Innovative fashion brands rise to the GFA Designer Challenge to create more responsible products USA – English USA – English

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On the eve of Global Fashion Summit, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) has unveiled global fashion brands PUMA and Collina Strada’s responses to the GFA Designer Challenge 2023. The GFA Designer Challenge, presented by Smiley, is an initiative following exceptional Creative Directors and their sustainable design processes from original idea to final product: matching style and ingenuity with supercharged solutions. Two captivating new videos depicting the journeys of designers from PUMA and Collina Strada have been released today.

Less than one per cent of textile waste is recycled into new fibres suitable for the fashion industry, representing a loss of more than USD 100 billion worth of materials each year1. The bulk of textile waste is disposed of in landfills, downcycled or incinerated. Heiko Desens, Global Creative Director of PUMA, partnered with Nicole McLaughlin, to creatively find solutions to the challenge of reducing waste from the supply chain through upcycling material cut-offs. The challenge ‘Sweep the Factory Floor’ spans McLaughlin’s New York Studio and the PUMA headquarters in Bayern, Germany to show the creatives at work.

Meanwhile, Hillary Taymour, Creative Director of Collina Strada created an alliance with CIRCULOSE® of the award-winning textile recycling company, Renewcell, which offers a new material made by recycling cotton from worn-out clothes and production waste. With at least two-thirds of a brand’s environmental footprint attributed to its choice of raw materials, fabrics such as CIRCULOSE® offer an alternative to high-impact virgin fossil-fuel-based materials. The material was produced by the fabric mill Beste. The video ‘Reimagining the Use of Materials for Bags’ follows Hillary Taymour in New York as she tackles the challenge surrounding materials, bringing in solution-led insights from the CIRCULOSE® team in Sundsvall, Sweden. Taymour uses the innovative material to reimagine a handbag with vibrant prints and colours that would not have been achievable with leather.

This year’s designer challenge is presented by Smiley – the company behind the Smiley brand and the Future Positive Creative Fund which is designed to support and mentor game-changing designers in their creative journey. GFA and Smiley share intentions to drive positive impact through fostering and supporting creative talent.

The GFA Designer Challenges with PUMA and Collina Strada will be showcased at the leading forum of sustainability in fashion, Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition on 27-28 June in an interactive showcase. Continuing the impact of the GFA Designer Challenge, a third film that follows Julius Juul, Global Creative Director of Scandinavian brand HELIOT EMILTM, will also be released in September 2023.

Federica Marchionni, CEO, Global Fashion Agenda, says: “With the environmental impact of a garment largely determined in its design phase, design decisions have the power to significantly influence resource use, purchasing and usage behaviour. Our GFA Designer Challenge is therefore intended to fuse talented creatives with promising innovations and we are honored to have the support of key partners to make this year’s challenge even more impactful.”

Nicolas Loufrani, Chief Engagement Officer, Smiley, says: “As a licensed brand, we have to find creative ways to engage with our stakeholders and get their support to join our Future Positive initiative. The designer challenge is perfectly in line with our objectives and values, it resonates with the creative leaders we partner with and I was super excited when the team at global fashion agenda proposed us to be part of the project.”

Heiko Desens, Global Creative Director of PUMA Group, says: “Taking part in the GFA designer challenge is a great platform to share our concept ‘sweep the factory floor’ and to receive honest feedback. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to inspire others to be bold in finding solutions to waste. We’ve found this challenge to be unpredictable, yet invigorating, resulting in unique designs.  At PUMA we are constantly striving to do better through collaboration, which is key to pushing the boundaries with innovation. We’re excited to build on what we’ve started with Nicole McLaughlin and look forward to sharing the journey. There’s only one forever, let’s make it better.”

Nicole McLaughlin says: “The designer challenge is important to push the limits of design and share the hardships in a transparent way. There are struggles and challenges, but we learn, apply, and do it better.”

Hillary Taymour, Creative Director of Collina Strada, says: “Through sustainable fashion, we piece together a world where beauty meets responsibility. Each product becomes a testament to our commitment to create a better future for generations to come. I am excited to team up with the GFA to work on such a special project.”

Watch the collaboration between PUMA and Nicole McLaughlin here and Collina Strada and CIRCULOSE® here.

  1. Global Fashion Agenda (2021). Scaling Circularity.
  2. Global Fashion Agenda and Boston Consulting Group (2017). Pulse of the Fashion Industry.

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SOURCE Global Fashion Agenda

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