Victorinox has opened a public online vote to choose the best sustainable design submission to its "Time to Care" competition. The call for entries has been open since January 2011, and the seven best were chosen by jury in May. Throughout June, July, and August, the top seven designs are open to a public vote. The ultimate winner will be awarded prize money at a ceremony in October, and work with Victorinox to bring the design project to fruition.

The year-long project was conceived to foster awareness of sustainable design and innovation. It is delivered in two main parts; a sustainable design competition allowing a platform for young designers, and a traveling photography exhibition looking at leaders in sustainable design. The seven worldwide finalists include:

  • the Easy Pod Washer; a snap-off natural soap wrapped in biodegradable paper that can be used for laundry instead of chemical washing powders that cause pollution, from the College of Design & Innovation Tongji University, China
  • E-jewelry; jewelery made from reclaimed precious metals from electronic waste, aimed at sending less toxic waste to the landfill, from Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, USA
  • the Sea Chair project; a machine fitted to a trawler that collects marine litter to manufacture chairs, from London's Royal College of Art
  • Leaf; an 18 foot (5.5 m) tall leaf-like structure that collects condensation from the air via a solar-cooled surface, to produce 20 liters (5.28 gallons) of potable water per day, from Maeer's Mit Institute Of Design in India
  • the Waterless Toilet, which separates solid and liquid waste and converts it into organic compost, from the CIDI UNAM in Mexico
  • the Fortué sustainable stove, which negates the need for wasteful and polluting solid fuel with the use of a methane digester-created biofuel, from University of Technology Sydney
  • the SafetyNet, a selective trawler fishing net that reduces by-catch via escape rings designed to release juvenile and non-target fish, from London's Royal College of Art

The jury is made up of innovators and designers from around the world, whose work also formed the subject matter for the Swiss Army Victorinox exhibition stand at the world jewelery and watch exhibition, Baselworld 2011. The photos and videos of their contributions to sustainable design are now traveling the world as a photography exhibition.

The pocketknife manufacturer Victorinox claims to have a long history of environmental responsibility. Product materials are reportedly heavy metal-free, products are fully-recyclable, and the company's office buildings run independent of crude oil.

Other recent awards that also aim to inspire innovation include the Google Science Fair, and the $300House project to house the world's poor.