EcoChic Design Award Challenges Chinese Fashion Designers to Face Local Problems

EcoChic zero waste graphic© Redress

Textile waste arising from the fashion industry may be the last thing on most consumers’ minds -- but it’s the first for Hong Kong based NGO, Redress.

In 2010, an average of 234 tons of textiles were discarded into Hong Kong’s landfills -- daily. "This amount is surely a small blip compared to the vast amount of textiles discarded in China, the world’s largest garment manufacturer,” said Christina Dean, Founder of Redress.

This pre- and post-consumer textile waste is now the heated and competitive focal point in Redress’ sustainable fashion design competition, The EcoChic Design Award, which is currently tearing through emerging Chinese fashion designers’ sketch books and fashion universities.

The Competition

Janko Lam EcoChic Award© Redress

The competition puts Asia’s new sustainable fashion design talent in the spotlight, creating a platform for the next generation of designers to break the boundaries of conventional fashion.

Two separate EcoChic Design Award competitions are now on in Hong Kong and in China, for which Treehugger is proud to be a media partner. Emerging fashion designers and students in the region are being challenged to create mass-market appeal clothing with low textile waste, via zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction design techniques.

Each competition lasts for five grueling design months that are packed with judging rounds, seminars, exhibitions and workshops. The competitions will culminate in two runway shows, in July in Hong Kong and October in China, where Asia’s champions of sustainable fashion design will be announced.

Says Christina Dean:

We specifically chose to launch the EcoChic Design Award in Hong Kong and China to deal with our local problems. China is the manufacturing hub of the world and the turnover of textiles through our rampant manufacturing rates to satisfy consumers globally is mind-blowing. As well as this, emerging fashion designers here in China are not receiving sufficient education on how to design sustainably.

Judging and Awards

Orsola de Castro EcoChic Judge© Redress

The competition provides a competitive catalyst, overseen by an influential line-up of judges, like Orsola de Castro (pictured above), co-founder of From Somewhere and Estethica -- and some powerful prizes to change this.

The EcoChic Design Award Winners will design a capsule collection for Esprit using recycled textiles, taking the experience from the competition into mass-market retail.

The EcoChic People’s Award Winner, as voted by the public online, will win an educational fashion tour of the UK’s top sustainable fashion designers and London Fashion Week’s Estethica, in partnership with the British Council.

Winning Designs

EcoChic winning designs by Janko Lam© Redress
. Zero-waste look by Janko Lam.

Last years’ inaugural EcoChic Design Award Winner was Janko Lam, whose collection wowed judges and audiences.

EcoChic designs by Janko Lam© Redress
. Upcycled blue piece and reconstructed brown piece by Janko Lam.

Founded in 2007 (previously called Green2greener) Redress is an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry through educational sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research and media outreach.

EcoChic Design Award Challenges Chinese Fashion Designers to Face Local Problems
The sustainable fashion design competition is encouraging Asia’s emerging fashion designers to create mass-market clothing with minimal textile waste.

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