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Design Futures 2022: Application Guidelines

Challenge Brief

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. We specifically encourage solutions that could be adopted across the industry.

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. Your circular design innovation must be applied to one or more garments in the outfit, or a pair of shoes, or a handbag.

Please note: we will accept applications focusing on garment design, shoe design or handbag design only.

The application consists of two parts: artwork and written responses.


You are required to submit:

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


All submitted artwork must be your own and may not be shared publicly.

It is not necessary to manufacture any products at the application stage. Should you progress to the shortlist, you will be required to create 1 of your outfits / products for the final awards showcase (a contribution of £300 will be provided towards development costs).

You may wish to include descriptions alongside your technical drawings. This is not necessary but may assist with explaining the innovation behind your design.

Please submit your artwork as 3 individual PDF files:

  • Design illustrations
  • Technical drawings
  • Moodboard

The competition portal will accept PDF files up to 8MB in size. Any files that exceed this size, please email to


Alongside your artwork, you will need to answer 9 questions about your previous experience and your submission, which correspond to the judging criteria.

  • Please provide an overview of your professional design experience.
  • How do your designs uniquely address the design challenge? Please refer to the judging criteria.
  • Please explain your choice of textiles and how these would be sourced.
  • How will your designs be treated / managed at end-of-life?
  • Who is your target market? How do your designs cater to this audience?
  • What evidence of market traction do you have for this design solution / approach?
  • Please explain how your designs could be reproduced for a commercial market.
  • If you were to win, how would you invest the £15k cash prize?


  • Must have industry design experience
  • Must be based in the UK or have the intention to pilot/operate in the UK


Creativity and Originality

  • A proven track record in design
  • Design solutions must be innovative and demonstrate creative flair

Evidence of Circular Design Thinking

  • Evidence of systems thinking approach, considering whole life cycle of garment(s)


  • Aligns with upcoming trends for chosen target market

Potential to Scale

  • Addresses a specific and relevant industry issue
  • Strong consideration of development and delivery of design solution at commercial scale


Need to get in touch about your application? Feel free to email us at


Check out the T&Cs here.