- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Redress, the environmental charity working to reduce fashion’s waste, has named menswear designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu from Vietnam and womenswear designer Juliana Garcia Bello of Argentina as winners of the Redress Design Awards 2020.
The largest sustainable fashion design competition, now in its 10th year, challenged fashion designers to showcase sustainable, innovative and textile waste-reducing designs for a post-Covid-19 fashion world.
The competition attracted entries from hundreds of applicants from 48 countries, with the judges picking out two main winners, who have been awarded sustainable design collaboration prizes with global leaders, VF Corporation’s Timberland and award-winning upcycled brand, The R Collective.
Commenting on his menswear win, designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu, a graduate from the London College for Design and Fashion, said in a statement: “These last few weeks with the Redress Design Award has been such a nourishing and beneficial experience and joining the Timberland and VF teams is going to be an honour. They are such an amazing brand when it comes to sustainability - I am ready to learn everything I can from them.”
Womenswear winner, Juliana Garcia Bello, who now lives in The Netherlands, added: “I have learned so much during my participation in the Redress Design Award and have definitely come out of this with a reinforced feeling that collaboration is the key. We designers need to share our strengths and be inspired by each other to keep finding solutions to the mounting levels of textile waste.”
In addition, the Redress Design Award 2020 runner-up prize with Orsola de Castro was awarded to Ruth Weerasinghe from Sri Lanka, who holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Fashion Design and Marketing from Northumbria University via the Academy of Design in Colombo, Sri Lanka, while the Hong Kong best prize winner was Grace Lant, a graduate from Central Saint Martins.
Redress names designers Le Ngoc Ha Thu and Juliana Garcia Bello as its 2020 winners
The winners and runner-ups, along with the other finalists, took part in a “gruelling series of virtual design and business challenges,” in the two weeks leading up to the live grand final in Hong Kong, which focused on real-life sustainability business cases with a spotlight on Covid-19 impacted waste, supported by VF Corporation and TAL Group, makers of one in six dress shirts in the US.
The ‘Digital Up-cycling Challenge’ saw the finalists using Browzwear digital design and sampling software to create up-cycled concepts to turn TAL’s Covid-19-impacted deadstock garment waste into new products for retail, while the ‘Made for Change Timberland Challenge’ saw the finalists develop sustainable and scalable business concepts, focusing on responsible design and re-manufacturing fabric deadstock.
“Fashion’s waste crisis can’t be swept under the carpet any longer,” explained, Christina Dean, founder of Redress and The R Collective. “Covid-19’s retail and supply chain disruptions have stranded materials in warehouses, factories and stores globally. Now is the time to catalyse the circular economy - and this is Redress’ focus. The Redress Design Award has for 10 years educated designers about circular design. The industry must not waste the opportunities that Covid-19’s crisis is offering.”
Redress Design Award 2020 awards All Star Prize to celebrate a decade of impact
To mark Redress’ decade of impact, the grand final also celebrated the Redress Design Award 2020 All Stars. This accolade was awarded to highest-achieving alumni, who were shortlisted from over 200 alumni from 36 countries. Designers Pat Guzik (Poland) and Annaiss Yukra (Peru) were awarded the All Star Prize, each receiving a retail partnership for their brands with sustainable marketplace, Staiy. All seven All Star Alumni were awarded a significant showcase at Galeries Lafayette Shanghai forming part of the ‘Fashioning Change, Today and Tomorrow’ campaign and gaining brand promotion within China’s fast-growing fashion market.
Images: courtesy of Redress