Arts Thread

Only Natural Design Competitions 2024

Only Natural Design Competitions 2024

Deadline:
30th Jun 2024

We are delighted to be partnering for the first time with Only Naturala global design competition that dares to redefine the future of home and fashion – challenging students to create bespoke items from natural fibres and materials with sustainability at their core.

Our planet is at a tipping point. From global warming to the desecration of our seas, from plastic pollution to fast fashion waste. The power is ours to act now. To switch back ON to nature, to respect and cherish, to work as one with the environment. It’s time to change our behaviour, to restore the balance, together. To put nature first, for the sake of our future. 

Only Natural challenges you to create an innovative and beautiful design in one of the five categories - furniture, interiors, accessories, clothing, footwear – made from only natural fibres and materials . Show our judges and spectators that there is another way – a way without unnecessary waste and with the planet’s future in mind.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30 2024

THE PRIZE

Winners in each category will receive help towards the creation of a physical prototype, professionally manufactured , and will be promoted to the industry. Each winner will receive a coveted Only Natural winner’s trophy and framed certificate. Only Natural will provide exposure and promotion of all winners across all social channels. Additional prizes may be announced by the organiser at a later date.

THE BRIEF & DELIVERABLES

The brief is simple: Design a truly bespoke piece of fashion or home item that you would love to wear or to live with, that’s inspired by nature and made from natural materials.

Regardless of your passion or chosen category, whether your design draws inspiration from the beauty of nature surrounding you, addresses pressing issues like the decline of coral reefs, the light pollution in our skies, the vast amounts of fast fashion items discarded into landfills annually or whether you choose to design a sofa inspired by the veins of a leaf or a jacket inspired by a 200 million-year-old ammonite – Only Natural encourages entrants to take inspiration from nature, to ignite a passion for the future of our planet and to craft something unique using Only Natural fibres and materials.

Your design MUST include two or more natural materials from cotton to wool and wood to stone (other materials include but are not limited to bamboo, mohair, hemp, cork, etc.) We accept the use of nature derived products such as glass or metals, where the end result can be recycled and reused.

Your design must NOT include fur or exotic skins such as crocodile, alligator, python or other snakeskin, ostrich skin, plastic, synthetics such as polyester or lycra.

Your design CAN include a minimal use of non-natural materials to join natural materials together (e.g. glue, metal screws) or to enhance item’s functionality and durability (e.g. light bulb filaments, electrical cables, ink, paint, varnish, etc). But we encourage you to swap these for natural alternatives where possible for the ease of recycling.

Other design essentials:

  • Ethical sourcing: the use of animal fibres is allowed when sourced from animals not raised or killed for skin or fur. Use of animal waste, for example cow skins and hides is encouraged.
  • Sustainability: chosen materials should be sustainably sourced and processed. The resulting product should be designed to minimise waste and support recycling or reuse.
  • Commercial viability: your design should align with genuine consumer needs and be suitable for large-scale production and distribution.

The entry should include the following elements:

  • A brief summary of your project provided in English. Inclusion of high-res imagery or sketches of your project (JPEG or PNG files) advised.
  • Design documentation: a comprehensive document detailing the product’s design process, from inspiration boards to technical specifications (Please note: a prototype does not need to be physically made at this stage).
  • Material breakdown: a detailed explanation of the materials used, their sourcing, and the rationale behind their selection.
  • A short two-minute video (using a mobile device is accepted) to introduce you and your design. This is optional but encouraged.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Applications are open to students currently studying at a higher education institution across the globe or who have graduated in the past two years (2022, 2023). Open to design, product, interior, furniture, craft, fashion or textiles students and graduates.

Applicants must be 18 years old or older.

HOW TO ENTER

Create a profile and upload your entry now via the new competition platform , you can find a ‘how-to’ guide here

Please note: All entrants will automatically be offered the opportunity of a profile on ArtsThread.

ENTRY: Free to apply

DEADLINE TO APPLY: June 30 2024

THE JUDGING

After creating your profile and uploading all relevant materials onto the Only Natural competition platform, your design will be judged by our panel of industry leading experts and a shortlist of finalists will be determined in each of the competitions (Fashion and Home).

Category winners will be notified by email by 15th July 2024. At this time winners will provide a digital prototype of their product and/or provide additional imagery and video footage of the item highlighting functionality for a live final later in the year, where the Overall winners from each category will be selected. Category winners will be asked to provide a physical prototype, if available, for the ‘IRL’ final exhibition.

There will also be a People’s Choice award, selected by public vote in June 2024.

ABOUT ONLY NATURAL

Here at Only Natural, we love and respect our planet. Deeply concerned by the impact of fast fashion and artificial materials on the environment, we united to restore the balance and find the way to live in harmony with nature.

We cherish the beauty and versatility of natural materials and believe they are vastly underused as more and more items are produced using synthetics and plastic. Natural materials were used for centuries by our ancestors for their superb qualities. We find this inspirational – we need to go back to our origins by cultivating love for natural materials and showcasing sustainable alternatives to what is currently available in the market.

To help us do this, we receive funding from the Leather & Hide Council of America [L&HCA] and support from other partners ( American Wool Council [AWC], Mohair Council of America, National Industrial Hemp Council of America [NIHC] and American Hardwood Export Council [AHEC]). We work together to promote natural materials worldwide and build a better future without waste.

For more background information on the competition and Only Natural, visit onlynatural.internationaldesigncomp.com and follow us on Instagram at @onlynatural_design and on Facebook .