Redress Design Award 2023 Winners Announced, Ushering New Era For Sustainable Fashion

Redress, the Hong Kong-headquartered, Asia-focused environmental NGO accelerating the change to a circular fashion industry, announced the winners of the Redress Design Award 2023.

With Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the Lead Sponsor, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition concluded its 13th cycle at Hong Kong’s fashion spotlight event, CENTRESTAGE, on the 7th of September.

Winning First Prize, Nils Hauser from Germany won the career-changing chance to work on a sustainable design collaboration out of VF Corporation’s Tokyo Design Collective with the Timberland design team for the brand’s Spring 2025 apparel collection.

The winner out-designed eight other emerging designer Finalists from Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, and the USA, following a gruelling nine-month educational competition that attracted applications from 46 countries and regions.

“Collaborating with a world-leading brand like Timberland and bringing my sustainable fashion ideas into the mainstream and large-scale fashion market whilst working with Timberland’s expert team is a designer’s dream,” said Hauser. “Designers have solutions, and we know that by working together we can make change,” he said.

Change is much needed. Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries. Approximately 100 billion apparel items are sold per year, representing a 50% increase since 2006, with the majority of clothing being landfilled or burned within one year of production.

Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned, meanwhile, 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage.

“Design decisions made at the drawing board can change the world,” said Redress Founder, Dr. Christina Dean. “Fashion needs to reinvent itself to become more circular. Floods and fires are continuing. Our Redress Design Award Finalists are fashion’s fire-fighters. Making sustainability and circularity an industry norm feels like a far-off dream, but it’s worth fighting for if we want to reduce fashion’s negative environmental impacts.”

The Finalists represent a new generation of fashion designers who are designing waste out of fashion with the circular design techniques of zero-waste, upcycling, and reconstruction.

They do so by exploring their local textile waste streams for their design materials, from manufacturing waste and consumer castoffs to the more imaginative reuse of turbans, tents, and bedsheets.

Their bold designs and sourcing methods represent creative and innovative solutions to increase current circularity achievements, which presently see less than one percent of clothing being recycled back into clothing.