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Australian Designer Tess Whitfort Wins The Redress Design Award 2018

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Following a global search for talent, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition culminated in a live Grand Final runway show last month in Hong Kong. Organised by Redress, a pioneering environmental charity working to cut waste out of fashion, the Redress Design Award has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2011. With major sponsorship from Create HK the competition puts Hong Kong firmly on the map as a sustainable fashion hub whilst proving that waste can be a creative goldmine.

As fashion’s staggering excesses and polluting ways increasingly hit the headlines, these 11 young designers skillfully demonstrated that textile waste is an opportunity not to be missed. Their incredible array of collections based entirely from waste, including secondhand clothing industry surplus, vintage kimonos, umbrellas, sofa fabric and furniture offcuts (transformed to bark lace), impressed the 1000 strong audience of industry elites, influencers and VIPs with a transformational vision of beauty and exponential possibility.

Tess Whitfort won First Prize with her bold, punk inspired collection made from up-cycled industry end-of-rolls and designed with complex zero-waste patterns.

Christina Dean, Founder and Board Chair of Redress and Co-Founder of The R Collective said, “The scale of textile waste across the fashion value chain is staggering…an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is now generated each year. These visionary young designers represent the future of the industry where waste continues to grow as a valuable resource for the industry to embrace rather than hide away as a dirty secret. That future is now and it’s time to embed this new model for design as standard.”

Hailing from Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Israel, Denmark, Australia, France, Spain and the UK, the finalists stayed in the lap of luxury at Hong Kong’s newest destination hotel, Hotel VIC, and took part in an intensive 9 day educational bootcamp in the lead up to the Grand Final held at HKTDC’s CENTRESTAGE. Guided by Redress’ Education team, the finalists experienced the in’s and out’s of the supply chain first hand – testing waste fabrics in a state of the art laboratory; staying in dormitories at the TAA’s manufacturing facility alongside garment workers; and learning insider insights from industry professionals as they worked to identify how designers can transform the environmental impact of clothing at every stage of its lifecycle.

Tess will now join The R Collective, a bold new social impact business, to design a capsule collection for retail. With previous collections stocked in Lane Crawford, Hong Kong and Barney’s New York, The R Collective offers a unique springboard to further develop a holistic business experience across all areas from design to marketing in the world of sustainable fashion – a world that is rapidly becoming more mainstream.