Ecouterre is the official media sponsor of the 2012 EcoChic Design Award.
China ushered a new era of sustainability late last month when it hosted the nation’s first mainstream eco-fashion design competition. Organized by Redress, a Hong Kong-based nonprofit dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of the Asian fashion industry, the 2012 EcoChic Design Award China presented the textile-waste-reducing designs of 10 finalists to an audience of over 500 industry representatives. While all the designers showed great promise, the top prize went to Gong Jia Qi, a student at the Raffles Design Institute in Shanghai. Gong, who was inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, reconstructed five garments using unsold stock from Taobao, one of China’s leading online retailers. We checked in with Gong to talk about her experience, what sustainability means to her, and how she intends to parlay her win—with a little help from Esprit—into a full-fledged career.