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Contests / TECNE Textile Upcycling / Brief

Contest detail page.

What should i do now?

  • Read the brief
  • Download the material files (if available)
  • Upload your design


  • upload phase
  • community vote
  • client choices


03 May 24




New “new idea” contest on TECNE Gruppo Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A and Desall invite you to breathe new life into a range of used workwear through eco-design and upcycling (prolonging the product’s life cycle). We are seeking new designs that transform these garments, once their initial purpose is exhausted, into products boasting a fresh appearance, renewed functionality, and added social and environmental value.

Company description

TECNE ( ) is the engineering powerhouse for the Autostrade per l’Italia Group. We handle every facet of engineering, from the initial design to the final oversight of the work, each essential for the successful execution of the infrastructural investments outlined in Autostrade per l’Italia’s Industrial Plan. This blueprint involves more than 21 billion euros of investment, of which two-thirds is earmarked for fresh developments and one-third for the modernization of current structures.

With a team of roughly 1,000 professionals specialising in design, construction supervision, and construction management, we hold a pivotal role in coordinating the maintenance, enhancement, and modernization of the extensive 3,000 km motorway network. Leveraging our expertise and resources, we provide the country with advanced engineering services, grounded in a “design for sustainability” philosophy. This methodology has already been implemented in significant engineering projects crucial to the nation, such as the Gronda di Genova and the Passante di Bologna.

By prioritising safety and sustainability, our aim is to establish ourselves as the country’s most important infrastructure engineering hub in terms of size, innovation, and the significance of our undertakings.

The contest is organised and Sponsored by TECNE, with the participation of Safe srl ( ). Safe srl is an Italian company specialising in safety services, offering both Individual Protective Equipment (including workwear) and Collective Protective Equipment to ensure the safety of Workers. As part of this contest, they are offering a special prize, the Safe Award, to highlight their commitment to sustainability.

The brief is available in the following languages:
- English
- Italian

Download the Material files.

Build your inspiration board on the Inspiration tab and explore ideas shared by fellow creatives!

What we are looking for

In 2020, Autostrade per l’Italia initiated a Transformation Plan that incorporated expertise across the entire value chain, from engineering services to construction and the development of innovative and sustainable mobility systems. This shift profoundly changed the Group’s way of operating, pursuing a path of sustainable and inclusive growth. It is within this context of change that sustainability and ESG values play a pivotal role, aligning with the group’s strategy to meet the challenge posed by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and international emission reduction targets (NetZero).

Within its sustainability goals, TECNE has launched several initiatives. These initiatives address combating climate change, protecting natural resources and biodiversity, supporting local communities, and ensuring sustainable supply chain management.

This contest aims to promote tangible sustainable development actions through open loop recycling by repurposing the stockpile of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that TECNE discards each year, in compliance with regulations. Every year, over 1000 textile PPEs reach their natural end-of-life cycle. Instead of sending them to landfills, these items can find a renewed purpose, transforming into different products with added value. These PPEs are reintroduced as raw materials for the production of various items by Third Sector organisations. These entities focus on offering employment opportunities or job placements to socially disadvantaged individuals. This includes those who need skill refinement or recovery, individuals undergoing alternative forms of detention, those with addiction issues, people with physical or mental disabilities, and working-age minors facing family challenges.

For TECNE, this also embodies a commitment to education for sustainable development: emphasising eco-design and upcycling to create added value, not just to recognize the current state of affairs but also to take tangible steps with collective dedication to envision and shape a present, and eventually a future, that is more sustainable, efficient, and healthy.

In light of TECNE’s social and environmental commitments, we are actively searching for ideas for new products that are derived from repurposing the components of high-visibility clothing and other personal protective equipment (PPE) used by TECNE personnel in site management, on construction sites, and on the road.

In general, high-visibility clothing is a garment that clearly distinguishes the wearer from their surrounding environment. It effectively serves as PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, used during activities near moving vehicles, at construction sites, in low-light conditions, or in emergency situations. The primary purpose of PPE is, therefore, to ensure visibility and protect the wearer from any health and safety risks.

Beyond high-visibility features, the garments provided to TECNE staff also offer additional characteristics. For instance, they provide a degree of protection against the cold and rain, resistance to wear and tear, fire resistance, and more. These characteristics can be factored into the design process.

For further details, please refer to the following paragraphs and the documents provided in the downloadable Material files.


To ensure the proper development of your projects, please consider the following guidelines:

Product type
We invite you to design one or more products using parts or materials from TECNE’s high-visibility clothing. While you can also incorporate elements from other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), these should play a secondary role to elements from the high visibility clothing.

Your main inspiration should come from the following high visibility garments:
- Vest
- Jacket
- Parka
- Trousers

Available components from these garments include:
- Textile fabrics
- Padded covers
- Stretch knit elements
- Fleece elements
- Zipper closures
- Button closures
- Velcro closures
- Elastic cord adjusters (drawstrings)
- Retroreflective bands
- Rigid plastic attachment rings
- Transparent badge holders in flexible plastic
- Loops
- Ventilation rings

You can optionally integrate elements from the following PPE, but remember they should not dominate the design:
- Safety shoes
- Safety boots
- Protective helmets

For detailed information and to access the technical data sheets for individual PPE, please consult the provided downloadable Material files.

High-visibility garments can be used in one of two ways: they can either be utilised almost in their original form or undergo modifications – such as disassembly, cutting, sewing, or other processes – until they are entirely transformed. Consequently, it’s not necessary for the original product to be recognizable once it has been repurposed into a new item.

If necessary, parts taken from high-visibility clothing or other PPE items involved in the contest can be combined with external components (not supplied by TECNE) to create new products. High-visibility clothing and other PPE should, however, make up approximately at least 50% of the new product. Projects that utilise close to 100% of PPE materials will be viewed favourably. The percentage of recycled material used in the new product must be explicitly mentioned in the project description.

Recycling projects are not permitted. For instance, initiatives that involve mechanical or chemical recycling, or the complete disassembly of materials from clothing to obtain fibres for new uses, are not accepted.

The primary fabric used for the high-visibility garments will be in a vibrant and conspicuous shade of yellow, given its intended function. It’s essential to preserve the fabric’s original colours; any muted or opaque shades should not be proposed due to manufacturing limitations associated with the textile fibre’s nature. No additional style constraints apply to the proposed design.

The garments are mainly made of fabrics of varying weights, composed of polyester, a mix of polyester and cotton, or twill in shades of yellow and dark blue. The high-visibility bands are crafted from white retro reflective fabric.
These textile materials are waterproof and wear-resistant. They can be cut, sewn, printed, and glued, while maintaining their original colour. It’s important to note that any processing of these materials will be carried out using artisanal or semi-industrial methods.

For detailed information and to access the technical data sheets for individual PPE, please consult the provided downloadable Material files.

Target and product categories
There are no specific limitations on the target audience or applicable product categories. You might consider leveraging the durability and high visibility of the fabrics used in the garments for different applications. Sustainability, viewed from a comprehensive perspective, could be a central theme in selecting the specific product or range of products to showcase.

Submission materials
Provide detailed descriptions and up to 5 images to effectively present your projects. Images should be in 4:3 format, with .jpg, .gif or .png file formats acceptable. The colour mode should be RGB and the maximum size of a single file should be 1 MB.

Preferred (but optional): Within the product description, please highlight the sustainability features that define the product, based on its assessed impact.

You’re invited to use the designated field on the Upload page to attach a .zip file containing technical drawings, a component list, any 3D files, and high-resolution proposal images. The .zip file should not exceed 100MB.

Judging criteria
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

Sustainability 5/5
Technical feasibility 5/5
Functionality 4/5
Degree of innovation 4/5
Aesthetic quality 3/5

English and/or Italian.

Contest Timeline
Add the contest to your calendar
Upload phase: 5 September 2023 – 29 January 2024 (1:59 PM UTC) UPDATED
Concept review: 5 October 2023 (1:59 PM UTC)
Hidden option: 16 November 2023 (1:59 PM UTC)
Community vote: 29 January 2024 – 5 February 2024 (1:59 PM UTC)
Client vote: from 29 January 2024
Winner announcement: tentatively by the end of March 2024

Concept review (optional)
Participants have the opportunity to request an optional review of their project by the Desall team by the date indicated above. To do so, they must 1) save their project as a draft from the upload page and 2) send a request to the Desall team via email at or through the contact form. This review is entirely optional and only provides an opportunity for participants to receive feedback but does not constitute a necessary condition for participation or provide any advantage in the final evaluation by the Sponsor.

Hidden option (optional)
Participants have the option to upload their projects confidentially, ensuring they remain hidden from other participants until the start of the community voting phase. This confidentiality can only be chosen if the project is submitted during the first half of the upload time frame and no later than 16 November 2023. For additional details, please see the FAQ.

Community vote
Within the specified timeframe (see timeline), the entire Desall Community has the opportunity to voice their preferences by voting for projects displayed in the contest gallery. This voting phase begins immediately after the project upload period concludes. For more details, please consult the FAQ.

Eligibility and submission
Participation is free and open to creative talents of any nationality aged 18 or older. Participants may submit one or more projects, but only projects published on the website from the upload page dedicated to the contest will be accepted.

Total Award: €4000

Award 1: €1500 Safe award
Award 2: €1000 TECNE award
Award 3: €1000 TECNE award
TECNE Special Mention: €250 (dispensed via voucher for the purchase of books)
TECNE Special Mention: €250 (dispensed via voucher for the purchase of books)

The selection of the winner by the Sponsor (TECNE) will be the result of an unquestionable evaluation and it will take into account originality, feasibility and consistency of submitted projects with the presented brief.

Extra Award (option right fee)
Throughout the duration of the option right, the Sponsor offers an additional opportunity to all participants by setting the compensation of €1000 for the purchase of the licence for the economic exploitation of projects not recognized as winning proposals. For more information, log in and read the Contest Agreement from the Upload page. For questions about the brief, use the “Have a question” button or write to


Since we are an international Community, all texts provided with your uploads (abstract, description, tags, etc.) should be written in English.

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Desall required files

Minimum 1 image, up to 5.
Recommended dimensions: 960 x 720px (player size) ; allowed format: .jpg , .gif , .png; color mode: RGB;
allowed resolution: 72 dpi ; max file (for each one) size: 1 mb.





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