- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Redress, the leading non-government organisation working to reduce fashion’s waste, has named its ten Redress Design Award 2020 finalists hailing from nine countries, including graduates from Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and Northumbria University.
The competition, which challenges fashion designers to showcase sustainable, innovative and textile waste-reducing designs, has named finalists from The Netherlands, Albania, Hong Kong, China, Sri Lanka, Canada, Italy, South Korea, and Vietnam, who were all praised for using a combination of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction design techniques, as well as sourcing waste materials generated from all parts of the fashion supply chain and consumers in their submitted designs.
Christina Dean, founder and chair of Redress, said in a statement: “Fashion is in crisis. Covid-19 has devastated the business, the balance sheets and is affecting creativity on the drawing board. Meanwhile, fashion’s already staggering waste rates will likely spike due to shocking retail performance and dislocated supply chains that have stranded inventory and materials globally.
“Only the toughest and most talented designers will survive this crisis, and those designers who can up-cycle waste materials, like our 10 Redress Design Award Finalists, are already ahead of the pack as they enter a new fashion industry.”
The five womenswear finalists are: Central Saint Martins graduate Grace Lant from Hong Kong, who has a BA (Hons) Degree in Fashion Knitwear, as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Knitwear Design from Accademia Costume e Moda in Italy; Juliana Garcia Bello from The Netherlands, who holds a Postgraduate Degree in Sportswear from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and founded her own brand Garciabello; Laura Krause from Albania has a Diploma in Fashion Design from Polimoda, Italy, and an Associates Degree in International Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York; Tong Jianlong from China graduated from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Art and Design; and Ruth Weerasinghe from Sri Lanka, has a BA (Hons) Degree in Fashion Design and Marketing from Northumbria University via the Academy of Design in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The womenswear prize winner will join The R Collective, one of the world’s fastest-growing up-cycling fashion brands, available on Net-A-Porter and sold previously at the likes of Lane Crawford and Barneys New York, which was inspired by the 13-year legacy of Redress. The winner will translate their final Redress Design Award competition collection into a limited-edition capsule collection for retail in 2021, joining nine previous competition Alumni who have already worked with The R Collective.
Commenting on the womenswear entries, Desiree Au, publisher of Vogue Hong Kong, and a member of the judging panel, said: “Fashion is undergoing a tremendous cycle of change and Redress is on the forefront as a platform where new ideas take shape - to make the world more sustainable and fashion more responsible. I took such joy in reviewing all the entries because they are more than beautiful garments, there is a true mission behind each thread and stitch. An undisputed ‘fashion force’!”
10 finalists named for Redress Design Award 2020
Joining the womenswear finalists are five menswear designers: Inhwa Jin from South Korea, who studied Fashion Design at Tokyo Mode Gakuen and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fashion Print from Central Saint Martins; Marie-Eve Aubry from Canada, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design and Management from École Supérieure de Mode de Montréal; Beatrice Bocconi from Italy is currently studying Fashion Design at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Italy; Ngoh Ha Thu Le from Vietnam, holds a Higher National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles from the London College for Design and Fashion; and Gönül Yigit from The Netherlands is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design at the ArtEZ University of the Arts.
The menswear winner will receive mentorship with experts at VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies of iconic brands including Vans, The North Face and Timberland.
Competition judge Kevin Bailey, executive vice president and group president, VF Corporation, Asia-Pacific, added: “Circular business is still in its infancy across the industry. Our hope is this Award equips emerging designers with the skills and knowledge needed to turn the fashion industry on its head, leading us towards a more sustainable future and providing the finalists with a stepping stone directly into the real world.”
The womenswear and menswear winners will be announced at a grand final in September in Hong Kong.
2020 marks the 10th year of the Redress Design Award, formerly the EcoChic Design Award, and organisers are celebrating the 218 alumni from 38 regions, many of whom have shot to fame following the competition, including Kévin Germanier, recently in Forbes’ 2020 Europe 30 Under 30 for Art and Culture, whose up-cycled collections have retailed at MatchesFashion.com, Joyce Hong Kong, and Moda Operandi.
“The Redress Design Award was a key point in my design career,” explained Germanier, who this year joins as a judge. “It proves that sustainability can be glamorous, shiny and dazzling. Sustainability is now mainstream and it really shows in the level of the applicants and their concepts. This is so important as we need more designers ready to take on the waste challenges the fashion industry is facing.”
Other notable alumni include British Katie Jones, Chinese Wen Pan, Taiwanese Hung Wei-Yu, and Hong Kong’s Jesse Lee.
Images: courtesy of Redress