Help Redefine the Future of Fashion!

The annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon is a dynamic, cross-circular event allowing teams of students from all across the U.S. and Canada, to learn new skills and create innovative technology that will help define the future of fashion.

Participating students spend 36 hours developing a project of their choice in the form of a technology-enhanced garment or wearable-responsive web application. All teams are given free access to the TechStyleLAB, the Fashion School's digital textile fabrication space, along with a variety of free electronic and textile materials. Faculty mentors are on hand throughout the weekend to assist the students with any issues or questions they have during the event.

The Fashion/Tech Hackathon in partnership with the Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB, Kent State's Design Innovation, high tech knit company Evolution St. Louis, Kent State’s LaunchNET and the Kent State computer science student organization HacKSU.

More Information at:

KSU FTH 2020 Themes

Social justice is a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society, as measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. Across different cultures globally, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society.  In many current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.

Four key themes to addressing social justice include:
1) equity
2) access
3) participation
4) rights.

Social justice issues can occur in relation to practically any aspect of society where inequality can arise as a result of unjust prejudices or policies. Typical Social Justice issues include: Race, Gender, Age, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Nationality, Education and Mental or Physical Ability.

Imagine how a simple life-changing redesign or wearable tech innovation, which, as a product or experience, could positively impact individuals and/or communities experiencing inequities. How can that product or experience become as seamless as possible for the Gen Z, Millennial, Generation X’er, Baby Boomer? 

Sustainability is a term often associated with the effort to preserve the resources of our planet. When engaging in sustainable practice it is important to consider the three three pillars of sustainable practice: environmental, social, and economic. Anything created must not cause irreversible damage to the environment or those that depend on it, should benefit society and be economically viable. Indeed, the United Nations suggests that sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Four key themes to addressing sustainability include:
1) disposal
2) access
3) participation
4) adoption

Sustainability must be closed loop (either biodegradable or infinitely recyclable) with responsibility for the disposal of the product as important as the initial distribution. How can we plan for the entire lifecycle of a product? Imagine how technology might be applied to create or utilize sustainable textiles? How might technology be used to encourage and enable others to take action against climate change, fast fashion, or clothing waste? How can technology be used to reduce energy and/or water use/waste?


View full rules


$5,000 in prizes

Burton D. Morgan: Concept that addresses a user/customer experience that encourages sustainable practice or social justice

Burton D. Morgan: Concept that addresses a user/customer experience that encourages sustainable practice or social justice

KSU Design Innovation: Wearable Technology, Solutions to Tackle a Social Justice Challenge

Kent State University's Design Innovation Group is sponsoring a broad challenge to all Fashion/Tech Hackathon participants, calling your team to consider addressing the issue of social justice through collaboratively innovating a wearable technology solution. Tackling social justice challenges require MULITPLE points of view, and often benefit from collaboratively re-framing the problems to better understand the needs of the individuals/communities who are experiencing a challenge.

Categories to consider may include but are not limited to:
• Safe Spaces
• Women in Combat
• Transgender Athletes
• Gun Violence Prevention
• Gender Workplace Diversity
• Religious Freedom
• Gender Identity
• Access to Education
• Terminally Ill Individuals/Death Row Inmates/Euthanasia
• Incarceration/Criminal Justice/Restorative Justice
• Socio-economic mobility through access to technology

What might a social justice innovation look like through a lens of fashion and technology?

Evolution St. Louis: Best fashion project that utilizes knit techniques to solve a sustainability or social justice challenge.

Evolution St. Louis: Best fashion project that utilizes knit techniques to solve a sustainability or social justice challenge

Stoll and KSU The Fashion School: The most compelling visual message that helps communicate social justice or sustainable practice

Stoll and KSU The Fashion School: The most compelling visual message that helps communicate social justice or sustainable practice

LaunchNet + Enventys Mentoryship Awards for Most Market/Venture Potential (4)

LaunchNet + Enventys Mentoryship Awards for Most Market/Venture Potential. Submissions to this category is automatic for all hackathon projects. This is awarded to projects that show market promise and are ready for further project development to aid in the pursuit of bringing these projects to market.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


  • KSU FTH is a university student hackathon - any student enrolled in a college or university is eligible.
  • Teams must consist of 2-5 students.
  • Team Devpost must be complete and submitted on time.
  • One Project per team - one team per participant.
  • Teams must self-select the one awards category for their project submission.
  • Team must present at the expo and awards ceremony.


Project Submission First Deadline - First Submit to DevPost
6 pm on Saturday, January 25 | Fashion School Library, Rockwell Hall

Project Submission Final Deadline - Final Submit to DevPost
7 am on Sunday, January 26 | Fashion School Library, Rockwell Hall

Submission Information Required:

## Project Name
## Table Number

Include Team Member Names and Roles/Responsibilities 

## Built with
Let us know what you used to build your project. If you didn’t use any in a particular category please state n/a.

  • Hardware Used:
  • Software Used:
  • Development Framework:
  • Libraries Used:
  • Materials Used:
  • Fabrication Methods:

## Inspiration
Please describe what inspired you.

## What it does
Describe what your project does.

## How we built it
Please describe how you made your project.

## Challenges we ran into
What challenges did you run into?

## Accomplishments that we're proud of
What are you proud of in regards to your project

## What we learned
What did you learn? Takeaways and insights?

## What's next for your project
What are the next steps for your project? If you could continue developing your project, what would you do?


## Project Video is required

## Project Photos are also required


Judging on Sunday at Expo

Judging on Sunday at Expo

Judging Criteria

  • Judging Criteria
    Judges will be looking at the following for each project. Items below are not equally weighted. 1) Concept Originality. 2) Technological Innovation. 3) Execution and Polish. 4) Communication, Presentation and Rigor. 5) Audience/Market Appeal/Usability:
  • 1) Concept Originality
    How novel is the concept or application? Has it been done before? Is the approach novel? The work should exhibit depth of understanding and insight.
  • 2) Technological Innovation
    How innovative is the use of technology: have advances been made in the use of standard tools for a new purpose? Have new technologies been developed? What does the technology bring to the wearer or the viewer in the wearable environment?
  • 3) Execution and Polish
    How professional and polished is the finished product? Have appropriate or novel construction techniques been implemented? How have standard hardware components been adapted for the wearable environment?
  • 4) Communication and Rigor
    How well have the concept, novelty, and use of technology been communicated? Is the idea and process evident in written and visual materials?
  • 5) Audience/Usability
    How appropriate is the design for the intended audience/purpose? (Most Visually/Aesthetically Compelling) How well have the designers addressed the usability of their interface/interaction? (Best wearable tech to solve a problem)


  • Social Good