What happened: On July 28, China’s only sustainable fashion award announced the three finalists for its 2022 edition. Initiated by Impact Hub Shanghai, RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge seeks to discover and foster the next generation of designers who are reshaping the fashion landscape in a climate-conscious way. Sara Sozzani Maino, a driving force behind emerging designers and judge of the competition, stated: “These challenges are important to support the new generation and make the industry understand that the will is to be more responsible.”
Hanqing Ding, Aqua Lixun Su and 022397Bluff are the three talents who made it to the final round out of 108 participants from the world’s top 52 fashion art schools. The three winners will show their collection during Shanghai Fashion Week Spring 2023 in October this year. The best competitor will receive one $23,275 (RMB 150,000) cash prize.
Taking Jing: RISE Sustainable Fashion Lab Unveiled Jing Daily that compared to the previous edition, the percentage of participation has increased by over 60 percent. This means that there is a significant increase in climate awareness and interest in sustainable practices among young fashion designers. And exciting changes are coming from these future leaders, who are injecting new energy into the sector and presenting innovative approaches to the circular economy.
MA graduate Royal College of Art Hanqing Ding applies the concept of sustainability to its high-end knitwear label throughout the production chain: from the initial stage of selecting suppliers of renewable, degradable and traceable yarns to after-sales, offering repair and refurbishment services .
Meanwhile, former student of Central Saint Martins Aqua Lixun Su presents designs with cross-generational potential that champion the idea of slow fashion. The integrated knitting techniques applied by the brand have achieved zero waste in the production process and the multi-purpose use of each garment helps the business avoid inventory accumulation.
Finally, based in Paris 022397 Bluff, founded in 2019, brings the ancient Chinese Miao ethnic embroidery craft into the context of contemporary fashion using exclusively natural materials and eco-friendly plant dyes. The label provides an excellent example of how to celebrate intangible cultural heritage with sustainable practices.
However, reaching the finals is only the beginning of the journey for these promising names. Whether they can be the stars of tomorrow will ultimately depend on how successfully they can be commercialized – how their business ideas and viable concepts can actually be implemented and turn a profit. It will be tempting to see if the resources of RISE and Impact Hub Shanghai can support these lesser-known designers to expand into the consumer market and eventually become household names.
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