Environmental NGO Redress hosted the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition
Environmental NGO Redress hosted the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition – the Redress Design Award – at Centrestage 2018 in Hong Kong in September, with 11 emerging fashion designers from around the world putting their work on the runway, showing off high-end fashion with minimal textile waste.
Celebrating their 10-year anniversary in 2017, Redress is a pioneering Hong Kong based NGO working to reduce textile waste and promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Asia’s first NGO focused on the fashion industry was founded by Christina Dean in 2007.
Based entirely on waste and leftover fabric, including secondhand clothing industry surplus, vintage kimonos, umbrellas, sofa fabric and furniture offcuts (transformed to bark lace), the clothing on the runway impressed the 1,000-strong audience of industry elites, influencers and VIPs.
“The scale of textile waste across the fashion value chain is staggering…an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is now generated each year,” commented Christina Dean. “These visionary young designers represent the future of the industry, where waste continues to grow as a valuable resource for the industry to embrace, rather than hide away as a dirty secret. That future is now and it’s time to embed this new model for design as standard.”
Australian designer Tess Whitfort won First Prize with her bold, punk inspired collection made from up-cycled industry end-of-rolls, and designed with complex zero-waste patterns.
Whitfort will now join The R Collective, a bold new social impact business, to design a capsule collection for retail. With previous collections stocked in Lane Crawford Hong Kong and Barney’s New York, The R Collective offers a springboard to further develop a holistic business experience across all areas, from design to marketing, in the world of sustainable fashion – a world that is rapidly becoming more mainstream.
Eighty percent of a product’s environmental impact is decided at the design stage. Thus, designers have enormous power to look beyond aesthetics and to change the current fashion environmental narrative. Something crucial in the context of the industry’s current waste crisis. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, out of the 53 million tonnes of material used for clothing production every year, 87 percent is landfilled or incinerated after its final use.
Through dynamic programmes, Redress works directly with designers, brands, manufacturers, industry professionals, educational organisations and consumers, to foster innovative models and drive growth towards a new circular economy for fashion.
From that mission, the Redress Design Award was born in 2011. The sustainable fashion design competition inspires emerging fashion designers to create mass-market clothing with minimal textile waste. Designers are educated with the theory and techniques to enable them to create sustainable clothing via reconstruction, up-cycling and zero-waste design techniques.
The Redress Design Award puts emerging sustainable design talent in the spotlight, creating a platform for the next generation of designers to break the boundaries of conventional fashion forever.
The 11 finalists from this year’s award will join a talent pool of 157 alumni designers (including 32 emerging brands) from previous competitions, who are leading the charge to put waste at the forefront of design. With major sponsorship from Create HK, The Redress Design Award 2019 will open in early January, building on the momentum for change across the fashion industry.
The Redress Design Award 2018
Other major prizes awarded include
Second Prize with Orsola de Castro: Jesse Lee, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Best Prize Winner: Jesse Lee, Hong Kong
Cara G：Sarah Jane Fergusson，
Special Prize with Cara G Winner: Sarah Jane Fergusson, Japan
Alumni Prize with kapok Winner: Claire Dartigues, France
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Hong Kong fashion designer Kevin Ho graduated from the London College of Fashion, majoring in womenswear. In 2015, the young designer won in the Party & Evening Wear Category of the Hong Kong Young Fashion Designers’ Contest (YDC) for his debut collection The Crossing.