Arts Thread

Greenpeace × Arts Thread Competition: Disrupt Black Friday #MakeChangeNow

Greenpeace × Arts Thread Competition: Disrupt Black Friday #MakeChangeNow

8th Oct 2018

Disrupt Black Friday and #MakeChangeNow - Call for entries - Deadline 8th October 2018


In 2017 Greenpeace launched MAKE SMTHNG Week - a global campaign that uses maker-power to replace shopping with creativity and community spirit.

Every day billions of new products are made, sold and thrown away in a vicious cycle of resource plunder and needless waste. From fashion to food, from plastics to technology, companies constantly encourage us to “buy, buy, buy!” and to judge ourselves by the products we own. Every piece of plastic produced in the last 60 years still exists. Our electronics are designed for the dump and for our clothes what is on trend today ends up in the trash tomorrow. Just one look at our warming planet, our polluted rivers or our oceans choked by plastic will tell you we have gone too far.

But together we can MAKE CHANGE NOW.

Check out above: Greenpeace display art installation made by artist Philip Sambalao with a title "After Death" that is made from thousands of pieces of electronic waste, such as mobile phones, during a Car Free Day event at the business district in Jakarta.
Greenpeace Taipei's Trash Queen “Buy Nothing Day" Street Performance on the weekend after Black Friday with a 2.5 meter tall woman performer on stilts who wears a dress made of recycled clothingand a shopaholic squad with a sign that reads “Today’s Fast Fashion Tomorrow’s Garbage”.

MAKE SMTHNG Week is an annual global week of fun, hands-on activities and events – coinciding with Black Friday and the start of the Christmas shopping season, it hacks a mega-moment for consumerism and brings together makers, designers, artists, activists, knitters, upcyclers and people like YOU to show another way is possible.

With a DIY spirit and that unbeatable maker attitude we will reinvent the way we produce and consume: sharing, repairing, upcycling, reusing, recycling, designing, making. MAKE SMTHNG is a showcase for creative, innovative and unique alternatives. Instead of shopping, let’s MAKE SMTHNG!

For 2018 our motto is MAKE CHANGE - #MakeChangeNow. We want to harness the creativity, knowledge and skills of the global maker movement to drive a lasting change in people's lives, in our communities, in our cities or even in our countries. MAKE SMTHNG Week wants to inspire people to use their hidden capabilities, not only as makers, but also as creative activists that can change the world.

Together we will build a new system that is better for people and better for the planet!


To help kick-off MAKE SMTHNG Week 2018, Greenpeace wants to disrupt Black Friday - the peak of consumerism - with public artivism, installations and community action in shopping areas around the world.

Greenpeace needs your help to create eye catching, ground breaking and mind bending ways of communicating that our throw-away culture is obsolete and that the power of making trumps buying.

  • We are looking for art pieces or public installations / performance pieces made from recycled or waste materials.
  • You should create one design for a public piece and one guerrilla adaptation of the idea that people could easily recreate at home, in flashmobs or in their community.
  • The final idea can be made out of a range of recycled materials with a preference for recycled plastic, clothing or textiles, old electronics, paper or cardboard.
  • The final design could be stitched together, it could be an art piece made of plastics or electronics, it could be knitted or it could even be something that involves lots of people participating (i.e. live making).
  • We would like to focus on major centre of consumption (shopping centres, advertising hoardings etc.) so bear this in mind for your design, but there is no need for you to specify the exact location.
  • Greenpeace has a strong history of fun, confrontational creative activism to get its message across so do not be afraid to propose truly crazy things - think outside of the box, think big, think creative but remember it needs to be doable and we need to be able to actually make it real.
  • The winner (depending on location) will also work closely with the experienced Greenpeace team to make it bring their designs to life.
  • We encourage you to consider integrating our MAKE SMTHNG design elements - see our Style Guide and Instagram Channel for inspiration. However, it is not a must.


  • Communication: Ensure that your concept is clear, responds to the brief and stands out from the crowd. Tell us what the story you want to tell is, why you chose the materials and what you want people to think or feel when they see your piece.
  • Sustainability: As well as ensuring you use recycled materials as the key element think of how you could reduce the amount of new materials you need to make the piece, this is really crucial when it comes to our coherence of message with the external world.
  • Positivity: MAKE SMTHNG Week is all about creativity, fun, DIY and solutions and we want this to come out in this piece - an alternative to the SHOP SHOP SHOP narrative of Black Friday.
  • Applicability: remember to think how easy this could be to create in a public space (transport, set up, build etc.) and also think how it could be adapted for people to make themselves or in their community.
  • Wow-factor: what would make people stop on the street and take a picture of your piece? What would make a newspaper want to use a photo to highlight an article about overconsumption?
  • Location: think about the possible location (i.e. shopping centre, public square, billboard) but you don’t need to decide on an actual city or place - keep it generic and applicable in different places.
  • Timings: you will have around one month to physically make the piece in conjunction with an experienced Greenpeace team.


Your entry must inside these 4 elements -

1. Research - inspiration and trend boards
Explain the inspiration that informed your piece. What recycled materials did you use, what colours did you imagine? Who would you be aiming this artwork at primarily? What do you want your audience to think or feel when they see it? How would this help people think beyond buying and see the power of making, reusing, repairing, up cycling etc.

2. Design - design boards for the large public piece
Include a design of what the piece would look like, its dimensions, what materials would it be made from and how it would be built / transported.

3. Design - design boards and tutorial for the individual guerrilla application
Include a design of an individual application of your idea. How would people make their own version and use it for their own local creative action at home or with their community / local maker or volunteer group? What would people use? What instructions would they need to make it themselves?

4.Mock ups
If you can, make a mock up at home that helps visualise the final design, showing the front and side view. Please photograph these and upload the images. (OPTIONAL)


There is no cash prize, but there is a unique opportunity to see your design as part of Greenpeace´s MAKE SMTHNG Week.


  • The winner will be promoted by Greenpeace, MAKE SMTHNG and ARTS THREAD internationally. Greenpeace operates in 41 countries around the world, has 2.8 million supporters globally and over 20 million followers on its global social media channels as well as being a globally recognised organisation. Arts Thread reached 175k people on its newsletter and 85k followers on social media, many from the design industry.
  • The winner will be involved in bringing their design to life with Greenpeace’s team, their design made and installed as a key part of the 2018 MAKE SMTHNG Week campaign by Greenpeace - either via a virtual briefing or a workshop or traveling on the venue/in the Greenpeace office. The winning artist and their work will also be profiled by Greenpeace and the design process documented as part of MAKE SMTHNG Week 2018.
  • A shortlist of up to five entries will then be chosen whose designs for individual campaigning will be promoted to the international MAKE SMTHNG community by Greenpeace as part of the 2018 MAKE SMTHNG Week campaign.


  • Designers, artists and makers graduated from 2013 onwards from art and design subject resident globally + students studying any art and design subject globally.
  • Two or more designers or artists can apply together as one entry - as a group entry.
  • Any emerging designer, artist or maker worldwide with art or craft or design skills acquired outside of higher education.
  • Designers, artists or makers should not be employed by a company as a designer or maker or have started their own creative business more than 3 years ago.
  • The competition is not open to art and design professionals or to employees of Greenpeace or their families, agents and anyone else connected with this competition.
  • Aged 18+



Already got an ARTS THREAD portfolio? To enter, simply log into your account, upload your design as a new project, return to this page and select your project into the Competition box above.

New to ARTS THREAD? To enter, register to create an ARTS THREAD account and go to your email and click on the activation link sent to your email Inbox. Then log into your account, upload your project, then return to this page and select your project into the Competition box above.

You can create the work in any media, as long it can be submitted to and viewed on the Arts Thread site.


Complete our online Black Friday #MakeChangeNow Entry Form

Please ensure you have read the Terms & Conditions for the Greenpeace × Arts Thread Black Friday #MakeChangeNow Competition

ENTRY: Free to apply

(There is no need to create the physical idea at this stage)


  • A panel of experts from Greenpeace, the creative industries and the MAKE SMTHNG community will select a shortlist from all entries submitted.
  • The shortlisted entrants will be notified no later than October 20 2018 and may be contacted for clarity of their entry.
  • The winner and shortlist will be announced no later than October 22 2018.