Sewing machine and Denim fabric

\ ˈəp-ˌsī-kəl \


1. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

For the 2023 Upcycle Challenge students are asked to create an outerwear garment using upcycled Denim. In the spirit of making sustainable fashion, use your creativity to transform unwanted or waste material into a quality product that has artistic and commercial value.

Top Prize

First place winner will receive an MFI Upcycle full scholarship. The scholarship covers full in-state tuition for an A.S. in Fashion Merchandising or Fashion Design. Full scholarship valued at $7,093.20

View last year's winner


  • 1st Place

    • Full scholarship valued at $7,093.20
    • Fashion Kit, valued at $200
    • Fashion Design Course Book
  • 2nd Place

    • SINGER | 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Sponsored by ArtUp 21.Inc
    • Illustration Starter Kit, valued at $150
  • 3rd Place

    • Fashion Design Course Book


Shantall Lacayo

Shantall Lacayo

Creative Director & Project Runway Winner

Francesca Belluomini

Francesca Belluomini

Sustainable Fashion Educator, Circularity Advocate, Author

Jacqueline Aramboles

Jacqueline Aramboles

Head of Sustainability Marketing

Octavio Aguilar

Octavio Aguilar

Fashion Designer & Project Runway Contestant

Fade Zu Grau

Fade Zu Grau

Designer & Project Runway Season 13
All Stars Season 5
Fade Zu Grau Artistry

Contest Rules


You must be a student in Grade 5 through Grade 12.


Virtual Submissions are due Nov 28th, 2023, at 12pm. Online Submission Upload Link will be sent to you.

In-Person Submissions are due Dec 2ndrd, 2023. Judging starts at 10am at:
Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus
300 NE. 2nd Ave
Building 8, 6th Floor.
Miami, Florida 33132


In the spirit of seasons and fashion you are asked to create an outerwear garment suited to the energy of Miami.

Outerwear is clothing worn outdoors, or clothing designed to be worn outside other garments, as opposed to underwear. It can be worn for formal or casual occasions, or as warm clothing during winter.

The student designer must use upcycled Denim for 75% of the garment. Students are encouraged to use all of the original garment to make a new upcycled garment. You can do various types of fabric manipulation including: bleaching, fraying, dying, distressing, embroidery, knotting, patches, etc.,. Have fun, research and be creative.

The full budget for the project has to be $15 or less. Donations or old and worn denim from parents or friends are allowed.

Student designers must complete 90% of the garment without outside help. If the judges suspect the designer had an overabundance of assistance they will be disqualified without discussion.


Document your process from beginning to end. This includes:

  • Purchasing your denim from a thrift store or receiving a donation from others
  • Picture of the receipt for any item purchased
  • The front and back of any items you plan to cut up and use for your design, plus close-ups of special details you are thinking of using
  • Your inspiration and research for your design with sketches and/or pictures
  • The process of making and playing with your design (trials and errors as well)
  • The final product on a "model" or friend of your choice showing the front and back of the full garment, plus close-up photos of any details

A Four-slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation:

Submit a four-slide presentation via the link that will be sent to you after you fill out the entry form online.

  • Page 1: Your name (First and Last), your school name, and the name of your design
  • Page 2: The garments you used to make your new creation and picture of receipts IF applicable
  • Page 3: Your process page, showing inspiration and some of the process in getting to your final garment
  • Page 4: Final garment, front and back

Virtual Submission Instructions

For virtual submissions, save document as “{Your Full Name} Challenge Entry”. Upload to the link that will be provided.

In-Person Submissions Instructions

For in-person submission, print and bring Page 1, 2 and 3 with you to the competition. You will not need Page 4.

Entry Form