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, in partnership with C.L.A.S.S., has launched an international competition for new visual imagery and innovative models of communication in sustainable fashion.
Beginning in October 2020, Connecting Cultures invites professionals in the creative industry 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

In creating proposals, candidates are free to explore not only more traditional media (e.g. editorial projects, fashion events, advertising, 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 January 12, 2021. A winning project will then be selected for the Award which includes a €3.000 prize.


What is the impetus for this prize?
“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 challenges facing the fashion industry today are many and complex. The motivation for this competition is to shine a spotlight on an industry in crisis of values and bring about a transformation so that sustainability, innovation, and style co-exist seamlessly; so that these important values are communicated to consumers; and so that people who are truly elevating sustainable fashion – on an aesthetic level and in terms of design and production – may be recognized and rewarded.

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on more inclusive, diversified energies from today’s artists and designers from all over the world who are bringing an inclusive approach to the culture of design, translating research into new materials; learning from biomimicry and nature; finding new uses for forgotten fibres; reworking processes, garment dying and conservation; incorporating vintage pieces, no waste design, and 4.0 fablab design; redesigning collective memory; referencing anthropology and a more respectful relationship to ethnic identities and the environment; and creating an altogether greater awareness of a sustainable fashion ethic and aesthetic.    

What values are most important?
The Imagining Sustainable Fashion Award will be presented to those visionary creatives who share our values:
Giving voice to a sense of responsibility in both producers and consumers for sustainable materials and environmental impact
Mixing three key values (design, innovation, and responsibility) in each message and action
Promoting local excellence and diversity
Reinterpreting memory
Learning from artists, fashion designers and other professionals as catalysts for change
Developing a sensibility towards individuals and an understanding of the emotional and psychological aspects of an individual’s relationship to sustainable fashion
Developing icons or 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
Fashion designers
PR and communications experts
Illustrators and cartoonists.

What are the selection criteria?
One of the great challenges in communicating the values of sustainable fashion is to create effective and beautiful imagery using meaningful language that resonates with consumers, and to deliver 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:
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.

How can I apply?
Join the competition by submitting your proposals to by midnight on January 12, 2021. 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 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.
Submit your document in Word with applicable images, illustrations, videos, text, etc.
Submitted files must be saved with the applicant’s name in the beginning of the file, for example: Name_Surname_imagining_sustainable_fashion_prize.doc

October 6, 2020: Call opens
January 12, 2021: Deadline to submit proposals
January-February: Proposals reviewed by jury
February-March 2021: Candidates are notified regarding outcome. Selected proposals will be presented to the public and the winner will be announced. 

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 

The winning submission will be awarded a cash prize of €3.000

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 provide 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 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  


Imagining Sustainable Fashion