We The Makers Design Festival - Makers Marketplace

A UNESCO City of Design festival, We The Makers is a major new biennial Design Festival from the National Wool Museum in Geelong that showcases the work of makers, designers and artists across Australia and internationally.

We The Makers Design Festival invites makers, designers and artists to exhibit and sell items of headwear, neckwear (scarves), bodywear and footwear that respond to the inaugural theme: ‘Design for the Future: Sustainable and Ethical Textiles and Fashion’.

Entry is free and there are two ways you can create and participate:

  1. Makers Marketplace - in the tradition of Scarf Festival© this is a showcase for everyone from established makers, designers and artists to those just starting out. 
  2. Designer Showcase - for emerging and professional fashion designers from across Australia and around the world

There are major cash prizes, awards and professional development opportunities up for grabs – now is the time to start thinking about what you are going to make!


Makers Marketplace - are you a maker?

People of all backgrounds, ages and abilities are encouraged to enter - from established makers, designers and artists to those just starting out.

All entries will be in the running to win a number of prizes and awards, to be announced closer to the Festival opening.

You are invited to make an item of headwear, neckwear (including scarves), bodywear or footwear.

Entries are to respond to the Festival theme - ‘Design for the Future: Sustainable and Ethical Textiles and Fashion’. Items submitted can be sold. All entries must fit into one of the following seven categories:

  1. Wool - Showing an item made with 100% wool
  2. Innovation - Showing an innovative use of materials
  3. Modern - Showing the use of modern technology
  4. Tradition - Showing the use of traditional making practice
  5. Storyline - Tell us a story with your making
  6. Emerging maker - All those entrants 13-18 years old
  7. Young maker - All those entrants under 12 years old.
  8. Scarf of the Year - #CelebrateThe Scarf

About the exhibition

  • In the Makers Marketplace, submissions will be displayed in a gallery space at the National Wool Museum. Entries will be displayed in a “shop-style” hanging format at the sole discretion of the National Wool Museum (unless/until sold). 
  • The Makers Marketplace is a space where we celebrate the community and the handmade. All entries must have been made by the entrant.
  • Using wool is not a requirement of entry (unless wool is required by the category - that is: 100 percent Wool category).
  • Entry to the Makers Marketplace is free. A maximum of two items can be entered per entrant. However, an entrant can only submit one work in a specified category.
  • Working within the Festival theme “Design for the Future”, a range of prizes will be awarded for those judged the best maker for each of the eight categories. Keep a close eye on our Facebook page or e-newsletter for details of prizes.
  • The National Wool Museum reserves the right to limit the number of showcased entries.
Have an inquiry? Email: nwminfo@geelongcity.vic.gov.au.

Honouring the scarf

We the Makers builds upon the huge success and popularity of the Scarf Festival©. The National Wool Museum maintains its passion and dedication to the Scarf Festival©. We The Makers will once again #CelebrateTheScarf – with all scarves entered into We The Makers Design Festival eligible to win the official “Scarf of the Year” award alongside other prizes. 


How to participate

  1. Make: Make a piece of headwear, neckwear, bodywear, or footwear, that responds to the festival theme and that fits within one of the seven categories.
  2. Enter: Complete the entry form (online or in person), remember to include details of your entry, your sale price, a completed tax invoice and specify the category that your item fits into.
  3. Post: Send in your entry to the National Wool Museum.
  4. Visit: Bring your friends and loved ones to see the Makers Marketplace. Al makers are eligible for a (one-use) free pass to the Festival.

Key dates

Entries open and accepted: 1 February 2020
Entries close: 1 April 2020
Festival opening and awards: 14 May 2020
Festival opens: 15 May 2020
Festival closes: 4 October 2020

Eligibility and entry fees

  • The Makers Marketplace is open to all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
  • All entries must be unique and made by the entrant.
  • Interstate and international entries are welcome.
  • International entrants are required to cover the cost of returning their items. National Wool Museum will contact you at the close of the exhibition to arrange this.
  • There are no entry fees to the Makers Marketplace. Please note: to cover administrative costs, the National Wool Museum will take 30% from the sale of each item. We highly encourage all entrants to offer their items for sale. Items that do not sell will be returned to makers.
Sign up for the National Wool Museum email newsletter via our website to learn about prizes/awards for We the Makers Design Festival as they are announced - and start making!




Page last updated: Monday, 13 January 2020

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