Smiley Originals has launched its first bi-annual Future Creators Fund, in order to assist designers during this season's main fashion weeks in their transition to sustainability.
The 500,000-pound fund and mentoring program were developed as part of Smiley Originals' sustainability effort, "Future Positive," and are associated with the company's collaboration with the UN to achieve UN-SDG Goal 12, which focuses on responsible production and consumption.
According to Smiley, the goal of the fund is to assist "gaming-changing designers" in adopting "a better, more ethical, and circular ideology of design, sourcing, and manufacture."
Through its network of sustainable fabrication partnerships, Smiley will work with the selected designers to cut fabric minimums for these textiles, manufacture labels and packaging, and provide financial assistance where necessary to source circular and sustainable fabrics and finishes.
The first group of designers to get funding includes Ahluwalia, Chet-Lo, and AGR from London, as well as Kevin Germanier, who will show in Paris, Rich Mnisi from South Africa, and Shutting Qiu from China, who will show at Milan Fashion Week. Each will be given brackets starting at 25,000 pounds.
The fund will be used to help their company's general operations, production, and sourcing, as well as to provide them with additional funding and mentoring in the areas of marketing, digital, social, and retail.
Each of the designers has also worked with Smiley Originals to create a capsule line of sustainable and/or circular clothes and accessories. Each designer will use their "own take" of the well-known Smiley face emblem in their autumn/winter 2023 collections as part of the cooperation.
Nicolas Loufrani, chief executive and founder of Smiley Originals, said that he is immensely proud to support these young designers as they work to create a more sustainable future. They have the chance to present sustainability through a fresh perspective, putting directional garment design at the forefront and creating best practices that, ideally, their international manufacturing partners will adopt. The future can be made better if we all do our part.
Additionally, Labelhood, the fashion incubation and exhibiting platform run by Shanghai Fashion Week that supports up-and-coming Chinese designers, has announced a relationship with Smiley. Beginning on April 1, submissions for the September 2023 Future Creators Fund will be accepted.
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