Azgard9 took home three accolades from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last month for its oxygen-producing CO2AT garment.
The Pakistani vertical denim factory was awarded a Gold Lion in Design for “Promotional Item Design” and two bronze awards for design in “Lifestyle, Fashion, Leisure, Sport & Outdoor” and creative in “Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility.” The garment was also shortlisted in the competition’s Creative B2B category.
The innovative garment is the product of Azgard9’s repositioning that focuses on developing eco-friendly products and solutions. In 2020, the mill hired Portuguese creative agency This is Pacifica and strategic agency SaTG to lead the effort and landed on two main concepts: “Future Before Fashion” and “Mainstreaming Sustainability.”
Developed in partnership with London’s Post Carbon Lab, Azgard9 treated 200 CO2ATs with microbial pigmentation. The treatment makes the garment behave like a plant by using photosynthetic microorganisms, a process by which plants turn carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen.
“The idea behind this project was to bring a different way to look to sustainability,” said Bernardo Lago Cruz, Azgard9 business development manager. “Nowadays sustainability is linked to restriction on consumption, [but] we wanted to show to the brands that we could bring a new concept that uses nature with fashion and textiles.”
During its life cycle, the garment releases oxygen and improves the immediate environment of the wearer. It also neutralizes the impact of its production and produces approximately the same amount of oxygen as an oak tree. The garments were distributed to Azgard9 clients and media as a future item from its Fall/Winter 2043 collection.
Cannes Lions is the largest gathering in the creative marketing community. This year, the festival’s creative themes focused on topics including sustainability, data and technology, business transformation, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
The accolades, Lago Cruz added, confirm that the project did exactly what the company intended: link Azgard9 to innovation and improve the world’s perception of Pakistan.
“We want to show to the world that a Pakistan denim factory won one of the most prestigious awards in design and innovation, beating brands such as Google, Coca-Cola and Mastercard,” he said. “This example should empower other companies in Pakistan to excel.”