In 2010, an average of 234 tons of textiles were discarded into Hong Kong’s landfills - an astounding statistic that has inspired the launch of The EcoChic Design Award China 2012. Presented at Shanghai Fashion Week, the event (and the training leading up to it) were created to inspire China's emerging fashion designers to make mainstream clothing with minimized environmental impact.
It is Mainland China’s first dedicated sustainable fashion design competition focusing on textile waste reduction - all of the looks were created using textile waste and one or more of the sustainable design techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction.
After two competitive judging rounds, Gong Jia Qi was announced The EcoChic Design Award China 2012 Winner. The looks she created rely on reconstruction, whereby new clothes were constructed from previously worn garments or preformed products. Her prize is to design a sustainable collection for Esprit made using recycled textiles for retail in China in 2013.
The competition was launched by the sustainable-fashion advocating NGO, Redress, who along with their pioneering local fashion partners and the support of Esprit, have been educating emerging Chinese fashion designers to create a more sustainable fashion industry for China, the world’s major garment and textile manufacturer.
“The fashion industry creates excessive amounts of waste that causes environmental pollution. With China manufacturing approximately 40 percent of the world’s textiles and 30 percent of the world’s apparel, these negative impacts are all too close to home,” said Dr. Christina Dean, founder of Redress.
The Grand Final saw ten finalists compete in the inaugural competition. The emerging fashion designer finalists showcased their textile waste-reducing designs to an audience of over 500 industry representatives.
Says winner Gong Jia Qi, "I think sustainable fashion is something more than just the expression of beauty or satisfying consumer demand. It transforms design into a strategy that can help solve environmental problems."