Last month we headed along to the EcoChic Design Awards in Hong Kong where we had the opportunity to witness some of the most incredible and inspiring upcycled collections shown at the 2017 EcoChic Design Award.

The EcoChic Design Award has been inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create mainstream clothing with minimal textile waste since its conception in 2011 and this year was no exception. Designers from every inch of the globe came together for a series of intensive workshops where they got the chance to delve into the world of garment manufacturing in Asia and use their learnings to present innovative collections that challenged the perceptions around upcycled fashion.

Designer: Sarah Devina Susanto
Image: Wing Shya

From upcycled jute sacks that were delicately hand painted with florals and woven into knots to create a sensational oversized halter neck and pant combination, to reused damaged umbrellas and secondhand kimonos which were transformed into stunningly wearable tops and skirt, this year’s designers proved that the original form of the material was no barrier to creating exceptional design. While all of the EcoChic Design Award finalists presented eye capturing and forward thinking designs, this year it was London based designer and Nottingham Trent University MA graduate, Kate Morris that took out the overall prize. Morris’ vibrant collection of knitted dresses made out from second hand t-shirts epitomised the zero waste theme and the designer’s ethos of recycling and reusing. And as part of her prize, Morris will go on to design the next collection for BYT – the new upcycled social impact fashion brand that Redress launched earlier this year.

Other highlights included collections from Lia Kassif, Amanda Borgfors Meszaros and Candle Ray Torreverde. Israeli designer, Lia Kassif, swept up a number of special accolades with her military inspired collection where uniforms donated by the Israel Defence Forces were blended with the leftover pieces of lace, chiffon and silk – scraps from Israel’s burgeoning bridal wear industry. While Swedish fashion design student Amanda Borgfors Meszaros dazzled with her mesmerising pleats made out of upcycled end of roll fabrics and second hand textiles to create a collection with such stunning movement it literally floated down the runway. Filipino Candle Ray Torreverde also delighted with his collection of monochromatic textures crafted out of reconstructed and upcycled textiles, along with the use of natural dyes. The result? A dramatic collection that dominated the runway.  

Designer: Kate Morris
Image: Wing Shya

Interested in learning more? You can see this year’s finalists work in two locations around the world.

Fashion for Good, Amsterdam
Select pieces from the EcoChic Design Award 2017 finalists’ work, including Dutch finalist Joëlle van de Pavert, will be exhibited at Fashion for Good Experience in Amsterdam from 2- 23 November 2017.

Taipei in Style, Taiwan
Select pieces from the EcoChic Design Award 2017 finalists’ work, including Taiwanese finalist Sung Yi Hsuan , will be exhibited at Taipei in Style from 16 – 19 November.