RIL pioneered the concept of the Circular Design Challenge to raise consciousness for sustainability and circular practices across fashion industry
With the aim to give a global platform to fashion design talent across the world, Circular Design Challenge (CDC) has announced its worldwide expansion that culminates at the upcoming season of Lakmé Fashion Week in association with FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India).
"Presented by R|Elan, the next-gen fabric brand of India's largest conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), in association with the United Nations in India, CDC aims towards a greener and more sustainable future globally by promoting the eco-conscious creatives of the fashion industry," a company statement said.
Five years ago, RIL pioneered the concept of the Circular Design Challenge, driven by a vision to raise consciousness for sustainability and circular practices across every facet of the fashion industry. This endeavour saw partnership between RIL, the UN in India, and Lakmé Fashion Week which strive to champion transformative ideals within the realm of fashion.
Since then, Circular Design Challenge has been pivotal in driving India's fashion industry towards eco-consciousness.
This year, CDC aims to be a global phenomenon with the competition spanning across the UK, EU, and APAC regions, extending invitations to designers around the world.
Hemant D Sharma, sector head, Polyester, RIL said, "The CDC has nurtured, mentored, and promoted environmental champions leading circular and innovative collections using sustainable and recycled materials. The challenge has established itself as the largest sustainable fashion award in India. The initiative has played a crucial role in promoting circularity and sustainability in the Indian fashion industry, and after four editions in India, we are now going international to promote sustainability, and circular economy adoption globally".
Shombi Sharp, UN resident coordinator, India, said: "The UN and CDC are united in our belief that fashion can and must be both a source of joy, celebrating culture, human expression, and innovation, and a force for greening our world. Weaving together so many different threads of society and the economy, a more sustainable fashion industry can help drive the achievement of the global SDGs across a rich fabric of value chains and social connections. We look forward to unlocking circular solutions on a global scale with CDC."
The design challenge focuses on crucial parameters of sustainability for evaluation such as biodegradability, durability and multi functionality of products.
CDC partners across borders include the British Council for the UK, Redress for Hong Kong/Asia Pacific, and Istituto Marangoni for The European Union.
Pei-Wen Jin from Taiwan was announced finalist from APAC region whereas 'Studio Medium' by Riddhi Jain and Dhruv Satija, 'Banofi' + 'Studio Beej ' (Consortium) by Jinali Mody and Arundhati Kumar, and 'Without' by Anish Malpani were announced as the three finalists from India edition.
From the UK Jury meet, it was Amesh Wijesekera, Sri Lankan designer based in London, who made it to the finals and Felipe Fiallo was the finalist from the EU jury meet.
The finalists from APAC, UK and EU jury travel to New Delhi in October where together with India finalists, will pitch their work to jury at Lakmé Fashion Week, the statement said, adding the CDC winner will receive funding worth Rs 15 lakh, trophy, and a six-month mentorship programme, along with a stand-alone showcase at Lakmé Fashion Week in March 2024.