There are many events that are still taking place online due to Covid; if, as it seems, there will be some live fashion shows in the upcoming fashion week, the awards, not only in the fashion world, mostly take place virtually. This is also the case for the Redress Design Award 2020, now in its tenth edition this year; conceived in 2011 by Redress, an environmental NGO based in Hong Kong, which works to reduce waste in the fashion industry, is the most famous sustainable fashion design competition globally.

The finalists of the competition, judged by an international jury made up of pioneers of sustainable fashion including Christopher Raeburn and Orsola de Castro together with Kevin Germanier, the designer specialized in upcycling who was himself the winner of the award a few editions ago, followed a training course offered by the organizing body and made up of virtual activities and experiences focused on circular design and masterclasses with industry experts regarding the heavy environmental impact of fashion. In the creation of the outfits, the designers were encouraged to use sustainable design techniques based on the concepts of no waste and upcycling, using used clothing, according to the principle of deconstruct / reconstruct.

The winners of the award were the Argentine living in the Netherlands Juliana Garcia Bello with her brand Garciabello in the womenswear category and the Vietnamese Ngoc Ha Thu Le in menswear; the first, which has always created its own collections starting from zero waste, from upcycling and the reconstruction of garments, won with the ‘Inheritance’ collection, created using scraps donated by her neighbors, who contacted her through leaflets attached by herself to neighborhood doors, including her own. Garcia Bello, starting from sixteen second-hand garments, has mainly selected scraps of t-shirts, tablecloths and pieces of denim, to then cut them and create fifteen new looks through the upcycling process.

Ngoc Ha Thu Le, who became passionate about fashion during her high school years, also becoming aware of its impact on the environment, created her collection using mainly traditional second-hand Japanese clothes constructed with rectangular strips of fabric, which allowed her to easily disassemble the seams and then reuse the fabric. She also resorted to scraps cut and sewn from the production line of a local brand and used blazers donated by a friend’s mother. Some fabrics have been dyed using plants with indigo or yam roots that do not require metallic agents, which are very harmful to water.

To celebrate the tenth edition of the award, the Redress Design Award 2020 All Stars was also organized, in which some former students and winners, including Kevin Germanier himself on the jury, selected ad hoc, will have the opportunity to exhibit their collections at the Galeries Lafayette Shanghai, thus gaining valuable exposure of their respective brands in the fast-growing fashion market of mainland China.

In the cover image the creations of Juliana Garcia Bello (courtesy Redress)

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