The StyleSearch competition is now closed.
Check out the Winners' Page to see who won and watch a video below of the finalists' challenge.

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StyleSearch was a competition running from July until August 2008 to establish the UK’s most ethical dressers.

We asked you to send in a digital photo of you or a friend modelling an outfit using vintage, customised, second hand, fair trade or organic clothes and accessories.

Judges whittled down four finalists from the entries. These finalists attended London Fashion Week in September and competed in a task to decide the final winner.

The winner assisted our stylist at the Thread fashion show.

Were you inspired by this competition? For ideas on how to put your outfit together, go to our Be Inspired page to see our gallery of student stylists. Visit our Video page for further tips on creating an original look, to see the finalists' day in London and the winner's experience at the Thread fashion show.

Before you enter, make sure you’ve read our competition rules, the BBC Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy. You may also find it helpful to read our UGC terms.

What we need from you

  1. A digital photo of you or a friend modelling the outfit.
  2. A statement written by you.
  3. Credits for all clothes and accessories.

How to Enter

Your photo

  1. Use a digital camera.
  2. Photo should be at least 3 megapixels big
  3. Take a portrait (vertical) shot of your model.
  4. Send it to us as a jpg, maximum file size 10mb.
  5. See below on how to take your photo

Your statement

  1. Should be no more than 150 words.
  2. Explain why you chose this outfit, what’s ethical about it and what ethical fashion means to you.

Your credits

  1. Should include details of where you sourced all clothes and accessories, eg ‘Top from charity shop, hat customised by me’.
  2. You don’t need to include prices

How to Take Your Photo

  • Do

    Photograph model:
    Full length.
    Looking at the camera.
    In focus.
    Out of doors.
    In natural light.

  • Don't

    Use flash.
    Have a very dark, light or cluttered background.

  • Don't

    Cut off body parts.
    Photograph in harsh light.

  • Don't

    Position too far away.

  • Don't

    Use a mobile.

If you’re a bit stuck, go to our Be Inspired page to see examples by our student stylists.

For further guidance on what we’re looking for, go to our criteria and judges section.

Upload via the web

  1. Go to our uploader.
  2. Fill out the form and upload your image, statement and credits.

Email your entry

  1. To
  2. Remember to include your: photo, statement, credits, full name, age and contact number.

Post your entry

  1. Burn your jpg onto a CD-R disk and send along with your statement, credits, full name, age and contact number to: Thread StyleSearch, MC3A5, Media Centre, 201 Woodlane, London, W12 7TS.

  1. The BBC Code of Conduct for competitions can be found at Competition Code
  2. The competition is open to all residents of the UK, including the Channel Islands, who are aged 16 or over at the closing deadline date on 26th August 2008.
  3. This competition is not open to employees or contractors of the BBC, any person directly or indirectly involved in the running of the competition, or their direct family members.
  4. Entrants must submit a photograph of themselves or a friend styled in ethical clothing together with a statement of up to 150 words detailing the ethical origins of the clothing shown in the photograph, including details of the sources for the clothes and accessories. Consent for the photo to be entered into the competition must be obtained from the photographer and the person photographed if not the entrant.
  5. By submitting an entry entrants grant the BBC the right to publish it online or in any media as it thinks fit.
  6. Entry to the competition is via the website or by email to or by posting a disc containing the photographic entry to Thread StyleSearch, MC3 A5 Media Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7TS.
  7. The closing date and time is midday on 26th August 2008. No entries received after that date will be considered. Entries cannot be returned.
  8. All entrants must supply their names, email addresses and daytime telephone number. The BBC will only ever use personal details for the purposes of administering this competition, and will not publish them or provide them to anyone without permission. You can read more about the BBC Privacy Policy at
  9. The winner will be selected by a two stage judging process. In the first stage four finalists will be selected by the Thread team comprising of the Thread stylist and creative director. The four finalists will be invited to London to compete in a clothes styling task which will be judged by a panel of fashion industry experts. The winning entry will be the one that in the judges’ opinion represents the most creatively styled outfit using ethical clothing.
  10. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe copyright or contravene the rights of third parties.
  11. The prize for four finalists consists of two days at London Fashion Week. All finalists must be available between 14th and 19th September 2008, incorporating two nights’ hotel accommodation, food on the day of the styling task and fashion show, appropriate travel expenses and entrance to the Thread fashion show.
  12. The prize for the overall winner consists of spending the day with a fashion stylist and assisting with the styling of the Thread fashion show which will take place at London Fashion Week between 14th and 19th September 2008.
  13. The prize is as stated. There is no cash alternative, it is not transferable and it cannot be deferred.
  14. The judges’ decision as to the finalists and the eventual winner is final. No correspondence relating to the competition will be entered into.
  15. The four finalists will be notified by telephone within 14 days of the close of the competition.
  16. The winner will be notified in person on the day of the final styling event.
  17. Only one entry is allowed per entrant. One photograph with accompanying 150 word statement and credits constitutes an entry.
  18. Digital photographs must be submitted as a jpg, in vertical (portrait) format and at least 3 megapixels. Photographs taken on a mobile phone will not be eligible. The BBC reserves the right to not to include photographs which are poor quality.
  19. Entrants must agree to take part in any post-competition publicity.
  20. The BBC reserves the right to cancel or alter or amend the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.
  21. If any finalist is unable to be contacted after reasonable efforts have been made the BBC reserves the right to offer the place in the final to a runner up.
  22. Prize winners agree to allow the use of their names and photographs for publicity purposes as requested by the (appropriate) Editor, and for their entries to be published in any relevant format by the newspaper or any associate company.
  23. The BBC does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries. These will not be considered. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.
  24. Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the prize. No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently.
  25. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.
  26. These rules are governed by the laws of England and Wales.
  27. This competition is administered by the BBC.

Judging criteria

The judges will use the following criteria when considering your entry.

1. Ethical

We want you to make your look as ethical as you can.

What does ‘ethical’ fashion mean? Here at Thread we say that it is fashion that has been made, worn and passed on in a way that looks after people, animals and the environment. This includes clothes and accessories that are:

  1. Fair trade
  2. Made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo
  3. Animal-friendly
  4. Vintage and second-hand
  5. Recycled and customised
  6. Swapped and borrowed.

If you stick to this list you can’t go far wrong and remember the more eco-chic, the better.

For more information about ethical fashion, go to our About Thread and Find out More pages

2. Original

Be creative and use your imagination to create a look that embodies your individual style. You have the opportunity to explain the inspiration behind your look when you submit your entry.

Not everything in the outfit has to be from ethical sources, but credit will be given for a unique and original look.

3. Styled by you

We’re putting your styling skills to the test, so the look must have been created by you. Even if Gok Wan’s your best mate, it’s your work we want to see.

Remember, you must include your photo, statement and credits to be eligible for the competition.


Elizabeth Laskar

Elizabeth is one of UK's first ethical fashion image and style consultants. She is also a founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, a charity helping to raise awareness about ethical fashion. 

Joanna Yarrow

Joanna Yarrow is a broadcaster, writer and consultant specialising in green living. She’s GMTV’s eco expert and presented BBC Three's Outrageous Wasters.

Read Joanna’s articles in Thread’s Features

Zoe James

Zoe James is Thread’s resident stylist who creates the eco-fabulous looks in our monthly Style File. Zoe has worked as a fashion stylist for many years with top names in the fashion industry.

Visit our latest Style File fashion spread navigation


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