VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, continued its three-year partnership with environmental charity Redress, announcing the 2021 winner of the Redress Design Award. As the world's largest sustainable fashion design competition, the Redress Design Award reflects VF's continuous drive to innovate and foster the next generation of forward-thinking, environmentally-conscious designers in the apparel and footwear industry. The winner, Jessica Chang, will receive the opportunity to design a sustainable capsule collection with Timberland® available for sale in 2023.
"The Redress Design Awards showcase what is possible when emerging designs are given an opportunity to innovate around sustainability. We believe cultivating creative, up-and-coming talent is both good for business and a necessity for the future of our planet," said Sean Cady, VF's Vice President, Global Sustainability and Responsibility, who served as one of the judges. "Sustainable fashion and circular design align with our purpose of bettering both people and the planet. Watching our global teams embrace this sustainability competition and mentor the next generation of designers is incredibly rewarding."
Ten finalists from the US, UK, Germany, India, and Greater China participated in virtual events, which took place September 1-11. The event included educational challenges and master classes on advancing sustainability and circular design in the fashion industry through a variety of sustainable production solutions. With a broader focus on the reduction of waste, the emerging designers secured their place in the competition by impressing judges with entries that offered climate positive apparel through zero-waste patterns, prolonged garment lifecycles, end-of-life disassembly, upcycling and minimal washing needs.
"At Redress, we believe that educating designers is an urgent must if we are to achieve our mission of reducing fashion's waste. That's why VF is a perfect partner for the Redress Design Award. They represent real life, big business proof that training their own fashion professionals does lead to action and positive impact. Education takes time and a long-sighted approach and the global education gap is worryingly huge. It's refreshing to work hand-in-hand with VF on transforming fashion from the design board up," said Christina Dean, the founder of Redress.
The 10-day event culminated with the Grand Final fashion show with each designer showcasing a full collection. The winner will participate in a mentorship program with VF's Timberland brand and will ultimately design a sustainable apparel capsule collection that will launch in Spring 2023.
The First Prize Winner of the Redress Design Award, Jessica Chang, impressed the judges with her collection which incorporated waste materials into designs to connect with and inspire consumers. The winning collection demonstrated creativity in sustainable design as well as strong marketability and commerciality.
"Winning this chance to work with Timberland is a life-changer for me," said Jessica Chang. "Entering this complex industry as an emerging designer is daunting because, so often, everywhere we look we see bad news and complexity. We know we can bring change. Yet it is hard to magnify our big ideas as start-up designers. The Redress Design Award has given me confidence - we are all in this together to make a positive change!"
Chang will begin working with the Timberland® team immediately, along with VF's Sustainability and Responsibility team to ensure that the materials and design strategies meet the company's sustainability objectives.
"The caliber of designs was extremely impressive and reinforces our commitment to eco-innovation," said Mahmoud Salahy, Vice President and Managing Director, Timberland® Asia Pacific. "We are looking forward to working with this year's winner based on our past experience working with Redress and the level of talent and creativity emerging from this global competition."
This moment comes as the capsule collection designed by last year's Redress winner is preparing to hit stores this Spring. Vietnamese designer Le Ngoc Ha Thu spent nine months working with the Timberland global design team to create the Chinese New Year-themed capsule collection, which puts both nature and the consumer at the center of the conversation.
About VF Corporation
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world's largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good. For more information, please visit vfc.com.
About Redress (www.redress.com.hk)
Redress is a pioneering environmental charity working to prevent and transform textile waste in the fashion industry. Its dynamic programmes work to minimise the negative impacts of fashion, whilst promoting innovative new models and driving growth towards a more sustainable industry via the circular economy.
The Redress Design Award is the world's largest sustainable fashion design competition working to educate emerging fashion designers around the world about sustainable design theories and techniques in order to drive the shift towards a circular fashion system. By putting sustainable design talent in the global spotlight, the competition creates a unique platform for passionate and talented fashion game-changers to transform the global fashion industry and rewards the best with career-changing prizes to maximise long-term impact. Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the Lead Sponsor of the Redress Design Award. www.redressdesignaward.com
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