Redress, the environmental NGO working to reduce fashion’s waste, has announced the 10 finalists of the Redress Design Award 2022, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, supported by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the lead sponsor.
The finalists, representing eight different regions worldwide and selected by an international panel of industry-leading judges, will be bringing their competition designs to life in time for the Grand Final Fashion Presentation in Hong Kong in mid-September, where the winners will be announced, Redress said in a media release.
The Finalists are Ashutosh Panda, India; Cris Miranda, Chile; Drina Marco, Spain; Federico Badini Confalonieri, Italy; Lívia Aguiar de Castro, Brazil; Micaela Clubourg, Spain; Mohammed Numaan Khan, India; Nawoda Bandara, Sri Lanka; Patrick Lam, Hong Kong, China; and Ruwanthi Gajadeera, Sri Lanka.
Textile waste is a global environmental and economic concern, with more than 50 per cent of fast fashion clothes discarded within one year. Designing sustainable fashion requires a combination of creativity and innovation, with consideration for the source material, the impact of manufacturing and usage, and products’ recyclability at their end-of-life.
This year’s finalists sought out unique waste streams to create their collections, including hotel bed sheets, kimono and obi silks, and damaged deadstock knitted collars. Many of the finalists also employed zero-waste patterns and other circular design techniques to further enhance the sustainability of their designs. The educational journey undertaken by Redress Design Award contestants also proved its merit as three of its alumni – former semi-finalists – re-applied this year, earning places as finalists.
“The contestants have been demonstrating new dimensions of colours, forms and styles, while embracing sustainable practices. We can definitely see the next-gen game-changers are striving for a better future,” said Angus Tsui, one of the judges, who is also creative director of his eponymous brand and an alumnus of the Redress Design Award.
Career-changing prizes are on offer for the top finalists, including a sustainable design collaboration with VF Corporation’s Timberland team and a development fund of HK$50,000 ($6,400) for the first prize winner.
Collectively, the finalists’ works demonstrate the power that designers have to transform waste. “As the fashion industry emerges into a post-pandemic world, there is a renewed sense of urgency and commitment to sustainable production,” said Nissa Cornish, executive director of Redress. “These forward-thinking designers are part of this shift in transforming how we make and use fashion, and it is an honour to support their journey and showcase their talents.”
In addition to sustainability and creativity, to become finalists, the 10 designers were also judged on criteria such as marketability and scalability, with international judge Orsola de Castro, fashion designer and co-founder of Fashion Revolution, noting that, “When you juxtapose beautiful hand finishing to a deliberately upcycled product, it can look amazing! But it has to sing.”
Another judge, chief operating officer of TAL Apparel Christophe Degoix, said, “Promoting sustainable products is critical to the future of the apparel industry and those young designers across the world are showing us the way.”
Next up, the 10 finalists will send their completed collections — including four physical looks and one digital outfit — to Hong Kong for a professional photoshoot, with the garments to be safely delivered via UPS’ carbon neutral shipping. In the lead-up to the Grand Final Fashion Presentation, the designers will also be demonstrating their zero-waste and upcycling skills through practical challenges tasked by industry leaders.
The public were instrumental in selecting one of the 10 finalists, who automatically advanced to the finalist round by receiving the most votes. The winner of the People's Choice Award 2022, Cris Miranda of Chile, will present their collection alongside the nine other emerging sustainable fashion talents at the Grand Final in Hong Kong in mid-September 2022.