What Happened: Mainland China’s only sustainable fashion award officially kicked off on April 21 as R.I.S.E. Sustainable Fashion Lab launched its second edition. It aims to discover a new generation of Chinese designers pioneering the sustainability revolution of the local fashion industry. Initiated by Impact Hub, one of the world’s largest platforms for social innovation and sustainable development, it seeks to support, empower, and incubate promising talents by connecting them with key stakeholders in the fashion ecosystem.
Following a successful edition last year, the platform’s 2022 RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge calls for collaboration and collective action in the industry. The works will be reviewed by a jury that reads like a roll call of top industry experts: global strategy director at Fashion for Good, Brittany Burns; theBallroom founder Lucia Liu; deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, Sara Sozzani Maino; and Jing Daily’s Gemma A. Williams.
The Jing Take: Although sustainability is still a nascent field in the mainland, many Western brands have already built a solid reputation in the sector. And though it comes at the perfect time to fill a growing appetite for sustainable fashion, fostering homegrown designers to compete against a cohort of Western green labels is the challenge posed to R.I.S.E.
Admittedly, its support is generous: the three final winners will showcase their collection at Shanghai Spring 2023 Fashion Week. They will also be offered additional strands such as 6-12 months of mentorship, a free, sustainable supply chain (and resources), the possibility to showcase at notSHOWROOM, retail channel expansion, and potential collaborations with commercial names. Additionally, the top winner will receive $23,275 (150,000 RMB) from global specialty materials company Eastman for business development.
This is a significant opportunity and an important step forward. However, the bigger picture remains: until a mature, sustainable supply chain has been established, price-sensitive consumers will continue to shy away from expensive eco-friendly products.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.