Circular Design Award: Award 2024


The Challenge

Entrants are challenged to design a circular solution for fashion in Aotearoa NZ.

  • Circular Clothing Innovation
  • Circular Business Innovation

Categories & Awards

Circular Clothing Innovation


Design and make a circular outfit using textile waste. Identify a textile waste stream, and redesign this material/s to create an innovative and wearable outfit using circular design principles that embed lifecycle thinking into your creation.

Open to

Individuals and collectives who reside in New Zealand.


  • Award for Creative Excellence
  • Award for Materials Innovation
  • Award for Excellence from an Emerging Talent


  • Entries open | 20th May 2024
  • Entries close | 23rd June 2024 >> deadline extended to 30th June 2024
  • Education workshops | July 2024
  • Semifinalists create entry | July-August 2024
  • Final submissions due | 6th September 2024
  • Finalists notified | 18th September
  • Circular Design Award Gala | 25th September



Circular Business Innovation


Tell us how your business has redesigned a product, service, or process, or has designed out a particular waste stream, and ensured the materials and resources are kept in circulation.

The circular innovation you put forward should be in commercial operation within your business and can be related to any aspect of the business’s operations.

Open to

Businesses in the fashion, clothing and textile industry from across the value chain, registered in New Zealand.


  • Circular Business Innovation Award


  • Entries open | 4th June 2024
  • Entries close | 26th July 2024
  • Judging process | August 2024
  • Finalists notified | 6th September
  • Circular Design Award Gala | 25th September


Awards and Prizes

The Award has a $50,000+ prize pool.

There are 4 major Awards across two categories.

Circular Business Innovation

  • Circular Business Innovation Award presented by Trade Me
    • Package includes brand, media and PR exposure.

Circular Clothing Innovation

  • VIVA Award for Creative Excellence
    • $7,000+ package, including an editorial profile feature in print and across digital.
  • Award for Material Innovation
    • $7,000+ package including $1,500+ cash, exploring taking your product to market with a local business, complimentary fabric testing and care from a leading NZ provider, and more.
  • Award for Excellence from a Rising Talent
    • $7,000+ package, including $1,500+ cash, the equivalent of a 2 week paid internship with a leading NZ brand, and more.
  • Finalists

Up to 10 overall Finalists will be selected from all entries by the Judging Panel.

Each Finalist will receive a Finalist Prize Pack up to the value of $2,500 which includes media exposure, mentorship and display of their entry to industry and media.

What is Textile Waste?

Circular Clothing Innovation entries must use textile waste.

For the purpose of the award, we categorise textile waste as:

  • Textile Waste: pre- or post-consumer textile waste from across the value chain; textile swatches; cut-and-sew textile waste; damaged or faulty textiles; damaged or faulty clothing or textile products; end-of-life or unwearable clothing; unusable textile products; and proprietary clothing or textile products that are no longer able to be worn. Clothes that are still in good working order are not considered textile waste for this award, unless for proprietary reasons they can no longer be worn. All waste must be sourced from within Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sourcing Waste Textiles

Entrants are challenged to source waste from their local region where possible. When sourcing, consider the scale of the waste problem you are addressing and how your solution might be able to provide a viable pathway for this waste. Ideally, include data on the scale of your waste stream in your entry so we can understand the scale of impact potential.

Mindful Fashion can connect entrants with waste textiles. We will be hosting an education session where industry experts share sourcing advice and their experience from working with waste textiles. See our Learn section for more on this.

Regional Ecosystem

This Award is place-based, challenging entrants to create regional ecosystems to solve a local waste challenge. Entrants should explore their region to (where possible) source waste materials, along with the skills, knowledge and resources needed to bring their creation to life. A region could be defined as one of the sixteen local government regions4, however there is flexibility for the entrant to define their own regional boundary (larger or smaller) as long as this is outlined in their entry.


  1. Any confidential information provided to Mindful Fashion will be treated as such and only provided to the judging panel if required.

  2. Circular Clothing Innovation Award entries:
    1. must be made from at least 80% waste textiles, sourced within Aotearoa, and from a local or regional waste stream where possible. Documented evidence of textile waste is required as part of supporting documentation;

    2. can be submitted by a collective or an individual. There is no limit to the number of people within a collective. Entries from collectives must name all members of the collective on the final submission form. Collectives that reach the finalist stage of the Award are responsible for managing the distribution of the prize pack themselves;

    3. Garments shown at university graduation shows are allowed to be entered in the Circular Clothing Innovation Award. Any garment that has been entered and placed in the top three in any other competition is ineligible to enter;

    4. Garments that are made under licence or that are currently produced by a commercial label in New Zealand are not eligible to be entered into the Circular Clothing Innovation Award;

    5. Garments entered into this award cannot subsequently be commercially manufactured or sold without the written agreement of the Award organisers;

    6. Each Finished Entry must be received by 5pm on the end closing date, and accompanied by a completed Entry Form and all other submission requirements, in order to be considered.

  3. Circular Business Innovation entries will be accepted from any business in the clothing and textile industry across the value chain that operates and is registered in New Zealand. Members of Mindful Fashion are encouraged to enter.

  4. Individuals or collectives who are employed by Mindful Fashion member businesses are encouraged to enter, but it is not a requirement.

  5. Mindful Fashion staff cannot enter nor can any sponsors or partners of the Award.

  6. Mindful Fashion Board member companies can enter, as long as this is declared on their entry form.

  7. Individuals who are employed by Mindful Fashion Board member companies, or sponsor or partner companies of this Award can enter, as long as they are doing so in their own capacity and this is declared in their entry form.

  8. Prizes are not transferable for cash. Where a collective entry wins a prize, the collective must decide how they would like to manage the distribution of prizes within their collective.

For any queries email: [email protected]