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EcoChic Design drives fashion towards sustainable future
Jan '14
The EcoChic Design Award 2013 Grand Final fashion show concluded three days of international multi-stakeholder dialogue and discovery to drive the fashion industry towards a more sustainable future.

Redress organised the diverse events between 13-15 January in Hong Kong, starting with The Redress Forum 2014, an original hands-on designer challenge and impactful industry seminar, and culminating with The EcoChic Design Award 2013 winners being announced on the runway at Hong Kong Fashion Week World Boutique.

‘We united East and West and connected today’s leaders with tomorrow’s innovators to spotlight the urgent environmental issues caused by the fashion industry that must be addressed and catalyse lasting change. We can’t be complacent whilst waste and pollution accumulates and natural resources are depleted. The industry must accelerate action to harvest the rewards,’ said Christina Dean, Founder and CEO of Redress.

The fashion industry currently relies on heavy use of resources. It is estimated that the natural resources that go into fibre production every year now demand approximately 132 million tonnes of coal and between six-and-nine trillion litres of water.1 Meanwhile textile waste continues to be a growing concern worldwide; in Mainland China, the total annual production of pre and post-consumer textile waste is estimated to be more than 20 million tons.

With the severity of these environmental impacts comes an urgent need for comprehensive global approaches from multi-stakeholders. Fashion designers play a pivotal part; it is thought that decisions made in design are responsible for 80-90 percent of a product's environmental and economic costs.

Designers transform waste to runway showstoppers

The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition challenging emerging fashion designers with less than three years’ experience to create mainstream appeal clothing with minimal textile waste.

This fourth cycle, with major sponsorship from the HKSAR government agency Create Hong Kong, brought together eight finalists from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, UK, France and Germany to present their sustainable collections to an influential audience at Hong Kong Fashion Week World Boutique.

The judges were Orsola de Castro, Co-founder of From Somewhere and Co-founder and Curator of Estethica, Johanna Ho, Fashion Designer, Margaret Kutt, Division Manager Woman Collection & Trend, Gloria Lam, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Hong Kong and Anderson Lee, Vice Chairman of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium.

First prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2013 in Partnership with Esprit Winner was Karen Jessen from Germany with her innovative use of the reconstruction design technique. Karen will now design the 2014 ‘Recycled Collection by Esprit’ for Esprit’s global retail in mid 2014.

‘This eye-opening experience sharpened my perspective about the powerful position I have as a designer. This week has made me more determined to have a sustainable influence on the fashion industry,’ said Karen Jessen.

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