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Ethical fashion in China

Hello all, my name is Kibamba. I am a passionate of ethical fashion and a communication specialist based in Montreal, Canada. I will contribute on a regular basis to the Fashion ComPassion blog and it's my joy to share with you what's happening in ethical fashion movement.

Recently I saw a YouTube video titled « Ethical Fashion in China ». I had three reactions just reading the title: first I was surprised, then sceptic and finally curious to see what was behind it. I have to say that China has built itself a very bad reputation when it comes to ethics, therefore, I think many would have reacted the same way I did. Surprising as it may seem, however, a wind of change is blowing and is transforming things as best it can in various areas.

As a matter of fact, Fast Company has recently announced its 2012 list of the 100 most creative people in business. The first on the list is Ma Jun, China's preeminent environmental watchdog, director and founder of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. What brought him this distinction is the open-source online database of water, air, and hazardous-waste pollution records, used by name-brand global companies that rely on Chinese manufacturing.

Likewise, Redress is a charity with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in Asia’s fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. One way to achieve is through the EcoChic Design Award, an annual sustainable fashion design competition that was first launched in 2011 in Hong Kong. It is the first sustainable fashion design competition in Asia focusing on up-cycling, reconstruction and zero-waste design techniques.

Here is their definition of each of the techniques:

  • “Zero-waste is a pattern design technique that eliminates textile waste at the design stage. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of textiles are thought to be wasted during a garment’s design and manufacturing stage so cutting waste from the equation is good for the environment and your economy!”
  • “Up-cycling is the recycling of a material into a product of higher quality. This sustainable design technique is the hottest new trend in sustainable fashion catching the attention of fashion’s top designers and brands”.
  • “Reconstruction is the process of making ‘new’ clothes from previously worn garments or preformed products. Today, we consume 60 percent more clothes than we did 10 years ago and this increase is clothing manufacturing offers you lots of chances to unleash your creativity”.

To find out more about these techniques and get tips from renowned fashion designers click here!

In the end, despite the flood of “not so good news” from China, we can rejoice that things are moving and that change is happening!

2 thoughts on “Ethical fashion in China”

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