Couture Comment: Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2020

We are living in unprecedented times in which we are all affected; as human beings occupying this beautiful planet we have to use this time to take stock, as we are humbled by the current climate in which we find ourselves.  

On a lighter note I would like to share with you, my experience of being shortlisted for Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2020 under the category Greener Greenwich.

Sustainability talks to our evolvement using technology and development in progress without being harmful to the environment and the planet; it also speaks to our mindset of being ethically conscious; what I term ‘thinking of the bigger picture’.

The business awards were divided into 10 categories with six nominees in each:

  • Micro to Small Business
  • Food and Hospitality
  • Greener Greenwich
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Social Enterprise
  • Workforce Development
  • Tourism and Culture
  • Professional Services
  • Made in Greenwich
  • High Street Retailer

Greener Greenwich, the category for which I entered, was sponsored by IKEA; my business Coral Turner Couture is fundamentally based upon sustainability, whilst at the same time paying homage to the Arts and Crafts movement of yesteryear.

As I specialise in garments that are either one-of-a-kind or limited edition, the message I conveyed was one of individuality, through the concept of couture ready-to-wear, working with end of line fabrics, and local textile companies who supply small runs of fabric. The social and economic cost of valuable skills being eroded was also addressed.

Whilst being predominately self taught, I was taught sewing skills at school. I loved those one-hour lessons with my sewing teacher Mrs Shirley, and it was those lessons that taught me patience; I couldn’t believe that making a skirt would take months – no sooner had the lesson started the bell would sound ushering us to the next class (well that’s how it felt to me)! I believe sewing should still be on the school curriculum, being able to create with our hands is a wonderful way in which to express ourselves and expand our abilities in general.

So back to the ceremonial day, 6th March 2020 at the InterContinental Hotel, the host Steph McGovern BBC News former Business broadcaster, she not only had the audience in stitches (pardon the pun), but her support for small businesses was evident. I was glad that I didn’t have to wait too long before the finalists were announced, it was thrilling and stomach churning at the same time, as each nominee for Greener Greenwich was read out, we all cheered for one another.

When Creative Nature HQ was announced as the finalist winner for the Greener Greenwich category I cheered for my colleague Stephen who is also based at Thames-Side Studios, as it happens he is the gentleman standing behind me in the photograph. They specialise in craft courses for wellbeing using wood, spoon carving and willow weaving, as well as working with the Home school networks and Forest School groups. As mentioned earlier I am all about sustainability, they had my vote.

It was a brilliant day, the dress I made to attend the event was well received, I was in such a daze that I forgot to take photographs; I felt privileged to be a part of such a special event, with fellow entrepreneurs.

I would like to close wishing you all health and wellbeing, as we transition through this time of immense change for us all.

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