Past Competitions

MAKECanada™ 2020


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.


Sarah Jill DeCoste,
School of Design

My Mask
In recent days, COVID cases have risen, and it is predicted that there will be a 4th wave, meaning face coverings will still need to be worn even though so many struggle with them. The “MY MASK” was created to combat those issues. Three facemasks were created and specifically designed for those without limitations, those who wear head coverings, and those who have a beard/turban. After several prototypes were created, the “MY MASK” has been perfected and uses luxury textiles, Silk and SeaCell, to ensure consumer comfort. The goal of the “MY MASK” is to make those who despise wearing uncomfortable masks, thrilled to wear this one because these are a COVID staple.

Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus
Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus
Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus
Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus

Sareh Ghomi & Mehrshad Hajabdolazim Naraghi,
School of Fashion & Jewellery

Depression, mood, and anxiety disorders are among the most common types of mental disorders in Canada and have been shown to impact the daily lives of those affected significantly. By producing HOPE accessories designed for MAKECanada Design Challenge 2020, we are trying to help fight the mental health issues caused by the environment. We realized that remembering the word “HOPE” can help everybody survive environmental damage, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, wearing HOPE beads & charms as accessories by people can spread a good vibe of energy and have the potential to become a new trend.

Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus

Vishali Sitharthan,
School of Design

Gaia-Co Puffer Jacket
The MAKECanada competition gave me the opportunity to think about the social and environmental impacts caused by the pandemic. My research began with talking to the doctors in my family, as I was curious to know what they use as protective gear and what happens to it after it has been used. My uncle, Doctor Randhir, mentioned that hospitals have been using PPE suits more and that the need is constantly increasing. This raised a question in my mind, what do they do with protective gear and PPE suits after they are used? He said the hospital staff throws them away or cremates them, which is a massive problem for our environment and causes an enormous amount of pollution. This inspired me to create apparel from PPE Suits for the Canadian climate. I further researched and found out about a few sterilizing techniques by the University of Utah for recycling and reusing PPE suits. After a few sessions with my mentor, we came up with a solution to use the PPE as a stuffing inside a puffer jacket instead of making it an outer shell, so it won't be in direct contact with the wearer’s body. With further research, I was able to find fabric which is made from recycled plastic bottles to use as an outer shell. This fabric is also water resistant and insulated, which protects from wind, water and mild cold. My muse is the young crowd, those individuals who love sustainable timeless puffer jackets! Reusing PPE Suits can save a large amount of landfill and decrease the pollution created during this pandemic. I strongly believe that it can impact our society and create a place for creativity and innovation.

In the final production stage, Vishali will be exploring how to alter her design to produce a vest instead of a jacket, stay tuned for updated images.

Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus
Photo by: Daniel Neuhaus @dan_neuhaus


Hilary Farr

Interior Designer, Media Personality, HGTV
TV host of hit show “Love It or List It” and President of Hilary Farr’s Designs established in Toronto; has renovated properties all around the World, from New York to Australia, the UK to California.

Marissa Freed

President, Founder, FREED & FREED International Ltd.
President and Creative Director at historic Canadian garment manufactuers, Freed & Freed International Ltd; known for creating Ladies’ and Men’s fine apparel, since 1920. Establishied in Winniped, Manitoba.

Don Lee

Menswear Designer, Don has specialized in Fine Men’s Tailoring and Textile with over 20 years of professional experience. Based in Toronto, Mr. Lee has produced suits for VIP clientele, including former prime minister Stephen Harper, actors Jared Leto and Sam Neill and musician of the Black Eyed Peas.

Adam Taubenfligel

Founder, Designer, Creative Director, TRIARCHY ATELIER DENIM
Co-founder and Creative Director for TRIARCHY Atelier Denim; educating consumers through ecologically driven design mandate, focused on educing water consumption through production process.

Vanya Vasic

Founder, Creative Director, FASHION ART TORONTO
Curator and Creative Director of bi-annual cultural event, Fashion Art Toronto; a fashion week celebrating contemporary art and design through live presentations and performances, fashion film, photography and art installation.


About Luigi Ferrara

Luigi Ferrara, Dean, Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology, arrived at the college in 2002, and has since broadened the programs within the Faculty of Design more than threefold. Under Ferrara’s guidance the Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology, which includes the School of Fashion, was ranked as one of the Top 60 Design Schools in North America, according to Business Week magazine and its Institute Without Boundaries was ranked as one of the top four Urban Design programs in the world by Azure magazine.

About Rosa Frazassa

Rosa Fracassa is the Chair of the School of Fashion and Jewellery at George Brown College. Rosa has been a Professor and Program Coordinator at the School of Fashion at George Brown where she has been teaching for many years in the Fashion, General Arts and Science and Theatre departments.  Rosa’s academic background includes a Master Degree in Italian Studies and a two year Master degree in Drama; she is at the dissertation stage of her PhD.

About Robin Kay

In 1999, Kay was asked to chair “Designers Ontario” (established in 1963) and reinvented it into what is known as the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. At this time, there were only four fashion weeks in the world and Kay was determined for Canada to be the fifth. Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) launched in the fall of 1999 at The Windsor Arms Hotel, and significantly grew over 12 years under Kay’s direction. TFW nurtured new design talent, connected stakeholders, built community and awareness driving a Made in Canada fashion economy. Kay continues to foster the growth of Canada’s fashion sector, currently working as Sector Liaison with George Brown College to help improve their Fashion & Design curriculum to ensure grad students are set for Fashion’s future opportunities.

About Paul McClure

Paul McClure is a visual artist and designer of contemporary jewellery. His work is represented in public collections such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Canadian Museum of History; Design Museum of Barcelona; and National Museums Scotland. He is professor and program coordinator for the School of Jewellery at George Brown College. In 2015, McClure received a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s foremost distinction for excellence in the visual arts.

About Cynthia Givens-Sanford

"Cynthia Givens-Sanford holds a Bachelor’s Degree (with distinction) in Adult Education from Brock University, as well as a Diploma in Fashion Studies from Sheridan College, where she received the Board of Governors’ Silver Medal for Academic Excellence. Previous studies also earned Cynthia a Diploma in General Arts & Science from Georgian College, with studies in Graphic Design, Illustration and Fashion Management. Professional experience, within the garment industry, included design and pattern drafting positions at Lindzon, Kira, Marilyn Blumer and Lady Western, where she concentrated on collections in leather and outerwear, as well as day and evening wear. Recognized for engaging, challenging and encouraging students to achieve their best, Cynthia has mentored students through numerous regional, national and international design competitions, culminating in success and recognition for the students and College alike."

About Marylin McNeal-Morin

Through George Brown College Fashion Exchange (FX), Marilyn led the development of innovative curriculum to address fashion sustainability, technology adoption and manufacturing skills. FX provides sample and short run manufacturing services for emerging designers.  Applied research projects through FX Leading Innovation in Fashion Technology (LIFT) assist industry partners to test new technologies for a circular textile economy, digital manufacturing applications, or technical, functional apparel solutions.

About Sage Paul

Sage Paul is an urbanDenesuliné tskwe based in Toronto and a member of English River First Nation. Sage is an award-winning artist & designer and a recognized leader of Indigenous fashion, craft and textiles. Her work centres family, sovereignty and resistance for balance. Sage is also founding collective member and Artistic Director ofIndigenous Fashion Week Toronto.