The EcoChic Design Award launches fifth anniversary cycle in London.

Image: L-R – Angus Tsui, Orsola de Castro, Susie Bubble and Kèvin Germanier

On Monday 1 June, the EcoChic Design Award held the London launch of its 2015/16 cycle, marking the fifth edition of the sustainable fashion design competition that challenges emerging fashion designers to create mainstream clothing with minimal waste.

Waste-reducing fashion NGO, Redress, invited members of the UK fashion press and special guests to the London flagship of Chinese luxury brand, Shanghai Tang, to officially kick off the new competition cycle.

Blogger Susie Lau of Style Bubble, a staunch supporter of up-and-coming designers, joined Orsola de Castro, EcoChic Design Award judge and founder of Fashion Revolution Day, for a live chat on sustainable fashion. Moderated by Redress’s Hannah Lane,  the two discussed sustainable design’s place in the modern fashion landscape and how consumers can be encouraged to embrace it, with Lau predicting it as the industry’s “next big innovation”.

Celebrating its growth since its inauguration in Hong Kong in 2011 – from only accepting entries from Hong Kong to now including over 100 countries across Asia and Europe – the event also welcomed competition alumni from both continents, with Kévin Germanier and Angus Tsui, previous winners from Switzerland and Hong Kong respectively, both sharing their experiences of the competition.

Now in its fifth year, the EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 will continue its emphasis on prizes that support designers’ career development in sustainable fashion. First prize is the chance to design a capsule collection using up-cycled textiles for Shanghai Tang, with second prize offering a six-month mentorship with distinguished sustainable fashion designer, Orsola de Castro. The winner of the cycle’s special prize will get to design a sustainable outfit for Hong Kong Supermodel Janet Ma.

“The EcoChic Design Award is a powerful platform that is driving change in the fashion industry.“Over the last five years, we’ve introduced sustainable fashion education to thousands of emerging designers, influenced global fashion brands to produce sustainable collections and reached millions of consumers,” said Christina Dean, Redress’ Founder.

“But whilst we pause for momentary celebration, we can’t be complacent because textile waste is still a critical environmental and social issue and our work to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be agents of change is far from over.”