While there is no formal winner or prize, the CFDA called the challenge a “critical moment” in determining the winner on Nov. 4.
Zara has provided designers with sustainable fabrics that meet its Join Life brand standard. Designers will be able to choose the ones that best suit the concept of their collections.
Zara created the Join Life label in 2015, with the aim of making garments using the most sustainable production processes and raw materials. Join Life also puts a focus on reducing the impact on water resources, and encouraging biodiversity.
The raw materials that Zara plans to provide include ecologically grown cotton, which is produced using natural fertilizers and pesticides, and avoids the use of genetically modified seeds during cultivation.
The Spanish firm, a division of Inditex, will also be offering designers sustainably grown European linen, which is cultivated without artificial irrigation systems or genetically modified seeds. The crops reduce the use of fertilizers and prevent the use of defoliant chemicals.
Designers will also have the chance to work with EcoVero, a sustainable viscose, and Tencel Lyocell, a fiber obtained from sustainably managed forests where trees are grown in a controlled manner and through programs that guarantee reforestation.
Zara said it considers the annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to be one of the most prestigious platforms for young designers, and said its goal is to spotlight “sustainability’s key role in the fashion industry” for the next generations.
The company emphasized that this is one of a few select sponsorships it has undertaken in the space.
“All of us here at Inditex are committed to sustainability, one of our firm’s core strategic principles. The culture of diversity, innovation and creativity that is shared by the entire Inditex team is driving the forward-looking values of sustainability and innovation” Pablo Isla, Inditex’s executive chairman, said.
Last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Design Challenge was done in partnership with Nordstrom. Ten finalists were taken to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and each designer was tasked with creating a look inspired by an artist’s life, body of work, or unique perspective on the American experience and landscape, according to the organization.
As reported, Zara is committed to a sustainable development of the brand, and in July set out its new global commitments for 2020 to 2025. It has also joined the Fashion Pact initiative, which was created to champion environmental sustainability in the apparel and fashion sectors.
Zara has said it is working to develop sustainable programs at each stage of the life cycle of its products, including design, production, transportation, the stores and the web site. In addition, Zara is creating reusable and recycling programs for garments that are no longer being used.
As reported, Zara said its 7,500-strong store estate will be eco-efficient by the end of 2019, one year ahead of target, while all collections from Zara, and its sister brands in the Inditex stable, will be made from 100 percent sustainable fabrics before 2025. That compares to today’s figure of 20 percent.
The company has also committed to zero waste in landfills from Zara facilities, and 80 percent renewable energy consumption in its headquarters, logistics plants and stores by that same year.