MODERN CHINA CHIC
As soon as she comes down from cloud nine, Guzik will be re-packing her bags and moving back to Hong Kong, which is emerging as a big influencer in sustainable fashion thanks to Redress, the fashion nonprofit behind the annual competition, to design an upcycled collection for Shanghai Tang, China’s leading luxury brand.
“As the curators of modern China chic, it says a lot to the rest of the industry and our consumers that Shanghai Tang is translating Redress’s international search for emerging sustainable design talent into an upcycled collection for our global customers,” Raphael le Manse de Charmont, executive chairman of Shanghai Tang, told Ecouterre.
“Our experience working with the last cycle’s winner inspired us about how business can do the right thing,” he added
During her time in Hong Kong, Guzik will also be designing a “show-stopping sustainable” outfit for Ma using textile waste–reducing methods.
Ma will flaunt the outfit in a fashion shoot with a leading Chinese fashion publication in a bid to normalize sustainable fashion for the world’s fastest-growing consumer market.
Despite Guzik’s talent, the competition was fierce. After a neck-to-neck race, with several other finalists a mere couple of points behind her, Spain’s Cora Maria Bellotto took home the second prize, which includes a mentorship with sustainable fashion guru Orsola de Castro
Collectively, the 10 finalists from Asia and Europe made apparent to a heavyweight audience, which included judges de Castro, Susie Lau (of Style Bubble fame), and Elle China’s Stephanie Zhuge, that emerging designers are literally putting waste back into fashion.
Using zero-waste and upcycling techniques, the designers brought new life to waste textiles from a variety of sources, including discarded hotel linens, unraveled secondhand jumpers, and end-of-roll industry surplus. From those humble origins rose works of wearable sculpture with lavish details born from floral appliqués, painted embellishments, pleating, and wool-and-leather patchwork.
The EcoChic Design Award is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition for emerging fashion designers focused on waste reduction—stay tuned for details of the next cycle.