The bizarre partnership between the CFDA and Lexus is back for the second annual CFDA/Lexus Eco Fashion Challenge. Last year, we went to the event where CFDA members Monique Pean, Costello Tagliapietra and Maria Cornejo were announced as the honorees and given $25,000 each to help fun their shows or presentations. The CFDA hopes to continue to encourage and promote sustainable practices in the fashion industry by honoring another round of sustainable designers this September.
To be eligible, the designer must already be one of the 375 CFDA members and “demonstrate a commitment to ecologically responsible design and production practices.” The challenge is based on the designer’s fall/winter 2012 collection, no less than 25% of which must be produced in an “environmentally friendly manner.” To be considered, the designer must submit sketches and examples of any or all design materials, i.e. swatches, beads, stones, wood, etc., as well as any references, inspirations or photos of the collection.
“The CFDA was thrilled with the response from designers to this Challenge last year,” said Steven Kolb, CFDA executive director. “We are honored to continue to collaborate with Lexus on this initiative and to be working with a selection committee consisting of industry leaders in sustainability.”
Former Barneys creative director and now fashion consultant Julie Gilhart; Scott Hahn, designer/co-founder Rogan and Loomstate; Simon Collins, dean of Parsons School of Fashion and Marie Claire’s Zanna Roberts Rassi will team up to decide on the CFDA’s most environmentally responsible designers. Scott Hahn obviously designs Loomstate, a very successful eco-friendly line that launched a while before eco-friendly became trendy. Earlier this year, he and Parsons‘ Simon Collins actually collaborated on Parsons’ first ever eco-friendly design course, ensuring that not only present, but also future, fashion leaders maintain a commitment to sustainable design practices.
It’s great that designers who make the extra effort to be environmentally responsible are getting recognition. Even if it is limited to the CFDA, the awareness that this program provides is universally beneficial and will hopefully inspire similar initiatives, like the Green Shows for example, to recognize and support younger designers or those outside of the Council. The honorees will be announced at an event on Monday September 12, 2011 at Milk Studios in NYC. We’ll definitely be there to report this year’s winners!