Sustainable clothing design award finalists unveiled

4th March 2015

Four talented fashion designers have made the final stage of the inaugural SCAP Extending the Life of Clothes Design Award (SCAP ELC Award), announced today by WRAP.

The finalists: Gayle Atkins, of Northbrook College Sussex/Marbella Design Academy; Nicholas Fellows, of London College of Fashion; Rhiannon Hunt, graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design; and, Valerie Goode, of Kitty Ferriera Ltd, now have to face the panel of industry expert judges in a 30 minute interview where they’ll be questioned on the inspiration for their submissions and how they would develop their idea to suit a particular market*.
WRAP research demonstrates that the biggest opportunity to tackle the environmental impacts of clothes is by targeting the active life**. The SCAP ELC Award challenged designers to address the key reasons for garment failure and the concepts needed to achieve solutions to longer life times, as well as deliver ideas that are fashionable and saleable. 
Gayle’s submission focuses on changing items from one product into another - she outlines a dress that is easily transformed into a bag; Nicholas is proposing a children’s wear concept with dissolvable threads that enables consumers to easily increase the size of the item to accommodate a growing child; Rhiannon’s idea focuses on detachable fastenings to replace traditional methods for ease of size adjustment; and, Valerie’s concept is service focussed, offering made to measure tailoring for items that are easy to mix and match with the versatility to take the wearer through from the boardroom to the bar. 
Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP said: “Selecting our four finalists was not easy as the quality of entries was extremely high. It is very encouraging to see the appetite for this kind of thinking in this sector – we need this new approach to designing clothes to be embraced if we’re to move towards a model that makes better use of our raw materials and gets the greatest value from them." 
Tamsin Lejeune, CEO, Ethical Fashion Forum and SOURCE, and award judge, said: "The ELC Design Award is an important initiative by WRAP to raise awareness and increase engagement with the pressing issue of textile waste and the pollution that results from it.  We have been impressed by the quality of entries and the ingenuity of the designers, who have created some very innovative solutions to complex problems." 
The winner will receive £5,000 and the opportunity to progress their work and develop it for a commercial market. 
SCAP ELC Awards is delivered by WRAP, the organisation behind the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and Love Your Clothes, with support from Defra, British Fashion Council, The Knowledge Transfer Network, InnovateUK, Sustainable Angle and ModeConnect.
‘Extending the life of clothes’ is a key focus for the sector commitment, SCAP 2020, with many retailers, brands and reprocessors signed up to it; all aiming to reduce the environmental impacts of clothes***.


If using Twitter please use #design4longevity

*Judging criteria:

i) Design process - what journey did they take to arrive at their final design?  Using the A3 story boards show how the analysis of primary and secondary research justifies their solutions.

ii) Environmental - what benefits does their design bring to reducing the carbon, water and waste footprint of the product?  Demonstrating what local or global issues their design is addressing and how the design can help to solve these issues.

iii) Innovation – how is the design innovative? Demonstration of a unique solution to a problem people are currently facing.

iv) Development and commercial potential - Is the design sound? Do they have a viable business model? Demonstrate how the idea can be taken further and be implemented within a commercial business model.

** WRAP research shows that if the active life of clothes were extended by just nine months it could reduce the carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30% each, and save around £5 billion worth of the resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing. Valuing Our Clothes – The true cost of how we design, use and dispose of clothes in the UK

***SCAP 2020 signatories and supporters from across the UK, including – Stella McCartney, ASOS, John Lewis, M&S, Ted Baker and Whistles.

Key facts (from Valuing Our Clothes report):

More than a million tonnes of clothes are supplied onto the UK market each year, and UK consumers spend £44 billion a year buying them.  However, more than a third of these purchases end up in landfill when they’re finished with. 

Around £30 billion worth of clothes which they haven’t worn for a year hang in people wardrobes. 

SCAP: SCAP’s ambition is to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. By bringing together industry, government and the third sector it aims to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance through sector-wide targets. The SCAP 2020 Commitment sets out these targets. Leading clothing sector companies have signed up to the Commitment and pledged to measure and reduce their environmental footprints. SCAP 2020 has seven action areas – ‘Design for Longevity’ is one of these areas and the SCAP ELC Awards sit within this. SCAP is overseen by a Steering Group, consisting of major retailers, brands, recyclers, sector bodies, NGOs and charities, and include four working groups: Design, Re-use & Recycling, Influencing consumer behaviours and Metrics.  

Love Your Clothes – is the consumer campaign, launched by WRAP in early 2014. It aims to raise awareness of the value of clothes and help consumers make the most of the clothes they already have. It’s focused on encouraging people to think about way they purchase, use and dispose of clothes. It provides easy and practical tips and advice on how to: make clothes last longer; reduce the environmental impact of laundering clothes; deal with unwanted clothes; and, make the most of what’s already in the wardrobe. , Twitter: @loveyourclothes

About WRAP

WRAP’s vision is a world in which resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency. WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Visit and follow us on Twitter at @Wrap_UK


Clare Usher

PR Officer
01295 819678