Piero D’Angelo with his project Grow Your Own Couture is the winner of Imagining Sustainable Fashion Award (ISFA) 2023. The award, now in its third year, was created by Connecting Cultures and C.L.A.S.S. with the aim of finding new visual imagery and innovative models of communication in sustainable fashion.

The winner was announced during a webinar broadcast on May 18 at 4 p.m. attended by Giusy Bettoni CEO of C.L.A.S.S. Eco Hub, Anna Detheridge, President of Connecting Cultures, and ISFA ambassadors Valentina Suarez, co-founder and CEO of Universo Mola and Vishal Tolambia winner of the 2022 edition.


Piero D’angelo’s project was the best among the 110 proposals received after the international call for proposals launched on 27 October 2022.

Piero D’Angelo, 36, a graduate in Fashion Womenswear from the Royal College of Art in London and in Textile Design from Central Saint Martins, is a Fashion and Textile Designer with a research focus on biotechnology in the fashion industry. In 2022 he founded his Fashion & Textile Design studio experimenting with a multidisciplinary approach on the importance of natural materials and Biodesign. From 2018 to 2022 Piero D’Angelo was a resident and then Product Researcher & Developer at Open Cell (Biotech Research Park), a biotech start-up community in London. He was awarded the Dorothy Waxman Textile Design Prize in 2015 and semi-finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2020.

Imagining Sustainable Fashion 2023

Grow Your Own Couture. Ph. Laureen Missaire

In  ‘Grow Your Own Couture’ D’Angelo imagines a future scenario where it will be possible to grow one’s own clothes through living organisms such as lichens that are able to absorb pollution. But the project also wants to communicate a return to nature and above all care and protection towards it. In fact, the user is not simply a user of fashion, but through a kit is part of the process of growth, care and creation of the garment, thus abandoning the traditional paradigms of fashion. The project wants to completely re- imagine the way fashion could be designed, produced and used, proposing not only a product, but also a system that wants to collaborate with nature instead of polluting or exploiting it.

I think that a true sustainable revolution can only and exclusively take place when an end product is also accompanied by a system. A more democratic system that prioritises the care and protection of both natural and human resources rather than an economic interest– stated D’Angelo -. Through “Grow Your Own Couture” I want to intrigue and make people think, questioning our current knowledge of fashion. An invitation to explore little-known terrain such as the use of Biodesign and its line of thought in the field of fashion, and to raise awareness of a different approach so as to open doors to scenarios that were previously unimaginable”.

Livia Caliopi Biro and Sara Consalvo won the special social contest open to the public and held among 8 finalists selected by the jury. Their project ‘This is not abstract’ was the most voted by Instagram followers on C.L.A.S.S. profile.

Imagining Sustainable Fashion Award

Grow Your Own Couture. Ph. Piero D’Angelo

Imagining Sustainable Fashion

Grow Your Own Couture. Ph. Piero D’Angelo

The 2023 edition of Imagining Sustainable Fashion showed a definite leap forward in the level of research and the ability of young professionals and students to think outside the box. We were pleased to see that many entries showed more courage to create innovative ethical and aesthetic solutions outside the fashion mainstream“, Anna Detheridge stated.

Truly an interesting edition, the participants are fully grasping this challenge of ‘sustainable communication’, a theme that as we know has begun to be prioritised even by international directives. The engaging proposal of our winner, puts people and nature at the centre of creation while recalling the great research work around the theme of biofabricate where biotechnology is writing a new chapter of responsible innovation“, commented Giusy Bettoni.

Piero D’angelo ranked first among the finalists selected by the international jury composed of:
Anna Detheridge, Founder and President, Connecting Cultures
Giusy Bettoni, CEO and Founder, C.L.A.S.S.
Rita Airaghi, Director of Gianfranco Ferré Research Centre
Paola Arosio, Head of New Brands & Sustainability Projects, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana
Jeanine Ballone, Managing Director, Fashion 4 Development
Evie Evangelou, Founder and President, Fashion 4 Development
Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education and Sustainable Strategies, Council of Fashion Designers of America
Dio Kurazawa, Founding Partner, The Bear Scouts
Renata Molho, fashion journalist and writer, former editor-in-chief of L’Uomo Vogue and editor-at-large of L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia, Casa Vogue
Stefania Ricci, Director, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
Jovana Vukoje, New Brands Senior Specialist, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.

Imagining Sustainable Fashion

Grow Your Own Couture. Ph. Laureen Missaire

Piero D’Angelo won the 3,000 euro prize made possible thanks to the support of the main sponsors ROICA by Asahi Kasei and Bemberg by Asahi Kasei and the other project sponsors: SUPREME GREEN COTTON® by Varvaressos and ECOSENSOR by Asahi Kasei.
ROICA is a premium stretch fibrè with an innovative range of smart features to meet all contemporary wardrobe needs for sports, underwear and fashion. It has always been committed to promoting responsible innovation in the textile industry. Bemberg by Asahi Kasei is an extraordinary fibre obtained from the smart-tech transformation of pre-consumer cotton linter and processed through a traceable and transparent closed-loop process.

Thanks to the ambassadors of the initiative: Iris Skrami, CEO and co-founder of Renoon, Valentina Suarez co- founder and CEO of the Latin American sustainable fashion movement Universo Mola, Ren Collective and the association Humanity Centred Designs.

The picture at the opening of this article in by Rhys Votano