VF Corporation, a global supplier of branded lifestyle clothes, footwear, and accessories, announced the winner of the Redress Design Award for 2021, continuing their three-year partnership with environmental charity Redress.
As the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition, the Redress Design Award, represents VF's ongoing commitment to innovation and the development of the next generation of forward-thinking, environmentally conscious designers in the garment and footwear industries.
Sean Cady, VF’s Vice President, Global Sustainability and Responsibility, who acted as one of the judges, said that the Redress Design Awards highlight what can be accomplished when budding designers are given the chance to experiment with sustainability. They believe developing innovative, up-and-coming talent is both excellent for business and essential for the future of our world. Sustainable fashion and circular design are in line with their mission to improve people and the environment. It's tremendously satisfying to see their global teams embrace this sustainability challenge and mentor the next generation of designers.
Ten finalists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Greater China competed in virtual competitions from September 1 to 11. Educational challenges and masterclasses on promoting sustainability and circular design in the fashion industry through a variety of sustainable production options were part of the event. The rising designers gained their spot in the competition by impressing judges with entries that offered climate-positive clothes through zero-waste patterns, prolonged garment lifecycles, end-of-life disassembly, upcycling, and minimal washing needs.
Christina Dean, the founder of Redress, said that at Redress, they believe that educating designers is critical to achieving their goal of reducing waste in the fashion industry. As a result, VF is a natural fit for the Redress Design Award. They are living proof that teaching their own fashion professionals leads to action and a good impact in the real world. Education requires patience and a long-term perspective, yet the global education gap is alarmingly large. It's refreshing to work hand-in-hand with VF on revolutionizing fashion from the design board up.
The 10-day event came to a close with the Grand Final fashion show, which featured each designer's entire collection. The winner will be mentored by VF's Timberland® brand and will eventually design a sustainable apparel capsule line that will premiere in Spring 2023.
Jessica Chang, the Redress Design Award's First Prize Winner, impressed the judges with her collection, which used waste materials in designs in order to connect with and inspire people. The winning collection demonstrated creativity in sustainable design as well as marketability and commerciality.
Jessica Chang said that winning this opportunity to work with Timberland is a life-changer for her. Entering this difficult market as a budding designer is intimidating since there is so much negative news and complexity everywhere we look. They’re confident in their ability to effect change. As start-up designers, though, it can be difficult to magnify their huge ideas. The Redress Design Award has given her hope — they're all in this together, trying to make a difference!”
Chang will immediately begin working with Timberland® and VF's Sustainability and Responsibility teams to ensure that the materials and design concepts fulfill the company's sustainability goals.
Mahmoud Salahy, Vice President and Managing Director, Timberland® Asia Pacific, said that the quality of the designs was outstanding, reinforcing their commitment to eco-innovation. Based on their previous experience working with Redress and the level of skill and innovation emerging from this worldwide competition, they are looking forward to collaborating with this year's winner.
This comes as the Redress winner's capsule collection prepares to hit stores this Spring. Le Ngoc Ha Thu, a Vietnamese designer, collaborated with the Timberland global design team for nine months to create the Chinese New Year-themed capsule collection, which prioritizes both environment and the consumer.
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