Published on September 25th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair


Ford’s Design Grant Asks Fashion Students to Think of Sustainable Materials

Ford Motor Company is looking to discover the sustainable designers of the future with the launch of the first-ever Ford Design Grant. The inaugural grant will reward three promising fashion design students – living in Asia or Europe – by giving them access to Ford’s sustainable fabrics for their designs, together with a supporting financial grant of US$1,000.

Photo 4 - Maxi Dress with Scarf - Victor Chu - Kristine Hansen

The three selected winners will each be asked to use the grant to develop a high-fashion outfit with the fabrics provided by Ford, in an opportunity to showcase their creative ability to produce runway-ready designs while causing minimal environmental impact. The students will be provided with a collection of Ford seat fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.

Photo 3 - Red Coat - Laurensia Salim - No¿ªlla Tapasu Koy

“Here at Ford, we recognize the critical impact of design on the environment and are always looking for innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Chelsia Lau, chief designer, Strategic Concepts Group, Ford Motor Company. “Over the past decade we’ve found more ways to build greener cars, using eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic bottles, shredded cotton, kenaf, wheat straw, soy beans and castor oil.”

Goodyear eagle 650x85(DSF)

As well as giving young designers a unique, high-profile opportunity to display their skills and work with Ford’s sustainable materials, the grant is an effort to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability in design.

Photo 2 - Black Mini Dress - Aya Qi - Cher Chan

“Through this grant, we want to encourage students to be creative and innovative in their work by experimenting with alternative fabrics and think about design and fashion production in a new way,” said Lau. “By giving students these resources and tools, we are helping to shape the next generation of leaders in sustainable design.”

In addition to the grant, Ford will continue its partnership with Redress – an established NGO dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability in the fashion industry – to host the Ford Design Challenge at the 2016 EcoChic Design Award competition. At the Ford Design Challenge, 10 emerging designers will use Ford seat fabrics to create innovative ensembles.

Photo 1 - Oversized Kimono - Amandah Andersson

The winning outfits from the challenge will be showcased on the runway at Hong Kong Fashion Week as part of the EcoChic Design Award’s fashion show.

Applications for the Ford Design Grant opened on September 21, 2015. Students can apply through the Ford Design Grant website:

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