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2 July 2023

The winners of the Austrian 'Vivienne' prize for ecological textiles have one thing in common: producing fashion without damaging the environment

The winners of the first Austrian award for ecological textiles 'Vivienne' received their prizes at the 3-day event 'Konsumdialoge: Textilien' on 30 June at the Modeschule Hallein in Salzburg. ( recently published an article about the award and the event with further details.) The awards, worth a total of 8,500 euros, were presented by the Común chairwoman Veronika Bohrn Mena and the Austrian Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler. Six companies (Jury Prize, Audience Prize) and one school (Youth Prize) were honored.

The prize of the jury, consisting of experts in fashion and climate protection, was awarded to the fashion brand 'Lieber Wieder' of the community workshop project "Geschützte Werkstätten Salzburg" (GWS), which employs in its various branches in three business areas in total around 480 people, 80% with disabilities. At GWS, the fashion is made from textiles sourced in the region, in order to keep transportation routes short and to meet strict quality criteria for the lowest possible carbon footprint. The distance to Lenzing in Upper Austria, where the Tencel fabric for the brand's T-shirts comes from, is practical. The trees used for the fibers come from certified forests.
Nunu Kaller, author and advisor to the Común environmental fund, is quoted as the jury's spokesperson, saying that 'Lieber Wieder' is a holistically conceived project with a focus on social and environmental sustainability as well as inclusion and regionality. She added that the project has the potential to become a real alternative for basics like shirts or hats. Kaller went on to say that the jury awarded the concept the maximum number of points and unanimously agreed that the project should receive the 5,000 euros prize.

The second and third prizes were awarded to Melanie Uitz's label 'Umdenken' for fashion made from natural and not chemically dyed wool from controlled animal husbandry, and Gabriel Baradee's label 'Shakkei', which has developed a zero-waste pattern kit for DIY fans.

The winner of the audience award of 2,500 euros, chosen from 10 companies in a public vote in which 4,000 people participated, is designer Anja Lauermann from Stockerau in Lower Austria. Second place went to 'Wiener Konfektion' by Maria Fielhauer-Fürnkranz for her project 'Skirt Stories', created in collaboration with the artist Gabriela Galarza de Konrath, who painted on skirts made of deadstock materials. Third place went to Marie Wagner from Upper Austria, who reinterprets old traditions such as blueprinting (on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage) and uses local fabrics such as Mühlviertler linen for her designs. Wagner relies on old handicraft techniques that she incorporates into her designs in a new form.

The Viennese fashion school Herbststraße was selected from schools all over the country for the Youth Prize - worth 1,000 euros. The students from Herbststraße won with a collection on the theme of climate change. The "Vivienne" youth prize will be handed out in September during a visit to Federal Minister Leonore Gewessler in the Ministry for Climate Action.

Image, from left:
Austrian Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler, winner of the third prize of the Audience Award Marie Wagner, author and advisor to the Común environmental fund Nunu Kaller, Común chairwoman Veronika Bohrn Mena on 30 June 2023 at the 'Vivienne' award ceremony during the 'Konsumdialoge: Textilien' 3-day event at the Modeschule Hallein in Salzburg. Photo: © Christoph Liebentritt / buero butter,

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