Structured as a multi-university competition, the Biodesign Challenge (BDC) is an education program that partners scientists with university students to envision the future of biotech and engage the public about its implications. Since 2016 BDC has been a driver at the meeting of art, design, culture, and new technologies. Student projects have shown in museums and design fairs, led to the creation of innovative companies, and spurred dialogue in the press worldwide.
The Stella McCartney Prize for Sustainable Fashion will be awarded to the BDC team that explores and/or develops proofs of concept for fashion alternatives that are biological, sustainable, ethical, and free of animal products. We ask the teams to explore lifecycles, production processes, disposal, and recycling potential - pushing them to come up with animal free materials. The teams should consider how their projects might propel the fashion industry in novel ways.
The exciting Biodesign Challenge involves teams from 30 universities from across the world who are exploring and developing a sustainable material. Taking into consideration the entire manufacturing process and scope for circularity, the teams must explore material lifecycle and production processes as well as disposal and compatibility with recycling.
Our involvement in this initiative demonstrates our passion for supporting and encouraging innovation as a way to promote greater sustainability within the luxury fashion industry and beyond. We feel that looking to nature and technology as a way to develop new materials ethically, responsibly and sustainably is the next big step the textiles industry needs to take in order to protect our planet. The fewer raw materials we pull from the planet the greater our chances of helping the environment recover from natural resource extraction.
The Biodesign Challenge is also about inspiring a new generation of designers and biotechnologists. The vision of a designer and the path of an emerging technology are inextricable, and nurturing both communities could not be more important. As science and fashion converge, we hope to promote an outside-the-box way of creating garments.