of economic activity or output, while continuing to enable improvements in human well-being. Circularity is built on the overall guiding principle of ‘’Reduce by design’’, and value retention loops, as shown in the UNEP circularity approach below:

1.3. Admissibility requirements

Applications must be received no later than January 18th, 2023 at 23h59 GMT.

Applications must be submitted by completing the online registration form.

If participants already HAVE a Fashionomics Africa account, they must LOG IN FIRST to be able to submit their proposal. Once they are logged into their account, they can access the contest form. 

If participants do NOT HAVE a Fashionomics Africa account, they just have to submit their proposal via the registration form. An account on the platform for them will be automatically created for them**. 

1.4. Application page

The information to be provided in the application form will include:

Section 1

Personal information about the participant;
Business information about the participant’s brand;
Write-up (max. 1,000 words) to:
Present the brand's sustainable business model (from the materials used, to the production and end-life of the product) and provide information about products composition and materials;
Explain what makes the brands’ flagship products environmentally friendly and innovative and demonstrate the brand’s vision and creativity;
Explain how the brand intends to allocate and spend the funds, should it win the competition.

All participants must ensure that the terms and techniques used are described with concrete examples of how they are applied in the business model (i.e. terms such “upcycling” and “repurposing” should be supported by concrete examples).

Section 2

A short video (max. 3 minutes) to present the brand’s products*** and production processes.
Pictures of the product(s) produced in different angles (at least front and back views) – maximum 5 items. The following information will be required for each product submitted:
The materials used.
The design process.
The production techniques.
The methods put into place to reduce the carbon footprint (if any).
Information on the life of the product: durability, measures taken to extend the product’s lifetime and transparency.
The year the product was released.
Other attachments: 1 page visual/textual summary of the brand, look book, press book and any other relevant document.
Applications must be submitted either in English or French.

All designs should be original and not previously winner of any other competition. 

Failure to comply with these requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

1.4. Evaluation criteria

Quality of the sustainable products designed (60 points)

Are the brand's flagship products environmentally friendly and innovative?


Originality and use of more sustainable materials (e.g. recycled, organic) (15 points)
Design of durable, recyclable garments (15 points)
Cleaner/ greener production techniques (e.g. safer chemicals, less waste) (10 points)
Original ways to reduce the carbon footprint (10 points)
Life of the product: Product’s durability and measures taken to reduce waste and to extend the product's lifetime (10 points)
Demonstrating a global perspective in terms of looking through the entire business model and value chain as well as trying to address all life cycle stages of the product, will be asset.

All products submitted must have been introduced to the market and placed within the last 5 years maximum.

Each participant will submit pictures of the products (mandatory).

Clear write-up (on the brand and its sustainable products) and solid growth plan/strategy on how it intends to disburse the USD $10,000 prize (30 points)

Is sustainability at the heart of the brand’s business model?


Quality of write-up (8 points)
The brand has a sustainable business model: From the materials used, to the production and end-life of the product. Are the brand’s fashion products used more, made to be made again, made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs? (12 points)
Is the allocation of the USD 10,000-reward proposed by the brand strong and viable? (10 points)
Brand’s commitment to sustainability (10 points)


Use of social networks, website or other means of communication to promote circular actions (5 points)
The brand works to improve the social status of its employees, develops eco-friendly distribution methods, and any other positive and additional information provided (5 points)


The applications will be examined by a jury composed of:

A representative of the African Development Bank’s Fashionomics Africa program: Ms. Emanuela Gregorio, Economist and Fashionomics Africa Coordinator;
A representative of the United Nations Environment Programme: Ms. Bettina Heller, Programme Officer;
A representative of Parsons School of Design: Ms. Abrima Erwiah, Director of the Joseph & Gail Gromek Institute for Fashion Business;
A representative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Ms. Anna Barnouw, Learning Programme Manager;
A representative of BPCM: Mr. Fran├žois Souchet, Global Head of Sustainability and Impact;
A representative of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion: Ms. Monica Buchan-Ng, Acting Head of Knowledge Exchange.


The winner will have the opportunity to win:

A financial reward of USD 10,000**** for the best sustainable and innovative brand;
A Fashionomics Africa certificate;
Access to a network of media insiders and industry experts;
The possibility to take part in online events and share insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry;
The publication of the winner’s story on the African Development Bank’s website and Fashionomics Africa platform;
The possibility to attend a Fashionomics Africa webinar as a panelist;
The finalists (2) will have the opportunity to receive:

A promotion package to advertise the brand on Fashionomics Africa social media for a month;
A Fashionomics Africa certificate;
A branding kit (new logo, color palette, recommended fonts, letterhead, business card, email signature).
The winner and finalists will also benefit from networking, mentoring and capacity building opportunities offered by the competition partners:


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