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Emerging Designer Jessica Chang Wins Redress Design Award for Sustainable Collection ‘The Wall’

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Photograph and Illustration Courtesy of Redress Design Award

This year’s Redress Design Award has been given to emerging designer Jessica Chang, whose prize includes a collaboration with Timberland to build a sustainable capsule collection to be released sometime around Lunar New Year.

2021 marks the eleventh year of the Redress Design Awards, which is the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. The competition aims to promote sustainable practices in the fashion industry, providing participants with the educational resources to build zero-waste design techniques and revolutionize an industry often rocked with environmentally harmful practices.

Chang’s collection that debuted in the Redress Design Award Competition, ‘The Wall,’ plays on the themes of physical and emotional walls human beings build to protect themselves. Her winning pieces feature trench coats and dark, earthy tones. She plays with sleeveless coats that look classic but also stand out with layers. Chang’s primary design techniques focus on zero-waste materials and reconstruction, and she upcycled industry surplus textiles and secondhand clothing to create her Redress pieces.

Fashion is often discussed in conflict with climate change. However, the two do not have to be at odds with one another, and the Redress Design Award is a physical marker of this. The competition empowers the next generation of young designers to make environmentally-friendly changes to the fashion industry. Chang is one hopeful example of many who are capable and passionate about creating cutting-edge, commercially-viable fashion without having to damage the earth while doing it.

One of the biggest challenges of sustainable fashion is marketing it. Fast fashion sells well because it is affordable. Sustainable designs are much pricier in comparison to reflect fair living wages, even despite recycled materials. Additionally, start-up designers may be unsure where to start on the business side. This is why the Redress Award is so important for young designers. Competition winners get the unique opportunity to build a collection with a well-known brand like Timberland, beneficial both for the environment and for exposure as an emerging designer.

Chang is currently working on her own fashion brand in Taiwan, as well as her Timberland collection. If her upcoming work is anything like ‘The Wall,’ we can expect clean, sharp designs and a powerful message of sustainability beneath the layer

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