A Project by: WM | Slow Factory

This year, WM & Slow Factory teamed up for the inaugural Design Challenge in hopes of continuing our work of fostering innovation at the crossroads of creativity and climate action.

Together, we supported the next generation of fashion designers in applying circular and regenerative principles to their work. Six teams across the US and UK explored innovative design solutions for fashion products, materials, or systems built on regenerative practices.

This seven-month challenge culminates in the 2022 WM Sustainability Forum and a special edition Open Edu class.

About the WM Design Challenge

Building on a foundation of waste-led design, the goal of each project was to reimagine how a material’s waste state could be transformed into a climate positive solution through circular garment process or system innovation. By experimenting with tangible solutions for disassembly, and reusing products through de-manufacturing and up-cycling materials, designers are bringing imaginative, creative, and best of all, waste-led solutions to the fashion industry.

Meet our Designers

Delfina Farías

Delfina Farías created Modular Moda, a modular design guide and accompanying upcycled line, to help other designers adopt waste-led design practices.

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Gordon Holliday

Gordon Holliday pays homage to the legendary African samurai, Yasuke, with his upcycled jacket collection—a blend of traditional Japanese embroidery and street style.

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Mary Lempres & Charlotte Böhning

Mary Lempres and Charlotte Böhning used biochar (charcoal produced from plant matter) to create a sustainable leather alternative.

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Natasha Mays

Natasha Mays created a waste-to-wear puffer jacket using abandoned tents filled with shredded, donated clothes; converting hand-me-downs into trendy sportswear.

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Bob Carswell & Robert Seevers

Bob Carswell and Robert Seevers collaborated with their communities to convert landfill-bound fiber into upcycled sweaters, beanies, and ponchos.

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Sayo Watanabe

Sayo Watanabe turned her clothing line, needs theory, into a sustainable, waste-led fashion brand—transforming local packaging waste into hats, handbags, jackets and more.

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Join us for a special edition of Open Edu:

Tangible Solutions

Instructed by our WM Design Challenge Cohort

Friday, February 25th at 12PM EST

Register Now

Meet the Advisory Board

Teju Adisa-Farrar

Jamaican-American geographer, researcher, writer and poet

Aja Barber

Published author focused on sustainable landscapes in fashion

Chad Bolick

Global textile sales and technical leader

Lauren Bright

Multidisciplinary Engineer and Strategic Consultant

Korina Emmerich

Founder of EMME studio; thinker, maker and critical analyst driven to challenge colonial ways of thinking

Natasha Franck

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EON

Carmen Gama

Circular Systems Designer, Eileen Fisher Renew and Waste No More

Mara Hoffman

Founder and Creative Director of Mara Hoffman

Faith Legendre

Accomplished Circular Economy Advisor and Strategist

Sophia Li

Sustainability leader driven to humanize climate crisis and social justice issues

Peter Majeranowski

CEO of Circ, Innovative leader dedicated to creating lasting circular fashion

Nicole McLaughlin

Multidisciplinary Designer exploring sustainability solutions

Cyndi Rhoades

Worn Again Founder and award-winning entrepreneur

Dr. Theanne Schiros

PhD - Assistant Professor, Research Scientist and inventor

Jessica Schreiber

Founder and CEO of FABSCRAP

Catherine Scott

Experiential Marketing and Strategic Alliance Manager

Yunhee Shin

Senior Account Manager at EON

Akilah Stewart

Multi-talented professional dedicated to social and environmental activism, Founder of FATRA

Julie Willoughby

Apparel, chemical, and pulp and paper innovative pioneer

Makayla Wray

Innovative designer, patternmaker and activist

About WM: WM 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

Open Edu Special Edition:

Tangible Solutions

Instructed by our WM Design Challenge Cohort

Friday, February 25th at 12pm EST

Register Now