EUROMONITOR INTERNATIONAL ASIA PACIFIC had valued apparel and footwear as a 1.7 trillion e-commerce industry. This makes it second to the highest sought after product by consumers from all over the world. Due to fast and mass production, its affordability drove consumers to buy more than they used to. The outcome? One person throws an average of 70 pounds of shoes and clothing annually according to EDGEXPO. This made the clothing and textile industry the second largest polluter in the world next to oil.
DIGITALIZATION of man’s behaviour favours research to an extensive and expansive level. Through the data acquired, researchers are able to interpret simple information with a consequential massive impact. Let’s consider specifically man’s behaviour as a consumer of clothing. Are the consumers to be blamed? the producers? Who really is at fault? And what can we do about it?
Redress aims to recreate sustainable fashion wear out of recyclable materials. Basically, they want to “reuse” hence the name, “redress” materials that crazily needs landfill space as waste. Its founder, Christina Dean had worked hard to create global awareness of the crazy statistics textile and clothing had given out now that we buy 60% more of it than usual.
It is quite alarming to understand the cause behind “Clothes Pollution”. “Redress” means “to wear again”. CREATE Hong Kong, in full support of Redress, gave away more than three awards to the emerging designers on Centerstage HK’s second day of greatness. Innovative fashion on steroids was the theme of the game. Read on for the names of the winners, where they’re from and what ideas were in their minds as they formed their collection.
REDRESS DESIGN AWARD PROPAGATING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
Eleven years ago, when Redress launched the Redress Design Award, its founder had one aim. This is to encourage emerging fashion designers and stylists to be conscious of the waste textile and clothing are producing.
Timo Rissanen, author of Zero Waste Fashion Design, mentioned that about 15% of fabric intended for clothing ends up in the floor during the process of creating the wardrobe. This adds up to the 70% per person clothing waste so voilà! In 2013, 15.1 million tons of textile waste were generated according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Through the Redress Design Award we educate designers, educators and consumers around the world that our significant impact is possible because of the support from Create Hong Kong. Together, we have firmly put Hong Kong on the map as a sustainable fashion hub. Meanwhile, our other circular economy and used clothing take back programmes continue to catalyse the industry and inspire behaviour changes with consumers.
– Christina Dean, Founder and Board Chair, Redress
Basically, Redress Design Award will be given to the designer who can come up with a collection from recyclable materials. Examples of which maybe and are not limited to rubbish, plastic, leather or another textile materials. The élite judges, where some of them came with special awards and privileges, feasted their eyes on transformed waste products into delightful couture modelled down the runway.
HERE’S A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT THE DESIGNERS
After filtering applications from 55 countries, Redress shortlisted the finalists into 11. Here they are with my review for their collection:
TESS WHITFORT from Australia had won the Redress Design Award 2018.
As she opened the show with her collection, it was hard for the judges to forget how versatile her designs were. She used a lot of end-of-roll textiles and eco-inks to hand paint her textiles. I agree that her collection depicted the real meaning of sustainable fashion with the leather jacket, denim romper jumpsuit and the off-shoulder laid back vibe yellow top. The choices of black and yellow made it vibrant, funky and fun.
SARAH JANE FERGUSSON represented Japan but was born in Britain.
“The idea of being part of more responsible community within the fashion industry is both exciting and inspiring.”, according to Sarah. As inspired by the Japanese concept of Mottainai which roughly translates “too good to waste”, her collection remains disciplined and elegant. Her choice of pastel colors for her collection scored a ’10’ for me. I guess Cara G agrees with me for she solely awarded Sarah with the special award. Cara G, the model and new host of Frontline Fashion 3, will wear a piece from her collection that is rewarding in itself.
Following Tess’ collection, it neutralised the funk and took the audience into something serene and unequivocally beautiful. She did this by reconstructing vintage kimonos, obi belts and printed trousers. It was quite intriguing how she chose to lead her collection into an Asian vibe and not a westernised one. Nonetheless, it was a reflection of her idea and her designs walked down the ramp superbly.
MELISSA VILLEVIELLE represented France and focused on the beauty of knitwear.
With a line of collection that talks ‘Parisian’, I sensed patriotism to Melissa’s personal touch on her designs. She reconstructed pellets, recycled plastic beads and had used second-hand textiles. Her ribbed designs had introduced her clothes’ appearance with depth ad how the knit takes on a new dimension and shapes the body. To that, Melissa encourages the consumers to concentrate on quality and not the price as a leading cause in buying clothes.
I want consumers to make an emotional connection with each piece and, in turn, feel empowered to curate and restore their clothing – and demand more transparency from the industry. – Melissa Villevielle
JESSE LEE of Hong Kong won two awards that night, a mentorship award from Orsola De Castro and the Redress Design Award Best Prize!
Jesse became creative around bed sheets coming up with oversized cotton dress and wide-legged trousers. He used wastes such as vintage wool, damaged umbrellas, vintage lace curtains laundry bags, shopping bags, pre-loved socks and upholstery. Even medals won by the designers’ brothers were maximally added to his design. With my husband’s many medals, this gave me an idea.
With all of these infused into Jesse’s fun vibe, he was able to tickle the audience with an original sense of fashion. It’s full of characters, it’s powerful and yet all-in-all playful. The wearer is left functional with much space to move in. It got good flow in the runway and as for recycled materials used, it was rebellious in a fun way!
WEI-YU HUNG from Taiwan swept me off my feet with her entire collection.
If I were to judge, I thought his collection remained structural, wearable, lovely and sustainable. The trending pink salmon highlighted her usage of bark lace. This was handmade by the designer where the old bark of a tree was repeatedly hammered and washed before tanning the material to soften it. This outlayed a lace like material that added drama to the layers Hung Wei-Yu wanted to make with his idea of a westernised Kimono. A little trivia about the designer’s inspiration was the movie, “The Flowers of War”. Where themes of war, humanity, of innocence and sacrifice, are told through the story of different female Chinese groups who hid in a church from Japanese soldiers during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
GANIT GOLDSTEIN from Israel joined technology to her ideas which gave birth to an expansive creativity.
She believes that there are enough clothes in the world. She noticed this as she worked with kinds of materials, which she loved doing best, to create striking, textured dresses in jewel-like tones. This was done using the traditional techniques of Ikat in which warp or weft threads are tie-dyed and then shredded. Ganit’s colour combinations are refreshing navy and Burgundy. Colors that I am now attracted to.
By combining craft and technology, we can create beautiful, sustainable, new clothes. It is our responsibility, as fashion designers, to make the world a better place through our work. – Ganit Goldstein, Fashion Design student, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Designs
CJ MARTIN of the Philippines created his collection with icebergs of the Arctic for an inspiration.
Climate change greatly affects our world to a great extent so CJ found the inspiration here and played along with the colors of the arctic, ice blue, white and black. Seeing the collection as a whole, I thought it gave out a minimalist vibe. It stays true with the involvement of used denim pants and secondhand home furnishings.
In creating his faux fur, he relied on the distressing tubes of polyester. This is for additional texture and movement for the knee-length skirts that is interestingly confident. The up-cycled panelled skirt compliments it. She made the skirt out of reconstructed denim jeans and used curtains.
“Sustainable fashion is about innovating with what is in excess while protecting depleted resources; it’s about creating a positive balance.”, says CJ. Despite this beautiful statement though, there are more garbage in the Philippine that meets the eye.
LYNSEY GIBSON of the United Kingdom gave the show a little peek of something sexy with interesting cropping of the old style European commoner’s wardrobe.
Watching the TV series in Netflix, Reign, the collars and bustiers looked catchy and familiar. Lynsey interestingly transformed it into an edgier and more daring representation. Despite feeling antagonistic towards the process of creating fashionable pieces, Lynsey regards sustainable fashion deeply involving her own expression of frustration. While she transforms this disturbed energy into something productive as far as coming up with a revolutionary collection, she takes in the role of questioning a creation to its full potential. How can it be more beautiful, more useful, more sustainable and more holistic? She aims to answer this at every garment she makes so that clothing waste would be reduced. She believes that if it’s possibly sustained, the need for more consumption will become redundant.
In today’s current climate, I believe there should only be the option of being a sustainable designer.- Lynsey Gibson
SEERAT VIRDI released her collection of wearable pieces that reflected how humble this designer is.
She graduated in Fashion Design in New Delhi and later founded her own label Miesu. With a lot of experience and as she had become established, she admits learning a lot from applying for the Redress Design Award. What’s great about her design is that it is made up of removable pieces and repurposed. Embellished cuffs can turn into necklaces. Flower details into brooches. Sleeves are detachable and used with other pieces to create new silhouettes.
Seerat’s clothes flowed confidently to all the people who Redress aimed to have. It owned versatility but remained delicate and flowy which exuded extraordinary beauty and elegance.
I believe she had given justice to another key in winning the Redress Design Award besides sustainability. It is that she turned her zero-waste project to be more economical by giving each piece double purpose.
LUCIA ALCAINA representing Spain impressed me the most for using the most obstructive and most indestructible form of waste, plastic!
She came up with the most fabulous design for rain coats and hats out of this waste material. In addition, textile scraps, solidified liquid silicone, end-of-roll materials and organza scraps completed the creation of her collection. She confidently used contrasting colors and she made opposite hues compliment a look. Refreshing collection she came up with and ultimately, this is my favourite.
LEA MOSE SVENDSEN represents Denmark with an interesting perspective seeing sustainable fashion as a way to express political point of view.
Her fondness for punk and counter cultural style hailed activism and gender neutrality reflected her line of clothes. The models showcased the collection down the runway carrying the energy and the rebellious vendetta Lea Momse Svendsen holds against fast mass production. She finds the labour intensive process for a specific piece to be created of utmost importance. Hence, she is pro ‘pre-order’ of garments. With a strong belief of pushing creation on-demand. Her aim is to encourage buyers to buy a product out of love and not impulsiveness. We can avoid wastage this way.
For many people, clothes off the runway are somehow intimidating. They think it’s expensive and yet, here is Redress showcasing pieces. With the help these emerging designers who are not only promising but are committed, the supposed waste materials were transformed to something useful. Getting involved in saving the earth from unnecessary clothing and textile waste makes a lot difference in the world..
REDRESS PRODUCTS AND ALUMNI
While the judges’ picked their personal favorites for some special awards and the actual Redress Design Awardees, the show continued on. Showcasing garments from the Redress Design Award Alumni, Redress stood up for its cause and every body was in awe. With a strong pursuit to transform fashion into something environmental friendly instead of being one of the highest pollutants, the alumni collection inspired all spectators on a global scale with the help of Redress’ live stream reach via social platforms covering the finale of the event.
Designers’ Collection by Angus Tsui, Seer the Label, Germanier, Pat Guzik, Claire Dartigues and Lia Kassif graced us all with a wonderful line up with 2 creations representing each label. Redress had served as a platform, where designers that stylised a look in good faith of preserving mother earth’s remaining life. The winners of this year will join the following advocates in pledging for a zero-waste fashion. Together, they will stand as the most challenged yet fulfilled designers for creating nothing into ‘something’. If you don’t call it art in its most potential form, I don’t know how else to put it for you.
ANGUS TSUI, the People’s Choice Winner in 2012, released the ruffle bomber jacket and sculptural ruffle dress.
An oversized Lantern Sleeve Coat, oversized long shirt, panelled corset and shorts is the second one. Being known for his ability to create something functional, just as how he transformed old Cathy Pacific uniforms into red laisee limited red pockets, Angus Tsui got everybody served with his innovative designs.
CHER CHAN, on of the SS19 Collection finalists in 2014/15, designed for SEER THE LABEL.
It presented white ruffle sleeve shoulder top with peplum hem paired with quilted cotton shorts and a white puffy tiered dress. Cutie leather totes sealed the style with umph!
KEVIN GERMANIER, First Prize Winner for Redress in 2015/16, designed GERMANIER.
It modernised the bling bling effect with up-cycled t-shirts from industry waste and secondhand jeans. He embellished it with up-cycled broken and damaged beads using a silicone embroidery technique. The high-waist pants are a 10!
PAT GUZIK, another First Prize Winner in 2015/16, called his collection, “We Come From A Place“.
Up-cycled wool knit coat and trousers embellished with rug making technique looked rebellious yet, very comfortable. Ending the collection with a zero-waste t-shirt up-cycled from industry surplus with up-cycled print shorts and leggings led the audience to believe that this “place where they came from” does exist. And they are possessive of it.
CLAIRE DARTIGUES, one of the finalists in 2017 released THE HERITAGE COLLECTION.
The hand-embroidered print “cache-couer’ top up-cycled from linen surplus textiles and vintage sheets, and up-cycled linen skirt first. Then up-cycled linen dress made from industry surplus was dainty, wearable and sexy in a subtle way. Dress to impress speaks aloud with the last to leave the runway from this collection.
LIA KASSIF who won the second prize from The R Collective in 2017 gave a finish of THE MILITARY COLLECTION.
Out came first, a wavy quilted epaulette bomber styled with military deconstructed jacket lining. And the second one a reversible contrast epaulette belted trench jacket styled with original military trousers. Lia Kassif made this collection exclusively for Lane Crawford. Military uniform waste from China, USA, and Israel were reconstructed for both looks.
These brilliant designers came together for a greater good. Designs hugged the bodice perfectly. This is a proof that still remains. That no matter how technology takes over the fashion industry, the runway will always showcase this like no other way. And ain’t that just the beauty of it all!? The catwalk, the thumping music, every kind of people. Regardless of gender, race and most especially, financial status which Redress aimed to have made this event great. Moreover, the drive for these designers to go for the Redress Design Award was admirable. They believe in the cause and they know that it is the best way to help. And so it’s worth competing for.