Fashion Less Waste 2012: Deep Oceans

This competition to encourage a more sustainable fashion industry is now closed. Read on for the entrant information ... 

Graphic for Fashion Less Waste 2012

Graphic for Fashion Less Waste 2012
Creator: Andrea Sturgeon © Australian Museum

Entries for Fashion Less Waste 2012: Deep Oceans

A main aim of our Fashion Less Waste design competition is to encourage a more sustainable fashion industry – to help to fashion a less wasteful world. We also hope to develop entrants' design skills, and to foster an appreciation for the natural history theme of the year. The 2012 theme is Deep Oceans relating to the Deep Oceans exhibition, opening at the Museum on the 16 June 2012.

There will be two categories: Secondary School (Years 7 to 12) and Open. Students entering in the Secondary School category can develop an entry at school, in a class or lunch-time activity, or independently at home.

Entrants can gain cash prizes and publicity.

Instructions for entrants

Design and make

Design and make an outfit that is entirely, or mostly, made from materials that were originally bought and used for a non-clothing purpose. You could use, for example, discarded DVDs, video or audio tape, chicken wire, fly screen, wall paper, tea towels, kitchenware, cutlery, plastic bags, hessian bags, office supplies, polystyrene packing, or car seat belts. The use of materials that aren’t curb-side recyclable, or that are notorious for harming ocean animals as litter will be thought of highly.

Before you start, research creatures from the deep ocean. Browse books, DVDs and websites. Let the shapes, colours, textures, or characteristic movements of one or more of these creatures influence your design. You could consider animals from the deep ocean that are known to exist and are named; or that you imagine will be discovered (given what you know of the deep ocean environment, and adaptations to it); or that are known from myth.

Your entry should strongly and obviously express your appreciation for deep ocean animal life, and be able to catch the eye, and spark thought about sustainability issues in the fashion industry.

Submit an entry

Entries are due by 5 pm on 8 May 2012. Submit:

  • Four hard-copy photographs of your outfit being worn by you or someone else – a front view, both side views and a back view. (Each photo a maximum size of 10 X 15 cm or 4 X 6 in)
  • A completed entry form with your entry details and a short (up to 400 word) piece of writing that describes the influence of one or more deep ocean creatures on your design.
  • A hard-copy, labelled image of each creature (One image for each creature, and a maximum of 4 images, each a maximum size of 10 X 15 cm or 4 X 6 in)
  • An entry fee – a cheque or money order for $15 to ‘The Australian Museum Trust’. No cash please.

Please see the competition terms and conditions.

Mark your entry: Fashion Less Waste, Jane Johnston, Learning Services.

Post or courier it to: Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney NSW 2010.  

To personally deliver if entries are soon to close, please give your entry to staff at the desk of the Museum's William St entrance. 

The judging

Our 2012 judges will be people involved in the fashion industry who take the importance of sustainability into account in their work, including Akira Isogawa of Akira and Louise Olsen of Dinosaur Designs.

Entries will be judged on these criteria:

  • Originality
  • Style (including the incorporation of deep ocean inspiration)
  • Proportion of materials that were originally used for a non-clothing purpose
  • Craftsmanship

Judges will select ten entrants from each category to be finalists. Those entrants will be advised by email of their selection in June. However, their place as a finalist can only be secured and announced on our website once they have confirmed in writing that they can attend the Fashion Less Waste parade on Thursday 26 July 2012. This means that one or more other entrants may have a chance to become a finalist; entrants are encouraged to check their email regularly in June and early July.

Designs on view

At the parade

The ten finalists from each category will have their outfits paraded on a red carpet ‘runway’ at the Australian Museum on Thursday 26 July 2012. Finalists can model their own outfits, or ask someone else to model for them. An overall winner and two runners-up will be chosen for each category and announced on the night, with the awarding of prizes. Each finalist will receive a certificate commemorating their success in this competition.

On the Museum website

At least one photograph of every finalist’s entry was published on the Australian Museum website. 

On public display

The awarded outfits will then go on temporary public display at the Australian Museum, and at some other Sydney venues.

The prizes

In each category:

  • a winner who receives $500
  • two runners-up who each receive $250


If you have questions after reading the above page and the terms and conditions and entry form, you can email us at

Please note that this email address cannot be used to submit entries. Entries must be submitted as advised above.

Jane Johnston , Education Project Officer
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