By Chere Di Boscio
Fashion designing is notoriously wasteful: without knowing exactly how many people will buy a garment, many can go unsold. Plus, even the best designs can’t always conform to fabric size perfectly, resulting in a floor full of scraps. However, the EcoChic Design Awards competition, organised by Hong Kong NGO Redress, challenges emerging designers to be more sustainable by cutting waste. This can be done in various ways: through zero-waste techniques, up-cycling or reconstructing existing garments.
This year, applicants living in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, UK, France, Belgium and Germany submitted their minimal-textile waste designs to a panel of influential judges who then marked them on sustainability, marketability and originality. “This is the first year we have opened the doors to designers in Europe and Asia and we have definitely seen the bar rise. We have had very some fantastic, high quality applications from designers who are showing great understanding of our design techniques,” says Christina Dean, Director of Redress.
The EcoChic Design Awards judges are a who’s who of sustainable fashion: Orsola de Castro, Co-founder of From Somewhere and Co-founder and Curator of Estethica, Johanna Ho, Fashion Designer, Margaret Kutt, Project Manager Sustainability of Esprit, Gloria Lam, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Hong Kong and Anderson Lee, Vice Chairman of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium.
Eight finalists from Asia and Europe have been selected by the panel as the semi-finalists in the battle to win The EcoChic Design Award 2013. They are: Alex Law (Hong Kong), Xinyin Dai (Mainland China), Tsung-Chin Chiang (Taiwan), Catherine Hudson (UK), Louise de Testa (France), Karen Jesse (Germany), Phee Ng Swee Yee (Singapore) and Clémentine Sandner (UK).
These finalists will present their sustainable collections in a catwalk show at Hong Kong Fashion Week in January 2014 and compete for the winning position.
This is an excellent opportunity for the young all finalists–they will receive a career-boosting sustainable fashion educational package, in line with Redress’ mission to support emerging designers’ transition to become sustainable fashion professionals through the EcoChic Design Award. Gifts for the finalists include a selection of sustainable fashion books from Laurence King, Thames & Hudson and Bloomsbury, exclusive membership benefits from sustainable sourcing site, Source4Style and promotional opportunities on Redress’ platforms.
Moreover, from February to March 2014, Redress will present a touring exhibition featuring the eight finalists’ minimal waste designs. The exhibition will travel to Paris and other cities across the competition’s regions, to bring the finalists’ work home and to engage the public with sustainable fashion.
You can be sure that as soon as these designers hit Paris, we will be there to cover not only that, but of course, the full competition process.
Keen to enter for next year, or see the previous entries? To see more, please click here.