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Getting Redressed

This time last year I was boarding a plane back to Hong Kong, just in time to ‘Get Redressed’.

I had heard about Redress: a Hong Kong based NGO working towards environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry. I was excited to find out more about the projects they get up to, to put this mission into action.

The Redress forum seminar is a one-day event which brings together some of the fashion industry’s most inspirational experts on sustainable fashion. Amongst the minds of retailers, manufacturers and designers who had also come to discuss 2014’s theme: ‘What is the future of fashion?’ was my curious mind.

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As a volunteer for Redress I was given responsibility for transcribing the talks happening throughout the day.

A highlight was sitting in on a workshop led by Orsola De Castro, a true pioneer in the sustainable fashion world. As she told us about her journey to discover the possibilities upcycling could offer her as a designer, the emerging designers in the audience jumped up to question the opportunities to incorporate upcycling throughout their own collections. I was amongst some of the audience for whom the concept of ‘upcycling’ was quite new, but afterwards the idea of giving a garment ‘another life’ quite came to life!

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After topping up on some sustainable fashion knowledge, it was time to help with preparation for the finale of the EcoChic Design Award catwalk finale. The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition challenging emerging designers to create mainstream clothing with minimal waste. This all comes to a grand finale catwalk, where we get to see all the finalists’ designs paraded in-front of the industry’s media.

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It was an amazing experience for me to see the production of a fashion show.The atmosphere was created by this overwhelming capability of fashion to beautifully confront sustainability issues.

For the first time I could really connect the seemingly ‘glamourous’ side of fashion which pops to mind when shopping on Oxford Street, with fashion’s sustainability issues. This was when I realised a very special power of fashion: to creatively be a platform for serious issues. The apparently boring word ‘sustainability’ had suddenly come to life in a new light to me, and if our clothing can actually become more sustainable, imagine the standards this could set to incorporate sustainability into other parts of our life.

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Together, these two events opened my mind to the possibilities that come with being a part of the mission towards making what we wear sustainable. Because we are all bound to wearing clothing, this is a mission we will all continue to be a living part of.

A particular quote from the seminar by Christina Dean, CEO of Redress, has stuck with me: ‘Sustainable fashion isn’t a challenge, but an opportunity’.

What I mean when I say “I got ‘Redressed’ ”, is that the fast fashion Oxford Street me had changed, into a new more conscious outfit. I’m now ever more curious to know: what is the real story behind what I am wearing? And how can I influence that story?

 

Do you want to get Redressed?

If you, like me, can’t make it to Hong Kong this time, the good news is that on 21st January 2015 the Grand Final of the EcoChic Design Award will be streamed live!

 

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I love keeping up to date with what Redress are up to via:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RedressAsia

and Instagram: @getredressed

 

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