How can fashion value cultures of wellbeing?
This year’s Fashion Values Challenge calls on next generation changemakers from around the world to respond to this question with radical, transformational ideas where cultures, heritage and rituals create social and environmental wellbeing. We seek expressions of creativity applied to products, services, and systems of design, media and/or technology, where fashion values diverse cultures of wellbeing.
Fashion as an industry is often exclusive, not representative of all peoples, with huge imbalance in power. Many people are excluded, particularly those whose identities and cultures are not captured within prevalent fashion discourse. This perpetuates consumerist models of business, the persistence of aesthetic hierarchies and cultural appropriation.
Fashion does not have to be extractive and exploitative; many philosophies, cultural practices, and traditions apply creativity and imagination, in the honour of all life, human and more than human. Fashion can involve the sharing of ideas, traditions and values through style and habits of dress that cherish and extend the value of all involved in how we represent ourselves. It can do so with dignity, respect, and equity.
We seek to platform fashion that celebrates and serves all people, cultures, and the conditions of life.
Our search is for creative expressions of cultures of wellbeing, applied to fashion products, services and systems. We seek demonstrations of practical and theoretical skills, imagination, and creativity based on equitable livelihoods within planetary boundaries.
Wellbeing involves social, gender, racial, intergenerational, and more-than-human rights.
Culture is about ‘ways of life’: customs, beliefs, and rituals; codes of manners; taking place in communities and institutions.
Cultures communicate identities, meanings, knowledge, an articulation of values, aspirations, memories, attitudes, and understandings of the world.
Cultures can connect or alienate… How can cultures respect a shared humanity through fashion?
Through your submission, we want you to demonstrate relevance, originality, creativity, feasibility, and sustainability impact and thinking. More detailed prompts can be found in the judging criteria below.
We suggest that you demonstrate alignment with the Fashion Values tools and resources in your application. The Fashion Values platform provides tools, resources, articles, and online courses for developing change-making ideas. Check out the previous winners for examples of great ideas relating to previous year themes.
Any applicant, anywhere in the world, can book a 25-minute portfolio surgery session with a member of Centre for Sustainable Fashion team to discuss a planned application, project or idea.
If you are a student based in London, you can have your session with us in-person at our East Bank, Stratford campus. If you are a student based outside of London, or working in the industry, you can have your session online.
Funded Invitation to the Global Fashion Summit 2024:
The two winners (one emerging, one professional) will be awarded a funded invitation to the Global Fashion Summit, including the CSF Fashion Values showcase event, in Copenhagen in May 2024. This includes tickets to the Summit, travel, and accommodation. This includes costs around accessibility needs for winners attending the summit. Additionally, the student winner will be granted a place as part of the Fashion Values x Global Fashion Agenda’s 2024 Next Gen Assembly, which will include further opportunities and activities.
Please note, if you are applying as a group to the Challenge, you must nominate one person to attend the Summit.
The Mentorship Programme:
The two winners (one emerging, one professional) will also be selected for the mentorship programme with an industry leader each. The mentorship programme will match you with the most appropriate industry leader mentor from a pool of mentors. You will also be offered support to further your winning idea or business, via connection to potential support networks.
How to Apply
The Challenge brief is open to professionals, students, and creative enthusiasts from around the world. Applicants must be aged 18 years or over. Group applications are accepted. There are two application routes:
Emergent Creatives: current students and recent (within 1 year) graduates.
Professional Creatives: small business enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Applications for each category to be submitted through our programme partner, Eyes on Talents.
Please take a look at the Challenge T&Cs before submitting an application.
For Challenge FAQs, click here!
An international selection panel will assess the material and select the finalists and winner. Judges will include representatives from Centre for Sustainable Fashion and the Fashion Values core partners Kering, IBM, Vogue Business, Global Fashion Agenda, and Eyes on Talents, plus more to be announced.
Submissions close – Monday 5th Febuary 2024
Winners and finalists contacted – March 2024
Winners and finalists announced – May 2024
The 16-18 Brief
This year, in addition to the main Fashion Values Challenge, we are launching the first 16-18 Brief, aimed at pre-higher education students!
We are inviting students within this age range to share their responses to this year's central question: How can fashion value cultures of wellbeing?
We're looking for radical and game-changing ideas across the fields of design, media and/or technology that will enable the fashion industry to truly value cultures of wellbeing.
To find all the details on the 16-18 Open Call and how to apply, follow the link here!
The deadline for this year's Fashion Values Challenge was Monday 5th February 2024 at Midday (GMT), therefore applications have now closed. Any applications submitted from this point will not be accepted.