Building on sustainability and inclusivity: CFW turns 20
Celebrating an important milestone in the form of its 20th year, Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) returns once again with CFW Summer 2023 taking the spotlight over a five-day period from March 29 to April 2 at the Shangri-La Colombo, the official host hotel for the event.
The CFW journey started in 2003 by giving a handful of young designers a platform from which to showcase their creations and soon evolved into an ecosystem promoting sustainable fashion and design. Starting in 2012, CFW has actively developed and followed sustainable fashion standards with the Ethical Fashion Day, the Responsible Fashion Summit and the sustainable tool, the Responsible Meter that was introduced in 2020, making it one of the most sustainable platforms in the world.
This year, sustainability evolves further into inclusivity with Founder and Managing Director of CFW Holdings, Ajai Vir Singh expanding on the theme. “The theme is inclusivity because that’s what the need of the hour is globally in terms of skin colour, body types, mental wellness, and ethnicity. So we bring all of that with a focus on society and the environment.”
CFW has brought pride in Sri Lankan fashion, an aspect that was missing when they started, Ajai pointed out. “Today Sri Lankan designers are household names and their creations fill wardrobes. A sustainable eco-system has been created which gives hope and inspires younger generations to pursue design as a career.”
“Design entrepreneurship is what we are focused on with a goal to reverse brains drain. I am so grateful to all our partners in buying into our vision and staying with us through thick and thin. Creative industries must flourish as they create soft power for Sri Lanka,” he stressed. Among the measures to support young designers is the HSBC Emerging Fund along with the Italy Award.
The media briefing announcing the 2023 show took place in the Lotus Ballroom of the hotel with both long-term and recent partners joining the founder of CFW at the head table. Aside from Shangri-La Colombo, the partners of the CFW Summer 2023 edition include MasterCard, Kerry Logistics, Unilever Sri Lanka, Juniper Group, Hameedia Group, and Ramani Fernando Salons.
This year’s edition will showcase the creations of 30 Sri Lankan and international designers including Darshi Keerthisena of Buddhi Batiks, Charini Suriyage, Dimuthu Sahabandu, Sonali Dharmawardena, Amilani Perera, Fouzul Hameed, Indi Yapa Abeywardena and many others.
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