Local designers create clothing using fabrics made from vegetable fibres and recycled polyester
Living healthy and taking care of the environment is something that extends to our shopping habits too, but when it comes to clothing and fashion, it’s not always easy to know how to make the best eco-friendly choices.
Currently, the Macau Fashion Gallery is presenting Fashion Rejuvenation – Exhibition of Eco-Friendly and Functional Fashion featuring the work of eight local fashion designers working with a variety of innovative eco-friendly and functional fabrics.
As the Macau Fashion Gallery points out in its introduction to the exhibit, the fashion industry “has become the world’s second largest source of pollution”, so any efforts to make it more sustainable and less wasteful are indeed welcome.
Some of the designers chose to create clothing using fabrics made from vegetable fibres and recycled polyester made from plastic bottles. Others chose to use fabrics that have been enhanced through technology, making them more long-lasting and durable, including water-repellent, moisture-wicking, mechanical stretch, cooling and quick-drying fabrics.
“Using recycled materials is good for the industry. Traditionally, making clothes has led to the waste of a lot of resources, but by using recycled fabrics, we can save resources and also promote the concept of environmental protection,” notes designer Connie Wong, who used fabrics supplied by the Nan Ya Plastics Corporation in Taiwan, made from recycled plastic bottles.
“Nowadays we see the emergence of many new materials, which are both multi-functional and environmentally friendly,” adds another participating local designer, Jack Lam. “Today, we hardly ever mend clothes any more. When they are torn or worn out, we just throw them away. But if the clothes are made from eco-friendly materials, at least we are lessening the impact on the environment by producing less garbage.”
Two of the dresses from the exhibition, and featured in our fashion shoot on the following pages, were created by local designer Nicole Tam, founder and owner of ANtitled Ltd., using performance fabric weaved in Hydrophilic copper-peptide + Hydrophilic cool yarn.
“The hand feel is quite heavy, but it’s good to have the fabric structure between knit and woven, so I could use it in two different silhouettes,” explains Nicole. “Plus this fabric is in Gen-Z Yellow, so it is great to showcase the trending colour of 2018. I used laser cut finishing with a custom design pattern and garment construction that allows for ventilation and leaves the wearer with a pleasant performance and feeling for all events.”
Before starting her own label, Nicole worked for a Fortune 500 apparel company from 2010 to 2015 and was trained to use recycled materials in her designs. She recently graduated from Hong Kong PolyU Master’s Degree program in Art Fashion and Textiles (Global Fashion Management) which also exposed her to working with the latest textile technology.
“Designing practical garments with ethical materials was my ultimate goal when I started my business,” she notes. “I think it has been difficult for the fashion industry to embrace ethical materials, however there are some conscious consumers who appreciate ethical fashion such as contemporary fashion brand Stella McCartney or sports brands like Nike and Adidas, which are offering some products that are made with recycled materials.”
Nicole describes the features of her two designs: “The ‘Coachella dress’ - the set of a three-in-one bikini with a long skirt - is perfect for going to outdoor music events, while the ‘24/7blazer dress’ featuring a cascading collar design, is minimalist and sophisticated, suitable for all occasions.”
“The laser cut pattern design is inspired by the shape of a pataca coin, married with the concept of digital currency. The creation of the laser cut digital pataca coin pattern is intended to promote the Macau fashion industry and culture.”
Nicole recently graduated from Sands China’s Local Small, Medium and Micro Suppliers Support Programme, and has recieved several apparel design awards in Macau in the last couple years. She will represent Macau at the 26th Dalian Cup Internatioanl Youth Fashion Design Contest in mid-September this year.
The dresses featured on the slideshow - designed by Nicole Tam - ANtitled Ltd. - are currently on display at the Macau Fashion Gallery as part of the Fashion Rejuvenation - Exhibition of Eco-Friendly and Functional Fashion, and have been chosen by MFG x CPTTM to be showcased at Sands Macao Fashion Week (MIF) at the Venetian Macao later in the year.
Outfit: 24/7 Waterfall Blazer Dress
Location: La Chine, The Parisian Macao
Outfit: Coachella Dress
Location: The Parisian Macao
Styling / Designer @ANtitledltd (Nicole Tam)
Hair / Makeup FB Ceci Lei
Model Deniz N @modelgenesis
Photographer Eduardo Martins
Assistant John Diaz