The EcoChic Design Award, the competition developed and organized by NGO Redress for emerging sustainable fashion designers in Europe and Asia, has announced the ten finalists for its 2015/2016 cycle. The design award witnessed a record number of applicants from over 40 countries this cycle,
including newcomer countries such as India, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Iran and Israel.
The ten finalists, who represent seven countries across Asia and Europe, include two students studying at Central Saint Martins, Annie Mackinnon and Sara Kiani respectively and Amy Ward, a British designer who is studying at Esmod Berlin. Together with the other seven finalists, the designers will continue with their ambitions to help create a more sustainable fashion industry by producing their own textile-waste-reducing collection to be presented during the Hong Kong Fashion Week in January, 2016.
"I was extremely impressed with the level of thought put into the initial sketches by the designers as well as the propositions of use of fabrics - be it using unconventional materials, zero-waste patterns or secondhand textiles," commented Susie Lau (Susie Bubble), one of the international judges for the competition. "It’s interesting to see ideas of reducing waste being put into practice in a multitude of ways. This competition shows that when designers are still gestating their ideas at the beginning of their careers, and they become exposed to the concept of using limited resources and coupled with their imagination, you get some really exciting ideas that are truly innovative."
The EcoChic Design Award current competition cycle received unprecedented interest from over sixty university partners who were interested in joining to promote the competition to their students and alumni, including Central Saint Martins, National Institute of Fashion Technology in India and Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in Mainland China. Designers with less than three years' industry experience and students were asked to design a textile waste-reducing women's wear collection.
"Industry and people are questioning how the fashion industry has become the world’s second most polluting industry, after oil. This is a crucial time to act because fashion consumption is at an all time high and this is driving up textile waste levels, and the associated pollution, to shocking highs," added Christina Dean, Founder, Redress. "It’s imperative that we instill education into tomorrow’s fashion industry. Through The EcoChicmDesign Award, we are educating designers around the world to reduce waste through sustainable design innovation to inspire a more positive future for the industry. The change we need is in their hands."
Images: Moodboard and sketches from the three UK finalists