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Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021 Recap: The Future of Fashion is Now, and Sustainable Technological Innovation is the Key!

In March 2021, the Fashion Zone and Fashion Union at Ryerson University presented the Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021 with 13 teams, 36 hours, and 1 challenge. – “How can you utilize technology to address the current sustainability issues in the fashion industry?”
February 17, 2022
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On March 19-21, 2021, the Fashion Zone and Fashion Union at Ryerson University launched the Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021, a virtual interdisciplinary student competition involving collaborative hacking/designing, valuable sessions/workshops, and one-on-one mentorship meetings. Here attendees from the respected backgrounds of computer science, architecture, engineering, fashion design, and business management were placed into virtual interdisciplinary groups of 3-5 members and given 36 hours to prepare their solution.


The event brought over 60 students from 5 universities and colleges within the Greater Toronto Area, and 67% of participants were attending a hackathon for their first time. The competition was equally exciting for first-timers but still challenging for experienced hackers.

“This event was very challenging and eye-opening. Creating a pitch within the time frame required me and my team to go above and beyond how we usually work. The mentors and speakers provided helpful information and grew my perspective on the world of business and technology.”  

Guneet Jassal – Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021

Winning Team

The first-place winning team, consisting of the following members: Megan Chee-a-Tow, Jacky He, Theodore Fu, and Serena Li, put together a concept that disrupts the current medical field with a more sustainable approach to creating medical PPE using a PLA and algae biodegradable textile.

“As my first online hackathon, I went into the Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021 without knowing what to expect. It was nice to see how much effort the organizers, mentors, and judges put in to keep the event engaging.“

Jacky He – Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021

“In all honesty, I was unsure of how the hackathon would be because of the pandemic, but the hosts kept it engaging with all the guest speakers and panels and it was a really great learning experience working as a team. I definitely learned valuable skills for the future and this was an unforgettable weekend!“

Megan Chee-A-Tow – Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021

Megan's Quote
Ours to Keep

The runner-up team, consisting of the following members: Imani Busby, Hansel Igbavboa, and Oghenetega Idimi, created the concept of an archive and textile innovation lab for the Black community to reclaim and rediscover lost African Indigenous cultural heritage through textiles and other historical pieces.

“The Refashioning Technology Hackathon was an incredible experience! My friends and I worked together to address a need we were passionate about, received great advice from mentors, and successfully pitched our idea! I had such a fun time and am so thankful I participated in this event!”

Imani Busby – Refashioning Technology Hackathon 2021

Both teams showcased innovative ideas that demonstrated relevance to current global issues. These ideas won over the panel of judges, which consisted of Caron Phinney (Assistant Professor of Diversity & Design from Ryerson School of Fashion), Frank Erschen (Entrepreneur in Residence / Pitch Coach from Ryerson Digital Media Zone), and Stacey Fruitman (Founder of Style with Substance Ventures).