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Red Carpet Green Dress contest announces 2020 winners

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Red Carpet Green Dress, a women-led global change-making organisation, has named two winners of its global design competition, which challenged designers to submit a sketch of a red carpet-worthy gown or suit that advocates sustainable fashion.

The competition, conceived in 2009 by Suzy Amis Cameron during the press tour for her husband, James Cameron's film ‘Avatar’, called on emerging and established designers over the age of 21 to deliver eco-friendly garments. Each entry had to showcase a no-waste, circular economy approach, with social impact consideration, including fair and humane treatment of manufacturers, a clear supply chain and, importantly, materials which use a high proportion of eco-friendly and recycled materials.

The international competition judging panel selected two winners - Sanah Sharma from Chennai, India, and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford from New York, USA.

Sharma, who graduated the Pearl Academy in 2015 with a BA in Fashion Design before launching her namesake label, won the red carpet gown accolade for her zero-waste design plan.

Harold Weghorst, vice president of global marketing and branding at Lenzing AG, who sat on the judging panel, said of the winning gown design: “Sanah’s dress is a perfect symbiosis of fashion and sustainability. The elegance of the design and the smart concept of zero-waste makes Sanah the deserved winner of this contest.”

Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford win the Red Carpet Green Dress Global Design Contest 2020

While the winner of the 2020 suit design was Rutherford, a recent graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Her tailored design will be created exclusively using an RCGD x Tencel Luxe cashmere fusion fabric that is lightweight and strong enough to hold pleats and smocking.

Commenting on her win, Rutherford said: “Having a textile that is both sustainable and long-wearing is a huge asset. I always try to design with the wearer in mind; I want the client to be comfortable and not feel like they are wearing something confining.

“While wearing my design, I want them to not only look luxurious but feel it too. Winning the RCGD global design contest is beyond exciting because I believe that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. As I create, I want my designs to not only tell a story but to have a voice and speak on issues that affect us around the world.”

Both designs will be produced in early 2021 with sustainable eco-couture textiles from the recently announced RCGD X Tencel Luxe collaboration and both will be worn by two prominent VIPs from the fashion and entertainment industry. These RCGD ambassadors will be announced at a later date, but are expected to attend the 2021 pre-Oscars Gala in the winners’ designs.

In addition, both winners are also awarded a monetary cash prize of 1,000 US dollars each and will receive a three-month business mentorship with Samata Pattinson, chief executive of Red Carpet Green Dress and internship experience with couture designer Laura Basci in her LA-based atelier.

Pattinson added: “Announcing the winners brings back memories of when I was in their position, and won the contest back in 2011. It completely changed my life. The winners have such an incredible and exciting journey ahead of them.

“Red Carpet Green Dress has been raising awareness of sustainability in the fashion industry for over a decade, changing people’s mindsets and creating a conversation about the issues and leading action. Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford will not only dress ambassadors but will receive first-hand experience and mentorship.”

The contest also raised funds for two organisations Awaj Foundation in Bangladesh and The Fifth Pillar in Myanmar, as provision for the disproportionately vulnerable garment workers severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image: courtesy of Red Carpet Green Dress - Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Kelly Rutherford

design competition
Red Carpet Green Dress
Sustainable Fashion