Florence: Indian designer Ruchika Sachdeva won the womenswear 2017/2018 International Woolmark Prize here by impressing the judges with her unique way of addressing the issue of consumer waste in fashion with traditional techniques of recycling.
Excited about her victory, Sachdeva said in a statement: "This is a huge opportunity to expand on what I do and keep doing it."
Sachdeva's Bodice label was selected as the womenswear winner at the event here on Wednesday and was especially praised for her technique and manufacturing process.
Inspired by her grandmother, who used to upcycle saris into quilts, Sachdeva collaborated with hand weavers and encouraged them to take an unorthodox approach to traditional techniques, producing an elegant collection honouring Australian Merino wool and Indian artisans, read a statement.
Bodice also worked with bio-dye in Sawantwadi, central India, which makes all colours from natural sources. The colour palette of navy and forest green mixed with pink and green pastels contains natural dyes and are safe for the skin - a nod to the ancient practices of Ayurveda. Completing the label's holistic approach, Bodice sourced buttons from renewable sources of coconut shell, seashell and wood.
The award was judged by a panel including Amber Valletta, Elizabeth Von Guttman, Emanuele Farneti, Julie Davies, Livia Firth, Liya Kebede, Miroslava Duma, Nonita Kalra, Phillip Lim, Riccardo Vannetti, Sarah Mower and Stuart McCullough along with representatives from the International Woolmark Prize retail partner network.
Womenswear designer Phillip Lim thought Bodice's collection was "completely thoughtful".
"From the ingredients and dyes used all the way to the application and everything in between, her collection really represents a modern woman," Lim said.
In the menswear category, Matthew Miller from the British Isles won, while the US-based DYNE was announced the winner of the inaugural Innovation Award.