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Asian designers recognized for sustainability ethics

( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-01-21 08:15:15
Asian designers recognized for sustainability ethics

Creations by shortlisted designers of the Yoox Estethica Sustainability awards are eco-friendly but present signature styles as well.[Photo provided to China Daily]

More awards are being given to masterminds who use natural fabrics and more sustainable methodologies, Xu Junqian reports in Hong Kong.

The dress dyed in yam juice is Chinese designer Su Renli's statement of cool comfort. She drew inspiration from the country's ancient craftsmen while stitching the chocolate-brown piece. To organizers of the YES fashion awards for environmental protection, any "eco-conscious designer" is good news.

After all, the fashion industry is a top global polluter. It is also a big consumer of resources. It is estimated by World Wildlife Fund that to produce 1 kilogram of cotton, sufficient for the making of a T-shirt or part of a pair of jeans, as many as 20,000 liters of water may be needed. And the popularity of such clothing has fueled unsustainable consumerism.

The environmental and social problems arising from the fashion industry can be blamed on a key reason-cheap fashion is "too cheap" while most of the luxury fashion companies "are not being responsible" either, says Orsola de Castro, founder of Estethica, a part of London Fashion Week that has promoted sustainable fashion since 2006.

This year, Estethica is partnering with online luxury retailer Yoox.com to launch fashion awards aimed at supporting and promoting designers in Asia who are committed to social and environmental responsibilities without compromising their signature styles.

"For all these years, we have been talking about the rising power of Asia's fashion and luxury industry from a retail point of view. I think it's time to look squarely at the power of creativity here," De Castro said prior to the event's launch in Hong Kong.

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