International Competition
Imagining Sustainable Fashion
Connecting Cultures
in partnership with C.L.A.S.S.

How can creatives empower fashion by communicating new sustainable values?
Connecting Cultures and C.L.A.S.S. have launched the second edition of their international competition for new visual imagery and innovative models of communication in sustainable fashion. 

Beginning 6 October 2021, Connecting Cultures invites all creatives, whether students or seasoned professionals, to submit their out of the box solutions to communicate:
– Responsible and ethical fashion values
– The importance of transparency and traceability
– Unique ways not only to reinforce a brand’s identity but also to trigger reflection
– A shift from storytelling to story making

Candidates are free to explore not only more traditional media (e.g. editorial projects, fashion events, advertising, marketing campaigns, etc.) but also mix and match new digital and phygital paths, from social media to gaming, virtual immersive experiences, and more.
All proposals must be sent to by midnight on 23 January 2022. A winning project will then be selected for the Award which includes a €3.000 prize.


Please submit the following forms with your proposal:




What type of projects are we looking for?
Imagining Sustainable Fashion is an international competition for ideas and creativity, but also a wake-up call for every fashion brand that has ever invested in sustainability or innovation, but has failed to communicate this with its stakeholders.
Anna Detheridge, Connecting Cultures and Giusy Bettoni, C.L.A.S.S. 

The aim of this competition is to encourage and reward creatives who are transforming the fashion industry so that:
– sustainability, innovation, and style co-exist seamlessly
– these values are communicated to the public
– people who are truly elevating sustainable fashion may be recognized and rewarded.

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on creatives from all over the world who are successfully communicating a sustainable fashion ethic through visual and audiovisual images, be it through a single image, a collection of images, a video, or other means.
We are looking for projects that express the systemic values that define sustainable fashion and that need to be communicated to the public. We are not looking for mere images of a brand, product, or a fabric.

What values are most important?
We are looking for projects that:
–  Demonstrate a sense of responsibility for sustainable materials and environmental impact
–  Show responsible consumption and/or production
– Embrace transparency and accountability
– Stand for inclusivity, equality, and solidarity
– Incorporate key values (design, innovation, and responsibility) in each message
– Promote local excellence and diversity
– Reinterpret memory
– Understand the emotional and psychological aspects of an individual’s relationship to sustainable fashion
– Develop narratives contrasting many of the negative aspects of overconsumption and exclusivity

Who may submit proposals?
The international competition is open to creatives from all over the world with an active interest in the world of sustainable fashion including, but not only:
– Artists and performers
– Video makers and animated filmmakers
– Photographers
– Fashion designers
– PR and communications experts
– Illustrators and cartoonists
– Producers and film directors

What are the selection criteria?
A winning project will showcase effective and beautiful imagery using meaningful language that resonates with the public, and delivers a message that combines design, innovation, and responsibility all at the same time.
Proposals will be selected based on how well the applicant understands and applies the following criteria:
– Effective message, clarity of purpose
– Aesthetic quality of the images
– Sustainability and responsible use of materials, textiles, or artistic setting
– Design approach: displaying strategic thinking, and innovative, creative, and
deliverable response to the competition
– Emotional resonance with target markets
– Sense of newness, originality
– Impactful design
– Experimentation and imaginative thinking are encouraged.

Are there legal and/or copyright laws I should be aware of?
Copyright laws in all European and Western countries are extremely severe and protective of authorship and intellectual property. Many countries have laws protecting an artist’s moral and financial rights. It is important, therefore, that anything you submit is your own original work, unless otherwise indicated. 

You are required to gain written permission to replicate or in any way utilise materials that are not your own.
This includes, but is not limited to, putting text into quotation marks and clearly referencing and quoting the original sources of any photographs, images, data, videos, audio recordings, music, etc that were used in any way. You must also credit any external professional agencies who have contributed to the project as well as list the names of each contributor to the project.
Sources must be free of copyright protection, i.e. you must confirm that the sources of any image, video, audio-visual recording etc. may be reproduced, distributed, displayed and/or performed publicly.
Only those who submit a signed declaration of originality will be considered for the prize.
The responsibility for the originality of the project sits entirely with the author. 

How can I apply?
Join the competition by submitting your proposals to by midnight on 23 January 2022.
– In the subject line, write Imagining Sustainable Fashion Prize.
– Include a CV with your name, age, educational background, and professional experience.
– Attach a proposal statement (max two A4 pages). Describe the images and/or text you present, the fashion label(s) represented, and provide commentary on the overall vision and effectiveness of the image.
– If you represent a fashion company or if your proposal is for a fashion or textiles company, then please include the names and website information for the fashion label. Please quote fully the names of the creatives responsible for the images or the copy.
– Submit your document in Word with applicable images, illustrations, videos, text, etc.
–  Include signed forms required for participation (data handling, image and video  release, declaration of originality).
Submitted files must be saved with the applicant’s name in the beginning of the file, for example:

6 October 2021: Call opens
23 January 2022: Deadline to submit proposals
January-February 2022: Proposals reviewed by jury
March 2022: Candidates will be notified regarding outcome. Selected proposals will be presented to the public and the winner will be announced. 

Jury and Technical partner
Anna Detheridge, Founder & President, Connecting Cultures
Giusy Bettoni, CEO & Founder, C.L.A.S.S.
Rita Airaghi, Director of the Ferré Foundation
Paola Arosio, Head of New Brands and Sustainability Projects, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana
Jeanine Ballone, Managing Director, Fashion 4 Development
Evie Evangelou, Founder and President, Fashion 4 Development
Chiara Luisi, Sustainability Projects Coordinator, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana
Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education and Sustainable Strategies, Council of Fashion Designers of America
Dio Kurazawa, Founding Partner, The Bear Scouts
Renata Molho, Journalist, former editor-in-chief of L’Uomo Vogue and editor-at-large of L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia, Casa Vogue
Lucy Orta, Chair, Art & the Environment, University of the Arts London
Stefania Ricci, Director, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.

Technical partner
Caterina Niccolai, intellectual property lawyer with special focus on the audio/visual industry 

The winning submission will be awarded a cash prize of €3.000.
*The prize will be subject to taxation based on the country where the winner is fiscally a resident.

About Connecting Cultures
Connecting Cultures is a non-profit research agency located in Milan, Italy. Connecting Cultures’ mission is to promote sustainability through art and design. Sustainability is a complex and multifaceted issue and one that is of fundamental importance to contemporary culture. We strive to find innovative and inclusive solutions to today’s increasingly important issues of sustainability. Issues that we, as active citizens, feel it is our duty to address.
Connecting Cultures was founded in 2001 by Anna Detheridge, a scholar of the visual arts, a professor and curator. The association has an interdisciplinary approach based in the arts and works with artists, architects, designers, performers and the public in order to: promote a collective awareness of local resources and enhance the potential of local areas; train young professionals in the field of visual arts; provide opportunities for empowerment and capacity building within the sphere of intercultural exchange; plan and implement new urban ecologies; act as catalysts for change and a sustainable future.
Connecting Cultures has an active presence in the field of art and sustainable fashion through its dynamic platform, Out of Fashion.

About C.L.A.S.S.
C.L.A.S.S. is a global resource for smart material innovation, education, marketing and communication. It empowers businesses and provides them with the guidance needed to be competitive and socially responsible, while increasing the bottom line and upholding design integrity. These new values are essential to speak to today’s smarter, conscious consumer.
Leading the way since 2007, C.L.A.S.S. offers a unique multi-platform hub based in Milan. From its inception, founder Giusy Bettoni presented an original idea of a 3-dimensional approach to fashion, which harnessed creativity, innovation, and responsibility for product, processes and communication. Based on this idea, Giusy and the C.L.A.S.S. team specialize in integrating a new generation of smart values into fashion, product and businesses.
Responsible innovation, the mantra for Giusy is now the lodestone for C.L.A.S.S. and its visionary journey. The future is already here, thanks to C.L.A.S.S.’ partners’ dedication to smart material development.

For more information about C.L.A.S.S., please visit  


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