Following intense rounds of preliminary judging, the 30 semi-finalists for the Redress Design Award 2018 have been unveiled. Organised by Hong Kong-based environmental NGO Redress, this year’s competition has been the toughest cycle yet since the launch of the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition in 2011. Reviewing a record number of applications from 56 regions, the expert judging panels scored the applicants based on creativity, originality, sustainability and market viability in order to cut hundreds of ambitious young sustainable designers down to just 30.

Representing a growing body of emerging talent, these 30 designers from around the world are determined to create a new future for fashion: each of their applications look to re-invent fashion with innovative sustainable design techniques and strategies, whilst reclaiming textile ‘waste’ in unexpected ways. Clare Press, Sustainability Editor-at Large of Vogue Australia and one of the competition’s regional judges commented, “This competition demonstrates how it can be circular and efficient as well as beautiful, with designers rethinking their fabric choices and patterns to eliminate waste. I was so impressed with the creativity of the candidates and excited to see emerging designers putting sustainability first.”

Redress Founder & Board Chair, Dr. Christina Dean remarked, “The bad news is that fashion continues to be one of the world’s most polluting industries, generating a shocking 92 million tons of textile waste annually, despite heightened awareness about the urgent need to fix this. The good news is the overwhelming response from designers applying to the Redress Design Award who are finding creative ways to incorporate diverse forms of fashion ‘waste’ back into fashion again. Our competition signals that the next generation is sowing circularity within their design DNA. But can their innovation transform the fashion industry in time?”

The 30 semi-finalists now face an even tougher International Judging Panel, from which only 10 finalists will be selected to travel to Hong Kong and present their 5-piece waste-reducing collections during a live Grand Final at the region’s premiere annual fashion event, CENTRESTAGE, in September. Battling it out to win the coveted chance to design a retail collection for bold new up-cycled brand, The R Collective, all eyes are on the prize as the public waits to see just who has what it takes to cut waste out of fashion.

Redress Design Award Judge and The R Collective’s Fashion Director, Denise Ho will help determine the 2018 cycle’s ultimate winner. Denise said, “The semi-finalists’ applications captivated me – they are proving to judges that their sustainable design techniques offer commercially viable and attractive options for the real world of retail. I want the winner to not just wow The R Collective’s global stockists but also our future customers. The winner needs to have the flare – and a truly collaborative and team spirit – to entice more people to make the switch to sustainable fashion.”

From now until 6 May 2018, the public can vote for their favourite semi-finalist designer based on their sketches and written statements. Find out more about this cycle’s semi-finalists’ and their inspirational zero-waste, up-cycled and reconstructed designs at