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The Fashion District is delighted to announce the launch of Design Futures 2022: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, sponsored by PANGAIA, on May 5th 2022.

Fashion District challenges are designed to find innovative solutions to current industry issues. This year our focus is design, and we’re specifically on the lookout for a new sustainable solution that will develop design for circularity.

We’re welcoming applications from sustainably-driven fashion designers who are exploring innovative approaches to circularity within the fashion industry and hope to revolutionise the traditional linear design process. Areas for exploration could include:

  • Design for longevity
  • Designing with waste
  • Zero waste design
  • Design for material cyclability 
  • Design for regeneration

Design Futures will give designers, start-ups and SMEs the chance to win cash prizes, support, and the opportunity to present to some of the industry’s leading sustainable and circular fashion experts.

This competition is now closed

Sponsored By



21 AUGUST 2022

Deadline to submit applications.


Shortlisted finalists announced.

4 OCTOBER 2022

Critical Friends Day where industry professionals will critique the finalist's design proposition across different specialisms before their final presentation.


Departmental Workshop where the shortlisted designers will take a whistle stop tour of PANGAIA and gain crucial insights from each department.


Closed presentation event with the finalists to industry experts from PANGAIA, Institute for Positive Fashion, Selfridges, Sarah Mower, Phoebe English, and Centre for Circular Design. The winner will be announced at an Awards Supper with industry guests following the presentations.

Judges & Critical Friends

Craig Smith

MANUFACTURING FUTURES JUDGE | Craig is the Research and Development Director at Pangaia with a demonstrated history of commercialising material and product innovation particularly within the sporting goods sector. With over 14 years experience in advanced development and research focused roles, Craig has worked on a number of high profile projects at brands such as Speedo, Lululemon, Adidas, Lacoste and most recently Pangaia.

Shailja Dube

DESIGN FUTURES JUDGE | Shailja is IPF Lead at the BFC, responsible for the strategy and delivery of the BFC's commitment on climate action. She also leads the Circular Fashion Ecosystem Project; a multi-year endeavor to move the UK to a circular fashion economy by 2030. Prior to the BFC, Shailja was Responsible Retail Lead at Accenture where she focused on the intersection of sustainability and business in the fashion and wider retail sectors. With over 20 years’ professional experience, she has held business strategy, digital transformation management, market growth, and social policy roles.

Sebastian Manes

DESIGN FUTURES JUDGE | Starting his Selfridges career in 2003 as an accessories buyer, by 2011 Seb was Director of Womenswear, Accessories and Childrenswear before joining the Executive Board in 2013. During his tenure at Selfridges Sebastian has continued to support Selfridges growth and industry leading position, working across a number projects including opening of the biggest footwear destination in the world in Oxford Street, establishing The Corner Shop as the physical destination for brand partners, exclusive launches and concepts, and developing special collaborations with the likes of Rick Owens, Kim Kardashian and A$AP Rocky. As part of Project Earth, a transformational sustainability initiative that plans to change the way Selfridges does business forever, Sebastian leads the team to deliver new retail models, including Resellfridges and Selfridges Rental platforms.

Phoebe English

DESIGN FUTURES JUDGE | Phoebe English founded her eponymous studio in 2011 and creates pieces with close attention to detail and quality, rejecting mass-made or ‘fast’ fashion. She trained at Central Saint Martins where she completed both BA and MA in Fashion. On graduation, she was awarded the L’Oreal Professional Prize, Ungaro Bursary and Chloe Award. She has been nominated for both emerging Menswear and Womenswear categories several times and has worked across a wide variety of disciplines and organisations, regularly guest lecturing in leading Universities across the world. In 2021 the studio was an honoree of the Environment category of the Leaders of Change at The Fashion Awards. The Phoebe English studio creates clothing that is in alignment with our planetary boundaries and continues to research and develop new solution-based design methods.

Laetitia Forst

DESIGN FUTURES JUDGE | Dr Laetitia Forst is a researcher in fashion and textile design for sustainability at UAL. Her work spans across two collaborative projects: the EU funded HEREWEAR project at the Centre for Circular Design, and the Business of Fashion Textile and Technology partnership at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. In all her research and teaching activities, Laetitia is keen to explore creativity as a driver for the development and implementation of sustainable and circular design strategies across the industry.

Sarah Mower

DESIGN FUTURES JUDGE | Sarah Mower MBE is a fashion journalist and critic for US Vogue and an advocate for young designers. She is the British Fashion Council's Ambassador for Emerging Talent and Chair of the NEWGEN committee, the scheme responsible for the rise of a constellation of design stars who show in London Fashion Week, including Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, JW Anderson, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic, Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha. A trustee of the new British Fashion Council Education Foundation, Sarah, with Meribeth Parker, is a campaigner raising much-needed scholarships for the students who will contribute to the health of the industry's future in all its developing areas.

Lee Lapthorne

Lee Lapthorne MA is the founder and director of the internationally recognised On|Off showcase, where he supports and mentors emerging fashion designers as part of London Fashion Week. On|Off has played an integral role in helping to launch the careers of JW Anderson, Roksanda Ilincic, Gareth Pugh, Peter Pilotto, and many more. With over 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry, he has worked with and supported some of London’s most successful designers including Preen, Pam Hogg, Faustine Steinmetz and Marques Almeida. As a designer and textile artist, Lee has also had his work exhibited at the Barbican London, Gloucester Cathedral and the V&A London. He is currently the Head of the Institute of Jewellery Fashion and Textiles at Birmingham City University.

Criteria, Eligibility & Terms and Conditions


We are looking for fashion designers to illustrate a capsule collection and create one product that applies a systems-thinking approach and pushes the boundaries of circularity.

To apply, please submit:

Design illustrations for 3 ready-to-wear outfits
Technical drawings (front only) for each garment / product
One moodboard / concept board to illustrate target market, inspiration and colour palette



Each designer and proposed design solution will be judged against 4 criterion:

Criterion 1: Creativity and Originality
A proven track record in design
Design solutions must be innovative and demonstrate creative flair

Criterion 2: Evidence of Circular Design Thinking
Evidence of a systems thinking approach, considering whole life cycle of garment(s)

Criterion 3: Marketability
Aligns with upcoming trends for chosen target market

Criterion 4: Potential to Scale
Addresses a specific and relevant industry issue
Strong consideration of development and delivery of design solution at commercial scale



To be eligible to apply you must have industry design experience and be based in the UK or have the intention to pilot/operate in the UK.



Click here to read the terms and conditions for Design Futures 2022. This competition is being promoted by Fashion District, 20 John Prince’s St, London W1G 0BJ.