Why green fashion will be the norm
Fashion meets green living in the fourth and latest cycle of the EcoChic Design Award, a competition that challenges emerging fashion designers to create fashion with minimal textile waste.
Launched by non-governmental organisation Redress, the award is reaching out to fashion-design talent from the East to the West - including Singapore - where eight finalists will present their sustainable collections at the Hong Kong Fashion Week next year.
The founder and chief executive of Redress, Ms Christina Dean, 35, spoke to My Paper about fashion sustainability and how Singapore could be on the right track.
How does the EcoChic Design Award aim to change the way fashion designers work?
The textile industry is one of the world's most polluting industries which heavily uses natural resources like oil and water, as well as vast amounts of chemicals.
While fashion designers can be influential when making a product sustainable, some lack the knowledge and awareness.
So, the EcoChic Design Award is an effort to raise awareness of the need to reduce textile waste and its negative impacts.
Many clothes are produced in developing countries, where labour laws are not as advanced. Does the competition aim to bring about change for fairer labour conditions?
Although this is not the primary focus of the competition, to some extent, we do hope to (change conditions) at the manufacturing level.
Designers and brands have a responsibility to understand and work to improve their own supply chains on the environmental and social side, and to be transparent with information for their consumers.
Sustainable fashion still caters to a very niche market. What do you see in its future here?
I think the idea of a niched, sustainable fashion market will start to change and become the norm.
Singapore has some cool vintage shops, a handful of sustainable fashion designers and a small, but flourishing, (clothes) swopping scene.
What can consumers do to make their wardrobe more environmentally sustainable?
Look at your favourite brands and you may find that they already have some great sustainable initiatives.
Get informed by finding out what the environmental issues are around the fashion industry and where you stand on them. Try to make better decisions when buying items and think about how long you will use the item, whether it is made well, and if there are items in your wardrobe that could be "redressed".
Online applications for the EcoChic Design Award at www.ecochicdesignaward.com will close by Aug 15.