MAKECanada Challenge

Design Challenge 2020

George Brown College's Centre for Arts, Design and IT (CADIT), in collaboration with Robin Kay, are pleased to announce MAKECanada™, a multidisciplinary, innovative clothing design initiative to inspire our students for the regeneration and reshoring of the Canadian Fashion Community.

George Brown College - School of Fashion & Jewellery
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George Brown Fashion Exchange Toronto
StartUp HERE Toronto
City of Toronto

Registration Closed

MAKECanada™ Design Challenge 2020

  • Meaningful

    Clothing with purpose

  • Aware

    Economic and Regenerative Sustainability

  • Key

    Disruption crucial to driving positive change

  • Essentials

    Fashion's New Function

MAKECanada™ called on all inspired Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology students at George Brown College to answer the new needs of pandemic and post-pandemic life by submitting design concepts for “guardments” that offer protection from the environment, for example responding to viruses like COVID-19, providing pollution filtering or UV protection.

Semi-Finalists Announced

Inclusive and Comfortable Facemasks Using an Algae-Based Bio Textile picture

Sarah Jill DeCoste

School of Design

Inclusive and Comfortable Facemasks Using an Algae-Based Bio Textile

Most people dislike wearing facemasks so I decided to conduct a survey to find out why, and to create a facemask that eliminates all these problems. FM001 was designed for those who do not have limitations and it includes: side pleats expand while talking, adjustable plush nylon ear elastics which are comfortable around the ears, a nose wire for a better fit and support, silicone on the bridge of the nose to prevent slippage, an inward curved chin to provide maximum security, a non-woven interfacing and a silk exterior for ideal protection, and an algae-based bio-textile lining that combats multiple issues.

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Smart Filtration Infused Knitwear picture

Stephanie Coombs

School of Fashion & Jewellery

Smart Filtration Infused Knitwear

My original design was in collaboration with 4 students at Kent State Fashion Tech Hackathon in Jan 2020. We wanted to make a difference, implementing fashion and technology. he disheartening events of the past year have inspired this knit piece. From devastating wild fires in Australia, to the ongoing spread of Coronavirus, and general decline of air quality all over, the kind of product that we wanted to create was clear. This product acts as a scarf to keep the neck and face warm during the cold Canadian months while also including elements of well-being, awareness and defense.

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Gaia-co: upcycled PPE puffer coat picture

Vishali Sitharthan

School of Design

Gaia-co: upcycled PPE puffer coat

The pandemic has changed everyone’s life, and it can be seen that people started getting comfortable with this situation. MAKECanada competition gave me the challenge to think about the social and environmental impact caused bu this current situation. I was curious to know about the PPE suit and what happens to it after. A woman in the Indian state of Kerala makes bedrolls from PPE scrap for hospitals. I felt like this was an excellent idea, and I could take this to another level. This inspired me to create apparel from PPE Suits for the Canadian climate, like a Unisex puffer jacket and puffer 3/4 pants.

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Self-Sanitizing Grunge picture

Dave Hyun

School of Fashion & Jewellery

Self-Sanitizing Grunge

Grunge fashion is one I wanted to tackle for a long time. Grunge shows a different kind of beauty than the glamorous red carpet dresses that most are more accustomed today. My design was inspired by studying the fashion style of the singer Grimes, and the costumes aired in the TV show “The Walking Dead”. The designed garment is finished with a layer of copper coating to be antimicrobial. Copper is known to kill bacterial substances on contact rapidly thus bringing safety to the wearer and the people around. In these times of COVID19, you risk the safety of your family whenever you leave for necessities. The coat that was worn outside could linger with bacteria, and it is difficult to clean or wash the coat every time one comes back home.

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HOPE (Help Obtain Positive Energy) picture

Sareh Ghomi & Mehrshad Hajabdolazim Naraghi

School of Fashion & Jewellery

HOPE (Help Obtain Positive Energy)

After speaking to a couple of friends who recovered from severe Covid-19 disease, I figured out that having hope about the future had a significant impact on their survival. Therefore, I realized that remembering the word “HOPE” can help everybody survive a pandemic as this word can also stand for: “Help Obtain Positive Energy.” Then, as a designer, I came to creating a jewellery piece for reminding the power of hope to the wearer and the other persons who can see and read it. Wearing this piece by the individual can spread hope in society and lead to positive energy development.

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Multi-purpose outer wear picture

Oi Fah Ho

School of Fashion & Jewellery

Multi-purpose outer wear

I hope to design an outerwear that can provide good amount of protection from the environment yet reasonable in price that every citizen can afford to buy. Every citizen should have one in their wardrobe is my ultimate goal. I hope to develop an outerwear that is durable and with high quality, by using high quality neoprene or durable materials. As we are in an unprecedent time, I think to have a garmet that protects us from the harmful environment is crucial. Also, a garment that will be able to provide protection from various harmful environments either caused by mankind or by nature.

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MAKECanada™ for Change in Canada

Whether “guardments” provide protection from infection, integrating sunscreening or pollution filters, or harness interference technology to heighten the wearer’s ability to navigate safely, as we look ahead to re-opening our societies, our clothing will be an essential tool to help us live, work and mingle safely.

MAKECanada™ realizes the continued need for gloves, masks, gowns and other PPE, but sees opportunity for these vital pieces of apparel to evolve beyond the clinical setting to fit all wardrobes.

How can they be made more comfortable for longer wear times, or to fit more body shapes?

Can they be more sustainably reused or recycled?

MAKECanada™ will redesign essential “guardments” synonymous with everyday living.

Can these items work harder for us, to help protect us and those around us, to enhance our experience of the world outside instead of hampering it.

Can they still be useful while being stylish, comfortable, affordable and sustainably made?

The MAKECanada™ Design Challenge is an opportunity for GBC students to design clothing and accessories that will address some of the challenges related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the way people will dress and accessorize when society emerges from self-isolation and back into everyday life.


Objective One

Create unique clothing and accessories for a post-pandemic world.


Objective Two

Be creative and imaginative in the use of materials, textiles and technology.


Objective Three

Show an innovative approach to incorporating economic and environmental sustainability within the design.

Design Categories

There are three categories for the design competition. Students were allowed to design with the materials of your choice, across any areas that would drive impact for these issues.

Designs focussed on addressing how our clothing can protect us, for example facilitating preventative/hygiene behaviors, supporting frontline health workers, or promoting connection to friends, family, and neighbors to combat social isolation to name a few.

  • outerwear icon


    Designs such as a range of outerwear, athletic clothing, daywear and casual basics.

  • outerwear icon


    Items for everyday use or protective items such as jewellery, gloves, bags, socks, headbands, handbags, footwear, aprons.

  • outerwear icon

    Soft Goods

    Designs for any item that does not fit into the above categories such as blankets, pillows, linens, furniture etc.

Submission Details & Deliverables

Eligibility Criteria

  • Participants must be a student enrolled in a program at the George Brown College's Centre of Arts, Design and Information Technology.

  • Participants can apply both individually and as multidisciplinary teams. For team registration, please designate one member to complete the registration process and provide the names and student numbers of all team members.

    Note: All challenge communication will be done through the email provided by the registered student. The registered student/account will be responsible for uploading the final submission package.

Submission Package must include

  • 150-word Biography: Tell us about yourself and your design practice. You can write individual or team bios.

  • Design Documents: Up to six images of drawings, renderings or technical illustrations to explain your concept, its construction, materials and technology.

  • 250-word Design Rationale: Tell us about what inspired you, who the beneficiaries are of your concept, what issue or challenge does it address, what makes it relevant and important to current Canadian fashion and pandemic support, what will be its social impact?

  • 500-word Implementation Plan: Details on what it would take to implement the prototype design, eg estimated budget, materials, fabrication, installation, design services, potential for commercialization.

Phase 1:
Judging Criteria

  • Economic & Regenerative Sustainability

    Can the project be made using sustainable practices? Will it be affordable to a wide range of customers?

  • Innovation

    Does the project innovate in the realm of protective clothing? Does the project utilize innovative production technologies?

  • Potential Impact

    Will the project be able to reach a point of social impact, and does it have the potential for positive impact amidst the pandemic?

  • Design Creativity & Feasibility

    Is the design creative and does it address the theme at hand? Is it easy to produce and wear?

  • Functionality & Meaningfulness

    Is the design purposefully solving a real problem? Is the project submitted going to have meaningful impact once fully completed?

Make your Mark with MAKECanada™

Three semi-finalists will be matched with community ambassadors to help develop their designs from prototype to product.

Working with the experts at the Fashion Exchange, our industry partners, and material and fabrication experts, finalist teams will explore cutting-edge production technology to present a working prototype garment.

All prototypes will be showcased in a series of culminating events, both live and online, where our community ambassadors will choose the final designs to put into limited productions.

In September 2021, the final MAKECanada™ products will have the opportunity to be sold on GBC campuses and at the School of Design's INStore, both at the store and through their e-commerce platform.

Benefits to you

  • Access to and use of the FX, a vibrant hub for fashion education, design, production, entrepreneurship, engagement and cutting-edge production technology.

  • Opportunities for training and guidance with FX staff and industry professionals.

  • Exposure for you and your designs across a range of promotional events and social media.

  • Network with leading professionals and manufacturing experts in the fashion industry.

  • Semi-finalists will be awarded $200 and the opportunity to prototype their ideas and be mentored by an industry partner.

  • Winners will receive an amount of $500 CAD.

Challenge Timeline

Phase 1

Student Competition Fall Semester

November 2, 2020:
Competition launch & registration portal opens.

January 5, 2021:
Registration closes.

January 8, 2021:
Deadline to submit design packages.

January 29, 2021:
Judging committee meets.

February 9, 2021:
Semi-finalists announced in each category.

Phase 2

Prototype Production Winter semester

Feb - July 2021:
Semi-finalists matched with industry professional for mentorship to develop concepts. Production of Prototype in partnership with the FX & key industry partners.

August 2021
Prototypes showcased at a series of events; final judging to select Finalists for Phase 3.

Phase 3

Small Batch Production

Fall 2021:
Production of winning design(s). Opportunities for purchase across GBC campuses and at the INStore both on campus and online.

MAKECanada Challenge

The Future is Your Design

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