Emerging Hong Kong fashion designers are challenged to create mainstream fashion with low environmental impact.


[Hong Kong – Feb 6th, 2012] – Redress is launching their EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong sustainable fashion design competition that challenges emerging Hong Kong fashion designers to create mainstream fashion with minimal waste. The competition provides designers with sustainable design tools to take them through five months of design and theory that culminates at a grand final runway at the Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2012. The winners will design a sustainable collection for Esprit made using recycled textiles and go on an educational fashion tour of London in partnership with the British Council.

“Everyone is a fashion consumer yet few people consider the underlying environmental impacts embedded into our clothing, including textile waste, water pollution, chemical and energy use. Through The EcoChic Design Award, we are ultimately addressing these negative environmental outcomes by going to the source of the industry to educate emerging designers,” said Christina Dean, founder of Redress.

“I think most of us don’t realize that designers influence an estimated 80 percent of the environmental impact of a garment. With our current environmental crisis, it is crucial to encourage and educate emerging fashion designers about their important role in making the fashion industry more sustainable. The EcoChic Design Award creates a platform for emerging designers to break the boundaries of conventional fashion and I’m excited to see how this will translate into more sustainable wardrobes in Asia,” said Sandy Lam.

More broadly, the competition raises awareness about Hong Kong’s high textile waste rates. Daily in 2010, an average of 234 tonnes of textiles were discarded by industry and the public into Hong Kong landfills, according to Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department.

Calling local designers to break the boundaries of conventional fashion

The EcoChic Design Award puts the spotlight onto Hong Kong’s emerging sustainable fashion design talent, creating a platform to expand Asia’s sustainable fashion landscape. The competition is open to fashion design students and designers with up to five years industry experience residing in Hong Kong.

“I’m excited to be an EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong judge and to encourage local fashion designers to creatively incorporate the waste reducing design principles, zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction, into their designs. I am pleased to support emerging sustainable fashion design talent so that in tomorrow’s fashion industry, sustainability becomes the norm, not a niche. This competition creates a competitive catalyst to achieve this and I can’t wait to judge the grand finalists’ looks on the runway,” said fashion designer Barney Cheng.

The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 expert panel of judges (in alphabetical order)

Anderson Lee (Executive Director, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium), Barney Cheng (Fashion Designer), Do Do Yeung (Publisher of ELLE Hong Kong), Margaret Kutt (Manager for Sustainable Projects, Esprit) and Orsola de Castro (Co-founder of ‘From Somewhere’ and ‘Estethica’).

Winning prizes to foster sustainable fashion design

The six grand finalists will showcase their minimal waste designs to a highly acclaimed fashion industry audience at HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week in July 2012. Most notably, the grand final winner will design a sustainable collection for Esprit made using recycled textiles, which further demonstrates the competition’s substantial influence on Asia’s fashion industry and retail sector.

“Esprit is proud to partner with Redress for the second time on The EcoChic Design Award. We are committed to sustainability and this partnership allows us to develop our own sustainability agenda whilst also nurturing the next generation of Asia’s sustainable fashion designers. We look forward to welcoming this year’s EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Winner into our design team to create one of Esprit’s future sustainable fashion collections for retail,” said Margaret Kutt, Manager for Sustainable Projects, Esprit.

The awards are

1. “The EcoChic Design Award in partnership with Esprit and the British Council”

To design a sustainable collection for Esprit made using recycled textiles and an educational fashion tour of London.

2. “The EcoChic People’s Award in partnership with the British Council”

This winner is voted online by the public and the winner will go on an educational fashion tour of London.

3. “The EcoChic Most Promising Student Award”

A visit to Shanghai Fashion Week.

As well as this, all six grand finalists will have their sustainable design careers enhanced by receiving a one-year premium membership with online sustainable sourcing site and have the opportunity to retail their own sustainable fashion collection online at


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About Redress (
Redress is a Hong Kong based NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. We achieve this via educational sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research and media outreach. Our unique profile allows us to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders. We work with multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organizations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organizations.

About The EcoChic Design Award (
The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition inspiring Asia’s emerging fashion designers to create mainstream clothing with minimal waste. Designers are educated with the theory and techniques to enable them to create desirable sustainable clothing via reconstruction, up-cycling and zero-waste design techniques. The competition puts Asia’s emerging sustainable design talent in the spotlight, creating a platform for the next generation of designers to break the boundaries of conventional fashion forever.

The inaugural EcoChic Design Award China 2012 competition launches in March 2012.

About Create Hong Kong (

The Create Hong Kong is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on 1 June 2001 to lead, champion and drive the development of the creative economy in Hong Kong. It co-ordinates Government policy and effort regarding creative industries, focuses Government’s resources catering for the promotion and speeding up the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and works closely with the trade to boost the development of creative industries.

About Esprit Holdings (
Esprit Holdings Limited is a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Index, MSCI Hong Kong Small Cap Index, FTSE All-World Index for Hong Kong. Its subsidiaries are engaged in the retail and wholesale distribution of quality lifestyle products designed under its globally recognized Esprit and edc brands. The Group operates over 1,100 directly managed retail stores worldwide and distributes through more than 11,000 controlled-space wholesale points-of-sale internationally, occupying total selling space of over 1,000,000 m2 in more than 40 countries.

About the British Council (

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build opportunity and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the Arts, English, Education and Society, including science and sport. In 2010-2011, we engaged face to face with over 30 million people and reached nearly 600 million. Our first office in China opened in 1943 and we work in five cities in China. In Beijing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy. In Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing we operate as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulates-General respectively. In Hong Kong we are known as the British Council.