The Design Criteria

What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability. The goal is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of our environment and social responsibility. Sustainable fashion is part of the larger trend of sustainable design, where a product is created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life cycle.

For the Red Carpet Green Dress contest the winning design must be made from sustainable fabric/material.The use of notions such as buttons, crystals, beads, sequin, etc. is allowed in the design of the garment. However, the focus should be on using recyclable, natural, organic, sustainable notions, wherever possible. All applicants’ notes which accompany their sketch submission should clearly highlight these particular items and what they are made of.

A general definition of the term organic be applied when the fabric used in a made in way that harvests it with little or minimal negative impact on environment, for example minimal use of harmful chemicals and pesticides or little waste of water. Commonly used organic fabrics are cotton, wool, silk and hemp. Sustainable fabric defined as made from renewable sources, such as bamboo or soy. Examples of green fabrics include Organic Cotton, Bamboo and Hemp, and even better if the components have been defined.

Where possible our criteria align with those initially defined by McDonough and Braungart, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. These five certification criteria are:

Material health, which involves identifying the chemical composition of the materials that make up the product.
Material reutilization, which is about recovery and recycling at the end of product life.
Assessment of energy required for production, which for the highest level of certification needs to be based on at least 50% renewable energy for all parts and subassemblies.
Water, particularly usage and discharge quality.
Social responsibility, which assesses fair labor practices.

We work in line with the Greenpeace ‘Detox Fashion’ guidelines pertaining to not using 11 flagship hazardous chemicals.

For further information and clarification we recommend this glossary on