ECO-CHIC DESIGN AWARD UPDATE – 10 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
The NGO Redress EcoChic Design Award has announced the 10 finalists for the fifth edition of it’s sustainable fashion design competition, one of the most anticipated sustainable fashion events in the world. Students and emerging fashion designers were given the challenge to use a combination of three listed sustainable design techniques to create a ready-to-wear collection of clothing:
Zero-waste – a design technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage. Approximately 15 percent of textiles intended for clothing ends up on the cutting room floor. When textiles are wasted so too are the resources, both natural and human labour resources, which were invested and imbedded into the textiles. It is vital to address the source of the problem
by maximising the use of textile materials and by minimising the wastage. Adopting a zero-waste design approach reduces textile waste and the demand on natural resources.
Up-cycling is the recycling of a material into a product of higher quality. Millions of tonnes of textiles are wasted every year during textile and garment production. By up-cycling textile waste, you can prolong the textile’s lifecycle, slow down unnecessary textile production and reduce the demand on natural resources. In addition, by up-cycling damaged and redundant textile waste materials, you can give these waste materials additional value as products of higher quality. This prevents them from being downcycled or discarded.
Reconstruction is the process of making new clothes from previously worn garments or preformed finished products. Today, we consume about 60 percent more clothes than we did 10 years ago. As fashion consumption rises, so does waste. Many of the clothes entering landfill are still in good quality and represent valuable materials. In the UK alone, an estimated £140 million worth of used clothes enter landfill every year.
The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition challenging emerging fashion designers to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste. The 2014/15 cycle is open to designers in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
the event has strong support from the Hong Kong government agency, Create Hong Kong, and boasts a prestigious panel of judges, including Orsola de Castro, Co-Founder of From Somewhere and Curator of Estethica, Dorian Ho, Fashion Designer, Anderson Lee, Vice Chairman of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium, Joseph Li, Chief Designer of Womenswear at Shanghai Tang and Yvonne Luk, Chief Editor of WGSN China.
The winner will design their own capsule collection using up-cycled textiles for Shanghai Tang, and in doing so become the first emerging fashion designer to work with China’s leading luxury brand.
For more on the prizes click HERE
The finalists will now begin the creation process for their proposed six-piece collections which will be created from textile waste sourced from secondhand stores to factories extras and rejects and using three sustainable design techniques and present them at the Eco-Chic design finals at Hong Kong Fashion Week in January 2015.
Amanda Andersson from Sweden is a freelance designer whose design technique is also reconstruction. She believes the future of Fashion relies on it’s sustainability;
“…As a designer, I have the responsibility to come up with new ideas for the fashion industry; not just what it looks like but how it works. I want to be a sustainable fashion designer because not being one, or not even trying to be one, means to me that you don’t value your given power as a designer.”
Amandah’s collection will be made by reconstructing old t-shirts and shirts in order to create her draped and bias cut collection, whilst believing designers need to enforce their power to create change and create a more ethical fashion industry.
Aya, Xiating Qi who graduated from ESMOD Beijing this year, became interested in fashion design from redesigning unwanted clothes and upon realising the negative impact wasteful design has on the environment she is now determined to work only as a sustainable fashion designer.
From the UK and currently studying in Central Saint Martins BA womenswear course, student Kévin Germanier is using the up-cycling design technique.
“It feels amazing to be able to create clothes and at the same time to protect the planet… I think sustainable fashion is only at the beginning of its real potential and I want to be a sustainable fashion designer in order to experiment, discover and share its unique aspects with others around the world.”
From Hong Kong Cher Carman Chan, a Designer at The Igloo Studio. Her design technique is Zero-waste and up-cycling.
Laurensia Salim from Singapore is currently studying at Raffles Design Institute Singapore, her choice of design technique is Up-cycling and reconstruction and she takes her inspiration from the sea and it’s creatures.
Veronica, Hsiao Huei Lee is also a student at Raffles and, using the up-cycling design technique, she will reconstruct traditional garment and use natural fabric dyes and end-of-roll organic cotton to create her collection inspired by traditional dress.
“Thinking about the negative impacts that the fashion industry has and the positive power that we designers have in reducing pollution makes me want to be a sustainable designer. At first, sustainable fashion was challenging for me, but I’m now really enjoying it after learning how great sustainable design techniques and fabrics can be.”
Noëlla Tapasu Koy from France puts an old French proverb to use in her approach to sustainable design.
“sustainable fashion creates jobs, conserves natural resources and thereby creates a closer relationship between politicians and citizens. An old French proverb says « everything is good in the pig » which means when you kill a pig everything can be used and there is no waste. It’s the same for fashion. There is no waste, just fabrics awaiting a second wind to become an exceptional piece. Modern fashion needs this type of sustainable idea.”
Kirstine Marie Hansen is from Denmark and currently studying at KEA, Copenhagen School of Design and Technology. Her chosen design technique is Up-cycling and reconstruction and she states…
“, the production of fashion has exploded rapidly and many people are not aware of the effects that our everyday life and fashion consumption has on millions of people, animals and on the environment. I want to be a sustainable fashion designer to inspire people to live a more conscious life without compromise. For me, this means using our resources in the best way possible and not compromising future generation’s ability to meet their needs.”
Yvonne, Tien Chun Tsai from Taiwan is a Student at Fu Jen Catholic University and her design technique is Up-cycling and reconstruction.
“I think the artist, Phil Hansen said it perfectly ‘Embracing the limitation could actually drive creativity’.”
Victor, Shing Hong Chu from Hong Kong is the competition’s Wildcard Finalist. He is a student at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his design technique is Zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction. Of his experience in Fashion Design he says:
“I have had the opportunity to understand the process of manufacturing clothes and I have witnessed the amount of materials being discarded. Seeing first hand how fashion is damaging our environment, I started to reflect on my role as a designer. I think we should not solely be familiar with the design techniques and usage of fabrics, but also understand that both have a huge impact on the environment.”