WM announces winners of design contest

As announced at the 2021 WM Sustainability Forum, WM and Slow Factory Foundation have joined forces to support the next generation of fashion designers in applying circular and regenerative principles to their work.  

Through the WM Design Challenge, six selected participants will create original design solutions for products, materials, and/or systems that embrace regenerative practices. Participants will engage in a seven-month program that will culminate with their projects being showcased at the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum.

This program will challenge participants to experiment with and provide tangible solutions for disassembly and reuse of products through de-manufacturing, up-cycling materials and other processes. This is the foundation of waste-led design, a term devised by Slow Factory co-founder Colin Vernon.

Each participant/team will receive a $1,000 grant to explore and develop functional design solutions. 

Selected participants

Sayo Watanabe

Sayo collects bubble mailer bags and plastic rice bags to create everyday, lasting accessories out of soft plastics that are currently difficult to recycle.

Natasha Mays

Natasha works with waste from her community to create a shred-fill alternative for a puffer jacket. She’ll explore the concept of using overlocker machine cutting waste and items that would be landfill-bound, to create the best shred-material to replace goose/plastic-based fills or waddings.

Mary Lempres and Charlotte Böhning

Mary and Charlotte are proposing an alternative to animal-based leathers made of a carbon-sequestering bioplastic fabric that utilizes food and agricultural waste in the form of biochar.

Bob Carswell and Robert Seevers

Bob and Robert collect waste, process it, spin it into new yarn, and make new fabrics and products, including a “circular sweater,” which will be from waste to wear in 75 miles.

Delfina Farias

Delfina is creating a guide to help fashion designers use modular design as a methodology for creating waste-led design. This guide will incorporate a capsule collection and take on modular design to demonstrate the application of this system.

Gordon Holliday

Gordon is designing a capsule collection by using deconstruction and reconstruction techniques to remedy fashion waste in the fashion industry.

Throughout the process, an advisory board of industry experts will provide advice to help designers develop innovative and effective solutions to today’s textile challenges.

At the conclusion of the program, the innovations and projects will be showcased as part of the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum.