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Competition: Solution to Air-Dry Clothes. July 31, 2010

Care to AirDeadline: July 31, 2010. Prizes: $4,500$1,000, with $500 for finalists.

Care to Air Design Challenge

In partnership with the Myoo Create community, Levi Strauss & Co. is running a competition for designers everywhere to respond to the challenge of how to design the world’s most innovative, covetable, and sustainable air-drying solution for clothing. They’re offering $10,000 prize money to be distributed among the finalists for the most effective solutions, as well as an audience with experienced designers and eco-innovators.

The Concept

While examining the lifecycle impact of a pair of Levi’s® 501’s, Levi Strauss & Co. was surprised to find that almost 60% of the climate impact happens in the laundry phase – after a consumer takes them home – and nearly 80% of that impact is due to the energy intensive method we chose for drying.

The single most important step we can all take to reduce the climate impact of our jeans is to choose air drying. Energy from the sun and the wind is free, as opposed to the average clothes dryer, which is the second biggest energy using appliance in the home after the refrigerator. Despite all this, the majority of US households do not use air drying methods, and communities in the US are even banning outdoor clothes lines because they say they look unsightly. Levis Strauss & Co. would like to challenge that point of view by finding clothesline designs or other innovative air drying techniques that are undeniably stylish and effective.

How to enter

The challenge will be open for entries on Myoo Create. In order to enter, participants must first create an account at Myoo Create, then follow these steps:

1. Upload an image for your entry

2. Provide a 200 word description to accompany the image, including how your design meets the judging criteria outlined below

3. Upload a three page design specification, with more details on the design, scalability, and environmental attributes of your design.

Judging criteria

1. Aesthetics: some communities perceive line drying to be unsightly and unappealing – that’s why they’ve banned outdoor line drying. So is there a way to make line drying or other air drying solutions more aesthetically pleasing?

2. Scalability: does the design solution have the potential for widespread adoption? We really do believe that air drying is an important part of a climate neutral tomorrow, so we are seeking  solutions with potential for mass adoption in urban and rural environments.

3. Environmental sustainability: designs will be expected to have their own sustainable life cycle in terms of materials use, production process, and end of life. Let’s try and avoid solving one problem but creating another.

4. Ingenuity: the clothesline and clothes pin is a tried and tested solution with a myriad of different designs already on the market. It’s going to take some out of the box thinking to get beyond our current reality to find something brand new that could be widely adopted. So we’ll reward ingenuity in our judging.

Example Entry

Challenge timetable & process

Open to Entries & Voting: June 1st- July 31st

The Challenge is open to entries from 00:00:00 Pacific Time (PT) on 01 June 2010 until 23:59:59 PT on 31 July 2010. During this time, Myoo Create community members may vote on the entries and provide feedback and

Once the voting period ends, the top three ranked entries as well as two judges’ picks will be announced as the designs entering in to the finals.

The awards for the Crowd Favorite and the Most Valuable Community Member will be announced at this time.

Finals: August 16th, 2010

The five finalists will be invited to participate in an event where they present their design to our judging panel.

The event will be in San Francisco. Finalists can attend in person, at their own cost, or by live video link. The winners will be announced at the event.


All five finalists will receive $500 for advancing to the judging round. The prizes for the winning designs are:

1st Prize $4500

2nd prize $1500

Crowd Favorite: $1000 (for the top ranked entry based on community voting)

There is also $500 available for the Most Valuable Community Member.

Most Valuable Myoo Create Member: We believe that collaboration is at least as important as competition in stimulating breakthrough innovation. Even if you are not a designer or do not have an entry, you can still participate and help find a solution. To encourage collaboration between community members, we are offering a $500 prize for the Most Valuable Myoo Create Member. The prize will be awarded to the community member who, in the opinion of the judges, provides the best quality and most valuable feedback on the challenge entries. Anyone is eligible for this prize – all you need to do is join in the conversation and contribute useful ideas and feedback on the entries.

Why Care?

Your favorite pair of jeans consumes energy throughout its life cycle, giving this fashion staple a carbon footprint. A complete third party lifecycle assessment on a pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans revealed that, on average, almost 60% of the climate impact comes during the consumer phase. Nearly 80% of that is due to the energy intensive method we choose for drying. Levi Strauss & Co. is taking strides to bring its carbon footprint down to zero and build sustainability into everything they do – but the LCA revealed that the company needs help from consumers to make the biggest difference.

To find out more details about entrance requirements and the judging criteria, vist the Myoo Website or download the challenge brief and rules (PDF).

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