Since 2011, the Eco Chic Design Award has been inviting young designers from around the world to create beautiful clothing using techniques that reduce and, in some cases, completely cut out textile waste.
Participation in the competition, organised by environmental NGO Redress, is a rich learning journey for designers, meaning that its ethics and beliefs reach far beyond the glittering awards ceremony that takes place every September.
The final for this year’s award takes place September 7th and, to introduce the finalists, the Award commissioned Hong Kong-based art director, curator and stylist Sean Kunjambu and internationally renowned photographer, artist and filmmaker Wing Shya to capture the mood of each designer’s unique collections in a lively editorial.
From the surreal and romantic to the overtly playful, the aim of the shoot was to communicate the aims of the competition – reducing waste in the fashion industry – to a fresh young audience at the start of their journey into ethical design.
The spotlight is firmly on what can be achieved when you mix creativity and innovation with a heartfelt passion for change.
Rich, intricate textures, meticulously crafted from recycled fabrics and upcycled clothing, are laid against everyday items that are often discarded too soon – crates, cardboard boxes, broken umbrellas – to demonstrate the detrimental effects of over consumerism and the scale of wastefulness, not only in Hong Kong but across the world.
“The variety of textures created from multiple sources of clothing waste was beautiful,” says Kunjambu. “I was impressed by the uniqueness of this new group of talents when tasked with the transformation of what we consider trash.”
“I was really inspired by the innovative use of textile waste and wanted to use every day, disposable objects to strengthen the message and bring out the different personalities of each design,” added Wing Shya.
We’ve seen the future and the future is waste-free and beautiful.
The EcoChic Design Award Final 2017 will be livestreamed on facebook/ecochicdesignaward.com at 5pm Hong Kong time/10 am UK time.