Kate Morris wins the EcoChic Design Award 2017

Fierce aesthetic and innovative techniques applied to a range of unusual and sometimes surprising materials combined to impress the distinguished judges, and dazzle 600 of the region’s most influential industry players and VIP onlookers last night at the EcoChic Design Award Grand final. British designer Kate Morris won first prize demonstrating the power of the circular economy, where nothing goes to waste. 

Kate will now join a team of fashion game-changers to create a collection for BYT, a new Hong Kong affordable luxury brand born from Redress. BYT’s inaugural up-cycled collection, which was designed by previous EcoChic Design Award competition winners, will retail in Lane Crawford and Barneys in New York, demonstrating Asia as a leading fashion powerhouse, and the changing ethical tastes of luxury consumers worldwide.

“I believe the fashion industry has reached a critical point and I want to part of the change – designing sustainable items of beauty for the masses is my dream and I am excited about winning this competition as it will me enable to contribute to a better future” said Kate. 

Kate will also see her winning collection, a bright and playful knitwear collection which mixed handcraft with technology, and focused on the three design techniques of the collection – zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction – in an installation at Lane Crawford, Asia’s leading iconic luxury department store.

Competition judge, Joanna Gunn, Chief Brand Officer, Lane Crawford, said “As part of Lane Crawford’s commitment to supporting young emerging talent, we are pleased to support the EcoChic Design Award and its cause of promoting sustainability in fashion with the next generation of designers.”

'Fresh Fight' - 2017 Finalists' Fashion Shoot

'Fresh Fight' - 2017 Finalists' Fashion Shoot

From the offbeat and the eccentric to the overtly playful, talented stylist Sean Kunjambu and internationally renowned photographer Wing Shya capture the mood of each of the EcoChic Design Award 2017 finalists’ unique waste reducing designs in a photoshoot to remember. The spotlight is firmly on what can be achieved when you mix boundless creativity, genuine innovation as well as a fresh fight for change in fashion and on the planet with beautiful, raw, waste materials. Emphasizing the aims of the competition, the rich, intricate textures of the collections are juxtaposed against everyday items that are often discarded too soon to demonstrate the detrimental effects of over consumerism and the scale of wastefulness, in Hong Kong and across the world.

REDESIGNING BUSINESS

REDESIGNING BUSINESS

Getting a hand on sustainable fashion design is one thing. But grasping sustainable business philosophies, which salute the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits, is another.  EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 Special Prize winner, Laurensia Salim, had the chance to stretch her business horizons as she claimed her winning educational prize of visiting John Hardy’s design and production facilities in Bali in June 2015.

EAST MEETS...WASTE AND IT NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD

EAST MEETS...WASTE AND IT NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD

[Throwback] It’d been a busy year for Kévin Germanier, our The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 winner. The media furore that followed him from Hong Kong’s runway back to his London home stayed with Kévin until his return to Hong Kong in September 2015 for his winning prize; to spend three intense months creating his up-cycled collection with Shanghai Tang. He hit the floor running, with his trademark charm and smiles in tow, to work shoulder to shoulder with China’s leading luxury brand’s team on each step of the process, from design, production, sourcing, marketing and merchandising, as he prepared his collection, and visions, for sale.

IS OWNING CLOTHES GOING OUT OF FASHION?

IS OWNING CLOTHES GOING OUT OF FASHION?

It took my 12-year-old son’s comment about the rapid-fire expansion of Spotify and Uber to make me appreciate the revolution in ownership that is taking place. We don't own our music, thanks to Spotify, and the largest taxi service, Uber, now allows its customers to share their taxi rides with strangers. Then there’s the largest accommodation rental company, Airbnb, which is raking in money by allowing homeowners to shack up with travellers, despite Airbnb not even owning any properties!

Up-cycled luxury

_DSC9418.jpg

Following her First Prize win for the EcoChic Design Award 2015/16, Polish rising star Patrycja Guzik returned to Hong Kong to embed herself in the Shanghai Tang design team to learn how sustainable fashion can be implemented on a commercial scale. Currently on showcase at the brand’s Duddell Street flagship store in Hong Kong, the resulting up-cycled capsule collection was created from surplus luxury fabrics from the brand’s previous collections. Pat took inspiration from Redress’ hometown, incorporating the rich purples and blues of our megalopolis’ night skyline, and playful ruffle details to emulate Victoria Harbour’s lapping waters into her designs. Click here to learn more about this creative collaboration for change. 

Get informed

The way UK consumers treat their clothes has changed over the past three years, a new study from not-for-profit organisation, WRAP has found, with positive shifts in behaviour in how clothes are handled helping to lessen the environmental impact of wardrobes. A key change since WRAP’s pioneering 2012 report is that the amount of clothing discarded in landfills has fallen by approximately 50,000 tonnes. And small changes in habits such as turning the heat down from 40 to 30 degrees when washing, or lessening the use of tumble-dryers and ironing, have already helped cut approximately 700,000 tonnes of CO2e from UK emissions each year. One way for designers, brands and retailers to make a difference is to enhance the durability and quality of the clothing they produce. Click here to find out how.

Join us in the 10 for 10!

Join us in the 10 for 10!

Redress is turning 10 this September and we are calling on you all to join us in celebrating! Since 2007, we’ve been working hard to cut waste out of fashion and, while we have achieved and witnessed some great milestones, our work is still critical. We will be running the 10 for 10 campaign throughout our anniversary month and are calling for everyone to join, whether an organisation, brand, school or an individual.

Get informed

With issues around the environmental and social impacts of our clothes ever more present in the media – just take the bad press that viscose has recently been getting as an example –  many of us are seeking to know more about the complex supply chains that mysteriously bring our clothes to life, and what we can do to make better choices. A new online course starting this week aims to lift the lid on the global fashion industry and will share a variety of simple techniques to aid self discovery, and on how individuals can press the fashion industry to value people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Don’t forget to check out our EcoChic Design Award Learn platform, aimed at designers but also relevant for the generally interested, where there are lots more resources including our updated list of books, films, blogs, organisations and much more to get informed.

Vote now to help new up-cycled brand BYT win funding

BYT_Michelle 2.jpg

Despite the fact that textiles are almost 100% recyclable, fashion still leaves behind piles of textile waste. China alone generates 26 million tonnes of textile waste every year. That’s equivalent to 11,400 buses filled with textile waste every single day! Co-founded by our very own Christina Dean, new fashion brand BYT is building on the 10-year legacy of Redress and making it their mission to transform the way that fashion is made and worn. Co-founder and CEO Michelle Bang has been nominated for the Chivas Venture, a fund supporting start-ups that are creating positive change and a better future. We’re calling for YOUR help to secure critical funding to ensure that this affordable luxury up-cycled fashion brand becomes a flying success. Simply click here to vote every week until 12 June, to enable them to secure a share of US$250,000. The fund is shared to finalists according to the number of votes they receive soyour every vote is literally worth gold to them! Please spread the word among your network to support BYT too. Thank you!

Get informed

The Pulse of the Fashion Industry report projects that apparel consumption will rise by 63%, to 102 million tons by 2030, highlighting the urgent need for the fashion industry to address its environmental and social footprints as it continues to push even further beyond the limits of infinite resources on our planet.

Published by The Global Fashion Agenda in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, and launched this month at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the report draws on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index and is based on research from industry experts.  The analysis provides measurement of the current health of the industry – its "Pulse Score". The overall pulse of the industry is very weak – scoring a mere 32 out of 100 – but the report has good news through proofs-of-concept that show that sustainability initiatives can present a viable financial model for individual businesses already today. In fact it reports that there is an unrealised potential €160 billion per year opportunity for the global economy. 

Read the full report here to find out more.

A graphic from the report shows average Pulse Scores by Impact Area and Performance Quartile

Meet a new generation of designers ready to disrupt fashion

In our biggest search for talent to date, with strong support from over 80 fashion institution partners around the world, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce the EcoChic Design Award 2017 finalists! Representing Asia, Europe and USA, these 10 designers are now ready to bring to life their "design from waste" concepts that wowed our judges. Transforming a variety of waste materials that include industry samples and cut and sew waste, along with secondhand garments including kimonos and wedding dresses, the finalists will demonstrate the potential of tapping into the lucrative market of latent textile waste - in China alone the market value of recycling secondhand clothing has the potential for revenue as high as RMB60 billion. Find out about each of the designers here.  

The People's Choice

Israeli designer Lia Kassif wowed the public to clinch the title of EcoChic Design Award 2017 People’s Choice! Her waste-reducing designs, combining military uniforms and wedding gown waste received the majority of votes cast for our 24 semi-finalists’ applications, who collectively received over 4,000 online votes during May. Along with the accolade, Lia will receive a copy of Bloomsbury’s "The Handbook of Design for Sustainability" by Stuart Walker to help further guide her on a path to sustainable fashion design, and she joins the 120+ strong group of EcoChic Design Award alumni working to change the face of fashion. We love Lia’s passion and are looking forward to seeing more from her in the near future!

The EcoChic Design Award 2017 semi-finalists

This year Redress set out on a pursuit for emerging sustainable design talents that spanned Asia, Europe and the USA. During this three-month search, we were overawed by the diverse range of fashion design students and fashion designers who were determined to prove that they have what it takes to cut waste out of fashion. We received a record-breaking number of applications from an impressive 46 countries. 

Click here to meet the 24 semi-finalists!

Get informed

Hot off the press this week, the Fashion Transparency Index 2017, reviews and ranks 100 of the biggest global fashion companies on the information they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts.

The research found that even the highest scoring brands on the list, none of which scored more than 50% overall, still have a long way to go towards being transparent. The good news? Increased demand from consumers is working - more brands than ever are sharing policies and commitments - but with an estimated 150 billion items of clothing delivered out of factories annually worldwide, there is a long way to go before we truly know who made our clothes. 

The report is a must read with clear action points for citizens, brands and retailers as well as government and policy makers. We are with Fashion Revolution in the belief that the first step towards positive change is greater transparency.

Bring it on!

Image credit: Fashion Revolution