Redress Puts Textile Waste in the Global Spotlight

Redress Puts Textile Waste in the Global Spotlight

Redress Design Award 2019 Winner announced, as Hong Kong’s leadership in sustainable fashion continues to grow

Environmental charity Redress presented the finale of The Redress Design Award 2019 (the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition) yesterday, where Maddie Williams from the UK won first prize and with this, the opportunity to create an up-cycled retail collection for sustainable fashion brand REVERB, under the JNBY Group, one of Mainland China’s largest fashion houses. Focusing on Redress’ mission to reduce waste in fashion, the high-spectacle event, attended by 1,000 fashion VIPs and industry experts, served to spotlight the critical need to educate designers to address the global textile waste crisis.

Winning designer Maddie Williams applies up-cycling and reconstruction techniques to reclaimed textiles, yarns and secondhand clothing, weaving them into zero-waste pieces that she constructs into her garments. Maddie draws on the vast loss of biodiversity, planetary health and our humanity in her winning collection. “Taking my catwalk competition collection into a commercial up-cycled collection will be a steep learning curve and I’ll be trying my best to keep sustainable, circular principles at the core of what I do! This is our time to tackle the environmental problems that we have inherited – we won’t get another chance!”

Redress Puts Textile Waste in the Global Spotlight

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International judge Tillmann Lauterbach, Creative Director, REVERB of JNBY Group, said “REVERB is committed to making sustainable fashion go mainstream. Working with Maddie, we want to give consumers more access to desirable sustainable fashion, particularly in Asia, where waste is a tremendous issue that needs to be addressed immediately.”

Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally. “Curbing waste and carbon is critical. Waste is an urgent concern, especially in Asia, which is home to one of the fastest growing fashion consumer markets and where 50 percent of the world’s clothes are made. Redress is uniquely positioned to galvanise change and to inform the public about the dire need to make drastic changes in the fashion industry,” said Christina Dean, Redress Founder and Board Chair.

Redress focuses on educating designers because 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is laid down at the design stage. This ninth competition cycle, with Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the 4 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the Lead Sponsor, attracted hundreds of applications from designers in 43 countries and builds upon Redress’ 120 global fashion university partnerships, and 186 Alumni designers from 27 countries, of which 50 have launched their sustainable brands. Redress’ work continues to cement Hong Kong’s leading position in driving sustainability in fashion.

This year’s finalists, from Hong Kong, India, Australia, Canada, UK, Israel, Spain and Germany, created collections using sustainable and circular design techniques, up-cycling widely-available waste materials, from unwanted workers’ uniforms and saris to defective camping gear and bedsheets. With a new educational focus on innovation in raw materials, the finalists also incorporated sustainable fabrics from Eastman NaiaTM into their Grand Final collections.

Joining Lauterbach on the international judging panel were Ruth Farrell (Global Marketing Director, Textiles, Eastman), Leaf Greener (Fashion Journalist), Orsola de Castro (Co-Founder of Estethica and Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution), Denise Ho (Fashion Director, The R Collective),Roger Lee (CEO, TAL Group) and Clare Press (Podcaster and Sustainability Editor-at-Large, Vogue Australia).

“As an ‘Innofacturer’, TAL believes that innovation is key to the future of fashion,” said Lee. “This competition offers next-generation designers the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the environmental impact of the fashion supply chain and provides a platform to devise new sustainable models for the industry. Only through collaborations such as this can we collectively solve the issues facing fashion today.”

The finalists visited Hong Kong for 10 days leading up to the Grand Final, during which they were immersed in the fashion supply chain to examine potential disruption points and learn about new innovations from TAL Apparel’s manufacturing expertise and VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest fashion businesses with socially and environmentally responsible operations, to The Mills, Hong Kong’s business incubator for techstyle startups, experiential retail and non-profit cultural institution. Highlights of the trip included the Fashion Summit, Asia’s
leading sustainable fashion event, co-organised by Redress, which saw several key businesses (including TAL Apparel) sign the Climate Change Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which is part of the United Nations Framework Convention.

Other major prizes were awarded at the Grand Final Show, including The Redress Design Award 2019 Runner-up Prize with Orsola de Castro, which was taken home by Carina Roca Portella from Spain; Hong Kong Best Prize Winner which went to Keith Chan; the People’s Choice Prize, which went to Israel’s Moriah Ardila; and the Alumni Prize with Vancouver Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong, which was nabbed by Germany’s Julia Tolita Pagenkopf, who was a Semi-Finalist in this cycle.

With an action-packed agenda, the entire experience was captured for Frontline Fashion 4, Redress’ documentary series hosted by celebrity Cara G McIlroy, to bring Redress’ work to broader audiences and incite positive change in consumer behaviour. After long days and challenges, the finalists retreated to the Kerry Hotel to finesse their Grand Final collections, which will be on display in the lobby from 9-15 September 2019. The 10th cycle of The Redress Design Award competition opens in January 2020. Further details to be announced

Editor’s Notes

– Select garments from the Redress Design Award 2019 collections, which were delivered to Hong Kong by long-term partner UPS, will be on display at Hysan Place (500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong) from 15-24 November 2019.

– The Redress Design Award 2019 Alumni Prize Judging Panel includes Jamal Abdourahman (Founder and Producer, Vancouver Fashion Week), Sarah Maino (Editor, Vogue Talents and Vogue Italia), Carly Vidal (Talent Scout, Not Just A Label), and Peter Larko (Director of Marketing and PR, Mercedes-Benz). Explore our Alumni designers here:

Prizes awarded
– The Redress Design Award 2019 First Prize with REVERB, JNBY Group: Maddie Williams, UK
– The Redress Design Award 2019 Runner-up Prize with Orsola de Castro: Carina Roca Portella, Spain
– The Redress Design Award 2019 People’s Choice Winner: Moriah Ardila, Israel
– The Redress Design Award 2019 Hong Kong Best Prize Winner: Keith Chan, Hong Kong
– The Redress Design Award 2019 Alumni Prize with Vancouver Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong: Julia Tolita Pagenkopf, Germany

– Visit our LEARN platform for resources on how to source, design and market sustainable fashion and find out more about the Sustainable Fashion Educator Pack at

– Lead Sponsor of the Redress Design Award 2019 is Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
– Other Major Sponsors are: Eastman NaiaTM, JNBY Group, VF Corporation, TAL Group, UPS, ADMCF, KMS, DLA Piper, Kerry Hotel and Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong. Other partners can be seen at

About Redress (

The Redress Design Award (formerly the EcoChic Design Award) was developed by and is wholly organised by Redress, a pioneering environmental charity working to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry. They achieve this through a variety of dynamic programmes which work to minimise the negative impacts of fashion, whilst promoting innovative new models and driving growth towards a more sustainable industry via the circular economy. Working directly with a wide range of stakeholders, including designers, manufacturers, brands, educational bodies, government and consumers, Redress aims to create lasting environmental change in fashion.

The Redress Design Award (formerly the EcoChic Design Award) is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition working to educate emerging fashion designers around the world about sustainable design theories and techniques in order to drive growth towards a circular fashion system. By putting sustainable design talent in the global spotlight, the competition creates a unique platform for passionate and talented fashion game-changers to transform the global fashion industry and rewards the best with career-changing prizes to maximise long-term impact.

About the Create Hong Kong (

Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated agency set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2009. It is under the Communications and Creative Industries Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and dedicated to spearheading the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK has sponsored the Redress Design Award (formerly the EcoChic Design Award) since the latter was launched in 2011.*


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