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The Circular Design Challenge


The Circular Design Challenge

Felipe Fiallo wins EU Jury Meet of India’s Biggest Sustainability Award
13 September 2023

Circular Design Challenge (CDC) is proudly presented by R|ElanTM, the next-generation fabric brand of India's largest conglomerate, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in association with the United Nations in India. The EU segment of CDC is in collaboration with Istituto Marangoni, an international leader in private higher education. CDC aims towards a greener and more sustainable future globally by promoting the eco-conscious creatives of the fashion industry.

Curating the international platform for fashion design talents across the world, the Circular Design Challenge (CDC) global expansion EU edition jury meet in Milan was an immense success. This expansion will reach its culmination at the upcoming edition of Lakmé Fashion Week x FDCI in India.

The Milan jury selected Felipe Fiallo from Ecuador as the winner, recognizing his transformative work in Italy's luxury footwear industry, which combines digital fabrication, sustainability, and style. Fiallo's approach focuses on regenerative design and biomimicry of nature.

Felipe Fiallo will join the finalist of the Hong Kong Meet, Pei-Wen Jin and the finalists from India Meet, Riddhi Jain & Dhruv Satija, Jinali Mody & Arundhati Kumar, and Anish Malpani along with the finalist of UK Jury Meet Amesh Vijesekara, to participate in the finals that will take place at Lakmé Fashion Week in partnership with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in October 2023.

For the EU edition, CDC collaborated with the esteemed Istituto Marangoni with an aim to become a platform for design talents to showcase their innovations and creativity on a global level. The design challenge focuses on crucial parameters of sustainability for evaluation such as biodegradability, durability & multifunctionality of products. Jury aims to monitor the factors like energy efficiency, closed-loop systems, and materials used in ethical production and focuses that their social and environmental impact should meet one or more of the United Nations standards of Sustainable Development Goals.

Stefania Valenti · Managing Director, Istituto Marangoni said, “We are pleased to partner with CDC and Reliance Industries to host this first edition of the European selection chapter of the Circular Design Challenge. As one of the leading educational institutions focused on Fashion, our mission is to train the new generation of Designers creating a culture of circularity and sustainable fashion and an eco-conscious mindset. Thanks to the past collaboration of one of our notable Alumni Fashion Designer, Rahul Mishra, with Reliance Brands who supported him because of his strong commitment to sustainability, we are honoured to participate in this year's CDC edition with our emerging Alumni Designers that represent effectively this mindset.”

The EU Jury comprised Francesco Fioretto · Research and Education Director, Istituto Marangoni, Francesca Delogu · Fashion & Lifestyle journalist, and Marina Spadafora · Sustainability Advisor, Professor and Author

Mr. Rakesh Bali · Senior Vice President & Head Marketing at Reliance Industries Limited present at the occasion in Milan highlighted the role of the project in fostering eco-consciousness within India's fashion industry. Now, CDC is expanding internationally, encompassing regions like the UK, EU, and APAC, inviting designers from around the world to participate.

In October, the finals will take place in India, where the CDC winner will be honoured with a Seed Funding of €16,000+, the coveted CDC Trophy, and a six-month mentorship, along with a stand-alone showcase at Lakmé Fashion Week x FDCI in March 2024. The runner-up will receive Seed Funding of €5000+ & mentorship. The winner and runner-up will be mentored by Orsola de Castro · Co-founder of Fashion Revolution & Creative Director of Estethica; this influential partnership will provide invaluable guidance to the designers, and nurture them to become circular changemakers of the future.

Mr Jaspreet Chandok · Group Vice President, Reliance Brands that organizes Lakme Fashion Week in partnership with Fashion Design Council of India said,After witnessing the growing participation and appreciation for CDC over the last five years, taking CDC to the global stage aligns perfectly with our vision of promoting sustainable fashion worldwide. Together with R|Elan™ and the United Nations in India, we have elevated the Circular Design Challenge to become the biggest sustainability platform within the country. As we move forward, our focus is on making this platform an even greater success on an international scale, alongside our global partners and welcome creative minds from around the world join us in our mission to promote sustainable fashion.”

The expansion of the Circular Design Challenge to the EU marks an extraordinary leap towards a greener and more innovative future for the fashion industry. CDC partners across borders include British Council for the UK, Redress for Hong Kong/Asia Pacific, and Istituto Marangoni for The European Union.

For half a decade CDC has identified and supported remarkable winners who combine fashion with environmentally-friendly innovations. Some past winners include I Was A Sari, which upcycles discarded saris while empowering women artisans, Malai Biomaterials Design, which creates sustainable alternatives to leather, Bandit, which masters the art of upcycling various materials into eco-cool products, and Pieux, which focuses on recycled materials and modular garment construction. Moreover, the platform has supported 25 alumni through workshops and networks to gradually transform the fashion ecosystem.

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