Upcycled Vision

A look into fashion competition upcycled universe organised by fashion revolution Bangladesh

Fashion has transformed over the years, catering to diverse needs and concerns. Initially, fast fashion appealed to fashion enthusiasts by providing affordable and trendy clothing. However, its negative impact on the environment and human rights has become evident. In response, the fashion industry has embraced slow fashion, promoting sustainability and aligning with environmental values. Upcycling, an innovative practice that transforms waste materials into valuable fashion pieces, has gained prominence within this movement. Many fashion houses now prioritise upcycling to create environmentally conscious designs. Fashion Revolution, an organisation dedicated to sustainable fashion, consistently prioritises environmentally friendly practices.

As part of its ongoing efforts, Fashion Revolution Bangladesh recently introduced a major competition called Upcycle Universe. This competition provides undergraduate students in Bangladesh with a platform to showcase their creativity and design fashionable, marketable products while incorporating sustainability principles. Participants are encouraged to upcycle materials to create a wide range of fashion items, including clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, and home decor products. By organising such competitions, Fashion Revolution Bangladesh actively supports and encourages the next generation of designers to explore sustainable practices and contribute to the evolution of the fashion industry.

The champion of the Upcycle Universe competition was awarded a prize money of BDT 50,000. In addition to the cash prize, the champion also received a full scholarship for an online course from IFA Paris and the opportunity to participate in a day-long workshop at Aranya Crafts. Similarly, both first and second Runner-Ups received full scholarships to online courses from IFA Paris and the chance to attend a day-long workshop at Aranya Crafts. Furthermore, the second Runner-Up also received a full scholarship for an online course from IFA Paris, along with the opportunity to participate in a day-long workshop at Aranya Crafts.

Based on the score given by all judges, top 3 winners were as follows:


Student of BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology

1st Runner-up: MIJANUR RAHAMAN

Student of BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology

2nd Runner-up: NAFISH FOYSAL

Student of Shanto Mariam University of Creative Technology

The panel of judges for this prestigious event included Jean-Baptiste Andreani, CEO of the International Fashion Academy in Paris; Schelay McCarter, professor at UAL: Central Saint Martins in London; Damian Yee, professor at the International Fashion Academy of Paris; Livia Quaresmini, professor at Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence; Nawshin Khair, Creative & Managing Director of Aranya Crafts and Honorary Advisor to Fashion Revolution Bangladesh; Samiul Alam, Senior Designer at HERSTORY by Aarong and Head of Community Management for Fashion Revolution Bangladesh; and Afsana Ferdousi, Founder, CEO, and Creative Head of Afsana Ferdousi, and Head of Event Management for Fashion Revolution Bangladesh. Together, their diverse expertise ensured a comprehensive evaluation of the participants’ work in the event.

The contestants were evaluated based on several criteria to determine the winners of the competition. The first criterion was creativity, which encompassed aspects such as the overall appearance, functionality, aesthetic appeal, and innovative use of materials in the product. Sustainability was also a key factor, assessing whether the product was fully upcycled and created solely from waste materials. Originality was another important criterion, focusing on the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the product. Lastly, marketability was considered, taking into account the product’s potential for success in the market. These criteria collectively formed the basis for judging the contestants and determining the most deserving winners.

The finalists had to write about their product concept and its ideas with proper background then had to create their own mood board. Then, they had to take pictures of their products from several angles and then provide the technical information via a template sheet. Finally, they presented their products up to the esteemed judges via virtual meeting who marked their work based on the criteria and gave a score to the teams. Carry Somers, founder of Fashion Revolution and Rudo Nondo, acting managing director of Fashion Revolution, joined the final presentation session as chief and special guests, respectively.

The event was organised by Fashion Revolution Bangladesh and powered by ICE Today. At the same time, IFA Paris was the International Academic Partner, while Aranya Crafts was the Knowledge partner.

Fashion Revolution Bangladesh is a global movement campaigning for a fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit. The organisation works in over 90 countries worldwide, with both an innovative and international approach to research, education and advocacy.

Photographs: Courtesy of Fashion Revolution Bangladesh