EcoChic Design Award


What is sustainable fashion design?

Sustainable fashion design is the philosophy of designing fashion to comply with the principles of economic, social and environmental sustainability along a product’s lifespan.

What are sustainable design techniques?

The practical application varies among disciplines and there are various types of sustainable design. The EcoChic Design Award focuses on the following:

  • Zero-waste: a design technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage.
  • Up-cycling: the transformation of materials into products of equal or higher quality. In fashion, this means prolonging the life of waste textiles through creativity. At Redress we have further categorised waste materials used in up-cycling to be textiles that have never been made into any garment form or textiles from non-clothing products. We catagorise the reuse of material waste that is in garment form as reconstruction.
  • Reconstruction: a form of up-cycling and is the process of making new clothes from waste formed of previously worn garments or preformed finished clothing products. This process involves first deconstructing garments and then reconstructing the waste materials into new designs.

Learn more about these three sustainable design techniques here:

About EcoChic Design Award

Who can apply?

The EcoChic Design Award 2017 is for emerging fashion designers aged 18 years or above (as of the application closing date on 3 April 2017). Applicants may be newly established designers with less than three years’ professional experience or be fashion students in any year at a university or institute. The competition is open to applicants currently living with a valid ID/passport/visa/residence permit in Asia, Europe and the USA.*

*Afghanistan, Åland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Holy See, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao Special Administrative Region, Macedonia, Mainland China, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Sark, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, or Yemen.

What are the prizes?

First Prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2017 with BYT
Second Prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2017 Mentorship with Orsola de Castro
Special Prize: TBC
Hong Kong Best Prize: The EcoChic Design Award 2017 with Ear Up Music
People's Choice: The EcoChic Design Award 2017 people's Choice

Plus, all ten finalists and all 24 semi-finalists will win educational and career-enhancing prizes. More information about all of the career-changing prizes can be found here:


Who are the regional and international judges?

Regional judges: There are regional Asia, Europe and USA judging panels, each consisting of five judges representing design, retail and media sectors. These panels of regional judges will assess the open applications from their respective regions to select the top 24 semi-finalists, 12 from Asia and 12 from Europe and the USA. The regional judges will not be involved in the direct selection of the finalists or the winner(s). 
International judges: There is one international judging panel composed of five judges who will assess the 24 semi-finalists to select the ten finalists, five from Asia and five from Europe and the USA. The same international panel will judge the Grand Final fashion show to determine the winner(s). 

Read about the regional and international judges here:


What is the judging schedule?

The Open Application judging will take place from 3 April 2017 to determine the 24 semi-finalists, who will be announced on 2 May 2017 on the

The semi-final judging will take place from 2 May 2017 to determine the ten finalists, who will be announced on 25 May 2017 on the

The final judging will take place at Hong Kong's Fashion Week CENTRESTAGE in early September 2017 to determine the winners and the results will be announced live on the runway.

What are the judging criteria?

The designs will be scored in three categories in the Open Application and semi-final, and four categories in the final each with equal weighting according to: 

  1. Creativity and originality - applicants must demonstrate their design concepts are original and strong and have the ability to translate the concept throughout the entire collection with consistency
  2. Sustainability - applicants must demonstrate their overall understanding of sustainability and the three sustainable design techniques: zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction and have the ability to apply the design principles with innovation and technical confidence
  3. Marketability - applicants must demonstrate that their designs are suitable for the target consumer and have unique qualities and strong commercial viability, and, 
  4. Workmanship (final only) - finalists must demonstrate that all six outfits were made to the highest standard with quality finishing and their chosen materials need to be suitable for the designs and the techniques used.

When are applications due?

Applicants must submit their application via the EcoChic Design Award 2017 application form online before Monday 3 April 2017 at 11:59pm (local time in applicants region).


Can I apply if I’m a foreigner living in Asia, Europe or the USA?

Yes, anyone who meets the application criteria and who currently lives in one of the included regions can apply. For example, if you are an Australian citizen studying or living in France then you are eligible to apply from Europe. If you are a French citizen but currently living in Australia then you are not eligible to apply.


Where do I apply if I’m a foreigner living in Asia, Europe or the USA?

Applicants should apply from either Asia, or Europe and the USA depending on the country in which they are currently living. For example, if you are a Chinese citizen living and studying in the UK, then your application will be automatically processed under the Europe and the USA region.


Can I apply if I’m self-taught and have no formal fashion design training and/or professional fashion design experience? 

Yes, as long as the application criteria are met and you are over 18 years of age and have less than three years’ full time, part time or freelance professional experience. 


Can I apply if I have five years’ part time experience working in fashion design?

No, you cannot apply. Only applicants with less than three years’ professional experience can apply - whether the experience is full time, part time, freelance or whether you had a career gap. Applicants may be required to submit their curriculum vitae. 

Do I need to make my own garments?

Yes, finalists are required to sew their own garments themselves. Marks will be awarded for workmanship in the final.



Yes, however only if applicants are eligible to apply and have not previously won any prizes in the Grand Final of past cycles. 


Can I apply more than once within the 2017 competition cycle?

No, you may only apply once per competition cycle. After the first application, any subsequent application will be rejected.


Who do I contact if I have questions about my application?

Please email

If your enquiry cannot be answered by email, then a telephone or Skype call may be arranged if needed.

Does it cost anything to enter the competition?

There is no fee to enter this competition. The finalists will have to bear the costs for their own materials/textiles/trims, allocate their own personal time to produce their competition collection, pay for six pairs of shoes to accompany their grand final show collection, and packing materials for shipping of outfits to Hong Kong such as carton boxes, tapes, garment bags. Redress will pay for the actual shipping costs of Grand Final outfits to Hong Kong, the fashion shoot, the travel and accommodation of the finalists’ visit to Hong Kong and all costs related to the Grand Final fashion show and exhibition(s).

Can I use new trims (such as zips, buttons and etc) for my collection?

Yes, you can use new trims but a preference will be shown for sustainable materials.

Do I need to speak English to be able to apply?

Applicants are required to speak English or Chinese to be able to apply. The application system and guidelines are available only in English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese, and all applicants are required to use either of the three languages. Any other languages submitted will not be processed. 

A fairly good level of English is required for semi-finalists and finalists to be able to take part in interviews, judging and various Grand Final week activities in Hong Kong. 

Can I select my own models, hair and makeup and music for the Grand Final fashion show?

No. Redress determines all the creative input for the Grand Final, including styling, makeup, hair, models, music, photography and filming.  

Can I provide my own show shoes for the Grand Final fashion show?

Yes. The ten finalists will need to supply their own show shoes for their entire six outfit collection when they come to the Grand Final in Hong Kong. Finalists need to supply six pairs of European show shoes at size 39 and 40. Shoes are part of the show presentation but are not for judging and a preference for sustainably made shoes is shown. We recommend the same style of shoes for all six outfits.

Can I accessoriSe my outfits at the Grand Final fashion show?

Yes if you wish to. Accessories are optional and the same competition design requirement applies and they will be included for judging. Redress reserves the right to determine if submitted accessories are to be used in the Grand Final fashion show and no hair pieces will be accepted. All accessories must be sent together with the six outfits on 24 July 2017.  


What will happen to my six outfit designs after the competition?    

Redress owns four outfits made by the finalists for further educational and promotional activities after the competition. The designer shall be credited if and when their outfits are displayed following the competition’s completion. 

What is The Redress Forum: Design Challenges?

The Redress Forum: Design Challenges is a series of workshop style events for the finalists in Hong Kong in early September 2017. The finalists will explore the application of the sustainable design techniques zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction through various education activities and practical design challenges. All finalists are required to attend.

Who organises the fashion shoot?

Redress will organise a fashion shoot in Hong Kong in August 2017 (exact date TBC). Redress’ stylists will determine all styling including the possibility of mixing a number of garments from any six outfits of the same finalist for one look. Only one final photo per finalist will be chosen.

How will I know if I’m not selected?

For the Open Application and the Semi-Final, all unsuccessful applicants and semi-finalists will be notified by email. For the Grand Final, all finalists will know the competition results immediately after the Grand Final fashion show.

What happens if someone drops out or is disqualified?

In the event that a successful applicant drops out or is disqualified for whatever reason, Redress will contact the next runner-up from the same region in order to provide a replacement. 

Who are the organisers?

The EcoChic Design Award was developed and is organised by Redress. Redress is an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. They achieve this via educational sustainable fashion shows, exhibitions, competitions, seminars, research and by their recycled textile clothing standard. Their unique profile allows them to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders, including multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organisations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organisations.

Who are the key partners of The EcoChic Design Award?

The EcoChic Design Award’s major sponsor is Create Hong Kong. In addition, the competition relies on a strong network of sponsors, and supporting organisations including universities and fashion organisations in Asia, Europe and the USA.  See a list of all the partners here:


What is BYT?

BYT is new affordable luxury fashion brand that operates sustainably, and was borne from Redress’ 10-year focus of promoting sustainable fashion. BYT is proud to produce responsibly using up-cycled and sustainable materials and processes in Asia, with EcoChic Design Award Alumni and designer Kévin Germanier joining to lead the brand's designs. BYT will engage with a community of fashion customers with design-driven, ethical apparel and accessories. BYT has a focus on supporting Redress’ work as well as influencing positive developments in the fashion industry. Visit for more information.

Where will BYT’s collection be sold?

The resulting up-cycled capsule collection that you will work on will be retailed on BYT’s future e-commerce platform and with select retail partners (details TBC)

If I win, will I have to leave my current job?

It is not a requirement that you need to leave your current job or cease any work commitments as part of your winning prize. However, the extent of how winning will impact your current work will depend on your personal circumstances. The winner is required to work full time with the BYT team in Hong Kong for a minimum of three consecutive months, which must commence between September and October 2017.

If I win, will I need to travel as part of my winning prize? What about visas?

Yes, if you are not living in Hong Kong, you will need to travel back to Hong Kong for three months to work with BYT. You may also need to travel within Asia to visit various production facilities. Therefore you must be eligible to enter Hong Kong, Mainland China and Thailand. Any visas that you may need will be organised and paid for by BYT. Please note that no personal flights will be covered during your three months in Hong Kong.

If I win, will I need to pay for my return trip to Hong Kong? 

No, all of your travel, accommodation and living costs will be covered by BYT. This will include one economy return flight from your home country, which is the country that you applied from during the competition’s open application, to Hong Kong. You will stay in a small, comfortable flat fully-inclusive of utility bills in Hong Kong and have an additional monthly living allowance of HKD10,000, which will be covered by BYT. Any other travel costs, as part of the winning prize, as determined by BYT, will be covered by BYT.

If I win, will my name appear on the resulting capsule collection?

No, your name will not appear on the hangtag or marketing materials of the capsule collection that you work on. However, your name and your experience will be promoted as part of BYT’s overall marketing and promotion of the collection. You will see your name, biography and design concepts on BYT’s website and on their social media platforms at the retail launch. 

Will I earn any money from the sale of the resulting capsule collection or own any intellectual property rights? 

No, you will not earn any money from the sales of BYT’s capsule collection and you will not own the intellectual property rights for the capsule collection that you assist in designing. This is because the design will be done under the guidance of BYT’s team, the production costs will be fully covered by BYT and because your travel, accommodation and living expenses and the capsule collection’s production and marketing costs are covered by BYT. 

If I win, who has the final decisions about the capsule collection?

BYT will have all final decisions on all aspects of the capsule collection. Although your winning prize is a design collaboration, all decisions about the creative, design, marketing and business operations will be with BYT’s representatives.

If I win, will I need to attend any collection press launches when the capsule collection retails?

It is unlikely that you will need to travel again after the three months experience in Hong Kong. In the event there is a press conference, you may be invited to attend and your costs will be covered in this instance.

Will Redress be involved when I design for BYT?

No, Redress will not have any involvement in your direct design collaboration with BYT. Redress will support wherever needed in facilitating your prize but Redress has no responsibility for the design or delivery of BYT’s capsule collection for BYT’s online platform. However, Redress has a relationship with BYT so you will be benefiting Redress by working with BYT.


About The EcoChic Design Award 2017 mentorship with Orsola de Castro

Will I get to meet Orsola de Castro?

Yes, you will get to meet Orsola de Castro during your stay in Hong Kong after the EcoChic Design Award 2017 Grand Final. All subsequent trips if required will need to be self-funded.

What type of support will I be getting?

You will receive a tailored mentorship to support your needs, ranging from topics of including but not limited to sourcing sustainable materials, design techniques, business advice on starting a new brand, industry contacts and more. The content of your mentorship will be determined during your initial meeting with Orsola de Castro after the EcoChic Design Award 2017 Grand Final.

How long is the mentorship?

The EcoChic Design Award 2017 mentorship with Orsola de Castro runs over a period of 6 months where you will receive either 3 x 45min sessions via Skype or 3 x 60min sessions in-person meetings at Orsola’s studio in London.


About The EcoChic Design Award 2017 with Ellen Loo Special Prize


Yes, you will get to meet Ellen during your time in Hong Kong, directly after the EcoChic Design Award 2017 Grand Final. All subsequent design meetings will be arranged online with Ellen’s team and fitting sessions will be coordinated by Redress. 


No, you will not be paid a design fee. Instead, you will receive valuable promotion through this collaboration to support your career-development. 


Besides the secondhand clothing and/or textiles that may be provided by Ellen Loo, the prizewinner will bear the costs for any additional materials/textiles/trims required; will allocate their own personal time to produce the piece; and will need to provide packing materials for the shipping of outfits to Hong Kong such as carton boxes, tape and garment bags. Redress will cover the cost of the actual shipping of the Special Prize outfit to be sent to Hong Kong for any fittings, and for the final delivery of the outfit.

What sustainable design techniques will I need to use?

You will base Ellen Loo’s outfit on the sustainable design techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and/or reconstruction. Ellen will be able to provide you with some of her own clothes from which to use if required.


Ellen Loo will have the final creative decision on the look, feel and fitting of the outfit, but you will work collaboratively at each stage of development to ensure you are both aligned.


Ellen Loo will own the outfit. The designer shall be credited if and when their outfit is displayed following the competition’s completion. 


You will be acknowledged as the designer when Ellen Loo wears the outfit and through Redress’ promotion. have we asked Ellen to do at least one post on instagram/ to announce wheat she is wearing on stage etc? I think we should get some assurabces so we can add here? You are likely to receive personal media interviews about your win and the resulting design. You will also receive promotional images of Ellen Loo wearing your outfit for use for your own portfolio.


About The EcoChic Design Award 2017 Hong Kong Best with Ear Up Music Prize

What is the Hong Kong Best Prize?

The Hong Kong Best is a prize awarded to the highest scoring applicant applying from Hong Kong, whether an emerging fashion designer or student. This is to recognise the achievements of the emerging creative talent in Hong Kong. 

How is the winner selected?

The winner is selected according to their scores received for their competition application, with the highest scoring competitor who applied from Hong Kong taking the title. Scores are received from the regional and international judging panels who are the final decision makers. In line with the competition's application criteria, the Hong Kong Best winner is the person who is living in Hong Kong at the time of application closing date of 3 April 2017, whether or not they are a Hong Kong citizen.

If I win the Hong Kong Best Prize, does this mean I will automatically become a semi-finalist or finalist? 

No, if you win the Hong Kong Best, you will not necessarily become a finalist, this will depend on where you score alongside other competitors in Asia. You will receive a prize and recognition and will be invited to attend and or take part in select Grand Final week activities, but you will not automatically become a finalist. If you are no longer living in Hong Kong at the time of the Grand Final, you will be expected to cover your travel and accommodation costs to attend activities. Attendance is not mandatory. 

If I win will I receive any support, financial or other, for the making of the outfit for the Ear Up Music artist?

There will be no financial support for the making of this garment. You will receive support and guidance from the Redress team, who can also connect you to textile waste sources should the music artist not have his/her own materials for you to work with.


About The EcoChic Design Award 2017 People's Choice

What is the EcoChic Design Award 2017 People’s Choice?

The People’s Choice will be selected by the general public across the world, with participants casting a vote online for their favourite EcoChic Design Award 2017 semi-finalist based on their moodboard, collection designs and a written statement. Polling will be open from 2 May to 22 May 2017 with the winner announced on 25 May 2017.

How do I vote?

A public voting platform will allow participants to cast a vote for their favourite EcoChic Design Award 2017 semi-finalist. This will be based on their favourite moodboard, collection designs and written statement. Participants simply need to select the semi-finalist they are voting for, and enter their full name and valid email address for their vote to be recognised.

Can I vote twice?

No, you can only vote one time per valid email address.

Can I vote for myself?

Yes, but you can only vote once per valid email address.

If I win the People’s Choice prize, does this mean I will automatically become a finalist?

No, all finalists are determined by the international judging panel. Semi-final judging will take place from 2 May 2017 and the ten finalists will be announced on 25 May 2017 on