The CFDA and Lexus have joined forces to launch a program designed to elevate sustainability within apparel, jewelry, and accessory design businesses. The CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative was born out of the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge (2010 to 2014), and focuses on the environmental, social, and financial challenges faced by the industry today. The initiative challenges designers to discover solutions through new materials, processes, and systems including responsible sourcing, ethical manufacturing, supply chain transparency, scalable business strategies, and consumer literacies.
Ten brands will be selected to participate in a 17-month virtual residency program, from November 2015 to March 2017. Designers will be selected by an advisory board of industry professionals who focus on socially and environmentally responsible practices, including Burak Cakmak of Parsons The New School for Design; Linda Greer of NRDC; Olivia Wilde of Conscious Commerce; fashion consultant Julie Gilhart; and Amber Valletta, to name a few. Those selected—a list that will be announced in October—will engage in a series of workshops, field visits, and mentorship opportunities. At the end of the program in March 2017, three brands will be recognized for making significant changes to their companies’ ethos, sustainability, and social responsibility. The grand prize winner will be granted $150,000, and the two runner-ups will be awarded $50,000 each. The ultimate goal, however, is for participants to form a heightened sense of community, empowerment, and purpose.
Applications are now available and will be accepted until September 14, 2015, and can be submitted here.