There is a wall of textile waste forming. It is fed from textile waste that flows from factories and cascades from closets. This wall reflects a contrasting image to the flashy images that ooze from pages of glossy magazines and off the catwalks.
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!
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.
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
International Women’s Day on 8 March saw the world salute women everywhere, ranging from mothers and mountaineers to models. Redress used the occasion to champion the prolific contribution of women in fashion. From the people who make our clothes - 80% of all garment workers in developing countries are women – to the people who buy them – women account for around 60% of clothing sales – to those high-net worth women who are passionately investing their way into a more sustainable fashion industry – UBS suggest that by 2021 female investors could invest USD2.3 trillion into improving societal good.
In response to a found need for a more sustainable education in the fashion curriculum among educators and students alike, Redress has launched the EcoChic Design Award Sustainable Fashion Educator Pack; a ready to use resource to facilitate educators in introducing the topics of A Garment’s Lifecycle, and the design techniques of Zero-waste, Up-cycling and Reconstruction to their lessons. The packs are modular, providing presentations, exercises and project briefs for educators to weave into their current curriculums with ease. Find out more here.
Redress’ Education Director Kay Liu and EcoChic Design Award 2012 finalist Tiffany Pattinson were at the Swarovski Innovation Forum in Shanghai last week sharing with brands and design students about her journey towards sustainable fashion. We’re absolutely thrilled that since joining our competition that so many of our EcoChic Design Award alumni have gone on to establish their own sustainable fashion brands and also advocating a more positive future for the fashion industry. Find out about their brands here.
Earlier this year, we announced winners of the Ford Design Grant, an initiative created in partnership with Redress to support emerging designers with a bursary and the use of Ford’s sustainable materials for the development of their fashion projects. This month we caught up with the three stand-out winners from Finland, Germany and Hong Kong, and discovered vast creative diversity in their bold designs. The talented trio turned fabrics normally used in Ford’s vehicles into stylish men’s and womenswear, and even footwear, reminding us that when it comes to sustainability, designers are in the driver’s seat! See the full collection here on Facebook.
Clothing and styling: Isla Vainio
Photographer: Maria Hästbacka
Location: Espoo Museum of Modern Art, EMMA
Model: Kiss Kiss Forbidn
MUAH: Sonja Heinonen
The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 1st Prize Winner Kévin Germanier’s up-cycled collection is set to hit China’s leading luxury brand, Shanghai Tang’s, stores this September. The seven-piece womenswear capsule collection will be the brand’s first sustainable collection; up-cycled using their surplus textile stock, demonstrating that sustainability is part of a growing global trend to create fashion in a more environmentally sustainable way. Click here to find out more.
Redress recently welcomed Jill Grinda to the team as Executive Director. Jill is based in Hong Kong and is leading overall project development for Redress and The EcoChic Design Award, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, as well as driving business development. Jill also oversees the production, education and communications teams in Hong Kong and Europe and is driving forth Redress’ programmes around industry and consumer engagement, and educating emerging designers.
Mark your calendars! Frontline Fashion – Redress’ very first feature-length documentary – is premiering on Fashion One on Monday 29 August. This 50 minute feature follows 10 talented Asian and European emerging fashion designers determined to change the future of fashion for the better in the world’s biggest sustainable fashion design competition, The EcoChic Design Award. If you, your university, school or organisation are interested in hosting a screening event, get in touch!
Hong Kong, like many other cities in the world, is enjoying a boom in circular initiatives that keep our unwanted clothes in a circular fashion system and, crucially, out of landfill. But given our staggeringly high textile waste rates in landfill, we have a long way yet to go. So how do we scale up this flurry of circular initiatives? To explore this, we co-hosted a roundtable with H&M, attended by Hong Kong’s circular movers and shakers to identify ways to maximise their circular impacts. Check out the roundtable summary report here to see what can be learnt from circular thinking.
We are pleased to announce the launch of The EcoChic Design Award Alumni Network, a community bringing opportunities to sustainable fashion designers that are shaping the future of the fashion world. The Alumni Network has over 100 designers from across Asia and Europe ready to be matched with industry professionals who are increasingly interested in collaborating with inspiring sustainable designers in a number of ways that will cultivate bigger change. Read more here, and start posting opportunities here.
Redress is taking part in Global Giving’s Gateway Challenge which allows us to receive donations as we expand our fundraising activities globally. Wherever our supporters are in the world, they can now donate to make a mark on increasing the delivery of our highly impactful educational programmes, which are changing the next generation of fashion designers. As the global environmental crisis associated with the fashion and textile industry rages on, never before have we needed to cut waste out of fashion more. Please donate here.
We are delighted to announce new partners joining us for The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15. Ford Motor Company joins us as Gold Sponsor and Shanghai Tang join us as our Prize Partner. A full list of partners can be found here. We welcome these partners and look forward to another successful competition cycle!
Redress is now a proud non-profit partner of 1% for the planet, an alliance of over 1,100 member companies in 48 countries that give one percent of revenues to environmental causes. If you are interested in supporting Redress’ work through the 1% for the Planet platform please sign up here, and then select us as a beneficiary!
This month, Christina Dean was recognised as a Ming Pao Weekly local hero 2013 for her commitment to waste reduction in the fashion industry through The 365 Challenge.