Asia meets ethics in EcoChic 2015
When it comes to fashion production, you don't immediately associate the Far East with the most ethical of practices. Yet, according to fashionunited.com, China alone is the largest supplier of apparel to the U.S. market, supplying nearly 34 percent of apparel sold in the U.S. This is why initiatives like The EcoChic Design Award are so timely. Launched in Hong Kong in 2011 by ethical fashion NGO ReDress (read my interview with founder Christina Dean here), the Award is designed to inspire emerging designers in the Far East and beyond to cut waste out of fashion.
It's not just a case of submit your designs and let's see how you did. During the competition cycle, ten finalists are educated about issues in fashion and inspired to come up with techniques to challenge them, often using textile waste to craft their final entries.
Amongst the finalists this year, for example, Hong Kong entrant Shing Hong Chu created a zero-waste, up-cycled dress of ruffles and patchwork from organic cotton and textile samples while UK finalist Kévin Germanier's dress and dramatic jacket are woven solely from secondhand textiles. Antimacassars have never looked as desirable as they do in Danish entrant's Kirstine Marie-Hans' wonderful cape.
The winners of The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 will be announced at HKTDC Fashion Week,on 21 January at 5pm (HKT)/9am (GMT). And this year, all the better to reach interested parties around the world, the show will be livestreamed with UK-based www.notjustalabel.com.