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Sustainable Fashion Gains Momentum in Chinese Luxury Market

Eco-friendly apparel is becoming the latest priority of China’s high-end designers.

Across the nation, luxury designers in China are working to promote a more sustainable fashion cycle, Jing Daily reported. By collaborating with environmental initiatives, like the EcoChic Design Award, luxury designers can encourage consumers to make more eco-conscious purchases and foster a more sustainable fashion future for China.

Organized by Hong Kong based-NGO Redress, the EcoChic Design Award is the largest sustainable fashion competition worldwide. Every year emerging designers, including students, compete to develop fashion garments with minimal textile waste. Redress established the award in response to universities’ demands for more sustainable fashion education programs.

This year, the program received applications from designers in 46 countries, including China. Chinese applicants were from a variety of the nation’s cities, though often from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The program’s panel, compromised of renowned designers like Stefan Siegal and Vera Wang, will announce the first 24 semifinalists this month.

In the past, Eco-Chic’s finalists from China have partnered with local high-end brands to growth their reach. Shanghai Tang, a Hong Kong luxury fashion house, collaborated with award winners Kevin Germanier and Patrycja Guzik (2014-15 and 2015-16 cycles) to design an exclusive line from leftover luxury fabrics. Award finalist Tiffany Pattinson, who helms her own Shanghai-based eco-conscious brand Tiffany Pattinson, is also one of the several homegrown brands supporting more sustainable fashion for the nation’s consumers.

Redress has also teamed up with other China-based sustainable fashion initiatives, including GreenCode at Shanghai Fashion Week. The program features a fashion show, talks, workshops and a pop-up shop that all raise awareness about environmental issues in the fashion industry.

While luxury designers continue to raise this awareness among consumers, other industry players are making their mark with a greener apparel approach. In December, China-based non-profit Green Initiatives debuted RE:FORM, an program that brings together consumers and retailers to recycle textiles. The Eco Design Fair, an annual event held in Shanghai, will also bring new eco-conscious products to consumers next month.

Both initiatives, in addition to the EcoChic Design Award and GreenCode, demonstrate the nation’s progress toward what’s expected to be a more circular fashion industry in coming years.