Colombo Fashion Week 2021

Colombo Fashion Week launches this year’s season, ‘Circularity in Fashion’. The HSBC Colombo Fashion Week in its 18th year introduces an important aspect of sustainability which is an urgent need around the world to make Circularity-in-Fashion work. This emphasis is themed as the Week of Circularity. This focus aims to propel the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka to transform itself and create fashion products which are relevant in this new environment. This season of HSBC Colombo Fashion Week will take place from the 25th to 27th March 2020.

2021 is a year of transformation for fashion, as in 2020 fashion was forced to restructure in every possible way. Post-Covid the fashion industry is on a new terrain like many other sectors; however, it is also presented with new opportunities. The entire environment (and society) of fashion has evolved to fit this new reality and with it, consumption patterns have also drastically changed. How people view, buy, consume and relate to fashion is undergoing an enormous shift. In addition, hyper-production and fast consumption of fashion has given the industry a bad name as it has eroded the environment and put pressure on society. Hence, the environment to create fashion is very different in 2021.

In the last two decades, CFW has led the way in South Asia in pushing the boundary and presenting fashion that leads the industry. This year, CFW has been working with fashion designers to align their work within this new environment. Over the past two years, CFW has trained designers to reframe their perspectives where they now act as solution providers who design with circularity and safe disposal in mind, so as to minimize the negative impact of the fashion industry.

“The new environment of fashion that 2021 presents is actually good for fashion; there is greater awareness of ethical fashion which has been a prime pillar of CFW for many years now. Circularity is far more relevant today and hence CFW is bringing it into focus with this edition so that there is greater accountability for both fashion creators and fashion consumers.” said Mr. Ajai Vir Singh, Founder & Managing Director of Colombo Fashion Week. “Additionally, the Summer 2021 edition of CFW will also focus on weaving crafts among emerging designers to create bigger opportunities.”

This edition of HSBC Colombo Fashion Week will see 21 designers who are set to showcase their collections over a period of three days. Key designers like Sonali Dharmawardena, Charini Suriyage, Fouzul Hameed, Amilani Perera, Aslam Hussein, Asanka De Mel, and Dinushi Pamunuwa most of whom have been featured on ARTRA Magazine, celebrating the works of each designer and their initiatives in work, will showcase their creations inspired by the theme of Circularity this season. Three of the brightest Sri Lankan design talent Ayesh Milendra, Nilusha Maddumage who was featured as one ARTRA Emerging Artists Best of 2019 for her sustainable approach to design through zero-waste principles, and Himashi Wijesekera having proved their mettle over the last 3 years under the guidance of CFW’s Designer Development program, will be showcasing their collections this season.

Over the years, CFW has developed into a multipronged platform which is beyond just a show. It impacts every aspect of the fashion design industry by empowering fashion creation, consumption and presentation. In 2021, CFW will follow a hybrid format following strict health guidelines and social distancing. The shows will also be live streamed online for the local and international audience.

CFW has maintained emphasis on developing the next generation of Sri Lankan fashion designers since inception and this consistent focus has resulted in CFW receiving the highest number of applications for its Emerging Designer Program for the second consecutive year. This is a testimony to the momentum created through the strength of the mentorship and grooming provided by CFW. This year, 11 high potential young designers have been mentored over a three-month period and selected to present their collections at the Summer 2021 showcase.

The Responsible Meter, which is a global first was introduced in 2020 and will move into Phase 2.  The Responsible Meter is a garment evaluation tool which was introduced last year.

Circularity is the theme for the fourth edition of the Responsible Fashion Summit. The Responsible Fashion Summit is the thought-leadership platform of the Responsible Fashion Movement. This year, post pandemic the summit will be hosted as a digital conference and is comprised of 3 panels. Circular Fashion in its simplistic form is focused on minimising the negative impact of fashion on the environment and society.


12th March, 2021 Applied Art