Q1. What is the Circular Design Challenge?
The Circular Design Challenge is a platform for young fashion/accessory designers and entrepreneurs to showcase and win a prize for their innovative ideas and collections made by using materials from diverse waste sources including plastic. It is one of India’s first and largest sustainable fashion prize in the fashion, textiles and apparel industry.

Q2. What is Circular Design?
In 2014, Anna Brismar, a global expert in circularity and sustainability coined the term ‘circular fashion’, and defined it later as “Clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly (towards humans, living beings and the planet) and effectively in society for as long as possible, in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.”

Q3. What is Circular Fashion?
Circular fashion is a concept aimed to bring relief to the planet and the environment by reducing the waste that threatens to choke it today and increase the lifespan and reusability of the products created. The concept can be applied across the life cycle of a product - starting from the sourcing of fibre and yarn to its design, production, transportation, marketing, sale, all the way to its human use phase and the condition it exists in its life cycle post-use. Circular fashion is aimed at improving resource and energy efficiency in terms of design and production, reducing the waste generated throughout the life cycle and the environmental impact through the entire production process. Circular fashion ensures that the way the product is created leads to a closed loop system across the product's lifecycle. Rooted in the idea of a 'circular economy', circular fashion is pushing the industry from its current 'take-make-dispose' approach to one that creates positive and lasting impact environmentally, socially, and economically through a reuse – repurpose – reduce – recycle approach.

Q4. Why has this initiative being created?
The challenge is an initiative to promote thought leadership in sustainability by nurturing environmental champions of tomorrow in the fashion industry. We want to inspire innovation through circular design and offer solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion, textiles and apparel industry.

Q5. Who has created this initiative?
Launched in partnership with Fashion for Earth by R|Elan™, United Nations in India and Lakmè Fashion Week, along with the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory by Intellecap as its knowledge partner, it is one of India’s first and largest sustainable fashion challenges in the fashion, textiles and apparel industry.

Q6. Who is eligible to participate?
The eligibility criteria is:

  • The applicant(s) must be a citizen of India: Holding a valid ID/passport
  • CDC accepts individual applications as well as applications from consortiums. The lead applicant of the consortium has to be a professional or team of professionals (up to 4) and is responsible for curating the final collection together
  • The lead applicant's venture/business must have no more than 8 years of professional experience, post completion of relevant education (if applicable)
  • The applicant should be able to fund 2-5 pieces of garments for the final presentation at LFW
  • The applicant(s) should be willing to collaborate with innovators and entrepreneurs in the circular fashion space and will have to declare the primary & secondary sources of their final collection

Q7. What is the process of application?
All applicants have to register and then log in to fill in an application form to submit their entry. All applicants will have to submit the complete application package by November, 2019. Announcement of shortlisted applicants for assessment by an expert jury will be announced tentatively in December, 2019. The shortlisted applicants will showcase their collection in a final round to the jury at LFW in January 2020 during the Sustainable Fashion Day, where the jury will announce a final winner

Q8. What is the deadline to apply?
The last date to register and submit the application form is 25th November 2019

Q9. Do I have to be a practising fashion or accessory designer to participate?
Yes. Since CDC accepts applications from consortiums as well, you can also be an entrepreneur collaborating with a designer to create the product or collections.

Q10. If I am a student, can I apply?
No, this challenge is open for professionals who have either started their business or they intend to do so.

Q11. Do I need to keep any outfits or pieces ready before applying?
No, the applicant needs to apply with a concept and sketches during the initial application and only if he/she is shortlisted, they will need to create the outfits or pieces.

Q12. What is the selection process?
CDC will evaluate all the completed applications and select the 8 finalists who will present their work at the final jury at Lakmè Fashion Week on 31 January 2020 at JioGarden in Mumabi.

Q13. What is the judging criteria?
The judging criteria will include a special scoring system based on the quality of the responses shared by the applicants in the application form

Q14. What happens if I get shortlisted?
If you get selected, you will have to create 2-4 garments for the final jury to demonstrate your concept at Lakmè Fashion Week on 31 January in Mumbai

Q15. Who will be part of the final jury?
The jury for Circular Design Challenge will consist of expert professionals and personalities working in sustainability from diverse backgrounds such as fashion, textiles, academia, technology and media. The jury will be announced after all the submitted applications have been evaluated.

Q16. What is the final prize?
The winner of the Circular Design Challenge will win a grand cash prize of Rs. 20 lakhs and an exclusive opportunity to showcase their collection at India’s largest fashion platform, Lakmè Fashion Week. The winner will also receive business mentorship from Intellecap, a pioneer in consulting sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change through its industry-led initiative – the Circular Apparel Innovation Factory (The prize is subject to terms and conditions).

Q17. What happens after the winner is selected?
The winner will receive the cash prize and mentoring/advisory to grow their business. The winner will start to develop a full fledged collection to be showcased at Lakmè Fashion Week August 2020 to an influential audience of media, buyers and other stakeholders in the fashion industry.

*An outfit made with upcycled wool from Anuj Bhutani, Lakmè Fashion Week - August 2017