“Wilson School of Design and Our Social Fabric Zero Waste Design Competition”

In May, 2019, Our Social Fabric (OSF) awarded $5,000 to three students who participated in the “Wilson School of Design and Our Social Fabric Zero Waste Design Competition“.  OSF is delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership with Kwantlan College and to have a role in the future of zero waste fashion design. We would like to extend our thanks to the staff and teachers at Kwantlan and the Wilson School of Design who made this Zero Waste Design Competition possible. Congratulations to all to the creative participants and top three winners!

Competition Overview

Our Social Fabric is a textile recycling initiative that has been in operation since 2009. OSF receives donations of textiles, fabric and sewing related supplies from the film industry, theatre, manufacturing, estate closures together with home sewers and artists. Our team of volunteer’s sort through the donations and offer them back to the community at drastically reduced prices.  We have two main purposes for existing: the first goal is to reclaim, recycle and extend the life-cycle of surplus textiles and textile related materials destined for destruction or landfill.  The second purpose is to build community awareness of best practices for textile waste reduction towards zero waste and a circular economy.  OSF has diverted over 50 tons of fabric from landfills since its inception in 2009.

The Challenge:
Through the partnership with the Wilson School of Design at KPU, Our Social Fabric launched a design competition to combine diverted and reclaimed materials with the skill and expertise of KPU’s design students to demonstrate the viability of transforming fabric/material waste into a wearable garment.  The goal of this design competition is to promote OSF’s efforts and recognize the talented, new designers at KPU.

Submission Eligibility—Applicants must:

  • Be interested in exploring zero waste design concepts and pattern cutting techniques to potentially solve or respond to modern day textile waste problems.
  • Design and construct one garment for which product quality will be considered:
  • based on theme or category provided annually by OSF.
  • using only the materials provided by OSF (with the exception of notions up to 10%).
  • undergarments and bathing suits are not accepted.
  • Select materials, based on mock budget or maximum fabric allotment, from OSF Shop during pre-identified dates and times;
  • Students must be enrolled in one of KPU’s seven design programs Fashion Design & Technology, Fashion Marketing, Foundations in Design, Graphic Design for Marketing, Interior Design, Product Design, and Technical Apparel Design) as a full-time student in their first, second, or third year.
  • Submissions made by individuals or groups of two (maximum) will be considered. For group submissions the award will be split equally among the two applicants (no exceptions).
  • Provide a digital journal outlining the design process and evidence of guidelines being adhered to, such as photos, prototypes, samples, drawings, and patterns; etc.

Here are the photos of the finished Zero Waste Design garments produced by students at the Wilson School of Design.