Ecouterre is the official media sponsor of DIY With IOU. Learn more at Source4Style about the search for the IOU Project’s next ethical designer!

Congratulations to the 10 finalists of the “DIY With IOU” design competition. We received entries from half-a-dozen countries, and the task of judging proved so difficult that we unanimously decided to take all 10 finalists who finished in the top five positions. So without further ado, here are designers who made it to the final round of the contest, along with some of the judges’ praise.

IOU Project, Source4Style, Lara Miller, Tara St. James, Study NY, Carrie Parry, Summer Rayne Oakes, Aga ?miechowska, Francisca Pineda, Marina Davis, Minna K, Lisa Linhardt, Emily Saunders, Swati Argade, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-fashion contests


1. Tara St. James, Study NY
“Study is a sustainable brand with ethical sourcing, and her designs are extremely strong. I have been a fan of hers for quite some time; she designs very strong, architectural pieces that are hip and fresh.”

2. Lara Miller
“I love how Lara has grown as a designer even in the past few years since I’ve become familiar with her line. Philosophically, Lara Miller is a perfect fit for this competition. Creatively, I love that she is inspired by the Madras to venture out of her knitwear comfort zone. Finally, her design aesthetic—playful, modern, comfortable—suits IOU. From this submission, I am excited to see what she could come up with.”

3. Swati Argade
“Great style and detailing in her clothing. The sense of traceability and appreciation of the history of a fabric and a product is ingrained within the line. She understands the need to adapt in this new world, but without losing the root of the creation.”

4. Emily Saunders, Saunder
“Her collection has a very nice earthy feel, it’s still very feminine yet structured. I love that she travels around the world to get inspiration for her work. I think she will really understand what IOU is about and will be able to contribute so much from her own experiences of watching the fabrics being made by hand.”

5. Minna K
“Minna’s philosophy is on point and her designs that she presents are accessible and wearable. They totally are on target with the IOU customer and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can produce.”

6. Lisa Linhardt, Linhardt Design
“This was an obvious first choice for me. I was so impressed with the presentation that it literally made me cry. This is someone who clearly has a passion for what they do and talent that’s backed up by a brilliant business sense- which is so important to make the designer successful. The bag/garment thing she came up with is genius and she clearly understands what sustainable business means.”

7. Marina Davis
“She provides an individuality that makes me feel that sustainability can have an elegant, original feel. I like the way she layers her fabrics and the comfortable feel the clothes bring through the draping technique. It’s minimalist but strong.”

8. Francisca Pineda
“ Apropos mention of the history of 7th Avenue as it relates to fashion. Designs created are a mature, sexy, and wearable. Provides looks for the casual, and the more serious need. Would love to see any of her sketches go into production!”

9. Aga ?miechowska of Vyosna
“It makes me so happy to know that there are amazing, sustainable designers emerging from Poland. Her designs are simple with bold colors and they take risks, but still remain completely wearable and modern. I love the fact that she wants to keep the brand small to not compromise the quality and the relationships with her clients.”

10. Carrie Parry
“I think Carrie Parry is the perfect fit for this competition. She is known to be a socially responsible brand, using sustainable materials and processes. She is really an up-and-coming designer that is gaining momentum. Her design (with a slight retro inspiration) and craftsmanship are really extraordinary.”