Sustainable Fashion Awards: the winners of 2022

News From the world

17 october  '22

Reading time: 7 minutes

The closing event of Milan Fashion Week saw big names and Houses come together to celebrate sustainable practices and innovation in the fashion industry. Read more about the amazing projects of the winners of The CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2022.

Words by Eszter Gurbitz

Learn about CNMI's Sustainable Fashion Awards and the 2022 winners.

Picture by Ethical Fashion Initiative

On September 25, the closing event of Milan Fashion Week celebrated sustainability in the fashion industry. The CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards was organized by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in collaboration with the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the ITA- Agency and the Municipality of Milan. The ceremony, organized at the famous La Scala opera house, hosted more than 1500 attendees from the fashion industry. The show presented 13 awards to leaders in sustainable fashion. To keep the crowd entertained, four major luxury fashion houses such as Giorgio Aermani, Gucci, Prada and Maison Valentino also showcased their iconic looks and pieces of their latest collections. 

Learn about CNMI's Sustainable Fashion Awards and the 2022 winners.

Picture by Lorenzo Baroncelli/SGP


The robust nomination and selection process started in May 2022 when CNMI announced the call for candidates, who could be nominated in 14 categories. These included awards for biodiversity conservation, climate action, social impact, human rights and a lot more. Overall, these awards were created to highlight and acknowledge the efforts of the industry to become more sustainable.

In her opening speech Dame Ellen MacArthur, from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, expressed her hope that this event will raise people's attention to the fashion industry's efforts towards sustainability: “This global event highlights creatives' outstanding contributions and formidable efforts to design a fashion industry that is better for people and the environment.” She adds: “It is no easy task, the fashion industry is on a journey and whilst there is a long way to go, the steps that are being taken demonstrate important momentum, and should be celebrated and showcased so that others are inspired to take action.”

Learn about CNMI's Sustainable Fashion Awards and the 2022 winners.

Picture by Getty Images

Winning projects of 2022

Here are some of the innovative winning projects of this year. 

1. The Ocean Award goes to Sea Beyond by Prada Group. The textile industry is a big polluter of our waters. Besides hazardous chemicals that end up in waters, textiles are also responsible for ocean plastic pollution. That is why it is essential to address these issues in the industry. 

Sea Beyond is an educational program for ocean preservation launched in 2019 by Prada Group, together with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commissions. Their goal is to educate young generations about oceans’ pollution. Over the years, they trained more than 600 international secondary school students. In 2021 they launched a second edition of the project, which involves a program for preschool children called Kindergarten in the Lagoon in Venice, and an educational path made for the Prada Group´s employees. What's also important is that Prada runs this program with parts of proceeds from the sales of Prada Re-Nylon - the House´s collection made out of recycled nylon yarn called ECONYL®. This special yarn is made by recycling discarded plastics which are collected from the ocean and waste sites worldwide. 

2. Climate Action Award goes to La Soledad x Gucci. As we know, the fashion industry is a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Action Award was dedicated to a brand that works to address this issue and find innovative solutions to reduce their GHG emission. 

La Soledad is a farm located in Uruguay, part of the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program. The farm managed by Mrs. Gabriela Bordabehere adopts regenerative agriculture practices, and the wool produced is made available for Gucci´s collections. When receiving the award, the CEO Marco Bizzarri also revealed a new project, which will support programs in Sicily and Puglia to revive crops including cotton.

3. Human Rights Award goes to Dr. Rubana Huq. As unfortunately the fashion industry became infamous for their lack of worker health and safety measures, and for their negative impact on vulnerable communities, this award is another reminder of how human rights are an important aspect of sustainable development. 

The winner of this award is a Bangladeshi businesswoman, university academic and poet who had a major role in shaping the fashion industry in her country. She was the first female elected as President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer Export Association, is a vice-chancellor of the Asian University for Women and the Executive Committee and Board of Directors member of the Sustainability Council in Bangladesh. During her three decades of work, among her many achievements she advocated for greener practices, supported workers´ education, physical and mental health and industry innovation in the country.

4. Ellen MacArthur Foundation Award for Circular Economy goes to Timberloop Trekker by Timberland. The award was presented by the developers and promoters of the circular economy concept, and shows that this new model can be successfully implemented in the fashion industry. 

The global outdoor lifestyle and footwear brand has made major efforts to rebuild its business based on the circular economy model. The brand has made the public commitment to source 100% of their natural materials from regenerative agriculture practices, and aspire to design 100% of their products for a circular economy by 2030. Their now-award-winning product, Timberland Trekker, is a 2022 re-design of their popular city hiker, which contains a range of recycled and renewable materials. This year Timberland also started its take-back program - Timberloop - currently operating in 5 countries (US, UK, Germany, Italy and France). They are also building a dedicated platform to resell these products. 

5. The Visionary Award goes to Giorgio Armani. The final, and perhaps the most talked about award in the media has been The Visionary Award. Presented by Cate Blanchett, the prize was given to Giorgio Armani who through his work has for a long time testified a constant commitment to sustainable practices. While the rest of the awards focused on specific aspects of sustainability, the Visionary Award was given for a holistic approach of sustainability in fashion, recognising the interconnectedness of all areas. The winning fashion house also presented ten dresses from their latest Women's Spring Summer 2023 collection. 

Learn about CNMI's Sustainable Fashion Awards and the 2022 winners.

Picture by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Read the full list of awards

The Oceans Award: Sea beyond by Prada Group

The Climate Action Award: La Soledad x Gucci

The Social Impact Award: ARA Lumiere

The Groundbreaker Award: Grounded Indigo by Albini Next and Stoney Creek Colors

The Human Rights Award: Rubana Huq

The Bicester Collection Award for Emerging Designers: NKWO

The Philanthropy & Society Award: The OTB Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation Award for Circular Economy: Timberloop Trekker by Timberland

The Pioneer Award: Eileen Fisher

The Biodiversity Conservation Award: Oasi Zegna

The Craft & Italian Artisanship Award: Bottega for Bottegas by Bottega Veneta

The Equity and Inclusivity Award: not given

The Woolmark Company Award for Innovation: Sease

The Visionary Award: Giorgio Armani

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