RCGD Global

Design Contest 2021

About RCGD Global Design Contest 2021


The 2021 RCGD Global Design contest will champion digitally designed; sustainability produced; fashion that transforms moment to movement whilst kickstarting the careers of fashion’s next generation.

RCGD Global™ (RCGD) launches the 2021 RCGD Global Design Contest in partnership with TENCEL™ and CLO. Founded by leading environmentalist Suzy Amis Cameron over a decade ago, the international design contest is open to talented designers over the age of 18. Enabling design talent all over the world to enter the prestigious competition, alongside established designers looking to begin or extend their sustainable journey, the 2021 contest is open to anyone with an interest or passion for sustainability.

With a focus on sustainable textile innovations with the TENCEL™ brand, designers can submit their application through rcgdglobal.com from 30th of July until 23rd of August 2021. The winning designs’ construction will take place this fall and will be created as one-of-a-kind pieces in CLO’s cutting-edge true-to-life 3D garment simulation software. Created from world leading TENCEL™ branded fibers – botanic in origin and biodegradable – each sustainable piece will be worn by a RCGD ambassador from the world of fashion and media to this year’s RCGD Event. Attended physically and powerfully brought to life digitally with CLO software to an audience of the world’s most passionate sustainability voices, this year’s event will showcase the power of sustainable design using fabrics made with TENCEL™ fibers or TENCEL™ Luxe filament with a spotlight on the key environmental themes such as regeneration, circularity and decarbonisation.

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 Partners?

The campaign is working proudly in partnership with TENCEL™, the textile specialty brand under The Lenzing Group, covering textile specialty product fiber offerings for the red carpet, everyday apparel and home. The TENCEL™ product brand portfolio defines a new evolutionary step in terms of sustainability, functional benefits, natural comfort and caters for distinctive everyday usage or application. TENCEL™ branded modal and lyocell fibers and TENCEL™ Luxe lyocell filament yarns are produced via environmentally responsible production processes and are compostable and biodegradable, thus can fully revert back to nature.

RCGD is also working proudly with CLO, the market-leading 3D garment design software that allows apparel designers and brands to easily and accurately construct digital garments. With its user-friendly workflow and state-of-the-art cloth simulation algorithm, CLO provides brands with the ability to instantly see their designs come to life, while also reducing their sample lead time to as little as 27 hours.

TENCEL™ is the textile specialty brand under The Lenzing Group that covers textile specialty product fiber offerings for apparel and home. The TENCEL™ product brand portfolio defines a new evolutionary step in terms of sustainability, functional benefits, natural comfort and caters for distinctive everyday usage or application. Product brands under TENCEL™ include TENCEL™ Active, TENCEL™ Denim, TENCEL™ Home, TENCEL™ Intimate, TENCEL™ Luxe and TENCEL™ for Footwear. 

Featuring botanic origin and biodegradable quality, TENCEL™ branded modal and lyocell fibers can enhance the breathability of fabrics and have a minimal static charge when used in fabrics. Fabrics made of TENCEL™ Modal and Lyocell fibers are also gentle on skin with smooth, long-lasting softness, color vibrancy and color retention features. TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are versatile and can be combined with a wide range of textile fibers to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of fabrics. Through moisture management, TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers can also absorb moisture efficiently. A variant of the Lyocell production process also produces the TENCEL™ Luxe branded lyocell filament yarn, which is an extremely fine filament yarn for luxury fabrics and supremely smooth to the touch. Exhibiting high flexibility, TENCEL™ Modal fibers enhance textiles with a naturally soft quality. Offering endless design possibilities, TENCEL™ Modal fibers can be blended with other fibers and processed using conventional machinery, significantly improving the softness and comfort of fabrics. 

Fibers and filaments used under the TENCEL™ brand are derived from certified and controlled sources following the stringent guidelines of the Lenzing Wood and Pulp Policy. Namely, TENCEL™ branded modal and lyocell fibers are produced via environmentally responsible production processes and are compostable and biodegradable, thus can fully revert back to nature. They are designated by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) BioPreferred® Program. TENCEL™ Luxe is registered by The Vegan society.

CLO Virtual Fashion is a multinational technology company founded in 2009. With more than 15 years of research and development in garment simulation, CLO Virtual Fashion is leading the market by digitally merging, consolidating, and converging all components related to digital garments through its state-of-the-art 3D Cloth Simulation Algorithm.

From 3D garment design software, digital asset management and design development collaborative platform, to consumer facing services such as virtual fitting on e-commerce, all of CLO Virtual Fashion’s products and services are interconnected to provide clients and users with a more consolidated experience. Their products include CLO, 3D design software for apparel designers and brands, Marvelous Designer, 3D design software for character artists at gaming and animation companies, CLO-SET, communications and archiving platform for virtual garments, and CLO-SET Connect, global community for fashion creators and open marketplace. CLO Virtual Fashion is a global company with offices in New York, Munich, Los Angeles, Madrid, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangalore, and Tokyo. For more information, visit http://www.clovirtualfashion.com.

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.

No garments will be created apart from the winning designs, so no entries featuring photos of completed garments are permitted. The final winning designs will be rendered with CLO Virtual Fashion technology and made using TENCEL materials. 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 RCGD Global and their in-house design team and partners (depending on the level of technical assistance required).

The contest themes are circularity, regeneration and decarbonisation

We wanted to focus on some of the most pressing issues in the sustainable design world right now. The concept of building things within systems which allow for future generations to thrive is really critical. It doesn’t take much to look around and see that we are really rapidly approaching a tipping point whether it’s regards to climate change, diversity, social justice and other pressing issues. Regeneration for this campaign means looking at the way that design can allow for not only nature to continue to thrive, but for people to be able to thrive too, and for practices and traditions and techniques to continue to be passed down for generations. Circularity for us is not purely about materials, and their ability to biodegrade or compost, returning to nature with a minimal impact, even potentially becoming food for another life-cycle, but it’s also this concept that design should transcend the first wear and become something that can be worn in multiple ways by multiple generations for multiple aesthetics. Finally, decarbonisation is really about drawing attention to the fact that we know and can feel the immediate effect of climate change and we know that fashion contributes to that impact as well. We want entrants to demonstrate an understanding of the way that design processes from dyes, to material selection, across to even the sewing machine used to make the garment, can all have an impact towards tackling this.


Suzy Amis Cameron


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.

Micaela Erlanger


Micaela Erlanger is a Celebrity Fashion Stylist based in New York City. Her work has been seen on the biggest red carpets around the globe and in the pages of top fashion publications worldwide. As one of the most sought-after Celebrity Stylists in the industry, Erlanger’s unprecedented ascent to power stylist has been profiled by Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and numerous other publications. Having been repeatedly named one of the ‘Most Powerful Stylists,’ by The Hollywood Reporter, a position she has sustainable since 2014. Her diverse high-profile clients include Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Common, Diane Kruger, Sigourney Weaver and Amanda Hearst to name a few.

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.

Abrima Eriwah


Abrima Erwiah (Accra | New York), with actress and activist Rosario Dawson, is the co-founder of Studio. One Eighty Nine, an artisan produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that is currently a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2021 recipient. Studio 189 focuses on empowerment, creating jobs and supporting education and skills training. Erwiah is an undergraduate and graduate Professor at Parsons University, and was the former Worldwide communications director at Bottega Veneta. Erwiah is the founder of Fashion Our Future, a campaign focused on voter registration and participation that aims to leverage the power of fashion to engage underrepresented communities in the political process. She is the recipient of prestigious awards including FIT Changemaker, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Emerging Designer and the CFDA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability.


Exciting prize details for two lucky winners!

  • The opportunity to dress prominent talent in the fashion and media industry for a high profile red carpet moment
  • The opportunity to present their work to an audience of sustainability leaders and innovators
  • A monetary award
  • Spend time with RCGD Campaign Founder Suzy Amis Cameron
  • Business mentorship with RCGD
  • An invitation to join the 2021 RCGD Global™ Event

** Please note that this RCGD Global contest is not in partnership with The Annual Academy Awards **


The contest is now closed. If you require information, please do not hesitate to contact us via info@rcgdglobal.com.

Further information can be found in the FAQs below.


 What is the contest time frame? Can I get an extension on the deadline?

The contest opens on 30th July at 9AM PT, and closes on 23rd August at 5PM PT. No entries can be registered after the 23rd August 2021 deadline.

Will you confirm receipt of my entry?

Yes. Once you register your entries on our online competition system you see a confirmation page.

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.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen?

You will retain all rights to your designs. All entrants 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 opens on 30th July at 9AM PT, and closes on 23rd August at 5PM PT. No entries can be registered after the 23rd August 2021 deadline. Due to the number of entries we receive, we can only notify designers who have been selected before announcement.

Where will the winning designs be unveiled?

The winning designs will be unveiled at the RCGD Global Event in Los Angeles. They will not be worn to the Annual Academy Awards in 2022, 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 RCGD Global, 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 Los Angeles 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. Please note that COVID-19 might impact our ability to bring talent to and from Los Angeles.

For detailed Terms & Conditions, please see here.