Red Carpet Green Dress

Design Contest 2020

About RCGD Global Design Contest 2020

The sustainable design contest championing hope

The RCGD Global Design Contest 2020 in partnership with TENCEL™ Luxe is an international design contest. Launched on 12th May 2020, the contest was open to a wide reaching community of emerging and established designers from every corner of the globe. The contest has now closed and winning designers have been announced – congratulations to Sanah Sharma and Jasmine Rutherford.

A leading voice in the field of sustainable design, Red Carpet Green Dress (RCGD) has been flying the flag for more ethical fashion since 2009. Founded by Suzy Amis Cameron the year she was destined to walk the red carpet for husband James Camerons’ blockbuster Avatar and faced a lack of sustainable red-carpet worthy options, the pioneering women-led organisation is dedicated to putting a spotlight on much-needed sustainable design solutions. The challenges that independent, freelance and emerging creatives are facing right now are overwhelming and whilst face to face events are postponed for the foreseeable future, the work that RCGD does to create opportunities for the emerging design community is still very much underway. In fact, the need for opportunity is more important than ever. 

Supported by the Conscious Fashion Campaign in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships, enter one of the most respected global sustainable design contests in the world from the safety of your home. 

RCGD has always been dedicated to nurturing emerging talent since we launched over 10 years ago, supporting emerging talent in the form of opportunity, mentorship and work experiences. Our aim is to spotlight fashion which is not only less damaging to the environment, but where possible, has a positive impact. The international design contest is open to anyone over the age of 21, talented and serious designers whether they are emerging or established professionals from all over the world are welcome to enter. Entrants are challenged to submit a sketch of a red carpet worthy gown or suit in line with the creative brief below, the two winning designers will receive an exciting prize, in addition to seeing their designs constructed and worn by the contest ambassadors.

Who Are Our Allies?

Through RCGD efforts, a percentage of funds raised via entries (there is a nominal $30 entry fee for the contest), and partnership contributions, the RCGD Global Design Contest 2020 in partnership with TENCEL™ Luxe will be directing funds raised towards two crucial organisations:

Through its projects, services, research and advocacy, the Awaj Foundation in Bangladesh aims to empower workers and enable harmonious industrial relations. Awaj Foundation particularly focuses on supporting women workers, because they believe that leadership from women can transform society towards greater equity and justice. Awaj Foundation are also working to establish a decent and living wage for garment workers in Bangladesh. As a grassroots organization with an extensive network among garment workers and their families, Awaj Foundation are witnessing first-hand the devastating impact the pandemic is having on workers. Many members have reported that their factories have been shut down indefinitely and workers were given only 23 days of salary as severance. Some factories have closed without giving any payments to workers at all.

Specifically, Awaj Foundation are working to support:
– 65 unions in Dhaka and Chittagong with 81,800 members collectively
– Starting to organise 200 factories with over 250,000 workers
– Daily services to around 500 workers including healthcare and legal aid

The Fifth Pillar (TFP) is a nonprofit rights and legal based organization with a mission of strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar. The registered local organization of human rights lawyers will manage the funds raised in cooperation with respected multi stakeholder initiative Fair Wear. The Fifth Pillar has a strong network with the trade unions, labour organizations, and a payment system to ensure safe fund distribution. Founded in 2016, it is currently running with 17 staff members in two offices across Myanmar. The organization seeks to guarantee that every citizen enjoys their rights without any kind of discrimination. Industry body Fair Wear works with 130 member brands who are committed to finding a fairer way to making clothes.

The organization’s main areas of focus include:
– Democratic Enlightenment
– Promoting the rule of law
– Advancing Social empathy

Our industry is suffering, and one group in particular that has drawn our attention are the garment workers, without whom we would have no industry. In countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh, garment workers have been significantly affected by COVID-19, where the ready-made garment (RMG) industry is a huge export earner. With an already overburdened medical system, many people are existing without the social protection or safety net many of us in other parts of the world take for granted, in the midst of a pandemic. In Bangladesh alone, the sector accounts for 83% of total export earnings of the country, and 1.2 million garment workers’ livelihoods have been impacted. Myanmar’s garment industry employs nearly 400,000 workers, of which 90% are (typically young) women. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, factories and shops in Myanmar are closing permanently, temporarily, or reducing working hours, and laying off workers. According to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, over 60,000 workers have lost their jobs since the start of the year due to closures and reduction of workforce in factories. Find out more about the work in Bangladesh here and the work in Myanmar here.

RCGD will also be partnering with the TFS Natural Home by the Futon Shop, based in San Francisco, to provide face masks for the garment workers identified.

Contest Criteria & Entry Process

Sustainable fashion is an important arena with many interpretations – some believe it can be defined by a no-waste, circular economy approach, others by the use of solely organic or certified materials or a reduced carbon print production process. Others believe it is about a fair and humane treatment of manufacturers and a clear supply chain, or even recycling. For us, it is any/all of the above. As part of our general design criteria, we believe that sustainable fashion means producing garments with consideration of the environmental and social impact that they will have throughout its total life cycle.

The specific creative challenge for this contest focuses on two key areas, eco textiles and waste. The World Bank estimates that the textile industry is responsible for as much as 20 percent of industrial pollution in our rivers and land. Finding ways to curb the environmental pollution caused by textile production starts with finding new ways to produce fabrics that don’t require toxins and large amounts of water, and which minimize harm to the local ecology. RCGD recently collaborated with textile giant Lenzing’s new luxury brand TENCEL™ Luxe to launch a range of eco-couture textiles which will be available to the public later this year. Like TENCEL™ Luxe, which advocates for a green future in eco-couture, RCGD believe that nature has all of the answers. Therefore, entrants are asked to show consideration for the following when submitting their entry sketches:

  • Waste: Adopt initiatives with design to reduce waste (explained in information about sketch on entry form)
  • Materials: Virtually select one (or more) of the three RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe sustainable textiles to make their design from, if selected as a winner. These textiles can be used in the colours shown in the videos exclusively (and are not available in other colours)

RCGD TEXTILE 1: 100% TENCEL™ LUXE FILAMENT YARN - Grey, 124cm, 50g/m2


RCGD TEXTILE 3: A RICH TENCEL™ LUXE X CASHMERE FUSION - Silvery grey, 123cm, 190g/m2

The newly launched range of RGCD X TENCEL™ Luxe materials have been brought to life in the videos above. Entrants must exclusively use these, with the option of selecting more than one of the three available. The digital gown or suit sketch must reflect the textile selection. No garments will be created apart from the winning designs, so no entries featuring photos of completed garments are permitted. In addition to obvious key hardware such as zips, buttons and trim, boning, fusing etc, designers are allowed to add embellishment details to their illustration(s). The winning designs will be constructed with the full support of Red Carpet Green Dress and their in-house design team and partners (depending on the level of technical assistance required).


Suzy Amis


RCGD Founder

A noted environmental leader, business pioneer, mom of five and new grandma, Suzy Amis Cameron is the author of The OMD Plan: Swap One Meal a Day to Save your Health and Save the Planet (Simon & Schuster/Atria). She is also the founder of the OMD Movement, dedicated to transforming eating habits and expanding access to healthy, climate-friendly food for all. In 2005, Amis Cameron founded MUSE School CA.

Nazma Akter


Founder and Executive Director of Awaj Foundation

Nazma has been fighting to improve workers’ rights, especially women workers, in the garment sector in Bangladesh for over 32 years. Nazma is also the President of Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation, one of the largest union federations in Bangladesh, and co-chair of Asia Pacific Women’s Committee of IndustriALL Global Union.

Harold Weghorst


Vice President of Global Brand Management at Lenzing AG

A veteran in the global branding and marketing sector, Weghorst has been driving the leading cellulose fibers company's transformation from a B2B company to a B2B2C company since June 2016, whilst heading the company's international marketing efforts.

Laura Basci


Founder of Laura Basci

Laura Basci is a Swiss fashion designer and haute couture tailor based in Los Angeles. In 2020, Basci designed the Oscar-winning producer Elena Andreicheva's sustainable gown as part of the RCGD 2020 campaign. In the last couple of years she made a name for herself, designing and making original looks for the likes of Angelina Jolie, Sorishia Ronan, Anna Farris, Chelsea Kane, Kelly Osbourne and more.


Exciting prize details for two lucky winners!

*$1000 cash prize
*Dress contest ambassadors for the red carpet (talent and platforms to be announced)
*Attend RCGD Gala in LA as VIP Guest with travel, accommodation and living expenses covered
*Exhibition of winning designs at RCGD Gala and designer presentation to audience
*Meet RCGD founder Suzy Amis Cameron
*Internship experience with couture designer Laura Basci in her LA-based atelier
*3 month business mentorship with RCGD CEO Samata
*TENCEL™ Luxe goodie bag
*Media coverage

** Please note that this Red Carpet Green Dress contest is not in partnership with The Annual Academy Awards **


The Contest is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who has entered and GOOD LUCK!


What is the contest time frame? Can I get an extension on the deadline?
The contest opens on 12th May at 9AM ET, and closes on 30th July at 5PM ET. No entries can be registered after the July 30th 2020 deadline.

Will you confirm receipt of my entry and fees?
Yes. Once you register your entries on our online competition system and select a payment method you will receive a confirmation email.

How do I edit an entry that has already been submitted?
Entries can not be edited after submission.

Why can’t I submit a physical garment? Why don’t you accept print entries?
We are keen to be as sustainable as possible. As a result, we solely use an online-only judging process and cannot accept printed entries. No garments will be created apart from the winning designs, so no entries featuring photos of completed garments are allowed. We aim both to reduce waste and avoid participation in its creation. No garments will therefore be created apart from the winning designs. Additionally, mailing garments around the world creates more environmental footprints and handling. It is also currently unsafe.

Can I submit a picture of a finished item?
No. There shall be no garments created apart from the winning two  designs (one gown and one suit), so no entries of completed garments are allowed. The criteria focuses on using the sustainable textiles recently launched by RCGD and which are currently not available to the public until later this year. Uploading your sketch with an accompanying description will be sufficient entry for contest eligibility.

Can I enter more than one design?
Each entrant is welcome to enter as many designs as they wish, however each individual entry is eligible for the $30 entry fee.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen?
You will retain all rights to your designs. All entrant retain ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to the design. If selected, you will need to grant us the right to reproduce the image or images for our online, digital and print-based publications but you always own the rights to your own design work. Artwork should be 100% original. This means that design entries must be original, unpublished works that do not contain, incorporate or otherwise use any content, material or element that is owned by a third party or entity.

How does the judging take place?
Each juror views the entries independently. After the judges make their selections, their votes are tallied. A simple majority is usually the minimum requirement for a finalist to be selected as the winner. The designs will be selected based on creativity and adherence to the design requirements outlined in the creative brief. If votes are tied, the designs will be presented to the judges for final selection.

When does the contest close and when will we know if our entry was chosen?
The contest closes on 30th July 2020 at 5pm ET. If your entry is chosen we will notify you by the 29th September 2020 at the very latest, but as early as 1st September 2020. Due to the number of entries we receive, we can only notify people whose work is accepted.

Which organisations will the contest be supporting?
Our two organisations of choice to be recipients of funding are AWAJ Foundation and The Fifth Pillar (in cooperation with Fair Wear), in allyship with vulnerable garment workers severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is there a $30 entry fee?
Through RCGD efforts, a percentage of funds raised via entries (there is a nominal $30 entry fee), and partnership contributions, we aim to provide support, hope and inspiration for the design community around the world. The entry fee is a fundamental way for us to enable more help to members of the global design community, specifically the garment workers. The entry fee allows us to donate funds directly onto-the-ground through our partners, to the people who need resources the most. We, ourselves, are a small and growing company, we don’t have disposable funds to just donate so we are using this campaign as a fundraising vehicle to raise as much as possible for the workers. We are absorbing a lot of the costs of the contest to allow more funds to hit the ground, however, it takes resources to deliver and we’re working hard to help on a global level through this campaign. Our goal is to have the largest impact we can.

Where will the winning designs be unveiled?
The winning designs will be worn by two prominent influencers in the fashion and entertainment industry on the red carpet. They will not be worn to the Annual Academy Awards in 2021, nor is this design contest in partnership with The Annual Academy Awards.  Stay tuned for further announcements!

Is my travel included for the trip element of the prize?
Flights to and from Los Angeles will be covered by Red Carpet Green Dress, in addition to accommodation (for the duration of the winners’ stay in Los Angeles), plus food and transport for the duration of the trip. Costs, expenses and arrangements required to accept or receive the LA trip, i.e. costs or fees in order to travel to Los Angeles such as necessary travel documents will be the sole responsibility of the winner.

For detailed Terms & Conditions, please see here.