Program in Session

WM (Waste Management) & Slow Factory Foundation are joining forces to support the next generation of fashion designers in applying circular and regenerative principles to their work.

Through the program, up to 10 participants will engage in a 9-month challenge to create design solutions for fashion products, materials or systems that embrace regenerative practices. The program will culminate in a showcase at the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum.

How does it work?

From the beginning of the project, participants will consider and incorporate their fashion innovation’s end-of-life, i.e. waste state, by creating a climate positive or circular garment or system innovation. This is the foundation of waste-led design, a term devised by Slow Factory co-founder Colin Vernon.

This program will challenge participants to experiment with and provide tangible solutions for disassembly and reuse of products through de-manufacturing, up-cycling materials and other processes.

Program Timeline

February 2021

Announcement of the program at WM Sustainability Forum & Via SF Network.

March - April 2021

Applications are open. Apply now!

April 2021

SF and WM review applications.

May 2021

Selection and announcement of participants. Check your email!

June - July 2021

Meet the Advisors. Participants will receive guidance on their projects.

July - November 2021

Participants’ design solutions in progress.

December 2021

Final design review with Advisors.

January 2022

Projects are finalized and submitted with documentation.

February 2022

Design solutions are showcased at the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum.

Further Details

  • Each participant will receive a $1,000 grant to develop functional design solutions that can be applied.
  • This program is open to anyone internationally, including Slow Factory’s Open Education students. Each applicant will propose an idea they would explore, should they receive a grant.
  • Slow Factory and WM will focus on selecting a diverse cohort of participants, including Black, Brown & Indigenous designers.
  • An advisory board of industry experts and thought leaders will support the participants throughout the program, providing feedback and advice.
  • At the conclusion of the program, participants will showcase their research and innovation either as part of a live portion of the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum or virtually, depending on COVID restrictions.

About WM: WM (Waste Management) is the leading provider of comprehensive environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, WM provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. To learn more information about WM, please visit

About Slow Factory: The Slow Factory Foundation is a public service organization creating human rights and environmental justice initiatives that encourage corporations and the public to take steps towards climate positivity.