Shanghai Fashion Week Highlight: EcoChic Design Award

First EcoChic Design Award Won By Janko Lam Last Year

Janko Lam receives the 2011 Ecochic Design Award

As emerging international and Chinese labels hit runways in Xintiandi for Shanghai Fashion Week S/S 2013, the 2012 EcoChic Design Award competition is set to make its first foray into mainland China. Organized by the Hong Kong-based fashion NGO Redress, whose mission is “to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption,” EcoChic is asking voters to vote on their favorite emerging eco-designer, with the winner receiving an opportunity of a lifetime with sustainable jewelry brand, John Hardy.

While Shanghai Fashion Week is often overshadowed by Beijing’s China International Fashion Week and the Contemporary Creative Design Fashion Show, the EcoChic Design Award may just give SFW a boost in much-needed industry cred. That is to say, the Ecochic contest is serious business. As Ecouterre recently noted, EcoChic’s contest last year in Hong Kong as well as this year’s Mainland installment — each of which sees designers battle it out over five grueling months — are packed with judging rounds, seminars, exhibitions, and workshops overseen by the likes of From Somewhere designer Orsola Castro, Hong Kong Elle publisher Dodo Cheung, and Esprit’s Margaret Kutt.

Following its inaugural contest in 2011, where Hainan-born, Hong Kong-based designer Janko Lam won the hearts of voters and judges alike, the EcoChic Design Award and eco-friendly “salvage chic” have each, in their own way, become fashion bellwethers that will most likely stick around.

Design by current frontrunner Li Liang (Kathy Li)

The winner of this year’s EcoChic award, as voted on online by the public, will win the chance to visit John Hardy’s sustainable production facilities in Bali, Indonesia, to learn first-hand how this jewelry brand integrates sustainability into the core of their business and production philosophies. This three-day, all expense paid trip will allow the winner to meet the brand’s inspiring head designer and creative artisans, learn how their production facilities minimize environmental impact, and get his or her hands “dirty” by joining in on the company’s passion for re-planting bamboo shoots as a way to offset carbon emissions. Upon their return home, the winner will write up their experiences in entries to be shared via social media by John Hardy and Redress.

This year’s grand finalists are Chen Qin Zi, Fu Xia Yan, Tiffany Fung, Gong Jiaqi, Li LIang, Li Shuai, Lin Jia Xin, Elena Loesch, Wang An’qi, Herlina Wijaya and Yang Qiying. Currently, Li Liang (Kathy Li) is the frontrunner, with 37 percent of votes, followed by Li Shuai with 33 percent of the vote.

In addition to her Balinese prize package, the finalist with the highest number of votes will also be crowned winner at the Grand Final Fashion Show at the conclusion of Shanghai Fashion Week. But lest EcoChic fans think it’s only the designers who have a chance to win, 10 lucky voters will be randomly picked to receive a piece of John Hardy jewelry.


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