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SDC International Design Competition 2015

Start Date: July 9, 2014

Closing Date: November 30, 2015

Type: Undergraduate fashion/textile design students


  • Competition update


    Regional heats have taken place across the world and the finalists from the participating countries listed below joined us on 23rd November in London for the Grand Final.

    Many congratulations to our winner Aoife Mullane, our Ireland finalist from National College of Art and Design and to our well deserved runners up Thaweesak Chattuwan from Thailand and Tasneem Patrawala from India.

    Ireland Winner: Aoife Mullane, National College of Art and Design

    Bangladesh Winner: Tanima Mahnur, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology

    Portugal Winner :  Lídia Araújo, University of Minho

    China Winner: Mengqi Han, Huizhou University

    Hong Kong Winner: Ip Wai Ha, Hong Kong Design Institute

    Thailand Winner: Thaweesak Chattuwan, Khon Kaen University

    Australia/New Zealand Winner: Miriam Chadwick, Massey University College of Creative Arts

    South Africa Winner: Kathryn Elliot, Durban Univeristy of Technology

    United Kingdom Winner: Naomi Ison, University of Loughborough

    India Winner: Tasneem Patrawala , B D Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology

    Singapore Winner: Sheila Dita Christina, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts


    For details of our 2016 competition, please contact the relevant regional contact – see list at the bottom of the page.

    Theme for 2015: Buy Less, Choose Well

    Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality not quantity. Everybody is buying far too many clothes.” Dame Vivienne Westwood

    First launched in 2002, the SDC International Design Competition is our annual flagship competition, open to students in 13 countries.  The competition attracts hundreds of entries worldwide, and previous winners have gone on to major success in the fashion and textile industry.

    Competition Brief

    To demonstrate the creative, imaginative and original use of colour in either fashion or textiles

    All entries should show evidence of the following:

    • colour as an integral component of the design process
    • development of the designs, from concept to final product
    • excellent presentation and clarity of ideas
    • innovative approach to incorporating this year’s theme of ‘Buy less, choose well’ within the original design and final application.

    The judges will assign marks in each of these categories. In most instances, students will be invited to bring their boards, written statements and (new for 2015) a finished garment or article to the regional heats where they will meet the judges and have the opportunity to present their work.


    The winner of the heat in each country will be invited to attend the global grand final. The global winner will receive £1,000 in cash and the prestigious Veronica Bell Trophy. The winner and finalists also benefit from significant international profile and press.

    Who can enter?

    The competition is open to fashion and textile design undergraduates in: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

    Competition Brief

    This year’s theme of ‘Buy less, choose well’ must be included in the design and written statement.

    We live in an ever increasing consumer world in which instant gratification fuels rapid purchasing trends, often resulting in design that is unpolished or has mediocre production quality using cheap materials, fibres and dyes. This desire for cheaper products has pushed textile and fashion production globally. As environmental concerns grow each year we need to be making a concerted effort as both consumers and creative individuals to reduce the waste created by fast fashion and merely adequate design; design has to last and stand the test of time. Let’s create quality product at realistic prices.

    The real starting point for waste reduction has to come from design. Designers are under incredible time and budget constraints due to the pace of the market and desire by consumers for new product. However quality design and production can be achieved at all levels of the market if, as designers, we are creative with materials and processes.

    The aim of this brief is to create a useable and functional design that consumers will cherish for years rather than dispose of when a new trend arises. This does not mean trends should be ignored (they are indications of what consumers will want) but careful consideration should be taken when it comes to colour, to ensure consumers will want to have it in their home, wear it, use it and combine it with other items for a long time. The fabric or yarn choice, print or dyeing method is hugely important as this product should be well manufactured using quality goods and processes that will last when looked after. When selecting raw materials and processes, try and consider sourcing local products and services.

    Be creative, consider your level in the market place and design accordingly. If you are designing for the high-end market unhindered by budget, create striking, graphic or beautiful and innovative designs that will captivate a consumer for years. Consider mixing processes and designing something truly unique. Think no limitations!

    If you’re designing for the mid level of the market, you must consider materials well. They have to endure physically and keep the attention and admiration of consumers. Budget will constrain the production methods though it is just as important the design is polished. Colour will be pivotal. Use less processes, but that does not have to mean the cheapest.

    For either end of the market, design is of upmost importance. The longevity of the fabrics is key in terms of both the quality of the raw materials and the design aesthetic. It has to be something we can cherish; if not forever, at least for a long time to come.

    Always consider:

    • What is your final product? Will it be used to dress the body or to furnish the home?
    • Think about colour, texture, pattern, weight and handle.
    • Consider the context in which it will appear and why it is ultimately a good piece of design in terms of industry’s commercial value and sustainability.
    • Where will it be sold?

    And remember: colour is key!


    • Work should be mounted on a maximum of four boards of up to A2 size (please do not include any additional artwork/portfolio).
    • A type-written statement on one A4 sheet – no more than 500 words!
    • (New for 2015) You are encouraged to bring one extra piece of work to the regional judging heat that does not have to be attached to your boards this could be a finished article, a sample garment or length of fabric.

     How to Enter

    • Download an entry form (available in the documents tab), or contact your regional co-ordinator. All entries must be endorsed by the relevant course tutor/ leader.
    • Entry forms can be submitted by email to SDC or direct to your regional contact.
    • Please don’t post your design boards. In most instances, students will be invited to the regional heat to present their design boards in person.
    • Some countries put a limit on the number of entries per university – please clarify this with your regional contact. One tutor should be identified as the contact per university and be responsible for pre-selecting the students and submitting an entry form.

    Our thanks go to Duncan Neil, Turnbull Prints Ltd (, for providing this year’s theme and competition brief.

    Regional Contacts

    Australia/NZ: Henry Orlinski, email:

    Bangladesh: Ms. Anna Troupe , email:

    China: David Yip, email:

    Hong Kong: Dr Chi-Wai Kan,  email: 

    India: Vaishali Deokar, email:

    Ireland: Paul Santokhi, email:

    Pakistan: M Fawad Noori, email:

    Portugal: Joana Cunha, email:

    Singapore: Dro Tan, email:

    South Africa: Heidi Alcock, email:

    Thailand: Wiwat Hirunpruk, Thailand Textile Institute, email:

    United Kingdom: Angela Ackroyd, SDC, email:


  • The timetable is as follows:

    July 2014: Brief available on the website. September 2014: Official competition launch. Tutors can submit entry forms at any time. From Feb 2015: Regional heats take place and country finalists announced.  Some countries hold a number of regional heats, such as the UK and India, others just have one heat. The dates of heats vary across participating countries.

    United Kingdom

    From March 2015 five regional heats will take place in the UK:
    • Midlands –                                        04 March 2015 @ Nottingham Trent Univeristy
    • North of England-                             18 March 2015 @ Perkin House, Bradford
    • London –                                          17th March @ Fashion & Textile Museum
    • Scotland-                                         23 March 2015 @ Glasgow Clyde College
    • West of England/South Wales              26 March 2015 @ Winchester School of Art
    The winner of each UK heat will go forward to the UK final on 13th May at Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham Trent University and the winner will progress to the global grand final. Details of the heats will be added to the events calendar when confirmed, or you can email:

    Other participating countries

    Most of the participating countries have selected their finalists who will be joining us in London for the Grand Final- see competition update in the ‘overview ‘ tab for details. 23rd November 2015 – the prestigious Grand Final will be held at the Fashion and Textile Musem, London and the global winner announced.  
  • Competition Rules


    Heats will be held around the globe. A finalist from each participating country will be chosen and all the finalists will be invited to the grand final where the global winner will be announced. The finalists will receive payment towards accommodation and travel expenses.

    Who can enter?

    • Undergraduate students in higher or further education following a recognised first degree or diploma course in fashion and/or textile design from the countries listed below.
    • Entries must be endorsed by the course leader and entry forms submitted by the college or university on behalf of the student to the regional contact. Individual entries will not be considered.

    The participating countries are as follows:

    • Australia
    • Bangladesh
    • China
    • Hong Kong
    • India
    • Ireland
    • New Zealand
    • Pakistan
    • Portugal
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Thailand
    • United Kingdom

    Age limit: Students must be 18 or over on 1 April 2015.

    Basis of submission

    • The work can be based on a fashion or textile design project produced as part of the standard course curriculum or specifically for the competition.
    • Content can include finished roughs, design sheets, illustrations, working drawings, mood boards, photographs, fabric indicators, material swatches, etc. At least one board must outline the colour theme with the colour palette clearly indicated.
    • Each submission must be titled and supported by a typewritten statement in English (no more than one A4 page / ~500 words) explaining the background and inspiration for the work.
    • Boards: these should be A3 (297 x 420 mm) or A2 (420 x 594 mm) in size, with your artwork securely mounted.
    • Only one entry may be submitted by each student.

    Publicity: The work of the finalists will be on display during the heats and final. The winners will receive extensive publicity in the international press and in SDC’s own publications.

    Intellectual property: The intellectual property rights (patents, registered designs etc) in all designs submitted in the competition remain with the student. However, the SDC reserves the right to use the designs for exhibition purposes and to reproduce them in reports, on the website, in press releases and in any other publicity material.

    Any queries?

    For general queries, please email:  For country-specific queries, please get in touch with the regional contact.

  • Competition brief 2015

    A downloadable version of the competition brief.

    Entry Form 2015

  • Useful links:

Society of Dyers and Colourists

Perkin House, 82 Grattan Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 2LU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1274 725138, Email:
Charity Registration No: 212331, VAT No: 247 9485 55

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