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Redress Design Awards proves that fashion doesn’t have to be wasteful

By Heidi Law


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An exhibit featuring pieces from the Redress Design Awards 2018 opened at Fashion for Good Experience in Amsterdam. The diverse array of collections were made entirely from waste, ranging from the usual suspects of dead stock textile and surplus materials from manufacturing, to more unusual contributors such as furniture offcuts and sofa fabrics. Finalists created unique pieces with zero-waste, utilising various up-cycling and reconstruction techniques to demonstrate the endless possibilities of sustainable fashion. The exhibition is open until 14th February and is free of entry.

The exhibit opens to a friendly, intimate crowd. During the opening speech, the transformative potential of repurposing textile waste into a valuable resource for the industry was highlighted. It is estimated that over 500 billion dollars worth of economic value was lost each year due to the current take-make-dispose model, according to the State of Fashion report 2018. There are numerous opportunities to be discovered; the design competition showcases one possible solution.

The humble mannequins are the unnoticed heroes of the show. All garments are held up by light-weight display forms that can be flat-packed for easy transportation, and are 100 percent recyclable.

Winner of the design award, Tess Whitfort, will be designing a capsule collection with social impact business The R Collective, whose collections have previously been stocked in the likes of Barney’s in New York and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.

In an interview with the finalist Hung Wei-Yu, he commented that the breakneck speed of the fashion world “destroys the close relationship between the garment and the person”. He believes that the intimacy that people once had with their clothes has been lost in the modern, high-speed fashion world.

Humanising garments once again

The theme of personal connection is present in other finalists’ works as well. Jesse Lee, the winner of the Second Prize, has sourced all materials from his own home, adding personal value and stories to everyday garments.

The Redress Design Award is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, and has received applications from 55 different countries in the 2018 cycle. It aims at promoting sustainable design theories and techniques, in order to educate the next generation of game-changers to drive growth towards a circular fashion industry.

The partner who provides the exhibition space is Fashion for Good, a global initiative for innovation that convenes brands, producers, retailers, suppliers NGOs, innovators and funders to make fashion more sustainable.

Source: State of Fashion 2018 report, Redress Design Award, Fashion for Good

Photo Credit: Redress Design Award, Mannequino

Fashion For Good
Jesse Lee
Redress Design Award
State of Fashion
Tess Whitfort