Redress, an environmental NGO promoting the reduction of fashion waste, announced the winners of the Redress Design Award, the world's largest sustainable fashion design competition supported by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government as the main sponsor. The First Prize winner will work on a sustainable design project for Timberland. Redress educates designers on sustainable and circular design to change fashion pollution practices. This 12th competition cycle nets a global network and accepts applications from designers located in 47 countries and regions.

The competition culminated in the Grand Final Mode Presentation to exclusive face-to-face VIP events and global livestreams on September 7 in Hong Kong.

First Prize winner Federico Badini Confalonieri from Italy, who beat eight other finalist designers from Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, India, Spain, Chile and Brazil, said this prize was more than winning the competition.

“This will give me more energy and determination to work together to build a more sustainable fashion industry. I feel humbled that the jury chose me among such skilled designers! We sustainable designers may have competed, but the truth is collaboration creates greater fashion. To partner with one of the most iconic brands in the world, Timberland, is a great opportunity for me, and I look forward to creating a positive and powerful project together!” he said.

With a focus on the design phase, the competition invites emerging global designers to get creative using circular design techniques, including zero-waste, upcycling, and reconstruction. The finalist appearances of this cycle are also drawn from various textile waste streams, including the excess of the roll-end industry, cutting and sewing waste, yarn waste, and consumer second-hand clothing, turning unwanted materials into attractive garments from casual to couture.

The fashion industry, in its current form, is unsustainable, and reducing waste is critical. Since 2002, global clothing production has more than doubled, the average consumer buys 60% more, and each piece of clothing is stored for half. Every second, the equivalent of a truckload of textile waste is dumped or burned, and only 1% of clothing is recycled into clothing, with 73% of clothing being disposed of in landfill.

On the current fashion trajectory, compared to 2017, textile waste is projected to increase by 60% by 2030 and the fashion industry is projected to use 25% of the world's carbon budget by 2050.

Christina Dean, Founder of Redress, said that the entire fashion industry and academia must be serious about educating designers. It is estimated that 80% of the environmental impact of a product is decided at the design stage.

“From our base in Hong Kong, we have educated thousands of designers in several different languages ​​around the world, who we consider more activists than artists. As we look forward, we are increasingly seeking to redouble our efforts to access more Asian countries, which are home to the world's largest apparel production base and consumer market,” he explained.

“I am grateful for Redress's dedication to creating a unique platform to promote sustainable design theories and techniques among up-and-coming fashion designers around the world through sustainable fashion design competitions,” added Ms. Jersey Yuen, Assistant Head of CreateHK.