VF Corp. is back with environmental charity Redress to announce the results of their 2022 sustainable design competition.
In its fourth year of celebration, this year’s winner Federico Badini Confalonieri beat out a tough competition of more than 450 entrants to take the crown for the Redress Design Awards. Confalonieri was heralded by the judges for his “Micro-Rain” collection that employs zero-waste design practices and waste material to highlight the prevalence of microplastic pollution.
“I used a lot of my materials from previous collections. After Rana Plaza [a deadly garment factory collapse in 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people], I started being more and more conscious. I think that made me love fashion even more because it’s not only about aesthetics but ethics and environmental [values],” he said in the livestreamed competition held Wednesday at the ArtisTree Hong Kong.
Tasked with transforming textile waste from VF’s Icebreaker brand’s supply chain into a product that speaks to the creativity and ingenuity of today’s designers, the judges found Confalonieri best captured the essence of the competition. His work draws attention to the microplastics problem, presenting a solution within his garments by way of a hidden filter fabric to retain pollution. Confalonieri’s past work — including pastel patchwork creations — are also a match for VF-owned brands like Timberland and The North Face where upcycling workshops are commonplace.
Confalonieri will immediately take on a mentorship with VF’s Timberland team and be part of a special sustainable design project meant to encapsulate Timberland’s “greener future,” according to the brand.
On the news, Sean Cady, VF’s vice president of global sustainability and responsibility, as well as a repeat judge for the awards, said “Creating sustainable circular designs is crucial to VF’s mission of bettering both people and the planet. Therefore, we want to equip talented next-generation designers with the tools and experience needed to further develop innovative circular solutions.” He underscored the value of the Redress Award for linking emerging talent to global fashion teams.
To that, Redress’ founder Christina Dean expressed gratitude to the VF Foundation for continual support and priority on education for the past several years. Next, Confalonieri will follow in 2021 Redress Design Award winner Jessica Chang’s footsteps. Her Timberland collection is set to launch in spring 2023.