Kering and London College Of Fashion reveal the winners of the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion
Held at London College of Fashion on Monday 14th November, Kering and Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, UAL, revealed the winners of the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion. The event at LCF gathered over 400 guests including, researchers, journalists, professionals from the fashion industry and students, around the British fashion designer Stella McCartney, guest of honour at the 2016 Kering Talk.
Following an initial brief from Stella McCartney and Brioni, over 400 registrations and ten finalist projects, five students from London College of Fashion were selected as winners of the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion: students Irene-Marie Seelig, Iciar Bravo Tomboly, and Ana Pasalic for Stella McCartney; and students Agraj Jain and Elise Comrie for Brioni.
The ten finalist projects together reflected the importance of sustainability and social consciousness to today’s young talent. All students, coming from different academic disciplines and personal backgrounds, showed a deep commitment to fashion and the environment, along with a strong interest to more sustainable practices in business in general. By taking part in the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion, they were looking to merge their passions, and illustrate the economic relevance of a more sustainable fashion industry.
The 2016 projects explore sustainability in various ways, including product innovation to reduce fashion’s impact on the planet using new materials (for example mushroom skin, peace or spider silk), alternative assembling methods to increase clothes’ longevity, or the use of new technologies and digital tools to educate the general public and luxury fashion clients to the necessity of a more sustainable development in fashion (conscious consumption, clothes lifecycle, transparency). The majority of contestants designed their projects by rethinking the whole production cycle and value chain in fashion, going from material sourcing to product development and recycling. This echoes Kering’s own commitment to drive luxury fashion toward higher levels of economic, environmental, ethical and social performance.
Grants to support their work and internship opportunities within Stella McCartney and Brioni were offered to winners of the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion.
Luxury brands Gucci and Stella McCartney will host next year’s contest.
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Notes to Editors
Winning projects for Stella McCartney
Winner of the Award for Innovation
Irene-Marie Seelig: Amadou Mushroom Skin Project
“My project further confirms my belief that innovation occurs at the intersection of the arts and sciences where we can collaborate to leave a positive, lasting imprint on society and the environment.”
An MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation student Irene-Marie Seelig is a Californian native with over a decade of international experience within the fashion industries. She believes in taking a holistic approach to sustainability, relating the health of the environment to that of its inhabitants.
Irene begun researching the wellbeing properties of mushrooms when her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was this idea that informed her project for the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion: mushroom leather. This innovative material, made from the skin of Amadou Mushrooms, is a renewable, biodegradable and vegetarian leather alternative. Irene tested both the aesthetic and the durability of the material to confirm its viability for the luxury fashion industry.
Winner of the Award for Collaboration
Iciar Bravo Tomboly: Social Ecology Project
“I believe we cannot change our environment without renewing humanity. So we should achieve an integral ecology that focuses not only on environmental and financial issues, but also on social issues.”
MA Fashion Design Management student, Iciar considers herself to be a leader, being at the head of several social organisations and an active volunteer in charities involved in fashion, social development, children education and empowering women. She has developed a global awareness of the industry and worked with suppliers from all around the world.
According to Iciar, human well-being is a main concern for the world and for the achievement of global goals. That is why she has developed a tool that measures and increases the social impact of a company by empowering employees and manufacturers. She has chosen to assess seven areas that are related to the UN Global goals and to Kering social targets, using a women’s perspective.
Winner of the Special Project Award
Ana Pasalic: Uncoloured Colours Project
“Reflecting on my own work made me understand that if I want to change the fashion industry I have to do it right at the beginning, on a business level and on a personal level.
Through the knowledge and the experience she gained during her MA Fashion Futures, Ana understood how she, as a designer, could influence and change the fashion industry, starting with materials. Her aim with this project was to make sure that fashion is going in the right direction: a sustainable direction ensuring a better life for every creature and plant on our planet.
Ana’s project, the “Uncoloured Colours” for Stella McCartney, is inspired by the idea to design and manufacture better materials from less. Dye wastewater from textile factories is becoming one of the substantial sources of severe pollution problems in recent times and has been classified as the most polluting of all the industrial sectors. ‘Uncoloured Colours’ could help save a substantial amount of water and avoid human risk involved in synthetic dyeing processes, through dyeing the master batch solution.
Winning projects for Brioni
Winner of the Award for Innovation
Agraj Jain: Peace Silk Project
“My main motivation for taking part in the award was the hope that the Kering group would actually use my idea in the best commercial and practical way.”
Agraj, a BA Fashion Design Technology in Menswear student, was born and brought up in the city of Agra, in India. Since childhood he has followed the religion of Jainism, which is very attached to sustainability and non-violence. Sustainability has always been important to him and his work, and he has spread awareness of sustainability by conducting an arts & crafts class using recycled materials at an orphanage in his hometown.
According to Agraj, you cannot make beauty out of killing. Using conventional silk requires the cruel process of killing a silk worm when it is still in its cocoon. However, with peace silk – which is not a substitute of silk but a high quality product - the little living being completes its cycle and comes out of the cocoon before the cocoon is used to make silk fabric. Therefore, it allows the silk moth to live and die naturally.
Winner of the Award for Collaboration
Elise Comrie: Tailored Tobacco Project
“At the 2010 New Delhi Renewable Energy and Clean Technology conference I saw the consistent failure of sustainable technology to solve problems more cheaply and reliably addressed by diesel, coal or fossil fuels.”
MA Fashion Futures student, Elise built a sustainable low-cost ‘solar oven’, a luxury push chair and trendy urban composter ‘The Thin Bin’ whilst completing her Bachelor’s in Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada, her native country.
Her proposal for the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion was to design a Smoking Jacket dyed from the organically sourced tobacco plant. With a turnover of 90 days to harvest, the sustainably sourced tobacco plant is ideal for the textile industry.
More information on the projects on http://sustainable-fashion.com/projects/lcfxkering/
About London College of Fashion – Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) is a Research Centre of the University of the Arts London based at London College of Fashion. Its work explores vital elements of “Better Lives” London College of Fashion’s commitment to using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. Established in 2008 by Dilys Williams, and actively supported and enabled by Head of College Professor Frances Corner OBE, CSF’s starting point was human and ecological resilience as a lens for design in fashion’s artistic and business practices. CSF was devised to question and challenge reactionary fashion cultures, which reflect and re-enforce patterns of excessive consumption and disconnection, to expand fashion’s ability to connect, delight and identify individual and collective values. The CSF has grown to be a diverse community of world leading researchers, designers, educators and communicators with an extensive network that crosses disciplines, generations, cultures and locations, enabling them to: create internationally acclaimed research, set agendas in government, business, and public arenas and pioneer world relevant curriculum.
A global Luxury group, Kering develops an ensemble of luxury houses in fashion, leather goods, jewellery and watches: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, Pomellato, Qeelin and Ulysse Nardin. Kering is also developing the Sport & Lifestyle brands Puma, Volcom and Cobra. By ‘empowering imagination’, Kering encourages its brands to reach their potential, in the most sustainable manner.
The Group generated revenues of more than €11.5 billion in 2015 and had more than 38,000 employees at year end. The Kering share is listed on Euronext Paris (FR 0000121485, KER.PA, KER.FP). ----
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