We’re not sure whose idea this was, but the collaboration between the CFDA and Lexus is certainly a bizarre one. Regardless, their goal is definitely one we can get behind. They established the inaugural Eco Fashion Challenge as a platform to recognize and support the industry’s leaders in sustainable design. From the press release:
“To qualify as a finalist, each designer had to demonstrate a commitment to ecologically responsible design and production practices, with a minimum of 25% of their collection being produced in an environmentally friendly manner. The judges selected the three honorees based on design credibility, business acumen, and eco-commitment, with attention paid to eco fabrics, materials, processes, and packaging.”
Last night, the winners were announced at a packed event dj’d by Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes. Congrats to Costello Tagliapietra, Maria Cornejo and jewelry designer Monique Péan, who won amongst some pretty stiff competition: Behnaz Sarafpour, Marcia Patmos, Organic by John Patrick, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Subversive, and Rogan. All ten finalists’ work was shown in gallery style displays with blurbs about what they do to keep their design process eco-friendly.
We also got a chance to congratulate winners Monique Péan, Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra and ask them about the challenge. “This was a really exciting challenge because it really required me to think a little bit outside the box. We are inherently are an eco-friendly company and this made me think about how can we be more eco-friendly. Thinking sustainability and slow design is really important to me,” said Péan. She also told me about her newly-launched atelier line of custom and bespoke bridal–an issue that she can relate to. “I’m actually getting married on New Year’s Eve and found there weren’t enough options out there for brides who wanted to be sustainable and wanted to have a ring that they can feel really good about on their finger.”
“We actually discovered it through Jeffrey’s insomnia,” Robert Tagliapietra told me of how the duo found out about the challenge. “He was trolling around the internet one night and he found it and we thought it was so amazing because it was a way to introduce eco-friendly ideas into our brand. We’ve been doing this stuff for so many years. We never wanted it to be a branding tool necessarily, but it’s just something we do.”
Click through for pics of the winners holding up their big $25,000 checks.