“Couch Safari’’ A Resounding Success 0 24

The first ever initiative of Sri Lanka Tourism’s effort in showcasing the island’s wildlife to the world through streaming technology is an unprecedented success with the support of the stakeholders, partners and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world. The event was backed by Sri Lanka Tourism’s largest online marketing initiative in the year 2020. 

The wildlife streaming sessions were telecasted from 4th to 13th of November through a dedicated website, social media channels, Apple TV, Roku TV, Periscope and Boxcast channels covering four popular National Parks of Sri Lanka; Kaudulla, Minneriya, Udawalawe and Yala. 

Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando (Chairman, Center for Conservation & Research Sri Lanka (CCR), Mr. Chitral Jayatileka (Award winning Wildlife Photographer), Mr. Srilal Miththapala (Wildlife expert) and Mr. Vimukthi Weeratunge (Wildlife Biologist) joined the program to share their expertise and guide the team as they wandered in to the wilderness to capture footage of the majestic wild beasts of Sri Lanka in their natural habitats.

Overall, as at date the campaign generated over 22 million impressions, over 1.7 million video views and generated over 40,000 clicks. The campaign was implemented on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Direct display advertising campaigns were carried out using Google Display Network and Trip Advisor. Couch safari was advertised using both video and display advertisements on top Travel. Wildlife, Destination websites and YouTube Channels.

Sri Lanka Tourism Facebook page reach to around 7 million people during the campaign period, it generated over 1.4 million video views, close to 200,000-page engagements including around 5,500 shares, and over 3500 comments. The campaign also generated over 11 million impressions on Facebook with over 16000 link clicks during the campaign period.

The viewers actively engaged with the program by asking questions from the experts and having them answered in real time. This not only made the event an enjoyable one, but also an educational experience for viewers of all age groups. The program opened the eyes of many to the diversity of Sri Lanka’s wildlife.

 Sri Lanka Tourism also conducted a competition for foreign viewers titled ‘My Sri Lankan Story’ allowing them the opportunity to win a free holiday in Sri Lanka. This competition also received a great response from viewers as well as the local hoteliers who came forward to sponsor hotel stays for the winners. 

“I wish to express our gratitude to the wildlife experts, the camera & production crew, industry stakeholders and partners who supported us promoting the event and most importantly the local and international viewers who joined the “Couch Safari”. This was a great example of achieving success through team work, with the best interest of the country at heart. This event provided us some great insight on the importance of Sri Lanka’s natural environment and that wildlife can be integrated to generate tourism income for the country. We hope to extend this program to other national parks and tourism segments as well in the future” stated Kimarli Fernando, Chairperson Sri Lanka Tourism thanking everyone who supported the event. 


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Colombo Fashion Week 2020 Summer initiates responsibility in fashion 0 185

By Shenali Bamaramannage 

True to its reputation as one of the most elite fashion events in South Asia, the 17th CFW 2020 Summer kicked off in the heart of Colombo in all of its glory within a span of 3 days from the 13th to 15th of August, showcasing the creativity, talent, and passion of 27 local designers. Resilient in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held with strict health precautions to ensure the safety of the participants. The audience was encouraged to maintain social distancing and wear masks at all times. The event was live-streamed in an attempt to allow fashion enthusiasts to experience Sri Lanka’s most prestigious fashion show on a global scale.

The fashion industry being the environment’s top 5 polluting industries in the world, CFW 2020 took the initiative to introduce the revolutionary concept of ‘Responsibility in fashion’, the first of it’s kind in the world, highlighting the urgency of the need for sustainability and circularity in the industry and providing designers with the knowledge and tools to approach it with actionable plans. The incorporation of the Responsible meter has played a key role in shaping this change, making the process of fashion designing more transparent, accountable, and responsible by urging the designers to implement more sustainable methods of manufacturing and disposal.  

According to Mr. Ajai Vir Singh who is the Visionary, Founder and Managing Director of Colombo Fashion Week, ‘This was in the works for the last couple of years and we really wanted to be the first fashion week in Asia, if not the world, to introduce a system of accountability which encouraged and celebrated the responsibility in Fashion, which is such an urgent need. This system of the audit is very different to what is available, it does not take the route of policing and accusing but of training, of aligning hearts so that this path of change is embraced by all designers and stakeholders to lead towards positive impact.’ He went on to state that the system educates the fashion consumers and is the next step in Responsible fashion which can be enabled across various fashion platforms with relative ease.

Providing upcoming designers with a platform to showcase their creativity and gain recognition has always been a key aspect of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week. This year was no different with the first day of the event on the 13th of August in Shangri-La Colombo, solely focusing on 13 outstanding emerging designers. They are namely, Achala Leekoh, Ayesh Wickramarathne, Chamanka Pehesara, Divya Jayawickrama, Harinda Gunawardena, Hirushi Jayathilake, Himashi Wijeweera, Joanne Kulamannage, Mikail Hameed, Nilusha Maddumage, Ranga Senevirathne, Thamoda Geegamage, and Udarika Dalugama. These high-caliber young designers were mentored by the CFW mentorship panel after their selection, enabling them to refine and perfect their skills to put on an unforgettable show, stunning the audience with their elegant embroidery, bold silhouettes, excellent pattern-making, classic tailoring, unique prints, and amalgamation of traditional aspects with the modern in order to create wearable contemporary pieces which environmentally non-toxic in nature. The featuring of new face mask styles in the midst of the pandemic is a notable feature.

The second and third days of the fashion week were held on the 14th and 15th of August in Shangri-La Colombo and Hilton Colombo respectively. The events featured collections by some of the most established and accomplished designers on the island. Aslam Hussein, Dimuthu Sahabandu, Fouzul  Hameed, Koca by RN,  LOVI Ceylon, Vogue Jewellers, and Wraith took over the runway on Friday while Amilani Perera, Charini Suriyage, Indi, Jai by Aashkii, Limak by Kamil, Meraki and The Old Railway were set on Saturday, the third and final day. These distinguished designers no less than awed the audience with their stunning couture (and jewelry) collections together with their stunning presentations.

The leading companies with aligned goals that joined hands with CFW to bring on this elaborate fashion show are The Title Partner HSBC; The main partners, Shangri-La Colombo, Hilton Colombo, TRESemmé, Vogue Jewellers, Vision Care, and Hameedia; The associate partners, Ramani Fernando Salons, Media Factory, Emerging Media and We Are Designers. Their joint vision together made this hallowed event a success.

Sustainable Fashion Is “The New Trend” 0 902

By : Chantal D

Fashion World will have to produce fashion which can be appreciated and is sustainable because mare production should not become our goal

“Sustainability brands are products and services that are branded to signify a special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits to the customer and thus enable the differentiation from competitors” (Belz F., Peattie K. (2009) : Sustainability Marketing: A Global perspective. John Wiley & Sons.)

Sustainability and Fashion:

OrnellaSustainability is slightly different to just being green. It is the development of the consciousness towards the entire ecosystem in which exists. In our world of Fashion, we have seen the evolution of so many trends: right from the glittering Great Gatsby’s era in the 1920s which became further liberated by Coco Chanel, to the 1940s trend elevated by Katherine Hepburn in her masculine shirt and loose fitting trousers racing to the 1950s Pencil Skirt introduce by Christian Dior into the decade of the 1970s which saw experimentation and non-conformity. Fashion always speak the language of the political, social and cultural times of an era.

A wise saying goes “We do not inherit our Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”. Today, this is our language and we need to raise our consciousness towards it. The trend towards development of cheap as well as fast fashion has seen dangerous trends towards causing massive environmentally destructive practices in the producing countries as well as economic enslavement of so many people. Whilst one may argue that it has given jobs to many across the globe, one cannot deny the fact of huge wastage caused across the producing countries as well as the receiving countries. This level of pollution directly and indirectly affects the health of all the living beings across the globe. We need to pause and think if it is worth to build great buildings and destroy our ability to source good clean drinking water.


Moving Towards Sustainable Fashion:

Producing more is no solution at all. With so many financial options available in today’s times, designing desirable products that lasts for long without contributing to the wastage that our precious Earth is facing and allowing people to contribute through their skills that sustains the art and culture of their place is the way forward. This is our language today and our Fashion Fraternity will speak this language. Of course one challenge is how do we bring this form of awareness to all those across the globe?

I fathom we take the age old approach of:

Storytelling: Let the design convey this story of sustenance and its importance. Design is used as a tool to convey such messages.

Encouraging art in all forms: Art in schools, colleges, should be re-enforced. Children should be brought out to the open and made aware of the fun in being one with nature.

Creating opportunities for us all to help in our neighbor activities: programmers such as Social service activities has to be highlighted in the news. It will allow children and parents who have something to contribute appreciate the village art and will increase potential sales of such art forms. Once they appreciate they become part of our fashion world since we have raised these awareness.

Magazines and other media should look out to cover such opportunities and present such activities to the world.

The world today needs to bring forth Sustainable Fashion to the front. With combined efforts of all stakeholders we can truly give back a wonderful world to our children.