Hong Kong-based fashion non-profit Redress launched a sustainable fashion design competition to inspire emerging designers from East to West to reduce waste in the fashion industry.
As you may have heard, fashion is one of the world’s most polluting and resource-intense industries, and our accelerating consumption and taste for fast fashion are contributing to environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and human rights abuses. Integrating sustainability thinking into massive global supply chains often presents significant challenges to fashion brands, but that does not mean it can’t be done.
Designers are the main influences when it comes to sustainability thinking and are thought to influence about 80-90 percent of the environmental and economic impact of a product through the choices they make in design sourcing and manufacturing.
The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition with a mission to educate and enable emerging designers to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste. In its fourth year, The EcoChic Design Award 2013 is expanding its search for creative design talent to Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, UK, France, Belgium and Germany.
The competition is open to designers and students with less than three years of industry experience. For many of these emerging designers, particularly in China, this is their first introduction to sustainable fashion design. They are challenged to utilize zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction techniques to create their collections. Following nine months of education, design and judging, eight finalists will be chosen by a panel of acclaimed judges to present their sustainable collections at Hong Kong Fashion Week in January 2014, for a chance to win “career-changing prizes that will further ignite positive change in the industry.”
“Sustainability in the fashion industry is an over-discussed but under-actioned issue,” says Christina Dean, CEO and Founder of Redress, the fashion NGO organizing the awards. “Not enough focus is being put on reducing waste. We must crack the industry’s problem of excessive waste production and lost economic value. The EcoChic Design Award 2013 fires-up emerging fashion designers from East to West to make tomorrow’s mass market and independent fashion industries sustainable from the source.”
The winner of the EcoChic Design Award will get to design a recycled textile clothing collection for global retailer Esprit. “The collaboration with Redress allows us to bring talented emerging designers with new innovative sustainable ideas to the forefront of the fashion industry by bringing their works to life,” says Charles Dickinson, Head of Global Quality Management and Sustainability, Esprit.
Second prize is an educational trip to learn how jewelry designer John Hardy integrates environmental and social sustainability into the core of design, production and business philosophies. A Special Prize winner will get to design a sustainable outfit for artist Sandy Lam to wear on the cover of a fashion magazine to “redress” consumers’ attitudes towards sustainable fashion. All semi-finalists and finalists receive a career-boosting educational package, including a combination of mentorships, promotional opportunities and a selection of sustainable fashion books and journals. Entries are open now until August 15, 2013.
Images courtesy of Redress