For the third year in a row, Kornit Digital and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) have been collaborating on a unique project, challenging students to create designs to be printed digitally onto fabric, in a sustainable manner.
The project has been focusing on encouraging Textile/Surface Design students at FIT to create original designs applying different concepts. This year’s selected theme is Wearable Water. The theme highlights the importance of one of the Earth’s largest and most important ecosystems, its oceans. And, for the first time since this project began, students were able to watch in person as their designs were printed locally on the Kornit Allegro at Papilio Prints in New Jersey.
The first place was awarded to Jihee Che for her design ‘The Sulawesi Sea: Save the Coral Reefs’. According to the designer, the piece is supposed to remind people of the seriousness of environmental pollution and endangered species. In the Sulawesi Sea, 50% of coral reefs are affected by bleaching which might significantly impact many species living in that area.
Second place went to Janisha Biyanwila for ‘Water: An Inconvenient Truth’, and third place to Rachel McGuire for ‘Blended Bycatch’. Paige Leonard received an honourable mention.
As the textile industry keeps being challenged about environmental concerns, this project provides students with strong, first-hand insights as to how the Kornit Allegro is revolutionizing textile production, while still enabling creative use of design and color.
The designs were judged based on use of theme and sustainability, marketability, use of digital technology, and overall design aesthetics by Melissa Niederman, Art Director of The Style Council; Tom Cody of his own design company; Joe Castaldo, President of The Style Council; Nancy Fire, Creative Director of Design Works International. Representing Kornit North America were Paul Borucki, Managing Director; Jim Manelski, Business Development Manager; and Marco Paul, Strategic Accounts Manager.
In addition to cash prizes, the winners will have their fabrics replicated as fashion items that feature strong eco-awareness and demonstrate how this can be successfully incorporated in the reproduction of greener garments. Additionally, the finalists’ designs will be featured in Kornit’s booth at the upcoming SGIA Expo in Las Vegas in September.
Over the summer, FIT’s Fashion Design students will compete in a contest utilizing this year’s Textile Design submissions to create a finished garment.
The Kornit Allegro incorporates the company’s NeoPigment inks and prints onto multiple fabric types with 100% sustainable results. Its integrated fixation process removes the need for pre-treatment, steaming or washing, making it a truly environmentally friendly solution that meets the most rigorous environmental regulations, including Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) approval.