Redress Design Award

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Meet CJ Martin, Redress Design Award 2018 finalist

For his Redress Design Award submission, CJ Martin turned to the award-winning 2012 documentary Chasing Ice. In breath-taking, time-lapse footage, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog captured the collapse of ancient Arctic ice mountains into the sea, inexorably transformed by the effects of climate change.

In the collection, bold minimalist tunics and form-fitting skirts and trousers are up-cycled from secondhand denim and home furnishings, in the icy blues and blacks of the Arctic tundra, drawn in dramatic diagonal stripes. The homage to his inspiration doesn’t end there: CJ reflects the receding and calving of the ice blocks in a series of shifting silhouettes.

“Certain pieces in the collection have detachable parts located on the sleeves, waistline and hems, allowing the wearer to change and re-style the clothes,” explains CJ, who owns his own fashion label in Manila. Faux fur, created by distressing tubes of polyester, creates texture and movement.

Denim and the polyester home furnishings were both sourced from a local thrift shop: “The combination of machine-assisted work and handicraft stays true to the collection’s concept.”

“Sustainable fashion is about innovating with what is in excess while protecting depleted resources; it’s about creating a positive balance,” CJ continues. “It’s a very challenging yet fulfilling form of fashion because it requires research, collaborative work and transparency. I want to be a sustainable designer because I want to create something beneficial to the environment or to anyone involved with that product or service. It’s my way of helping slow down climate change because I believe that it’s not yet too late to take action!”

“I applied for this competition because I want to further enrich my knowledge on sustainability by learning from industry experts or from the designers coming from other parts of the world,” he continues. “With that learning and experience, I would come back to the Philippines as a more reliable advocate of the cause and, hopefully, be able to inspire others to join the movement.”


This article originally appeared in the Redress Design Award 2018 Magazine.

Hannah LaneCJ Martin