The Social Outfit wins Gold National Banksia Sustainability Award


An initiative helping migrant and refugee women kick-start their Australian careers in fashion while also reducing textile waste has taken out this year’s Gold National Banksia Sustainability Award.

The 35th National Banksia Sustainability Awards celebrate trailblazers in environmental and social sustainability, with winners across 14 categories announced at an event in Melbourne on Thursday, 4 April.

The Social Outfit was also awarded the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award sponsored by L’Oréal.

Graz van Egmond, Banksia Foundation Chief Executive Officer, said this was the first year a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award winner had taken out the coveted Gold Banksia.

“It’s an important milestone for our awards. We often think about sustainability through a purely environmental lens, but social sustainability is also critical,” Ms van Egmond said. “The Social Outfit’s work delivers both environmentally and social sustainability, and our judges couldn’t look past it.”

Judges noted the ‘tangible impacts’ of The Social Outfit’s work across a range of Sustainable Development Goals, suggesting they serve as a model for other organisations to create broad social and sector impact.

Up to late 2023, The Social Outfit has trained more than 850 women from diverse backgrounds and provided employment to 97 of them. Eighty-five per cent of their garments are manufactured from either donated or deadstock fabric, meaning they have already saved more than 14 tonnes of textile waste from landfill.

Reconnect Project, a social enterprise closing Australia’s digital divide and training a new generation of repairers won the Circular Economy Award.

“It’s fantastic to see so many organisations – both big and small – from across the Australian economy be recognised as true champions of sustainability and social impact,” said Ms van Egmond.

A full list of the winners is available to view on the Banksia Foundation website.

Related stories:

Packaging company wins gold at Banksia awards

War on Waste wins Gold Banksia Sustainability Award



Send this to a friend