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Ford launches ‘eco-fashion’ design grant for students

Ford launches ‘eco-fashion’ design grant for students
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Ford Motor Company is looking to discover 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 in Asia or Europe by giving them a financial grant of $1,000 and access to Ford’s sustainable fabrics for their designs.


The three selected winners will each be asked to use the grant to develop a high-fashion outfit using fabrics provided by Ford and showcase runway-ready designs that have minimal environmental impact. Ford will be provide a collection of sustainable fabrics, one of which is made from recycled plastic bottles and utilized to make Ford car seats.


Speed Ford Sustainable Outfit Aya Qi Cher Chan
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Aya Qi and Cher Chan put forward a structural black mini dress. With an exposed zip on the top, the voluminous skirt was created by interweaving Ford’s seat fabrics in a geometrical pattern.

“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.”


Aside from giving young designers a unique, high-profile opportunity to display their skills and creativity, the grant is also an effort to raise awareness on the importance of sustainability in design.

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

Speed Ford Sustainable Outfit Veronica Lee Amandah Andersson
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Victor Chu and Kristine Hansen designed a floor-length maxi dress, and topped it with a draped blouse in neutral tones. At attached scarf in the same hue finished the look.


With the Philippines having its own creative pool of budding fashion designers, Ford Philippines is confident that this grant will be a good platform for young designers to showcase their talent and creativity in creating ‘eco-fashion.’


“We’re very excited with launching the first Ford Design Grant in the Philippines. Not only does it provide the opportunity for young Filipino fashion designers to showcase their talent, it also allows us to think beyond the box and innovate by stretching our imagination to make use of car materials in fashion. The Filipino talent shines in the global fashion arena and we look forward to seeing some great applications from the Philippines,” said Joseph Ayllon, assistant vice president for communications, Ford Philippines.


Ford also continues 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. 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 are now available at the Ford Design Grant website: Deadline of submission of applications is on November 30, 2015 and the announcement of grant winners will be made in January 2016.

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