Ellen Hodakova Larsson and Sanjeev Bahl win prestigious textile innovation prize
The designer and the entrepreneur are the recipients of this year’s Fabric of Life Award.
14 Nov 2023

The main objective of the Fabric of Life Award is to celebrate extraordinary achievements in textile design, innovation, and sustainability that serve as an inspiration to the global textile industry community. The award was instituted by leading Swedish fashion entrepreneur Paul Frankenius, in 2021, in cooperation with The Swedish School of Textiles. 

The jury has chosen to award the Swedish, Stockholm-based designer Ellen Hodakova Larsson the title of Designer of the Year, with the following motivation: ”Ellen Hodakova Larsson paves the way for change in fashion eco-system by fearlessly exploring and promoting alternative business models in the fashion industry through innovation by design and artistic expressions.” 

Hodakova is a visionary who possesses craftsmanship inherited through generations who’s challenging conventions and has received international recognition in the past year. Her approach to sustainability revolves around putting craftsmanship at the forefront by choosing existing products that are transformed into entirely new fashion pieces.

For the Lifetime Achievement Award, the jury has chosen to award the entrepreneur Sanjeev Bahl, founder of Vietnam-based company Saitex. The motivation: ”With over three decades of experience in the fashion and textile industry, Sanjeev Bahl has established himself as a pioneer in sustainable manufacturing. Under his guidance, Saitex has become a global leader in eco-friendly denim production. The company utilizes innovative techniques and cutting-edge technologies to minimize its environmental impact while maintaining the highest quality standards.” 

Saitex is a prominent manufacturer of denim based in Vietnam, that counts some of the world’s largest brands its clients. Saitex began in 2005 as a denim-producing factory with more conventional facilities, but soon moved towards sustainable manufacturing. The factory is a zero discharge facility which recycles 98 percent of all its water and evaporates the other 2 percent, and it has been named ”the cleanest denim factory in the world”. All waste produced in the denim colouring and distressing process are mixed with concrete to form building blocks. The factory is also powered by solar and biomass energy, and jeans are air-dried using the heat that naturally accumulates in the building. Bahl is also devoted to social responsibility and has spearheaded a number of social projects both for his factory workers but also for the community at large. 

The award ceremony, hosted together with The Swedish School of Textiles, will take place at the international textile conference Borås Textile Days at the Textile Fashion Center in Borås tonight.