Products and Design
New Awards Scheme Seeking Innovations in Clothing Designed for Longevity

The search is on for fashion or textile designers that can show their flair for sustainable fashion; the brand new SCAP Extending the Life of Clothes Design Awards (SCAP ELC Awards) is looking for designers to develop innovative solutions to clothes that are wearable for longer. In return, the winner will receive £5,000 and the opportunity to progress their work and develop it for a commercial market.

The SCAP ELC Awards are an initiative of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the organization behind the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and the Love Your Clothes campaign, with support from Defra, British Fashion Council, The Knowledge Transfer Network, InnovateUK and ModeConnect.

The SCAP ELC Awards will challenge designers to address the key reasons for garment failure, which lead to items being thrown away. The concepts not only need to achieve solutions to longer life times, but also deliver ideas that are fashionable and marketable.

‘Extending the life of clothes’ is a key focus for the sector commitment, SCAP 2020, with many retailers, brands and even reprocessers signed up to it; all aiming to reduce the environmental impacts of clothes**.

Marcus Gover, WRAP Director and ELC Awards judge, said: “This is a great opportunity for designers to bring this issue to life. By applying their creativity and innovation to either sourcing or developing low impact, high quality fibres, and engineering garments that will last longer, they can instigate real change.

“We need the sector to embrace this new approach to designing clothes.”

Resources Management Minister Dan Rogerson said: “I’m delighted to support the launch of this award which celebrates the vital role designers have to play in developing and promoting sustainable fashion. Their innovations can bring us closer to a more circular economy which will benefit both businesses and the environment.”

The SCAP ELC Awards will be open to final year fashion and textile design undergraduates, MA students and professional fashion and textile designers from industry that live, work or study in England. Fashion designers can enter individually or collaborate with a textile designer to present their concepts.

All submissions will be assessed by a panel of judges made up of industry professionals and academics that collectively hold a wide range of knowledge and expertise in the sector; including: Amanda Johnston, Lecturer at the London College of Fashion and Consultant and Curator at the Sustainable Angle; Colin Thompson, Designer and Academic Programme Leader for Fashion Studies at the University of Derby; Clare Southworth, Head of Sustainable Products at Defra; and, Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP.

All interested applicants must register by 12 November 2014. Only registered applicants can submit their ideas. The closing date for submissions is midnight on 19 January 2015. Three finalists will be chosen and interviewed by the judging panel in February 2015 and the winner announced shortly after.

For details on how to register and to view the full awards brief and supporting information please visit the Awards website.

Follow the progress and get involved on Twitter by using #design4longevity.

The SCAP ELC Awards are just the latest scheme to cultivate a more responsible approach to fashion design. In June, Honest By — the fashion company founded by Belgian designer Bruno Pieters centered on price and production transparency as well as sustainability — announced the 2014/2015 Future Fashion Designer Scholarship (FFDS). The first scholarship of its kind, the FFDS will offer financial support to an exceptional student who wants to develop his or her MA collection in a responsible and transparent way. The winner will receive a €10.000 cash prize to develop his or her MA collection, and receive guidance and mentoring from Pieters himself.

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