Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) Stefano Furari and Poornima Pande’s ‘I was a Sari’ project won the first Circular Design Challenge at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 here.

Furari and Pande will receive cash prize of Rs 20 lakh and an opportunity to present their collection at the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2019 as part of the award.

The award, launched in August at the Winter Festive 2018 edition of LFW in a collaboration between Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) R Elan Fashion for Earth’ initiative, Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and the United Nations (UN) in India, aims at promoting sustainable fashion.

It received 900 entries from over 30 cities in India and in November last year, a shortlist of eight designers was announced who presented their collection on Thursday at the ongoing LFW Summer/Resort edition.

The jury included designer Rahul Mishra, Country Head, UN Environment India, Atul Bagai and actor Neha Dhupia among others.

‘I was a Sari’, an eco-ethical lifestyle fashion brand, works with the underprivileged community of women in Mumbai.

“After this win, we want to increase the reach of our brand. I think there are a lot of people who are seeking out stuff like ours. So we want to invest a big portion of our prize money in digital marketing. Probably in the future we will have a dedicated design team. Right now we only collaborate with other designers and brands,” Poornima told PTI.

“We are in fashion by chance. The reason we are here because we believe in social inclusion and women empowerment and these two will always be the main pillars of ‘I was a Sari’,” Stefano added.

Other seven finalists in the challenge included Aiman Sabri (Delhi), Aman Singh (Delhi), Kriti Tula (Delhi), Seerat Virdi (Ludhiana), Pooja Monga (Mumbai), Kanika Ahuja (Delhi) and Bhavya Goenka (Jaipur).

Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 ends on February 3.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.