University of Westminster Fashion Design graduate Paolo Carzana has been nominated for the first edition of Challenge The Fabric (CTF) award, a prestigious award that seeks to raise awareness of alternative fibres and innovation within the fashion industry.

The competition, which is organised by the Swedish Fashion Council and initiated by Ekman and Co with contributing partners, has selected a handful of graduates from the world’s most renowned fashion universities to participate. As a response to the widening fibre gap in the fashion industry, the award aims to encourage the discussion about viscose as an alternative to natural and synthetic fibres, as well as contributing to a more sustainable fabric process for viscose in the long term.

Paolo, who is one of six finalists, will showcase his creative talent by presenting a selection of his BA collections in addition to designing with textiles made from viscose, to an international audience during this year’s London Fashion Week on Thursday 13 September.

The finals are set to take place in two complementary events, where a panel of global industry professionals will adjudicate the designs and discuss how new materials can help in sustaining fashion production and consumption. The overall winner will be presented the CTF award along with prize money of €30,000.

The judging panel will include The Gentlewoman’s editor in chief, Penny Martin, founders of Diet Prada, Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, editor in chief of Re-Edition magazine, Jo Barker, founder of Instagram Magazine Th_Rlty_Shw, Tiffany Godoy and Swedish Designer, Ann-Sofie Back among a number of other fashion experts.

Talking about his nomination, Paolo said: "I believe the future lies in everything moving towards a sustainable approach. The Challenge The Fabric project is crucial in understanding a need for change and crafting an alternative to the materials we use in the industry. Social justice, animal equality and environmental impact are the three areas in which I will stand up for and fight against.

"Working with the plant based viscose material sustainably sourced from The Swedish Fashion Council’s community of traders has enabled me to create silhouettes with innovative textiles to abolish the unsustainable equivalents of today. It is a great honour to be considered for The Challenge The Fabric Award."

Paolo was also selected for the 2018 edition of Modebelofte, an international platform for fashion talents, taking place next month in Eindhoven. Exhibiting during Dutch Design Week between 20 – 28 October, Modebelofte also aims to challenge the fashion industry by showcasing a selection of talented graduates from BA and MA courses around the world.

Find out more about the Fashion Design BA Honours course offered at The University of Westminster.

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