Asian Fashion NGO Redress Unveils A New Direction For Sustainable Fashion at Hong Kong Fashion Week
The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Winner Announced on the Runway
(Hong Kong – 6th July, 2012) – Redress marked a new direction for Asia’s fashion scene yesterday when they presented The EcoChic Design Award sustainable fashion design competition 2012 grand finalists’ and 2011 alumni’s textile waste reducing collections at HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week. With the support of Create Hong Kong sand Esprit, Redress and their local pioneers collectively proved that sustainable fashion is no longer a niche market but is increasingly becoming a norm in the fashion industry.
“The fashion industry creates excessive amounts of waste that causes environmental pollution. With China manufacturing approximately 40 percent of the world’s textiles and 30 percent of the world’s apparel, these negative impacts are all too close to home,” said Dr. Christina Dean, Founder of Redress. “Designers are thought to influence an estimated 80 percent of the environmental impact of a product and so designers must be part of the solution. Unfortunately there is a lack of understanding in Asia and this needs to change now.”
The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Finalists Compete for Career Changing Prizes
Having triumphed through six grueling educational months of sustainable design and theory, the six Hong Kong finalists revealed their six-piece minimal textile waste collections to conclude this high impact sustainable design competition.
The renowned panel of judges were Orsola de Castro (Co-Founder of From Somewhere and Estethica), Barney Cheng (Hong Kong Fashion Designer), Anderson Lee (Vice Chairman, Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium), Margaret Kutt (Project Manager Sustainability, Esprit) and Do Do Yeung (Publisher ELLE Hong Kong).
“I was impressed by the high level of dedication that the six finalists poured into their work,” said Barney Cheng. “They presented cohesive collections that not only had broad appeal but also demonstrated their creative approach to textile waste reducing techniques. It is inspiring to see tomorrow´s top designers pioneering with passion and purpose.”
After three challenging competition judging rounds Wister Tsang was announced as The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Winner. He will design a sustainable collection for Esprit using recycled textiles, which will be available for retail in Hong Kong in 2013. Wister will also go on an educational fashion tour of London’s pioneering sustainable fashion scene, in partnership with the British Council.
“I am honoured to win this award and contribute to Asia´s growing sustainable fashion movement,” said Wister. “This is a career changing opportunity for me and I’m excited about designing Esprit’s next sustainable collection and seeing my designs on the streets of Asia. I want to inspire other designers to have the creativity, conviction and courage to embrace sustainable fashion design,” said Wister.
“We are proud that Wister will design our next Recycled Collection for Esprit,” said Margaret Kutt, Project Manager Sustainability, Esprit. “With the growing disposable income of China’s emerging middle class catching the attention of many retailers, we believe it is crucial this new market is captured with responsibility and sustainability at its core. Our inaugural sustainable collection designed by last year’s winner, Janko Lam, is currently available in selected Esprit stores across Hong Kong. It is priced the same as our conventional lines, which is a breakthrough for us. Our continued collaboration with Redress and The EcoChic Design Award will help us drive sustainable fashion further into Asia’s retail sector,” she said.
Angus Tsui won The EcoChic People´s Award Hong Kong 2012 in partnership with the British Council, an award voted by the public following an extensive three-month online voting process. Angus and Wister will go to London for a unique educational tour of the UK´s pioneering sustainable fashion scene. During this cultural exchange trip, the winners will attend Estethica, London Fashion Week’s highly acclaimed sustainable fashion trade fair.
In addition to these two winners, the judging panel nominated Kelvin Wan as the winner of The EcoChic Most Promising Student Award Hong Kong 2012. Kelvin will attend Shanghai Fashion Week in October 2012 to see China´s design talent and watch his Mainland peers battle it out at The EcoChic Design Award China 2012 Grand Final fashion show.
All six grand finalists will receive a one-year membership with the online sustainable sourcing website www.source4style.com, as well as the opportunity to retail their own future sustainable fashion collections online at www.shopdescreateurs.com.
2011 Alumni Unveil Their Own Sustainable Brands
To nurture Hong Kong´s sustainable designers, Redress opened the runway up to their 2011 alumni to give them a platform to uncover this new era of sustainable fashion. The fashion show featured last year’s competition winner, Janko Lam, along with three other EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2011 Grand Finalists, Aman Cheung, Yuri Man and Eric Wong, who have further developed or launched their own sustainable brands since the competition’s debut last year.
Following the alumni fashion show Yuri Man was offered a mentorship with Orsola de Castro to prepare her application for Estethica, London Fashion Week’s sustainable fashion trade fair.
“Hong Kong fashion designers are uniquely positioned to alter China’s textile waste pattern,” said Orsola de Castro. “Once designers have the chance to experience sustainable fashion design, few turn back. I’m delighted to mentor Yuri so she can break into the international sustainable fashion scene and reduce the fashion industry’s negative impacts on the environment.”
Local Community Joins Sustainability Movement
In addition to gaining support from the fashion industry, local organisations and influencers, including Hong Kong Artist and The EcoChic Design Award 2012 Ambassador Sandy Lam, Create Hong Kong also showed their support for the sustainable fashion movement.
“With increasing global awareness on environmental issues, sustainable fashion design has gained growing attention in recent years. To consolidate Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s creative hub, Create Hong Kong is pleased to support The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 as it fosters creativity and care for the environment and promotes sustainable fashion as a viable option for the mainstream fashion industry,” said Mr Jerry Liu, Head of Create Hong Kong.
The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Project Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do7fFptHHhs&feature=youtu.be
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Mandy Suen Michel Wong
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About Redress (www.redress.com.hk)
Redress is an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. The organisation achieves this by educational sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research, certifications, retail collaborations and media outreach. This unique profile allows it to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, including 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 (www.ecochicdesignaward.com)
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 zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction 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 was held in Hong Kong in 2011. Currently the inaugural EcoChic Design Award China competition is underway and the China grand final will be at Shanghai Fashion Week in October 2012.
About Create Hong Kong (www.createhk.gov.hk)
The Create Hong Kong is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on 1 June 2009 to lead, champion and drive the development of the creative economy in Hong Kong. It co-ordinates Government 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 (www.espritholdings.com)
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 (www.britishcouncil.org.hk)
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.
Create Hong Kong’s disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
 China National Textile and Apparel Council
 UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database
 The European Commission