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.

Meet our Advisory Board

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.

Advisory Board

Teju Adisa-Farrar

Teju is a Jamaican-American geographer, researcher, writer and poet from Oakland, California. Her interdisciplinary work focuses on connecting the dots between environmental, social, cultural and ecological issues. Having lived in 7 different countries, Teju’s transnational perspective allows her to advocate for and speak about environmental and climate justice so that we can build alternative futures.

Aja Barber

Aja Barber is an American writer based in London whose work has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent and CNN. Aja's writing focuses on the sustainable landscapes within the fashion industry and what they should look like in an intersectional future. Aja is a proud board member of Slow Factory.

Stacy Flynn

Sustainable Systems Specialist, Materials Reuse Advocate, and Social Entrepreneur. She is CEO and a founding partner of Evrnu, a textile innovations company working to solve the most pressing challenges facing the global textile and apparel industry. She has worked as a global textile specialist for nearly two decades in roles at DuPont, Eddie Bauer, and Target.

Natasha Franck

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EON, Natasha is a leader in designing circular economy systems across fashion retail leveraging Internet of Things technology. Before EON, Natasha worked in smart cities and community focused and sustainable urban development at Delos and Jonathan Rose Companies.

Carmen Gama

Carmen Gama is a New York-based circular systems designer born and raised in Mexico. She worked collaboratively to design a scalable and profitable remanufacturing system for EILEEN FISHER, where she is currently working as the Design and Production Manager for both Eileen Fisher Renew and Waste No More.

Mara Hoffman

Mara is the President and Creative Director of her self-named, sustainability focused clothing company which creates and presents colorful collections in celebration of women. She is an active member of the CFDA and serves on the boards of artisan-focused nonprofit Nest, community organization Glam4Good, youth empowerment charity ArtStart, and Fashion Fights Cancer.

Faith Legendre

Faith Legendre is an accomplished advisor and strategist with 15+ years of experience with 200+ organizations worldwide via innovative and pioneering business approaches. She has initiated successful Circular Economy prototypes within Consumer-Packaged Goods, Fashion, and other industries.

Sophia Li

Sophia Li is a Chinese-American journalist, film director, and sustainability advocate. Her mission is to humanize issues such as the climate crisis and social justice into digestible and accessible news. She is the former Entertainment Media Editor at American Vogue and her journalistic reporting has appeared in CNN, Vogue and the United Nations.

Peter Majeranowski

Peter traveled the world in the US Navy, and what he saw was a planet in environmental peril. Now as Circ's CEO he’s dedicated to creating circular fashion that lasts longer than it takes us to try to spell his last name.

Nicole McLaughlin

Nicole McLaughlin is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. Since 2018, Nicole has explored greater possibilities for sustainability through self-initiated and collaborative efforts alike.By transforming discarded miscellanea into objects with new, imaginative, and often unexpected utility, Nicole shows how a circular approach to design and manufacturing can help us reframe waste as an opportunity.

Cyndi Rhoades

Cyndi founded Worn Again Technologies in 2005 with a determination to create a business out of solving the global problem of textiles waste. She is an early pioneer of the sustainable fashion movement, a co-Founder of the RE:Fashion Awards, the world’s first Sustainable Fashion Awards in London, and more recently a co-Founder of World Circular Textiles Day.

Jessica Schreiber

Jessica Schreiber is the Founder and CEO of FABSCRAP, which provides convenient pickup and recycling of fabric scraps from businesses in New York City and creates opportunities for reuse. Prior to launching FABSCRAP, she worked in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability at the NYC Department of Sanitation. She has a Masters degree in Climate and Society from the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Yunhee Shin

Yunhee Shin is a Senior Account Manager at EON, passionate about driving change in the fashion industry. Yunhee has over 20 years experience in fashion design, product development and merchandising. Prior to joining EON, Yunhee was the AVP of Design & Product Development at Luenthai, one of the largest clothing & accessories manufacturers in the world.

Akilah Stewart

Akilah is the chief creator behind FATRA, an expert creative waste design label. Stewart has used fashion as a catalyst for social and environmental activism for upward of 10 years.

Makayla Wray

With sustainability and a sense of community as the main focus of her craft, Makayla Wray proves to be the missing link in today’s industry supply chain. During the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC she transformed a neighborhood coffee cart into a mobile tailoring station to bring together both her core values and highlight the systemic mistreatment and underpayment of garment workers. Makayla currently works as the lead sample maker for BODE.

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 wm.com

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.