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VF, Timberland and Redress Spark Sustainability in Next-Gen Designers

VF Corp. and its Timberland brand are collaborating with environmental charity Redress for the Redress Design Award 2020 and its mentorship program, lending their expertise in sustainability to support the education and professional development of the industry’s next generation of sustainable fashion designers and champion the move toward a circular economy.

In its 10th year, the Redress Design Award is one of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competitions, working to educate emerging fashion designers from around the world about sustainable design concepts and techniques. As consumer interest in sustainable apparel is rising, VF is challenging some of the industry’s most promising young talents to disrupt the status quo, and drive circularity and sustainability across the industry.

“Our collaboration with Redress, now in its second year, connects us to talented, emerging designers who are passionate about creating fashionable, compelling designs with environmental responsibility in mind,” Kevin Bailey, VF’s executive vice president and group president for Asia Pacific region and emerging brands, said. “We are constantly inspired by their commitment to circular design and creativity. These are the future leaders who are going to help drive lasting and positive change throughout our global industry and we are proud to be part of their journey.”

While the Redress Design Award 2020 was held virtually this year on Sept. 3, its impact has been seen worldwide. The 10 finalists were supported by an international judging panel that included Bailey and British fashion designer and Timberland creative director Christopher Raeburn.

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The men’s wear category prize winner, Ngoc Ha Thu Le, who is currently a fashion designer at Magenta Vintage in Hanoi, Vietnam, will collaborate with the Timberland brand to develop a sustainable capsule collection for sale at retail. The release of the collection will coincide with the Chinese New Year 2022 and will be inspired by the Year of the Tiger.

“Timberland believes that a greener future is a better future, which makes our partnership with Redress such a natural fit,” said Mahmoud Salahy, vice president and managing director for Timberland Asia Pacific. “As a brand that’s deeply committed to environmental and social responsibility, Timberland strives to not only minimize our impact on the planet through the products we make, but we’ve set a bold goal for all our products to have a net positive impact on nature by 2030.”

In the lead up to the Redress Design Award 2020 grand final, VF and the Timberland brand hosted the “Made for Change Timberland Challenge” on Aug. 31. With guidance from VF and Timberland subject matter experts, emerging designers competed to develop the most innovative and sustainable design concept for a range of iconic Timberland products.

Fashion designers Ruth Weerasinghe from Sri Lanka, Inhwa Jin from South Korea and Beatrice Bocconi from Italy were selected as winners of the challenge for their multi-purpose accessories concept that enhances product sustainability.

“The Redress Design Award equips fashion’s future leaders with real-life sustainability knowledge to give them the best chance to make a bigger positive impact during their long careers ahead,” Christina Dean, Redress founder and chair and CEO of The R Collective, said.