The Redress Design Award 2018 – Applications open!

Entering the eighth competition cycle of the Redress Design Award, organisers Redress – a Hong Kong environmental NGO committed to reducing textile waste – are as determined as ever to intensify their impact on the fashion industry. In a year which is widely marked as a critical tipping point for consumers, designers and brands to incorporate sustainability across the fashion value chain, the 2018 cycle of the world’s largest sustainable design competition has expanded to a truly global search for emerging talent. Amidst ongoing industry pressures to produce more clothes at less cost, the Redress Design Award continues to shine a light on the push for sustainability, and the growing power of the circular economy, whilst championing emerging talent to fuel this new future for fashion.

The Redress Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition organised by Redress, inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste.

The finalists’ designs will be scored on creativity and originality, sustainability, marketability as well as the all-important craftsmanship, with career-changing prizes up for grabs for those who impress the judges.

That time in the cycle has arrived once more and we’re absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of the 11 Redress Design Award 2018 and to remember some of the 2017 Finalists and winners who are setting the path towards a circular fashion and therefore CEC supports their initiatives.

Meet the Redress Award 2017 Winners and Finalists applying Zero-waste, Upcycling and Reconstruction:

Claire Dartigues applies the up-cycling and reconstruction techniques along with natural dyes to industry surplus clothing and textiles. The collection takes inspiration from polluted rivers and sets out to connect the two very different worlds of finance and blue-collar workers. Claire uses materials that would have otherwise been discarded and brings them back into use. The collection is made with end-of-roll fabrics and deconstructed shirts, which were dyed with natural ingredients such as red wine.

  • Challenges of implementing circular fashion: The main challenge with an up-cycled collection is the ability to scale it up. “If you wish to create more of the same pieces, you might not be able to buy more of the same fabrics. Sometimes you also need to adapt your designs creatively, according to the fabrics you have, which I had to keep in mind. Deconstructing the secondhand shirts was also not that easy, because some parts of the shirts were damaged or in bad condition. I sometimes had to adapt my original designs according to the parts available. Finally, dying with natural components is a science that surprised me in both good and bad ways. You can’t always control the colour and can end up with unexpected results, and the colour can also change because of exposure to light or the body perspiration – these are some things that need to be controlled before selling the product.” said Claire.

Lia Kassif applies the up-cycling and reconstruction design techniques to combine military uniforms and wedding gown waste, creating a juxtaposition between the strong meanings these two garment types hold for young Israelis. She focused on recycling leftover materials from bridal salons and damaged army uniforms that were destined to be thrown away.

  • Challenges of implementing circular fashion: “I think the hardest part of designing my collection for Redress Design Award was using fabrics from old garments with faded glamour and in limited quantities. Each secondhand garment was damaged or discoloured in a different way and had its own history. The challenge was to find the best way to combine these garments and consider how each piece from the collection can be scaled up for production while still looking similar to the first prototype. I discovered that the garments cannot look identical, so each one is one of a kind and unique. The limitation posed huge challenges for me during pattern cutting, designing; especially as I was creating a new concept from old and ‘useless’ materials. But the knowledge that I was taking part in the global effort of sustainability and helping to reduce the amount of garbage in the world gave me great satisfaction.” argued Lia.

Kate Morris is a finalist of the Redress Design Award 2017. She is currently studying fashion design at Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom. Kate uses the zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction techniques to create diverse knitwear. Her approach blends technology with hand crafting skills for efficiency and to create a tactile connection with the wearer. “My collection was all made in one pattern piece and with minimal seams, meaning it requires less labour, less energy, thereby increasing overall production efficiency. Less seams in the garments also increase its comfort level, as well as longevity since this means less points of weakness. At the same time, this also makes it easier for the garment to be deconstructed at the very end of its lifecycle. The whole collection was made from one fiber type – cotton (mainly organic), aiding eventual fibre recycling.”

  • Challenges of implementing circular fashion: “The main challenge when creating an up-cycled collection is that you don’t know what you will be working with – you are very led by material availability. There are also scalability challenges, while using materials considered as waste can cut initial costs, smaller scale production can inevitably drive the price back up.” noted Kate.

More information: Redress Awards

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