Collaboration takes competition from runway to rails


Hong Kong

Designers’ REVIVAL collection for The R Collective demonstrates Redress’ decades-long work to educate fashion designers about sustainable design.

Five alumni of the Redress Design Award, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition organised by charity Redress, are releasing their sustainable designs in a REVIVAL collaboration with The R Collective, the business inspired into life by Redress that rescues, reuses and recycles luxury waste.

For REVIVAL, designers were tasked to create commercial womenswear pieces using different textile waste streams and their specialised sustainable design techniques to prove design solutions to waste. Their pieces launch to celebrate Earth Day on and represent a clear career progression from competition runway into commercialised pieces for consumers’ rails.

“The concept of revival is at the heart of my design process through the concept of giving new life to seemingly unwanted fabric waste,” said Chan Meiyan, designer of the newest pieces and the winner of the Redress Design Award 2020 Alumni Prize and 2019 Hong Kong Best Runner-up Prize. “​​Nature knows best, and its inherent powerful revival forces is what the fashion industry urgently needs,” she said.

The R Collective’s rescued fabrics come from leading global fashion brands and manufacturers. Playing to their strengths, the designers stamped design solutions, which were previously explored in the Redress Design Award competition, into to various textile waste streams, including luxury end-of-roll silk and cotton waste, aged denim inventory and unsold stock excess, and recycled silk fabrics made from recycling highly sensitive and branded fabric waste that would otherwise have been incinerated.

“Fashion’s waste crisis has long been swept under the carpet,” said Christina Dean, Founder of Redress and The R Collective, which is now London and Hong Kong based. “Better design is central to driving sustainability and circularity. The Redress Design Award has educated designers for 11 years and now we are finally seeing the fashion industry recognise the power that designers have in transforming fashion, as evidenced by the recent release of the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, which will hopefully shake up sustainable design for years to come.”

© The R Collective
© The R Collective

Alongside Meiyan, four other Redress Design Award alumni also collaborated on REVIVAL. They are Tylar Whitfort, winner of the Redress Design Award 2018; Jesse Lee, winner of the Hong Kong Best and Second Prizes 2018; Wen Pan, a 2016 finalist; and Grace Lant, winner of the Hong Kong Best Prize 2020. Some of their pieces with REVIVAL are now restyled and relaunched.

Since their involvement in the Redress Design Award, a portion of the competition’s 240+ alumni have gone on to commercialise their sustainable design talents through collaborations with various fashion businesses, including Kipling, Timberland, NET-A-PORTER, American Eagle, and more.

“It’s a welcomed breath of fresh air to see designers’ role in cleaning up fashion so clearly articulated by the recent EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles,” said London and Hong Kong based designer, Grace Lant. “I’ve been deeply focused on my ethical design practice over many years, and so this commission really validates the importance of taking sustainable designers seriously,” she said.

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