Creating sustainable fashion across different cultures

Now in its fourth year running, the Japan Creative Centre’s (JCC) Sustainable Fashion Design Contest is aimed at creating a platform for students from fashion schools in Singapore as well as the Bunka Fashion School in Tokyo to exchange and promote ideas on the growing importance of sustainability and responsible design within the fashion industry.

Sustainability, a large part of the Japanese culture, is closely related to the Japanese philosophy of Monozukuri or craftsmanship. Taking into consideration the fabric characteristics, environment and ensuring the production process sees minimum or no wastage, Japanese craftsmanship has a long tradition of producing things that are environmentally friendly. Hence, it is no wonder that sustainable design formed the basis of the JCC Sustainable Fashion Design Contest.

The theme for the contest this year was "Japan, Mixed Culture & High Fashion".  Japanese participants were required to fuse elements of Asian culture into their designs, while their Singaporean counterparts blended aspects of Japanese culture into theirs. As anticipated, the contest saw creative entries from these aspiring designers.

Not one to miss out on an opportunity to put their students’ skills to the test, TP’s School of Design entered four contestants. Facing intense competition from a whopping 452 contestants, the highest participation rate yet, Apparel Design & Merchandising’s (ADM) junior student Chan Jiang Hong was selected as one of the 15 finalists from Singapore.

Taking inspiration from the Malay sarong, a long piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and worn by men and women, Jiang Hong created his runway-worthy design based on the versatility of this simple piece of fabric. So how then did he incorporate the sustainable element into his masterpiece? “The shape of the sarong fabric is essentially just a square, hence the pattern pieces of the fabric have no rounded edges allowing me to make full use of the fabric without wasting any,” says Jiang Hong.

 

          Here are two ways the garment can be worn

While Jiang Hong did not claim the top prize at the JCC Sustainable Fashion Design Contest, he did win the Special Prize from the prestigious Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) and will proceed to represent Singapore at the grand finals of the SDC International Design Competition 2014 at the Huizhou University in China on 10th November 2014. Here, Jiang Hong will be tasked with demonstrating the creative, imaginative and original use of colour in either fashion or textiles in his design.  

Jiang Hong, we are extremely proud of your achievement which is testament to the designer in you. We wish you the best of luck in the SDC International Design Competition and will be rooting for you!