Mumbai, 15th November 2018: The ‘Circular Design Challenge’, launched earlier this year as part of R Elan’s ‘Fashion for Earth’ initiative, is now open for entries. The design challenge, launched in August at the Winter Festive 2018 edition of Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with the United Nations in India, puts a spotlight on circular fashion. With the upcoming Summer Resort 2019 season, Lakmé Fashion Week will continue its focus on fashion and sustainability.

The Circular Design challenge, open to all fashion/accessory designers and entrepreneurs in India, aims to recognize environmental champions of tomorrow in the Indian fashion and textiles industry. This initiative will unravel the country’s first award for sustainability, and it will inspire innovation through circular design and offer solutions to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industry in the country.

The registration for the challenge is now open till 5th December 2018 at www.circulardesignchallenge.net.

Applicants must incorporate circular components across the textile value chain in their design through the application of circular-design principles and demonstrate a positive impact on the environment and on society. The designers will need to submit a proof concept of their sustainable collection, which must encompass key principles of circularity, sustainability, aesthetics and scalability. They can use any material for their collection, as long as it is up-cycled from diverse waste sources – including plastics.

The shortlisted entries will be judged, and a final winner will be announced by an eminent jury on 31 January, which is the Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer Resort 2019. The winning collection will be showcased on Sustainable Fashion Day at Lakmé Fashion Week in August 2019.

Commenting on the partnership Mr. Vipul Shah, COO – Petrochemicals, Reliance Industries Ltd. said, “As an industry leader, we have embraced circularity and sustainability in our core values and operations, aiming to make the world a better place for the generations to come.”

“We are confident that the Circular Design Challenge will provide enormous opportunities for budding concept creators, fashion designers and the entire textile value chain to exhibit their innovative ideas, designs with a focus on circularity and sustainability. The initiative will help the entire Indian textile value chain to become a global leader in ingraining circularity in their business strategy and operations,” Mr Shah added.

Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said: “From cultivation to weaving, from design to execution and transportation, fashion touches every part of the economy, affecting the lives of thousands of people along the way. It is vital that this process be sustainable, fair, and inclusive. The Circular Design Challenge is an opportunity for innovative young designers to combine sustainable design practices with new circular business models, rethinking how we design our products for their next use -- not for ‘end of life,’ but rather ‘end of use.’ I am confident that this platform will encourage more design-led research to reduce textile waste and environmental impacts, helping accelerate the shift to circular fashion.”

Atul Bagai, UN Environment, Country Head, India said, Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. As UN Environment, we believe in recognizing innovative solutions as a means of addressing environmental challenges. Creative approaches such as The Circular Design Challenge are a perfect opportunity to promotesustainable textile production and consumption and accelerate sustainable development in general.”

Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance said, “We are committed to bringing new design talent and innovators to the fore season-on-season through creative collaborations. Our partnership with the UN in India and R Elan’s Fashion for Earth initiative for the Circular Design Challenge is a step towards identifying and supporting champions in the field of sustainability.”

To accelerate the shift to a circular economy, companies and other actors are encouraged to adopt various strategies and to take action.