Designers contribute circular fashion design solutions for a post-COVID-19 fashion world.
Environmental charity Redress concluded the Redress Design Award 2020 Grand Final of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition with menswear designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu from Vietnam and womenswear designer Juliana Garcia Bello of Argentina winning significant sustainable design collaboration prizes with global leaders, VF Corporation’s Timberland and award-winning upcycled brand, The R Collective respectively.
Redress’ 10th-anniversary competition cycle, with major sponsorship from Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, catapults bold new sustainable fashion talent into the spotlight as fashion’s waste crisis mounts due to COVID-19.
“Fashion’s waste crisis can’t be swept under the carpet any longer,” says Christina Dean, Founder of Redress and The R Collective. “COVID-19’s retail and supply chain disruptions have stranded materials in warehouses, factories, and stores globally. Now is the time to catalyze the circular economy – and this is Redress’ focus. The Redress Design Award has for 10 years educated designers about circular design. The industry must not waste the opportunities that COVID-19’s crisis is offering.”
The two winners out-designed hundreds of applicants from 48 countries. Menswear winner Le Ngoc Ha Thu shared, “These last few weeks with the Redress Design Award has been such a nourishing and beneficial experience and joining the Timberland and VF teams are going to be an honor. They are such an amazing brand when it comes to sustainability – I am ready to learn everything I can from them.”
“I have learned so much during my participation in the Redress Design Award and have definitely come out of this with a reinforced feeling that collaboration is the key. We, designers, need to share our strengths and be inspired by each other to keep finding solutions to the mounting levels of textile waste,” womenswear winner Juliana Garcia Bello added.
“Our collaboration with Redress, now in its second year, connects us to talented, emerging designers who are passionate about creating fashionable, compelling designs with environmental responsibility in mind,” said competition judge Kevin Bailey, VF’s Executive Vice President and Group President, Asia Pacific Region, and Emerging Brands. “We are constantly inspired by their commitment to circular design and creativity. These are the future leaders who are going to help drive lasting and positive change throughout our global industry and we are proud to be part of their journey.”
Education forms the Redress Design Award’s core with sustainable and circular design content delivered to more than 50,000 designers since the inaugural cycle through in-person lectures and academies, and online materials available in a combination of English, Chinese, and French. The competition has the support of 140+ universities worldwide.
- Celebrating a decade of impact
To mark Redress’ decade of impact, the Grand Final also celebrated the Redress Design Award 2020 All-Stars. This accolade was awarded to highest-achieving alumni, who were shortlisted from over 200 alumni from 36 countries. Designers Pat Guzik (Poland) and Annaiss Yukra (Peru) were awarded the All Star Prize, each receiving a retail partnership for their brands with the sustainable marketplace, Staiy, and all seven All-Star Alumni were awarded a significant showcase at Galeries Lafayette Shanghai forming part of the ‘Fashioning Change, Today and Tomorrow’ campaign and gaining brand promotion within China’s fast-growing fashion market.
- Urgent need to find solutions for the worsening waste crisis
Fashion’s waste is a significant challenge. The industry is estimated to generate 92 million tons of textile waste annually. Covid-19 is set to increase this; 60 percent of textile and clothing companies expect their sales to drop by half in the short term and with this deadstock and canceled orders. The Redress Design Award 2020 finalists’ collections demonstrate numerous solutions to reduce waste throughout the entire fashion supply chain and also across industries. The appetite for change and collaboration has never been greater.
The Redress Design Award 2020 Prize winners are:
- The Redress Design Award 2020 Womenswear Prize with The R Collective: Juliana Garcia Bello, Argentina
- The Redress Design Award 2020 Menswear Prize with VF Corporation and Timberland: Le Ngoc Ha Thu, Vietnam
- The Redress Design Award 2020 Runner-up Prize with Orsola de Castro: Ruth Weerasinghe, Sri Lanka
- The Redress Design Award 2020 Hong Kong Best Prize Winner: Grace Lant, Hong Kong
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Featured photo: The Redress Design Award 2020 Hong Kong Best Prize Winner: Grace Lant, Hong Kong