Finalists of 2015 EcoChic Design Award Turn Upcycling Into an Art Form

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Sara Kiani from the United Kingdom created this dress and pleated jacket from secondhand hotel linens.

“I became deeply shocked at having followed the big environmental and social issues caused by the fashion industry,” Kiani said. “But I realized that I can turn my career around for something better. I want to be proud of my job, not ashamed. I want to be a part of changing the future of fashion.”

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Also from the U.K., Annie Mackinnon produced a pleated top and trousers using secondhand bedding and end-of-roll textiles.

“I am against the stigma that sustainable garments need to be plain, practical or simple,” she said. “To me, sustainable design means making informed choices and developing more environmentally-friendly means to express creativity, minimizing waste, and increasing recycling.”

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Germany’s Amy Ward crafted her pom-pom playsuit from discarded yarns and secondhand garments.

“I want to make sustainable fashion accessible to everyone. I want it to be fun and engaging and not critical,” Ward said. “I want to be part of the new revolution of designers who rethink the process of fashion design and who have a genuine and positive impact.”

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Wang Di, a student at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, made a wing-tipped top and trousers, from discarded textiles.

“Growing up and working in our hugely waste-generating fashion industry has made me develop a habit of utilization ever since I was young,” she said. “So now, designing sustainable fashion and facing these waste challenges not only feels like the right thing to do, but it has also boosted my design sensitivities even further.”

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Hong Kong’s Tsang Fan Yu, who is informed by Zen philosophy, created a tasseled dress from end-of-roll fabrics.

“When the Zen philosophy is combined with sustainable fashion, the concept and design style all enhance the quality and reflection of the product,” she said. “As a fashion designer I believe less is more.”

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