Last Saturday (11 September 2021), Hong Kong-based NGO Redress, which is working to reduce waste in the fashion industry, held its Redress Design Award Grand Final fashion show. Here are the winners of the awards and everything else you missed.
Redress Design Award
As the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, the Redress Design Award challenges designers to turn various waste materials into clothing in an effort to activate circular fashion. This year’s competition saw applications from designers in 58 countries and regions. From here, 10 finalists were chosen who were then tasked with sourcing local waste – including everything from end-of-roll, samples, secondhand clothing, school uniforms, boat covers and damaged camping equipment to place mats – to create their menswear and womenswear competition collections. In the run up to the Grand Final, the finalists took part in 10 days of digital immersive educational challenges and masterclasses.
In a first for the Redress Design Award Grand Final, finalists produced four outfits physically with a fifth item projected using virtual models, creating a digital-hybrid experience using innovative technology.
The 2021 winner
And the winner of the Redress Design Award 2021 is…Taiwanese designer Jessica Chang! Her winning collection wowed the judges due to its strong marketability while bringing waste back into designs that connect with and inspire consumers. Jessica will now join global outdoor lifestyle fashion brand, Timberland, to create a sustainable design project. During this time, Jessica will also work closely with VF Corporation’s (the parent company of Timberland) Sustainability and Responsibility team to gain valuable insights from across the supply chain, including responsible design and marketing.
On winning, Jessica says, “Winning this chance to work with Timberland is a life-changer for me. Entering this complex industry as an emerging designer is daunting because, so often, everywhere we look we see bad news and complexity. We know we can bring change. Yet it is hard to magnify our big ideas as start-up designers. The Redress Design Award has given me confidence – we are all in this together to make a positive change!”
Below is a complete list of the Redress Design Award 2021 winners:
Every second, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated globally, and textile waste is estimated to increase by 60% by 2030. Designers are said to influence around 80% of a product’s environmental impact, which is why education is core to each Redress Design Award cycle and why the competition as a whole is so important in fighting fashion waste.
Christina Dean, Redress founder, says, “Fashion’s waste rates are unacceptable and change is not happening fast enough. Whilst recycling technology engineers search in labs for breakthrough recycling solutions and the finance community dither about financing much-needed recycling start-ups, Redress is increasingly promoting hyper-local waste sourcing solutions, spearheaded by fashion designers. Every textile deserves a second life.”
Since the competition started 11 years ago, the Redress Design Awards is now the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, aiming to encourage a shift to circular economies and reduce fashion’s negative environmental impacts.
Click play to watch the Grand Final Fashion Show of the Redress Design Award 2021 below:
Interview: Anya Hindmarch on her new book and iconic tote bags
We’re constantly on the lookout for new sustainable lifestyle brands and products all over the world. When Anya Hindmarch, an award-winning British fashion designer and entrepreneur, opened not just one but five stylish boutique stores in upscale London, published her first book and launched a new edition to her iconic eco tote bag collection – all at the same time – we knew we wanted to interview her about it!
Don’t forget that we’re running a giveaway where you can win one of two copies of Anya’s book If in Doubt, Wash Your Hair. Head to our IG (@8shadesofficial) to get the details on how to enter!
1.You reinvented the retail space in London with the recent launch of The Village – a new retail hotspot that features five very unique stores. How did this concept come about?
The idea of The Village was a 2-year-long dream.
We all know the retail world is changing and the idea of 60 cookie-cutter stores all over the world being the same no long felt very modern to me. The backdrop of my career at that point has always been about globalisation, but I think the next 10 years need to be about localisation – it’s not about jumping on a plane anymore; it’s more about looking after each other and looking after our community.
In a digital world, what’s the point of visiting a store? I really wanted to reinvent that, so I actively reduced the number of stores we had worldwide pre-COVID so we could really focus on The Village and made sure each store has proper touch points that truly engage with our customers and our community, and offer something different from the online experience.
2. Could you tell us a little bit more about the five brands you have and how you landed on this collection?
We have The Labelled Shop which is all about the art of organisation. We have The Bespoke Store, which is about personalisation and longevity of beautiful items made to be handed down through the generations. We have The Plastic Storewhich is committed to our passion for the circularity of materials. We have The Village Hall, which is an ever-changing space that is open as the hair salon called Shampoo & Therapy, where you go in, maybe with your girlfriends, have a nice head massage and a good time, then come out feeling reborn with beautiful hair. It’s been a COVID-safe reunion and it was a COVID-safe book launch for my first book.
And then there’s also The Anya Café, which for me, is the heart of the little village. It’s a British café – but reimagined British cakes with the most wonderful ingredients. It’s so much fun because I get to put all the creative ideas I have into cakes basically. It’s a really lovely way to engage the brand.
3.On top of launching The Village, you also published your first book new book called If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair: A Manual for Life. We’re intrigued. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind it?
I did lots of talks to women about business and fashion as you would expect, and it’s funny how at the end of the talks, a lot of women would come up to me and ask about how I manage (I’ve got five children, a business, etc.). They want to know my journey and what advice I have for a busy working woman. And I would always jokingly reply: if in doubt, wash your hair.
I think it talks to the fact that we should look after ourselves first, because if we don’t, we’re no good for anyone. The book has the word “doubt” in it, because I think everyone suffers from doubt. Doubt can be the thing that makes you good; it can drive you to be the best version of yourself, so it really is about how we deal with doubt. I’m a mother, I’m a stepmother, I’m a woman in business, an entrepreneur, a creative… I have all of those roles and of course doubt sneaks its way to all of those roles. I’ve just been very honest about how I feel and how I navigate that, in hopes that it can benefit someone.
I think when you get to 50 – I’m now 53, you realise you know more than you think.
4. Let’s talk about your iconic tote bags. We love everything about them – the design ethos, the sustainability statement, the craftsmanship, and the awareness they have achieved. They went through quite an evolution from the OG I’m Not A Plastic Bag in 2007 to I’m A Plastic Bag now. Have you noticed any progress or shifts in consumers’ perception towards sustainability over the years?
When we did the project in 2007, the word “disposable” was not in our vocabulary, so the first project was really about awareness. And the second project was about the circularity of materials.
If we keep a linear line of taking things, using them for five minutes, chucking them and taking more, we’ll just end up with landfill after landfill which is just crazy. You know, there are eight billion tons of plastics on the planet right now, how can we keep that in circulation and not take more? How can we reuse what we’ve got, repair it, reinvent it, and keep it in circulation?
When we launched I’m A Plastic Bag, we closed all of our flagship stores in London during fashion week and filled the stores with 90,000 used plastic bottles – which was part protest and part art installation because it looked rather beautiful – which we’ve then made into something that we want to keep on our shoulders instead of landfill, and that visualisation made people think.
Someone once said to me, when you throw something away, there’s no “away”. That’s why the word “disposable” has to go. And if you really have to use plastic bottles, no problem – reuse them! I know it’s not the sexiest, but that’s the magic of fashion, it can make something that doesn’t feel fashionable look cool.
5. It’s fascinating how you seeded these totes into the market. Your team has a track record of coming up with bold and brilliant launch ideas. Could you let us in on what you’re about to do next?
We have a very exciting project coming up soon. I think what excites me is fashion with purpose. I no longer feel that fashion for fashion’s sake is really enough. You know, I’m the first person who loves beautiful things and dressing up and showing my character through what I wear, and I will continue to do that. But I don’t want to endlessly buy new things and have fashion for the purpose of status. When I buy a handbag, I want to know what the point of it is – it is doing something? Is it using recycled material? Is it donating to charity? Is it making me feel more confident or organised? To me, fashion with purpose is really important, and we will continue to work on those projects because that’s what gets me out of bed every morning. So stay tuned!
6.Last but not least, we need to know – out of all the self-care rituals, why washing hair?
You know, there’s just something lovely about getting into a hot shower, having that ten or five minutes where you don’t have your phone, no one is bothering you, no children tapping on your door (hopefully). It’s where I come up with some of my best ideas actually. If I’m tired or jetlagged, washing my hair gives my brain a rest and it just makes me feel reborn afterwards.
I remember during the launch of The Village, things were mental and I did so much talking, so I went into the basement of one of the stores just to gather my thoughts. My lovely assistant saw me and suggested a hair wash at the salon, which turned out to be a fantastic idea. There was beautiful music from the 70s, the light was slightly dark, I leaned back, I had a brilliant hair wash and I came away feeling like I’ve just had a meditation.
So go get a hair wash – ten times a day if you need to, and doubt be gone!
Remember to check out our IG(@8shadesofficial) to learn how to stand a chance to win one of two SIGNED copies of Anya’s book!
Did you know that kids can speed through seven sizes of clothing in the first two years of their lives? This adds to the already-massive amount of waste generated by the fashion industry each year. Retykle has been tackling this problem since 2016, allowing parents to resell their gently worn children’s clothes on the platform and keep them in circulation for longer.
Sarah Garner’s company, Retykle, is now an institution in the Hong Kong kids’ clothing scene, and we had the chance to chat with her about the inspiration behind starting the company, her top picks for back-to-school, and what’s next.
We’re partnering with Retykle for a back to school giveaway, where two lucky winners will each win an HK$800 voucher each to shop on retykle.com. Follow us on Instagram @8shadesofficial for more details!
How did you first come up with the idea for Retykle?
I’d worked in luxury fashion for over 10 years and had begun to feel that the relentless pace of the industry was unsustainable. At the same time that I was questioning my role within the industry, I was also becoming a mom.
Upon having my first child, I was struck with the pace at which babies outgrow their clothes and the temporary nature of everything you buy for them. Having kids, inadvertently, creates massive waste due to this temporary use cycle and I felt that I could use my experience to create a circular fashion solution that resolves to keep items in circulation for longer, extending their lifespan and keeping items out of the landfill.
We endeavour to keep solving for full circularity such that kids don’t have to impact their future earth just by being born.
What’s one simple thing everyone can do to be more sustainable?
Consider making a portion of everything you purchase secondhand. Every little bit helps to increase the product lifespan and the simple act of a secondhand purchase can serve as a lesson to your kids about responsible consumption.
Also, try to fix something that requires mending with your kids so that they learn not to treat items as disposable when they are broken, but rather understand the importance of repairing to keep them out of the garbage. Something as simple as getting dressed can become a family philosophy about consumption.
Make a Splash In These 8 Sustainable Swimwear Brands
By: Deena Robinson
No matter how you’re spending your summer – on the beach, book in hand, on a junk boat or having a dawn surfing session, you need a good swimsuit that makes you feel confident – that’s a non-negotiable! And while you’re enjoying the ocean, why not find a swimsuit that’s helping clean it up at the same time? Here are eight sustainable swimwear brands that should be on your radar this summer.
Based in Malaysia, Ozero Swimwear targets those living in the tropics. Its products are made from Econyl, a regenerated nylon fibre made from recovered plastic waste like fishing nets and industrial plastic. The material also provides shape retention and UV protection, and is resistant to chlorine and sunscreen. We love their simplistic designs with vibrant colours, particularly this reversible orange one piece with straps that can be styled in two ways!
Batoko’s swimwear is made from trash, but the end result is far from it. Besides using recycled plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills or the ocean and ensuring that it reduces its energy usage wherever possible, Batoko makes a concerted effort to donate regularly to marine conservation organisations. Their brand features so many fun and playful prints that it’s difficult to choose our favourite, but we love these shark and lobster one pieces.
Based in London, Stay Wild is a women-owned business that makes all of their swimsuits locally out of regenerated ocean plastic, Econyl and Tencel, the latter of which is biodegradable and compostable. Every part of their products are recycled and recyclable (including the tags)! All of their products feature clean, structured lines and a flattering fit, but these briefs will hold everything in and keep you looking perfectly cool on the scorching hot beaches of Hong Kong.
When founder Amahlia Stevens set out to create an eco-friendly swimwear line, she was told there was no market for swimwear made from recycled fibres – so she made her own, working with manufacturers to create EcoLux, a swim fabric made from recycled nylon fibres. Besides this, Vitamin A uses other sustainable yet high-performing fabrics like organic cotton, linen, recycled cotton and Tencel. From loungewear to bikinis and bodysuits, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you don’t like at Vitamin A! This blue cut-out bralette will help you stand out from the crowd.
One of our local sustainable swimwear brands, Zaffre is relatively new to the swimwear scene, having launched in February 2020. Its swimwear is made with MIPAN Regan, which is regenerated nylon filament yarn, and Repreve, made from regenerated ocean waste, and its manufacturing process saves over 30% of energy compared to conventional garment-making! With free shipping for orders in Hong Kong, shopping for sustainable swimwear locally has never been so easy! Check out this beautiful olive green one-piece with detachable straps – no tan lines!
Based in Singapore and crafted from materials like Econyl, rPET and Xtralife Lycra, August Society’s swimwear is not only beautiful and eco-friendly, but functional as well. Their signature Valencia one-piece is reversible – two for the price of one! They also offer multiple collections for men and kids as well, which include rash guards and patterned suits, allowing you to coordinate your swimsuits with your family’s! Plus, their products come delivered in plant plastic pouches that biodegrade over time.
For our surfer gals, September is the brand for you! Blending flattering and feminine lines with athletic performance, September makes its swimwear with recycled fabrics made from ghost fishing nets and even old carpets! Its swing tags and packaging are also made from recycled materials. We love this burnt orange structured bikini top, but we also have to give a shout out to their gorgeous one pieces, which have such beautiful details, like this one in burnt sienna.
Rimmba is based and manufactured in Bali and takes the utmost care in all stages of their production process, from sourcing and dyeing the fabrics to manufacturing and packaging. The brand’s name means “deep virgin forest” and it aims to create pieces that are sustainable and ethical from the material stage to the user disposal stage. It makes its pieces with Vita by Carvico, a durable fabric made from 100% regenerated post-consumer waste, as well as 100% natural dyes. Rimmba also provides a guide to repurposing its products after use! We love this flattering sporty-style bikini top (actually, we want the whole bikini set)!
No matter how you’re spending your summer, spend it in a swimsuit that makes you feel comfortable and confident, while being kind to Mother Earth! We hope this guide to sustainable swimwear brands will inspire you to have the best, eco-friendly summer yet!
8Shades’ Guide To Sustainable Sportswear: Olympics Edition
By: Deena Robinson
The wait is nearly over- the Olympics are starting today and we can’t wait to watch our favourite athletes. But while we’re admiring their athletic gifts from the comfort of our home, some of us are also admiring what they’re wearing. To get into the spirit of things, we’re imagining our Olympic-themed outfits, but through an eco-friendly lens. So, here’s our picks of the best sustainable, Olympics – themed sportswear.
Sanabul Los Cactus Boxing Gloves
Whether you’re doing boxing or any other combat sport, you’ll need a pair of gloves to protect your hands. Jiu jitsu and boxing apparel company Sanabul recently launched the world’s first cactus leather boxing gloves, made entirely from the nopal (or prickly pear) cactus. Featuring gold trimming and Aztec-inspired designs, you’ll be sparring in style. They’re limited edition, so snap these stylish boxing gloves up before they’re gone!
Sweaty Betty On Your Marks 4” Running Shorts
Sweaty Betty is working to make their entire product line more sustainable through the use of recycled materials and sustainable fabrics, including organic cotton, bamboo and recycled plastic bottles. These running shorts are made from recycled polyester and are sweat-wicking, too. Perfect for those sweaty morning runs!
Icebug OutRun Shoes
If you’re a trail runner looking for a shoe that will carry you through every kind of weather and terrain, you need a pair of Icebugs! The brand calls itself the first climate-positive footwear brand, offsetting 200% of the carbon emissions their production processes cause. These OutRun shoes are made with several sustainable materials, like 100% recycled PET polyester and algae foam.
Oliv the Label One Piece
Born from yogic values, Oliv the Label wants to redefine how we see women’s swimwear. All of their pieces (and the packaging it comes in!) are made from eco-friendly materials, like Econyl, an Italian fabric made from regenerated ocean plastic waste. Econyl is also known for its body-sculpting properties, as well as its resistance to oil, sunscreen, chlorine and UV radiation. Available in a range of Earth-toned colours, we recommend this gorgeous one-piece.
NordicDots Tennis Dress
NordicDots is a Swedish tennis apparel company that aims to use recycled and organic fabrics in their products and minimise production waste. The company also uses 100% recycled plastic bags to pack their garments. We’re loving this navy blue tennis dress.
Isadore Debut Cycling Jersey
Created by former cycling pros, Isadore’s line features jerseys, bib shorts, jackets and baselayers that are all made from recyclable materials but don’t compromise on quality. The packaging is also kept to a minimum to avoid unnecessary waste. This jersey is mostly made from 100% recycled Italian polyester. The lightweight fabric is also sweat-wicking, so you can comfortably enjoy the beautiful Hong Kong cycling trails in style.
We love how invested people get in the Olympics; similarly, we hope that this guide inspires you to go to the grocery store in your finest tennis shoes and leggings, but we should also take the time to be more critical of the materials used to make our activewear; as the waste crisis continues to worsen, there’s really no reason to buy workout gear made from unsustainable materials. If everyone could prevent even one pair of leggings or a t-shirt from ending up in landfills, that would make a massive difference!