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The RCGD Global Design Contest 2020, in partnership with TENCEL™, has awarded an exciting opportunity of a lifetime for two winners within the international fashion design community.
Open to emerging and established designers over the age of 21, this year, applicants submitted a digital sketch of their sustainable red carpet design before the international contest closed on the 30th of July 2020. One gown and one suit design were selected by a judging panel which comprised of Suzy Amis Cameron (Founder of Red Carpet Green Dress); Harold Weghorst (Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG); Nazma Akter (Founder and Executive Director of Awaj Foundation) and Laura Basci (Founder of Laura Basci Couture).
Sanah Sharma from Chennai, India
Jasmine Kelly Rutherford From New York, USA
The two chosen designs by Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford will commence later this year with sustainable eco-couture textiles from the recently announced RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe collaboration. Two prominent VIPs from the fashion and entertainment industry will wear the designs. These RCGD ambassadors, to be announced, will be attending the 2021 Pre-Oscars Gala in the winners’ designs. Sanah and Jasmine’s work will also be presented to a global sustainable fashion and entertainment audience from across the globe. Alongside a monetary award of $1000 each, the winners will also receive a three-month business mentorship with CEO Samata Pattinson and internship experience with couture designer Laura Basci in her LA-based atelier.
The campaign has directed funds towards two crucial organisations: Awaj Foundation in Bangladesh and The Fifth Pillar in Myanmar, as provision for the disproportionately vulnerable garment workers severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Samata, CEO of Red Carpet Green Dress, comments: “Announcing the winners brings back memories of when I was in their position, and won the contest back in 2011. It completely changed my life. The winners have such an incredible and exciting journey ahead of them. RCGD has been raising awareness of sustainability in the fashion industry for over a decade, changing people’s mindsets and creating a conversation about the issues and leading action. Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford will not only dress ambassadors but will receive first-hand experience and mentorship. I am grateful to be a part of the journey they will be embarking on.”
This year's winning gown has a zero-waste design plan. Designer Sanah Sharma graduated from the Pearl Academy in 2015 with a BA in Fashion Design before launching her namesake label. She is the recipient of numerous design accolades across Asia and authored a chapter in the eco-handbook ‘Models for Sustainable Framework in Luxury Fashion: Luxury and Models’, published by Springer Publications in 2018.
Sanah Sharma comments: “Fashion is among the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet owing to the primarily linear supply chain that has become the global industry’s standard. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles are landfilled or incinerated. Most of these comprise synthetic fibres produced from non-renewable resources like oil, releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the environment. While sustainable materials have existed in the past, we have not seen luxury evening wear textiles developed with high sustainability indices. To make fashion circular, we must revolutionise its primal resource, textile. This is where materials like cellulose-based RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe can help close the gap.”
Harold Weghorst, Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG, comments: “Sanah’s dress is a perfect symbiosis of fashion and sustainability. The elegance of the design and the smart concept of zero-waste makes Sanah the deserved winner of this contest.”
The winner of the 2020 suit design is Jasmine Kelly Rutherford. A recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Jasmine’s past roles include stints at Kendall + Kylie, and Cinq à Sept. She has worked at Nordstrom Inc since 2012. Her tailored design will be created exclusively using an RCGD x TENCEL™ Luxe cashmere fusion fabric that is lightweight and strong enough to hold pleats and smocking.
Jasmine Kelly Rutherford comments: “Having a textile that is both sustainable and long-wearing is a huge asset. I always try to design with the wearer in mind; I want the client to be comfortable and not feel like they are wearing something confining. While wearing my design, I want them to not only look luxurious but feel it too. Winning the RCGD global design contest is beyond exciting because I believe that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. As I create, I want my designs to not only tell a story but to have a voice and speak on issues that affect us around the world.”
Harold Weghorst, Vice President of Global Marketing & Branding at Lenzing AG, comments: “Jasmine’s suit is a strong statement of how fashion serves people and planet and not the other way around. A suit that makes the wearer feel comfortable, confident, and conscious of doing the right thing.”
RCGD is a women-led global change-making organisation working from ‘moment’ to movement, bringing sustainability to the forefront of conversation and action within the fashion and apparel industry. Celebrating its 10th year in 2019, the campaign was conceived by Suzy Amis Cameron (actress, environmental advocate, and author of OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline and Save the Planet). When faced with the lack of ethical fashion choices while attending global premieres of husband James Camerons’ ‘Avatar’, Suzy decided that it was time for a change. The RCGD goal is to draw attention to the importance of more sustainable practices in fashion and be part of bringing those solutions to the global market. Suzy created an international design contest, challenging emerging and established designers worldwide to develop sustainable Oscar-worthy gowns, thus fulfilling the Red Carpet Green Dress criteria to serve the need for more sustainability in the industry. Additionally, focusing on social impact consideration, fair and humane treatment of manufacturers, a clear supply chain, and materials that use a high proportion of recycled and biodegradable materials.