New or emerging designers often have difficulty navigating the crossroads between fashion and sustainable practices—not to mention manage the additional financial cost of doing so. To supplement and further stimulate sustainable innovations in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched the CFDA and Lexus Initiative, a program that boosts, financially and strategically, the sustainability efforts of five select brands.
Last Thursday, the initiative announced the five finalists for 2018: Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy for Cienne, Marcia Patmos for M. Patmos, Sue Stemp and Paud Roche for St. Roche, Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson for Studio One Eighty Nine, and Whitney Pozgay and Parker Argote for Whit.
The brands will participate in a development program complete with workshops and mentorships with experts at the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business in addition to a $20,000 award to springboard their sustainability efforts.
At the end of the nine-month program participants will present their new business blueprints and one brand will win a grand prize of $75,000.
Former finalists of the three-year-old program include Prabal Gurung, K/ller Collection, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Tome, and Brother Vellies.