Like many other small towns in the U.S., Burlington, N.C., home to Glen Raven headquarters, had once been a thriving business, entertainment and social center. Small towns are beginning to recognize the potential in revitalizing the urban core to create an atmosphere that will attract artisans, craftspeople and entrepreneurs.

The Boost Challenge, a collaborative effort between the Concept Gallery and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, was based on helping to support this effort while illustrating concepts that could be applied to any community in the U.S. Several of the winning submissions were displayed in the Concept Gallery.

The winning entry by CrisAnne Fernandez and Samantha Kokinchak was inspired by Burlington’s heritage as a hosiery and textile center. “Homespun” comprises several installations, including a Loom Archway of five fabrics woven together and large Yarn Balls placed strategically through the city, all of which point toward an appreciation of textile history.

First runner-up, “The Living Wall,” emphasizes living plants and greenery that bring innovation to life. The wall is constructed using various Glen Raven materials, drawn heavily from the company’s geogrid line of soil reinforcement products. Students Lauren Cristofalo and Devlin Chrnelich emphasized personalization and customization in their design which featured an additional online community to serve as an information resource for town residents.

Designed by Christina An and Elissa Yourth, “The Contour” is designed as an all-inclusive aesthetic, interactive space reflective of Burlington. Large fabric structures in distinctive curved shapes result in a cohesive feel to a public space, while incorporating historic imagery and raw wood, reflective of Burlington’s industrial and craftsman heritage.