Waste-reducing fashion NGO, Redress officially opened The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 cycle of their sustainable fashion design competition for emerging designers alongside their Fifth Year Anniversary Exhibition at Hysan Place in Hong Kong.
The event served to celebrate the competition’s growth since its inauguration in Hong Kongin 2011, when it accepted entries from Hong Kong only, to now including over 100 countries across Asia and Europe. As the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition that challenges designers to reduce and reuse textile waste, the competition’s legacy is putting waste back into fashion.
‘The EcoChic Design Award is a powerful platform that is driving change in the fashion industry. Over the last five years, we’ve introduced sustainable fashion education to thousands of emerging designers, influenced global fashion brands to produce sustainable collections and reached millions of consumers,’ said Christina Dean, Redress Founder ‘But whilst we pause for momentary celebration, we can’t be complacent because textile waste is still a critical environmental and social issue and our work to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be agents of change is far from over.’
The competition promotes the importance of rethinking fashion design education and the use of minimal waste design techniques as solutions to the growing issue of textile waste that is generated by the fashion industry and consumers globally. In China alone, the total annual production of pre and post-consumer textile waste is estimated to be around 26 million tonnes.
‘The EcoChic Design Award’s five year anniversary highlights the significant advances that Redress has achieved in raising the agenda for waste reduction. It has inspired the fashion industry’s emerging talent to see waste as an attractive resource and highlights a viable future for sustainable fashion,’ said Mr Jerry Liu, Head of Create Hong Kong. Create Hong Kong is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and has sponsored the competition since 2011.
Announcing the 2015/16 competition cycle
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16is now accepting entries from designers with less than three years’ experience who live in any Asian or European country until the deadline on 15 August 2015. In their bid to cut waste out of fashion, applicants must incorporate one or more of the three sustainable design techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction into their designs.
An expert line-up of judges will select 30 semi-finalists in early September 2015 and the resulting 10 finalists, announced on 15 September, will then come to Hong Kong in January 2016 for the Grand Final fashion show at HKTDC Fashion Week. They will also take part in a series of educational workshops including a design challenge with Ford Motor Company, Gold Sponsor of the competition.
Chelsia Lau, Chief Designer, Ford Motor Company said, ‘Ford is proud to be partnering again with Redress this year. Design and sustainability are key goals of the competition as well as drivers in the development of our global Ford vehicles. This partnership gives us the opportunity allows us to push the boundaries of sustainable design into new realms of creativity, collaboration and innovation.’
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 continues its emphasis on prizes that support designers’ career development in sustainable fashion. These include:
First prize: To design a capsule collection using up-cycled textiles for Shanghai Tang
Of partnering on this prize, Shanghai Tang Chairman, Raphael Le Masne de Chermont said, ‘As China’s leading luxury brand, we believe it is important to embrace sustainable design and collaborate with multi-stakeholders, from NGOs to emerging design talent, so as ultimately to influence consumers. The fashion industry ought to be more and more eco-responsible.’
Second prize: A six-month mentorship with distinguished sustainable fashion designer,Orsola de Castro
Special prize: To design a sustainable outfit for Hong Kong Supermodel, Janet Ma
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About The EcoChic Design Award (www.ecochicdesignaward.com)
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 puts emerging sustainable design talent in the spotlight, creating a platform for the next generation of designers to cut waste out of fashion. The inaugural The EcoChic Design Award was launched in Hong Kong in 2011. Previous cycles include Hong Kong 2012, China 2012 and the 2013 and 2014/15 cycles, which were open to eight and ten regions across Asia and Europe respectively.
About Redress (www.redress.com.hk)
Redress is the NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. They achieve this via educational sustainable fashion competitions, shows, exhibitions, seminars, research and by a recycled textile clothing standard. They collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders including multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organisations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organisations.
About The Create Hong Kong (www.createhk.gov.hk)
The Create Hong Kong is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on 1 June 2001 to lead, champion and drive the development of the creative economy in Hong Kong. It co-ordinates Government policy and effort regarding creative industries, focuses Government’s resources catering for the promotion and speeding up the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and works closely with the trade to boost the development of creative industries.
“The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organizers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Communication and Technology Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.”
China Association of Resource Comprehensive Utilization (2013).