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Mother Earth, in our book. But officially, the top honor went to K/ller Collection for the duo’s handcrafted, recycled-metal jewelry. Designers Kate deGuzman and Michael Miller coax beauty out of organic objects that others might consider waste, delicately casting oxidized metals over items like fox claws, naturally shed porcupine quills, and horns sourced as byproduct from the farming industry.

AND! We were oh-so proud to see Study’s Tara St. James take a runner-up slot in the competition. Among the many reasons we’ve long considered her prize-worthy: her process bucks the traditional fashion calendar, she expresses the importance of ethical fashion through poignant projects like her Makers' Hands photo series, and she created the most flattering dress in the world.

We’re also tipping our hats to two of Ethica’s newest designers, Laura Siegel and Amour Vert, for ranking among the finalists.

The other finalists in this year’s challenge were Blair Lauren Brown and Aurora James of Brother Vellies. Reformation’s Yael Aflalo was the other runner-up. Get to know them all in this video from the CFDA.

There have been criticisms in the past that the standards for the CFDA / Lexus challenge are too lax (30 percent of the materials used by the brands are required to be eco-friendly, up from 25 percent at the inception of the competition). But what’s clear from this year's group of finalists and winners–all of whom have made significant commitments to sustainability and social good–is that they each set their own bar, and they set it high.

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