Halifax pioneer shortlisted for prestigious entrepreneur award

A Halifax sustainability pioneer is set to receive national recognition for his actions towards reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry after being shortlisted for a prestigious entrepreneurial award.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 11:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 11:25 am
Simon Payne, founder of Halifax-based circular economy business Sole Responsibility

Simon Payne, founder of Halifax-based circular economy business Sole Responsibility, will compete against regional finalists from across the UK in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards’, ‘Sustainability Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ category.

Taking place on Monday November 22 2021, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards will bring together 1,200 entrepreneurs, judges, mentors, investors and partners to celebrate the unrivalled creativity, ambition and resilience of entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom.

Simon, whose business sells subprime branded trainers and shoes which would have ended up in landfill or incineration, has been campaigning for change in the fashion industry since he launched Sole Responsibility in 2015.

Now an official sustainability partner of JD Sports, and working with some of the UK’s leading retailers, Simon is urging UK shoppers to ‘give seconds a second chance’ by buying perfectly wearable products which may have some minor flaws.

Over the past six years he has saved more than 60,000 trainers and shoes from landfill, as well as donating 10% of stock to homeless charities every year.

Speaking about the award shortlisting, Simon said: “It is an incredible honour to be shortlisted for this award – especially in such a hotly contested category full of magnificent sustainability entrepreneurs.

"Sole Responsibility is a family run business and as a collective we have worked tirelessly to not only save perfectly wearable products from landfill, but to change people’s perceptions of seconds by raising awareness of the damaging effects of the fashion industry and the way it deals with subprime stock.

“The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater, whilst hundreds of thousands of tonnes of clothing and 300 million pairs of shoes are sent to landfill or incineration every year. With the Cop26 Summit taking place in Glasgow this month putting climate change at the very forefront of the world’s agenda, it is clear that huge changes are needed. Both the fashion industry as a whole and shoppers themselves have a responsibility to make changes to their behaviours and habits to help save our planet for future generations.

“Win or lose, it is fantastic to see such a strong shortlist in the sustainability category with a wide range of entrepreneurs working hard to make real difference to the environment.”