The fashion NGO Redress’s biggest search in history for emerging sustainable fashion designers in Asia and Europe has culminated with the unveiling of the ten designers who have made it as The EcoChic Design Award finalists.
The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create high appeal clothing with minimal textile waste. Designers are educated with the theory and techniques to enable them to create sustainable clothing via zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction. The competition creates a platform for the next generation of designers to cut waste out of fashion.
The talented ten out-designed a record number of applications received from 40 countries. Now these ten designers, who represent seven countries across Asia and Europe, will continue their ambitions to create a more sustainable fashion industry by producing six-piece collections of zero-waste, upcycled and reconstructed clothing for the Hong Kong Fashion Week runway in January 2016, where career-changing prizes, including designing an upcycled collection for international label Shanghai Tang, will be awarded.
Redress founder Christina Dean remarks, “The world is finally waking up to the horrific environmental and social impacts caused by the wasteful fashion industry. This is a crucial time to act because fashion consumption is at an all time high and this is driving up textile waste levels, and the associated pollution, to shocking levels. Through The EcoChic Design Award, we are educating designers around the world to reduce waste through sustainable design innovation to inspire a more positive future for the industry. The change we need is in their hands.”
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 Finalists are Tsang Fan Yu of Hong Kong, Wang Di of Mainland China, Esther Lui of Hong Kong, Pan Wen of Mainland China, Belle Benyasarn of Thailand, Sara Kiana of Denmark/UK, Annie MacKinnon of UK, Cora Maria Bellotto of Italy/Spain, Patrycja Guzik of Poland, and Amy Ward of UK/Germany.
“I was extremely impressed with the level of thought put into the initial sketches by the designers as well as the propositions of use of fabrics – be it using unconventional materials, zero-waste patterns or secondhand textiles. This competition shows that when designers are still gestating their ideas at the beginning of their careers, and they become exposed to the concept of using limited resources and coupled with their imagination, you get some really exciting ideas that are truly innovative,” said international judge, Susie Lau.
Competition prizes include a one-week immersive sustainable fashion trip to Hong Kong, where finalists will take part in an educational design challenge and other design workshops and influential networking with top industry professionals.
The first prize winner will design their own named capsule collection using up-cycled textiles for Shanghai Tang, China’s leading luxury brand, and will later return to Hong Kong to work with Shanghai Tang’s creative team from the collection’s design, production to marketing.
The second prize winner will be coached by distinguished fashion designer Orsola de Castro and receive expert and targeted support to prepare his or her career in sustainable fashion for the competitive market of attracting fashion media, buyers and sales.
The Special prize winner will design a sustainable outfit for supermodel Janet Ma to reveal at a high profile event and in a top fashion editorial.
The remaining 20 semi-finalists will now join Redress’s increasingly impactful community of alumni, which include over 80 designers from the competition’s five-year history. More information on Redress’ alumni can be found at http://www.ecochicdesignaward.com/alumni/.
Redress is the NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. Redress achieves this via educational sustainable fashion design competitions, shows, exhibitions, seminars, research and by a recycled textile clothing standard. Redress also engages in various consumer campaigns to educate consumers about clothing consumption and waste. Collectively, Redress collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders, including multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, brands and retailers, schools and universities, private sector organisations, multilateral organisations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organisations.