Fashion NGO Redress hosted a week of high profile multi-stakeholder sustainable fashion activities in Hong Kong, the epicentre of Asia’s fashion industry, to provide sustainable fashion solutions for the global fashion industry.
Setting the scene for this international dialogue was the Grand Final of The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 sustainable fashion design competition, where talented winners were announced, and four days of cross-industry dialogue covering design, sourcing, retail, marketing and education, in order to invigorate the urgent need for change.
“The fashion industry’s catastrophic contribution to today’s environmental crisis is continuing unabated. Change, which requires multi-stakeholder collaboration, is urgently needed. Hong Kong is a hub for Asia’s fashion industry in terms of production and now, owing to Asia’s economic growth, consumption. We are powerfully positioned to drive the industry into accepting that we can’t carry on with business as usual,”said Christina Dean, Founder and CEO, Redress.
Winners’ prizes catalyze further change
Ten talented emerging designers originating from Asia and Europe battled it out at The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 at HKTDC World Boutique Hong Kong Fashion Week on 21 January to a 500 influential industry and a global live-streamed audience. This educational competition targets designers, who are thought to influence 80-90 percent of the environmental and economic costs of a product, and imbeds sustainability into the future of the fashion industry.
Kévin Germanier from UK won the 1st Prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 with Shanghai Tang and will now design the first up-cycled collection for China’s leading luxury brand, for their global retail.
“We are delighted to welcome Kévin Germanier to our design team in Hong Kong to create their up-cycled collection for Shanghai Tang’s global customers and in doing so provide a reflection that mirrors the sustainable innovation in China’s fashion industry,” said Raphael le Masne,Executive Chairman, Shanghai Tang.
“Making it to the final of The EcoChic Design Award has been an exceptional experience. Winning this prize is an unprecedented opportunity for me as an emerging designer to create a collection that represents the future of fashion design, production and consumption,” said Kévin Germanier from UK.
Victor Chu from Hong Kong won the 2nd Prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 with The Langham, Hong Kong and will now design textile waste-reducing uniforms for Hong Kong’s legendary five star hotel, The Langham, Hong Kong’s T’ang Court restaurant.
Laurensia Salim from Singapore won the Special Prize:The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 with John Hardy and will now enjoy an educational trip to their design and production workshop in Bali, Indonesia to learn from their sustainability leadership.
“Sustainable design can’t survive without a holistic sustainable business philosophy and this award helps emerging designers to integrate sustainability in business into the heart of their careers,” said Damien Dernoncourt, Non-Executive Chairman, John Hardy.
International multi-stakeholders unite to drive global change
On 22 January, Redress co-organised a roundtable discussion with the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) about integrating sustainability into the fashion curriculum, with participation by thought-leaders from government, academia, manufacturing and design.
Growing alumni demonstrating the competition’s legacy
In recognition ofThe EcoChic Design Award’s previous participating designers, the week’s activities also highlighted the ongoing successes of Redress’ alumni’s sustainable brands, thereby also demonstrating the competition’s broader impact. Redress selected four alumni from Hong Kong’s impressive pool of design talent to exhibit their textile waste reducing brands at HKTDC Fashion Week World Boutique from 19-22 January.
To celebrate their achievements, Redress partnered with celebrity artist, Kary Ng, who selected her favourite alumni from an increasingly talent-spotted pool of alumni. Designer Angus Tsui won the opportunity to create a signature sustainable piece for Kary, using her own secondhand garments, which she will wear at a concert and in a leading fashion magazine shoot.
“I was really impressed with Angus Tsui’s perception-changing approach to sustainable design. His use of bold designs with interesting silhouettes made him stand out as the designer for my award,” said celebrity artist,Kary Ng.
Bringing it home
Following the Grand Final, a selection of the finalists’ minimal waste collections will now feature in a touring exhibition that will travel back to the finalists’ home regions to showcase sustainable fashion further.
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