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Design Futures Finalists Announced: Meet the designers advancing circular fashion in 2022

The Fashion District, in collaboration with London College of Fashion, UAL, is pleased to announce the shortlist of nine designers that could revolutionise the fashion industry.

Design Futures 2022 calls upon sustainably-driven designers and businesses to present new design solutions to prevent premature disposal, and extend the usage of products to help make a positive impact on the planet. It is focused on designers who are developing propositions for longevity, zero waste design, designing with waste, material cyclability, and regeneration.

Shortlisted designers are competing to win a cash prize of £15,000, donated by PANGAIA, one of the leading material science companies dedicated to tackling the climate crisis. The winner will also receive a development workshop with PANGAIA, plus ten consultancy hours with the company. The Trampery Fish Island Village will provide a one-year desk membership, alongside the Business of Fashion who is offering complementary professional membership, and Common Objective who will be providing a 12-month business membership with global connections, premium intelligence and training courses in sustainable fashion and manufacturing. The winner will also receive a brand new sewing machine from Anglo American Sewing Machines.

The shortlist was selected by our high-profile panel of leading sustainable and fashion experts: Craig Smith, Research and Development Director at PANGAIA; Shailja Dubé, Institute of Positive Fashion Lead, British Fashion Council; Sebastian Manes, Executive Director, Buying and Merchandising, Selfridges; Phoebe English, Designer; and Laetitia Frost, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Circular Design.

The 9 finalists are listed below:

Andrew Bell
Andrew Bell is a London-based designer whose design practice aims to change the future of tailoring. His innovation integrates traditional tailoring techniques with sonic welding and taping technologies in a bid to transform the tailoring process. The result is a lightweight garment that is mono-material in its fabrication, allowing it to be easily reprocessed at the end-of-life stage.

Daniel Crabtree
Reimagining British tailoring, Daniel Crabtree offers handcrafted menswear staples that are progressive and built to endure. Each shape is drawn and cut freehand, generating unexpected fits and proportions that playfully embody the awkwardness of youth. His look is crafted from repurposed fabrics and materials to eliminate waste from development and production processes.

FibreLab empowers fashion businesses to implement circular practices throughout their supply chain by shredding their unwanted textiles and developing innovative ways to use them. Their look was designed with circularity in mind and explores key sustainability themes including hyper-local sourcing, modularity, and design for disassembly.

Nicci James
Having completed an MA in Fashion Knitwear at the Royal College of Art, designer Nicci James works with a design method that harnesses wool’s durability by using knitted structures to engineer strength into the garment. Her innovation uses the capabilities of wool without added interfacings, stabilisers, or linings, presenting a completely mono-material example of tailoring that is easier to reprocess.

Osmose Studio
Osmose Studio is an interdisciplinary design studio focused on regenerative circularity and sustainability in fashion, accessories, and homeware. Their innovation offers a new restorative and symbiotic clothing production model, where renewable fibres are combined with organic dyes, assisting the remediation of UK polluted land sites.

Savvas Alexander
Savvas Alexander is a designer and maker from Yorkshire whose design practice embodies the creation of meaningful clothing by enabling made-to-order systems that tackle overproduction and overconsumption. His innovation reduces garment processes and speeds up manufacture by sealing garment edges, and eliminating excess finishes and fastenings.

Skins of Earth
Plant-based luxury handbag brand Skins of Earth is on a mission to drive sustainable change. Paying homage to paleobiology, their designs evoke sculptural forms and are made entirely from natural rubber biomaterials that are grown as a live form using a low-energy incubation system; ensuring that all designs can be biodegradable after their life cycle.

WEFFAN x Liquid Editions
Weffan x Liquid Editions is a collaboration between 3D woven textile company Weffan and designer brand Liquid Editions. Together they have created a 3D woven, low-waste outfit that combines two manufacturing steps into one, merging the weaving of the fabric with the creation of the garment. This method considers the sustainability of everything in the production process and proposes a new way to decrease garment manufacture.

Y.A.N.G. (You Are the Next Generation)
Hailing from Chile, Y.A.N.G. has spent the last six years working as a designer and upcycler. Their innovation is a waste-minimising garment reconstruction method that will allow retailers to efficiently reconstruct or redesign their excess stock. This will ensure retailers cut out waste, extend the life of their products, and introduce garment remaking techniques.

Before pitching to the judges at an industry and investor supper in November 2022, the finalists will receive constructive feedback from high-level industry experts who will act as Critical Friends, in the areas of fashion design, business strategy, IP, production and circularity.

Helen Lax, Director, Fashion District said: “We are delighted to announce our shortlist of designers who have proposed nine innovations that could advance the field of circular design. This is our chance to work together, both within the industry and across other sectors, to bring circular design into public consciousness in a bid to tackle environmental issues and reshape the fashion industry.”

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