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Our Social Fabric Design Competition

The Wilson School of Design

Our Social Fabric



What do you get when you mix design students, recycled textiles and a passion for the planet? The Upcycled Design Competition!

The Wilson School of Design is excited to announce this year’s Design Competition in partnership with Our Social Fabric, a local textile recycling initiative. In the spirit of this year’s theme, “Awareness”, eligible participants will create a 3-dimensional design using recycled textiles and found objects. The criteria are simple. Transform fabric/material waste into an upcycled design that conveys a message of awareness on a topic that is meaningful and current. Concepts include but are not limited to: garments, soft products, art pieces, interior design products, creative packaging, zero or minimal waste designs, to name just a few ideas.

Partner Profile - Our Social Fabric

Our Social Fabric (OSF) is a textile recycling initiative, in operation since 2009. OSF receives donations of textiles, fabric and sewing-related supplies from the film industry, theatre, manufacturing, estate closures together with home sewers and artists. Their team of volunteer’s sort through donations and offer them back to the community at drastically reduced prices. OSF has two main purposes: the first is to reclaim, recycle and extend the life-cycle of surplus textiles and textile-related materials destined for destruction or landfill. The second goal is to build community awareness of best practices for textile waste reduction towards zero waste and a circular economy. OSF has diverted over 50 tons of fabric from landfills since its inception in 2009.

Design Competition Goals

This year marks the 3rd consecutive design competition developed in partnership with Our Social Fabric and the Wilson School of Design at KPU. The competition seeks to combine reclaimed materials with the skill and expertise of KPU’s design students to demonstrate the viability of transforming fabric/material waste into upcycled design concepts. Our goal petition is to create awareness of Our Social Fabric’s efforts and inspire the many talented, emerging designers at the Wilson School of Design.

Submission Eligibility & Guidelines

Applicants must:

  • Participants must be enrolled in one of the Wilson School of Design’s (WSD) seven design programs as a full-time student.

  • Must be interested in exploring upcycled design concepts to potentially solve or respond to modern day textile waste problems.  

  • Participants must create an upcycled design concept with the annual theme in mind. 

  • 2021/22 Theme: Awareness. Are you passionate about a particular issue? Then use your design to create awareness for that topic. Make your audience think, maybe spark some debate or discussion. 

  • Design and build an upcycled creation. Concepts include but are not limited to: garments, soft products, art pieces, interior design products, zero or minimal waste designs, etc. Handwork such as quilting, weaving, knitting, crocheting of fabrics and/or materials could be options to create new materials from existing ones.

  • Materials used in designs must include a minimum of 80% of OSF-provided materials. The majority of remaining materials must be upcycled.

  • Participants must go to OSF store with KPU identification to purchase fabric. They will receive a $40 gift card to select from available materials, and must be available on the dates OSF store is open (Thursday’s 3-7pm and every 3rd Sunday 10 am–1 pm). Please go to online OSF store for the latest fabric and notion selection

  • Submissions may be made by individuals or groups of two (maximum). For group submissions the financial award will be split equally among the two applicants (no exceptions).

Initial Concept Submission (Round 1)

  • Two to four visual boards/outlines including but not limited to: research photos, sense of theme, potential concept drawings, projected colourways, etc. 

  • One-page written description of the design concept in relation to theme (Awareness), potential materials to be used, design concept and rough idea of execution. 

  • Submissions must include name, WSD program and year of study. 

  • Submissions must be submitted as a single PDF file labelled in the following format. OSFcompetition_firstnamelastname. 

  • Send submissions to

Finalists (Round 2)

Judges will select from the submissions received, and select those that are approved to proceed to the final round.

Final Submission Requirements

Provide a single video for final submission. Video to include;

  • Design process
  • Outline of the representation of the theme “Awareness”
  • Description of how the piece was designed and created, material usage, explanation of all other materials used and how they were sourced/ reclaimed, why those choices were made. 
  • Must include very clear visuals of final design. 
  • Video submission can be a combination of time lapse, power point, vlog, TikTok, photos etc. 
  • Video submission must be no longer than 15 minutes in length. 
  • Video should include clear lighting, visuals and audio. 
  • Videos must be supplied in a common file format such as .mov or .mp4
  • Further submission details will be provided to the selected finalists

Judging Criteria

  • Innovative use of reclaimed materials sourced from OSF up to a maximum budget of $40.
  • Representation of 2021/2022 theme “Awareness”.
  • Creativity, quality, finishing and workmanship of completed design.
  • Ability to articulate (through video submission) the design process, inspiration, rationale for selected materials and overall messaging of theme.
  • Note: We will share the top submissions in a social media campaign for audience voting. The winner of the social media prize will be based on number of votes received.

Competition Details & Dates

Concept Submissions Due                    January 24, 2022 - 5pm

"Round 2" Participants Announced        January 31, 2022

OSF Materials Shopping                        Thursdays 3 pm – 7 pm 
                                                            Every 3rd Sunday, 10 am – 1 pm
 ***To view current fabric selection in store please go to 

Final Design Submissions Due          March 14, 2022

Social Media Voting                          March 28 – April 11        
Winners Announcement Event          April 21, 2022


1st Place:                         $2000
2nd Place:                        $1500
3rd Place:                         $1000
People's Choice Award:      $500


Design Guidance

Participants may contact our Lead Mentor, faculty Lesley Pollard for design guidance.

Lesley Pollard, Faculty, Wilson School of Design
Lead Mentor

General Enquiries: