VF, Timberland and Redress Collaborate to Foster Next Generation of Sustainable Design Talent
Emerging sustainable designer, Jessica Chang, seized an opportunity of a lifetime by competing in the Redress Design Award competition sponsored by VF. Her comprehensive collection incorporated waste materials into designs that could connect with and inspire consumers. Her collection impressed the judges so much she was named the 2021 winner of the Redress Award Competition on Saturday, September 11. As the winner, she will now showcase her talents on the world stage by designing a sustainable capsule collection with the Timberland® brand that will land at retail in 2023.
“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!”
The Redress Design Award is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. Organized by Redress, the competition works to educate emerging fashion designers worldwide about sustainable design theories and techniques to drive growth 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 reward the best with career-changing prizes to maximize long-term impact.
“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.
In its third year of partnership, 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.
Ten finalists from the US, UK, Germany, India, and Greater China participated in virtual events from September 1-11. The event included educational challenges and masterclasses on advancing sustainability and circular design in the fashion industry through various sustainable production solutions. With a broader focus on reducing 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.
“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.”
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 nature and the consumer at the center of the conversation.
The full Redress Design Award 2021 Grand Final is available on Facebook and key highlights on YouTube.