4 April
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

PRIZE REVIEW: We The Makers Sustainable Fashion Prize 2023 

This month, Arts Law has reviewed the terms and conditions of the We The Makers Sustainable Fashion Prize in Victoria. Read the terms and conditions of this competition here.  

The deadline for this competition is 16 April 2023

What is the rating? 

Arts Law has awarded the competition 3.5 stars out of 5. Read on to find out more detail. 

How did Arts Law help?  

Arts Law reached out to the organisers to make this competition’s terms and conditions more artist friendly. We were delighted that the organisers took on board some of our suggestions making the terms more artist friendly. 

How artist-friendly is this competition?  

This competition is moderately artist friendly. It states the artists retain their copyright, but asks for a copyright licence from all entrants. It commits to respecting the moral rights of the winner and any Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property arising in the work. The prize for the winner is valuable.  

How do the copyright terms stack up?  

What is copyright?  Copyright is a bundle of rights that protect literary, artistic, musical and dramatic works (as well as films and sound recordings). These rights allow the owner of copyright to control the ways that a work is used. If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Copyright here 

This competition has moderately artist-friendly copyright terms. It states that the artists retain their copyright. 

An area that could still be improved is in limiting the licence to the finalists. The terms currently ask for a copyright licence from all entrants and the use of photographs and videos for marketing, media and promotional purposes. There is no mention that the artists are also able to promote their own work on social media, or that the licence is non-exclusive. 

The copyright licence is not limited by time, which means that the organisers will have ongoing use of the material. We understand that this was important for the organisers for use in the Museum’s archives and publications, however the terms do not limit use to these purposes. 

The terms state that the promoters will consult with the winner about any reproductions of the winning artwork on promotional items and provide samples for the winner’s approval. While approval of samples is a good thing, the winner receives no benefit such as royalties in circumstances where there is no limit on the number and type of promotional items that could be distributed.  

Does the competition respect moral rights?  

What are moral rights?  Creators have moral rights when their work is used (i) to attribution, (ii) against false attribution, and (iii) to integrity, which means not having their work treated in a derogatory way. For more information, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on Moral Rights here.    

We are pleased that the organisers have amended the terms to include recognition of the winner’s moral rights. This includes crediting the winning designer whenever their work is used and not making any major changes without consent. Unfortunately there is no mention of the other entrants’ moral rights, which means the organiser will be able to use images of the works without crediting the artists. 

What about Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property? 

What is ICIP?   ICIP is a broad term that covers all of the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture (including writing, music, performances, paintings, languages, sacred sites, stories passed down orally, and other records of heritage). If you want to learn more, you can read Arts Law’s Information Sheet on ICIP here.    

We are thrilled that the organisers agreed to amend the terms of the competition to include ICIP. The terms now include not displaying any artwork in a way that may be considered offensive or inappropriate to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community and to attribute any ICIP that may arise in the work.  

What could they have done better?  

Further clarity around the scope of the copyright licence would help to improve these terms.  

You can lodge a query with us here if you would like to obtain advice from Arts Law about this competition.  

What is We the Makers Sustainable Fashion Prize about?  

We the Makers and the National Wool Museum hold a biennial prize for emerging sustainable fashion designers. Entrants are to create a complete outfit made of sustainable materials. 

Entries are open to emerging professional designers, with less than 10 years industry experience, from anywhere in the world.  

Entries will be judged on their ability to design and redefine sustainable and ethical textiles. There are three categories which the entry can respond to. They are: Material Innovation, Circular Process Innovation, Design Innovation, Business Innovation.  

There will be 20 finalists whose outfits will be exhibited at the National Wool Museum in Geelong at the We the Makers exhibition from 1 June 2023 to 29 October 2023. 

What prizes are on offer?  

The prize is a $10,000 acquisitive award. The single winning work will form part of the National Wool Museum collection. 


Arts Law regularly reviews the terms and conditions of competitions and rates them out of five stars. Our review looks broadly at the terms and conditions of a competition. In particular, we look closely at how a competition deals with an entrant’s copyright and moral rights, and consider this in light of the prize.  Entrants should always take into account the possible profile-raising which may result from being a finalist or winner.  

By accepting the terms and conditions of a competition, entrants should be aware that they may be entering a legally binding contract.  

For more information, see our free information sheet on competition conditions. Artists are welcome to contact Arts Law for legal advice on the terms of a competition. We also invite competition organisers to contact Arts Law for best practice assistance to make their terms and conditions fairer for artists. 

Please note: Prior to February 2018, Arts Law’s rated out of five stars only the terms of a competition which dealt with copyright and moral rights. Arts Law’s competition reviews are now more holistic, such that our rating out of five stars now reflects a broad review of all the terms and conditions of the competition. For more information see our website. 

Further Information 

Please email us at [email protected] to tell us about any competitions or prizes you think we should check.  

See more about Arts Law’s campaign to improve competition terms and conditions in the Prizes and Competitions section.