Designing for the future III
The number of fashion brands operating sustainably is on the rise, as understanding of the ethical, environmental and waste issues facing the industry deepens. The 157 alumni of the Redress Design Award are at the forefront of this pioneering movement. Representing 24 countries and over 32 emerging brands - with 36 alumni coming from Redress’ home turf in Hong Kong - the learning and inspiration acquired by these designers is being applied in imaginative, innovative ways across the globe, changing the face of fashion forever.
Winner of the first ever cycle of the Redress Design Award, Janko Lam’s brand Classics Anew, has just opened a second shop space in Hong Kong at the historic Ko Shan Theatre, which joins her PMQ shared store, Three Artisans. The theatre, dedicated to Cantonese opera performances, provides the perfect setting for the brand which up-cycles leftover denim and prints with a twist of modern Chinese heritage.
FASHION WITHOUT FUR
While the world wakes up to the cruelties of fur production, with luxury labels Gucci and Versace dropping fur from all future collections, China is proving slow to catch up. The country is responsible for 75 to 80 per cent of the fur sold globally where it remains a symbol of wealth and success, despite ethical issues around animal welfare. Earlier this year, two Redress Design Award Alumni - 2012 China finalist Tiffany Pattinson and 2015/16 winner Patrycja Guzik - took part in ACTAsia’s Sustainable and Fur Free Forum in Shanghai where they presented collections, and Tiffany shared a panel with Chinese Couturier Grace Chen, Designer Michael Wong and Jerri Ng, Editor of InStyle China, to discuss the challenges of changing the practice and imagery of fur in China and beyond.
Winner of the public vote for the Redress Design Award Hong Kong 2012 People’s Award, Angus Tsui launched his namesake sustainable brand in 2014 and has been collaborating far and wide this year. A successful partnership with Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific to turn old uniforms into beautiful keepsake laisee packets for the Chinese New Year 2018 is set to continue into a second year. Angus was invited to curate an exhibition titled ‘The Art of Eco Couture’, held at EAST Hotel, Hong Kong in Spring 2018. In conjunction with Art Basel, the exhibition was a celebration of wearable art, while raising awareness of the current textile waste problem and the impacts of fast fashion. Redress also welcomed Angus as stylist for the Redress Design Award 2018 finalists’ photoshoot (see p.28). Created using techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction, the Angus Tsui brand experiments with excess fabric stock sourced from Hong Kong companies and social enterprises along with organic and recycled fabrics, and eco-friendly ink for digital printing.
MUSIC MEETS FASHION
In the promotion of her final single, the late Ellen Loo, Hong Kong indie singer-songwriter, wore a waste-reducing outfit of up-cycled military uniforms and old wedding gowns by Lia Kassif, who was chosen by Ellen as the Redress Design Award Special Prize Winner 2017. Last year, 2017 Hong Kong Best Winner Gao Qingzi dressed indie singer Linda Chow Wah-Yan in remnant fabrics for an appearance on Ear Up Music’s tour.