Slow Factory Foundation has assertively made an effort to reimagine the fashion industry from the history of its cotton fields to the future, where it consumes our planet. The idea behind this non-profit organization founded by Céline Semaan and Colin Vernon is to give fashion and the consumers the tools to create circular fashion items that help and won’t harm the earth.
Waste Management and the Slow Factory Foundation have joined forces to foster the next generation of fashion designers. Focused on building regenerative fashion that is recycled and remade into new, six designers will engage in a seven-month incubator to create design solutions for fashion products and materials. The competition culminates in February 2022, where the designs created by these six innovators will be on full display on Slow Factory’s webpage for the challenge, as well as on the website of each respective innovation.
The Waste-Management Design Challenge got itself going back in February of 2021, and now with half the year behind us, designers who have participated in the program will be starting to bring their upcycled, recycled, circular, ethical, and conscious creations to fruition.
From waste-based fashion to ‘waste-led’ fashion, a term coined by founder Vernon, each designer will develop a climate-positive concept, circular garments, and system innovations. Additionally, they will find viable solutions for disassembly, reuse, de-manufacturing, upcycling, and other regenerative processes. “Waste is a colonial construct. In nature, there isn’t such a thing as waste, everything emitted is reused as a resource,” Mrs. Semaan points out.
In providing resources necessary for each designer to get started, grants will be distributed for $1000 to explore and develop processes that lead to circularity. The designers can feel confident that they will have access to the Slow Factory board members. They include Jamaican-American geographer and researcher Teju Adisa-Farrar; multidisciplinary engineer Lauren Bright; founder and Chief Executive Officer of EON, Natasha Franck; sustainability leader and host of All of The Above, Sophia Li; multidisciplinary designer Nicole McLaughlin; founder and CEO of FABSCRAP Jessica Schreiber; innovative designer, patternmaker, and activist, Makayla Wray; global textile sales and technical leader Chad Bolick; and CEO of Circ, Innovative leader creating lasting circular fashion, Peter Majeranowski, to name a few.