Ecouterre is an official media sponsor of the 2013 EcoChic Design Award.
Eight shocked and excited gasps rang through Redress’ Hong Kong office this week as eight emerging fashion designers in Asia and Europe answered our phone calls to hear that they had made it to the grand final of the 2013 EcoChic Design Award sustainable fashion design competition. Less audible, were the relieved exhales from the competitions’ 24 influential judges and Redress’ team, who have masterly guided the fourth cycle of The EcoChic Design Award in search of sustainable designers living in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The 2013 EcoChic Design Award finalists are:
- Alex Law (Hong Kong)
- Xinyin Dai (Mainland China)
- Tsung-Chin Chiang (Taiwan)
- Phee Ng, Swee Yee (Singapore)
- Catherine Hudson (U.K.)
- Clémentine Sandner (U.K.)
- Louise de Testa (France)
- Karen Jesse (Germany)
These eight designers, each of whom have less than three years’ industry experience, out-shone 20 other semi-finalists in our highest quality intake since we launched the competition in 2011. Moving from relative novices to notorious, they have just over two months to bring their minimal textile waste design concepts from the open application into show-stopping and fashion-turning reality. Each finalist will create a six-piece sustainable collection to present at Hong Kong Fashion Week in January 2014, where the prizes will be announced.
Each designer will use one or more of the three waste-reducing sustainable design techniques—zero waste, upcycling, and reconstruction—in their catwalk creations. In addition, much of the collections will be created using textile waste itself, including cut and sew, end-of-rolls, factory excess, and secondhand textiles.
But the competition doesn’t just aim to change the way the emerging generation of designers create, design and source. It also pushes the sustainable fashion options in the mainstream fashion market.
The 2013 EcoChic Design Award winner will design a recycled textile collection for Esprit’s global retail, taking the competition’s mission to reduce waste in the fashion industry into the hearts and homes of fashion consumers around the world.
“I am delighted to witness first-hand the increase in knowledge of sustainable design and the high level of originality and skills from the finalists. Their innovation is quite an inspiration for the development of sustainable fashion in the global mainstream fashion market,” says Margaret Kutt, project manager of sustainability at Esprit and one of the judges.
The second-prize winner will go on an educational trip to globally-leading sustainable jewelry brand John Hardy’s design and production facilities in Bali, to experience firsthand the company’s design, production and business philosophies.
The special-prize winner will create a showstopping sustainable outfit for artist Sandy Lam, which will be featured in Hong Kong Elle’s 2014 green edition to “redress” consumers’ attitudes towards sustainable fashion.
We’ve witnessed a strong gear-shift in this year’s finalists’ work and as a result we are awaiting a high caliber of catwalk outfits that will change the way the fashion industry views sustainable fashion. These designers have what it takes to prove that sustainable fashion can be the norm, not a niche.