The passion for fashion at the Sustainable Art Challenge

Friday 30 April 2021

The Sustainable Art Challenge is back once again for 2021, with the competition now open until Friday, July 23. Run alongside the Sustainable Art Challenge, is the 48 Hour Challenge which runs for 48 hours, pushing those creative juices to the test. 

This year, things have been shaken up from the usual format with the ReMaker Space sourcing ‘rescued resources’ which will make up a pack which the contestants must use to make their creations. Each piece of waste in the pack has a story behind it and paints a picture of the ridiculous amounts of perfectly good materials thrown out every day. 

Liesel Carnie, the Projects Manager from Envirohub spoke to us all about the challenge, what it’s all about and how people can get involved. 

What is the Sustainable Art Challenge and how did it get started?

Liesel Carnie: The Sustainable Art Challenge started 7 years ago as a challenge to raise awareness about waste and encourage people to be creative and re-use the resources they already have. In recent years we have teamed up with the ReMaker Space and have reimagined the challenge. 

For the 48 Hour Challenge what is involved and how can people take part?

LC: This challenge is focused on styling, curating and a little bit of upcycling. The main objective is to use second hand clothing to make a new fresh fashionable outfit. This challenge is for those expert op shoppers that have an eye for design and know how to pull together an incredible look with what others might perceive as junk. 

If you want to take part, you can register now at and then choose which date you start the challenge, either on June 25-27 or July 22-24. Once you’ve registered you will be contacted about where to go to choose your second hand items and what time to arrive. 

Within the Sustainable Art Challenge, what are you hoping people will take away from it?

LC: We are hoping people will be able to see the value in the resources we throw away. There is so much potential and getting creative is one of the best ways to repurpose these items. The ReMaker Space are providing the packs of trash and every piece tells a story of where it came from and the wider implications of this. The packs really make you think about the bigger picture of waste and how blind we have become to our overconsumption. 

Is there anything that you have planned that you are most excited for people to see or do within the Challenge?

LC: Not only will there be the awards ceremony on July 25, but we will also be running a sustainable fashion show with a really cool line up of local fashion labels and ReMakers to hit the runway too. There is a lot to unpack in sustainable fashion and many ways you can go about creating eco friendly clothes and each of these designers will showcase the work they have done to create a more sustainable fashion industry. 

Why is holding an event/challenge like this important to you? And do you think it gets the message across about being sustainable?

LC: Waste globally, nationally and locally is an issue. It is impossible to avoid, it is choking our oceans, polluting our air and stripping the world of minerals, often so we can use it for a matter of minutes. This mentality has got to stop and this challenge is just one way to highlight this problem and educate our community. When you see the incredible outfits on stage, it is really eye opening to think all the art is actually someone else’s waste. It really helps to understand the scale of our waste issues. Also, all the contestants really look into sustainable ways to produce their garments (ie finding old zips rather than buying new) which helps them to understand sustainability further. 

What are you most hoping to achieve with this year’s event, and what will make it successful from your plot of view?

LC: Mainly that we get the strong message across about waste. It will be great to see some of our previous year’s contestants enter again and especially some of the local talent (which is in abundance here) enter. We know the solutions are out there and people are looking at ways to improve our environment so we would love to see some of these innovative thinkers enter and surely wow us with some inspirational designs. 

Sustainable Art Challenge
25 June - 27 June or 22 July - 24 July
Register at