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2022 Make it [Work]Wear Fashion Design Challenge

Uncovering the next fashion breakthrough in flame-resistant (FR) workwear.

Welcome! Meet Colleen. 

HubSpot Video

Industry background for this challenge

This fashion design contest seeks to discover a new breed of FR (flame resistant) workwear — stylish protection that feels great.
In today’s industrial market, modern workers are especially unhappy with their garments. This competition aims to leverage the designer’s creativity and problem-solving skills to solve this experience by utilizing cutting-edge FR stretch fabric to produce a new breed of workwear garment — one that looks and feels as well as it protects.

Protective FR workwear worn in industrial settings is designed to protect the wearer from heat and flame hazards such as arc flashes, molten metal splashes, liquid chemicals, etc.

The protective qualities of FR workwear are found mostly in the FR fabrics from which the garments are assembled. However, there are also compositional cut and sew elements that come into play when producing a protective workwear garment.

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A great fit for the potential wearer

  • Your concept is aimed to meet the needs of wearers in Industrial markets (Oil & Gas, Electric, Utility, Manufacturing).
  • Your concept should be an appealing design to modern generations. We recommend finding inspiration outside of workwear — e.g., outdoor, fashion, leisure or sports brands.
  • Your concept must display a relevant/modern style that can be used for industrial flame resistant applications.

Garment fit & sizing

  • Your concept must display a traditional (regular) to athletic (modern) fit. No slim fit (figure-hugging) since wearers are often exposed to heat and flame risks.
  • Your concept must include a trouser and a jacket (two-piece design).
  • The total garment must completely cover the upper and lower torso, neck, arms, wrist, and legs to the ankle.
  • When correctly sized for the wearer, an overlap between the jacket and trousers must remain when the wearer fully extends both arms above the head, and then bends over until the fingertips touch the ground.
  • Your concept must not display any loose ends or hanging elements (heavy machinery safety issues).
  • Your concept must integrate on-garment storage and life-time enhancement aspects (e.g., pockets, kneepads, reinforcements).
  • Size: 52 (L)
  • Gender: Open

Design of pockets, openings, closures, hoods

  • All openings must be designed in such a way to prevent entry of heat, flame, or hot material. Front openings must be capable of being closed over the entire length by appropriate overlapping.
  • If you want to design a hood, the hood should be designed in such a way that it remains in position and the integrity of joints or interfaces are maintained when the wearer adopts a full range of body movements. Where the hood is provided with a visor, the hood, including the visor, should be examined to determine whether the sensory perception (sight and hearing) is reduced to a point that would endanger the user.

Fabric(s) & color specs

  • FR (Flame-Resistant) fabrics are woven with specialized fiber blends to help protect industrial workers from heat and flame. While not flame-proof, FR fabrics drastically improve workers safety on the job.
  • When manufacturing your design, the garment must be constructed using the flame-resistant stretch fabric(s) provided to you.
  • Important note: this is a woven, not knitted fabric with 15-20% stretch in weft (horizontal) direction.
  • Since this is conceptual, you can also determine how to use the fabric (stretch only or combined with rigid fabric).
  • Available primary colors: Black, Navy blue, Royal blue, High visibility yellow. Supporting colors for accents are available (see image below).


Design & motivation delivery – for all participants (round 1)

  • Share a short concept inspiration piece (e.g., video pitch; mood boards; reasoning press, prompt, etc.) to allow our panel of judges to understand the context of your design – we’d love you to be creative here as well!
  • We value the initiative to research the needs of industrial workers and the safety concerns in your region.
  • Submit your design digitally on our website by using either drawing or 3D rendering software.
  • Your final design file can be in .pdf, .jpeg, .mov or .mp4 formats.

Design & motivation delivery – for selected participants (round 2)

  • When selected, you’ll get around 6 weeks to create your physically constructed garment.
  • We will provide you with all FR stretch fabric material required to complete your design.

The Panel’s Eye

The international panel of garment designers, end users (wearers), and garment manufacturers will pay special attention to:
  • Aspirational designs that are truly new to the protective workwear market
  • The blend and balance of fashion and protection
  • The garment’s appeal to modern generations
  • Your research towards the target audience and their current needs and irritations when it comes to their protective garments and how you flip that to an inspiring solution
  • If your concept can blur lines between casual wear and protective wear (would the modern professional love to wear your design 24/7?)
  • The level of applicability in practice


Contact the Make it [Work]Wear Team

If you have any questions regarding this Challenge, please contact us at support@tencatefabrics.com. We will be sending you all contest information from this same email address. Please make sure you put this email address on your safe-list!