Singhal, a postgraduate fashion design student of Indian fashion design institute Pearl Academy, received $25,000 as prize money to set up her business.
With 'Paiwand', Singhal aims to develop a collaborative movement which will transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry. The term 'Paiwand' means patchwork and Singhal's model will have a process which will create sustainable, quality work for its artisans.
Outshining 14 graduate teams and 16 undergraduate teams from different countries to bag the top spot, Singhal was lauded by the selection committee, for her entrepreneurship skills, passion for sustainability that was reflected in her work, good communication skills and business acumen.
Under Singhal's business-to-business model, textile waste is collected from different fashion brands, design houses and artisans; cleaned and up-cycled to create a new fabric through the hand weaving process. The fabric is then sold back to the design houses and brands, which is further used by them to create a sustainable range for their clientele.
This is the second time in the last seven years that a student from Pearl Academy has won this award. In 2015, Kartik Verma, a Fashion Business Management student bagged this coveted award.
Singhal has thanked her faculty members for playing a crucial role in her success.
"Mentors were pivotal in fostering my deepening, life-long devotion to sustainability. The mentorship provided me with great insights for business research and helped me in building the business plan for McGuire. This award is a recognition of the efforts that I have put into this project and a confirmation that I am working in the right direction."
Nandita Abraham, President, Pearl Academy, said: "Ashita's' award is an acknowledgement of the fact that sustainable design can help change the world. I am proud of Ashita and her super set of mentors who have brought laurels to our country"."
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