Last Wednesday, HausMag had the pleasure of attending REDRESS’s Press Screening of their most exciting project yet: the documentary, Frontline Fashion. Recording the journey of 10 talented emerging designers as they travel from their home countries, spanning across Asia and Europe for The EcoChic Design Awards, 2015/16: the world’s biggest sustainable fashion design competition. The 10 designers are contending to win the opportunity to design an up-cycled collection for China’s leading luxury brand, Shanghai Tang. Hosted by REDRESS, an environmental NGO. The organisation has already made waves within the fashion industry, by working to reduce waste.
Exhibiting in The Annex, Central, the venue was spacious, with minimal concrete walls, the perfect, chic backdrop for a screening. REDRESS’s esteemed friends, collaborators, and the stars of The EcoChic Design Award 15/16 were invited to celebrate the occasion. Upon entering, guests could browse and shop at a unique second-hand clothing pop up store, featuring from designer to vintage pieces. Bubbly and snacks also awaited the guests. Venture further in, and guests will discover the finale pieces of the finalists of The EcoChic Design Awards, 2015/16. Seeing the garments up close allows visitors to fully appreciate the craftsmanship of the designers.
Frontline Fashion begins with beautiful ink painting – like animation graphics (an ode to Asia) introducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Dr Christina Dean, Founder and CEO of REDRESS presents the competition and also voice overs the documentary. We’re introduced to the designers participating in the competition, and learn of their inspirations and ideas on sustainable fashion. We join them as they see the impact of garment waste, as they visit a clothing junk yard.
The Fashion Industry is the second most harmful industry to the environment (after Petroleum). The production journey of clothing is complicated. Involving long and varied supply chains of production, raw material, textile manufacture, clothing construction, shipping, retail…. there is waste in every stage and the carbon footprint itself is unsightly. Even a simple cotton t-shirt uses up 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture. In the UK, an estimated 0.8 to 1 million tonnes of all textiles are sent to landfill each year. (REDRESS, WRAP Textile Flow & Market Opportunities Report, 2013).
Many love fashion as a medium for creative expression, it’s the link between practicality and art, it’s simply fun and beautiful. However, as Climate Change continues as the largest threat to humankind, its crucial to understand the affects the Fashion Industry has on the environment. Frontline Fashion is an easily digestible documentary addressing all the issues, the messy bits in between, and gives insight into the creative minds behind sustainable fashion.
With special thanks to REDRESS for their hospitality.
Visit REDRESS’s Pop Up Shop at 2/F KONG Art Space, 3 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong. 23 September – 30 September.