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Fashion student wins first Imagining Sustainable Fashion Award

By Jackie Mallon

30 Mar 2021

The winner of the first Imagining Sustainable Fashion Award launched last October by non-profit research agency, Connecting Cultures, and international ecohub, C.L.A.S.S., was announced on Tuesday during a webinar led by Giusy Bettoni, CEO of C.L.A.S.S. and Anna Detheridge, President of Connecting Cultures. They were joined by Lucy Orta, Chair of Art and the Environment at University of the Arts London; and Dio Kurazawa, founding partner of The Bear Scouts.

The competition which resulted in over 100 entries from every continent sought proposals for new ways of communicating sustainable values, inspiring submissions from photographers, artists, designers, and multimedia creatives across disciplines such as magazine layout, dance, theater, comic strip, and design.

“The choice was very difficult,” said Detheridge. “It wasn’t that everyone converged on one. There were a lot of novel approaches.”

The winner of the 3000 euro prize was 22-year old Emma Scalcon from Padua in Italy who is a second year student on the Textile and Fashion Design course at the IAAD ( Istituto d’Arte Applicata e Design). Her campaign entitled “Take a Walk on the Green Side” was described by Detheridge as “well-focused and flexible, using simple and detailed wording intended to appeal to younger consumers,” while Orta noted that Scalcon “simplified very difficult facts, researched and condensed them into wonderful illustrations in a very personal style.” Orta also appreciated how Scalcon’s campaign “guided the consumer but wasn’t moralistic. It was bold, playful, with a strong aesthetic.”

How to communicate an award-winning sustainable message

“What really struck me about Emma Scalcon’s project is her choice to use the image of an eye, a key element that opens the door to many scenarios,” said Bettoni, “to see and evaluate the infinite new possibilities and doors that responsible innovation allows us.” Other judges this inaugural year included Paola Arosio, head of New Brands & Sustainability Projects, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (The National Chamber for Italian Fashion); Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education and Sustainable Strategies, Council of Fashion Designers of America; Renata Molho, journalist, former editor-in-chief of L’Uomo Vogue and editor-at-large of L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia; Stefania Ricci, Director, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo; and Rita Airaghi, Director, Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.

The award was made possible by main sponsor Roica by Asahi Kasei and Ecosensor, a latest generation fabric collection that promotes responsible innovation with advanced high-tech performance; C.L.A.S.S.; and the Greek smart cotton Supreme Green Cotton® by Varvaressos.

Images by C.L.A.S.S.

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry