Green Fashion, Sans Hemp

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to expand the scope of fashion that I usually expose myself to. I am delighted that Style.com has finally deemed Scandinavian fashion weeks (looking at you, Copenhagen & Stockholm) worthy of coverage, and I’ve also been madly following Japanese & Chinese fashion people on Instagram. Rest assured that Korean fashion is next on the list of to-dos.

During this following binge, I stumbled across Leaf Greener, the senior fashion editor of Elle China. She’s been Coveteur’d, and at the time of my following she was at the annual Hong Kong EcoChic Design Awards. Hippie-dippie name aside, the competition is organized by sustainable design NGO Redress Hong Kong, and invites designers from select countries in Asia and Europe to apply. After a preliminary educational process in which designers learn more about sustainable design techniques and the importance of conscious sourcing, they are then thrown into the competition ring to see who can come up with the most technically, aesthetically, and earth-pleasing line of garments.

This year, the top three prizes went to Kevin Germanier (UK), Victor/Shing Hong Chu (HK), and Laurensia Salim (Singapore) respectively. I’m going to have to say that as a disclaimer I lack the technical jargon to be able to appropriately describe these beautiful pieces of clothing, but nonetheless I will have to agree with the judges and say that Kevin’s design here is my favorite. The majority of the dress in the picture below is made of a wool blanket from the Swiss army, and not only did Kevin succeed in not making it look dated, his draping technique infused the piece with a structural integrity that I was unaware it was capable of. In another piece of his mini-collection he incorporates a peplum (which I hate with a passion, or rather, hated) and pairs it with a more masculine counterpart, a wide legged trouser cinched in at the waist, so that it doesn’t even evoke the slightest image of a sorority girl who’s had one too many drinks at a house party. I don’t have access to too many images from the collection, but that’s not gonna stop my fawning.

The majority of the finalists who I took a look at utilized upcycling as their “eco-technique”, which I think is a good starting place, but in the future, as the competition hopefully gets more funding and grows, I’d like to see an introduction of more advanced technologies and fabrics, like what Bionic Yarn used in their denim collaboration with G-Star Raw. With that said, though, this is some good stuff, and possibly the first sustainable fashion competition that hasn’t made me want to vom. Good on you, HK, for being ahead of the pack!

Victor/Shing Hong Chu. Photo via EcoChic Design Awards

Laurensia Salim. Photo via EcoChic Design Awards

Kevin Germanier. Photo via EcoChic Design Awards

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