Future Fashion Lab: Hong Kong’s First Sustainable Apparel Industry Festival

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Future Fashion Lab, initiated by DBS in collaboration with Hong Kong’s upcycling fashion company Fashion Clinic, will be popping up this November in Wanchai’s Kapok and The Mills in Tsuen Wan. This will mark the city’s first sustainable fashion festival, which aims is to challenge irresponsible consumption habits at the core of our planet’s ecological crisis. By bringing together international designers, brands and leaders in the sustainable fashion industry, the festival hopes to instigate a “fashion revolution” amongst consumers in Hong Kong, which is a much-needed step forward if we are to fight local and global pollution crisis and waste issue that drives environmental degradation. 

Fashion Clinic, Hong Kong’s upcycling company that repairs or reshapes old clothing, has just partnered up with DBS to launch the Future Fashion Lab, which is the city’s first sustainable fashion festival. The festival will feature a range of workshops, panel talks and documentary screenings with the participation of international designers, artists and sustainable brands. United Kingdom-based sustainable company Bottletop, local eco-friendly apparel brand Cosmos Studio and future vintage fashion label Trash Couture will be among some of the brands joining in the festival. Debuting first in clothing store Kapok Wanchai for the first half of November, the festival will then showcase at eco fashion hub The Mills in Tsuen Wan during the rest of the month. 

By gathering the wider fashion community in one place, the organizers are hoping to generate and discuss solutions, offer more eco-friendly fashion alternatives and “address the tension between the market’s demand for endless growth and the planet’s need for a break.” 

Indeed, the fashion industry is a major polluter, causing severe environmental damage to our planet. Fast fashion in particular gives great cause for concern: the industry is accountable for 92 million tonnes of waste, 20% of global water usage and 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions every year, according to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. With the global appetite fast fashion not showing signs of abating, shedding light on the unsustainable production practices amongst companies and the role that individual shoppers consumption habits play is more important than ever. 

There are positive signs of change in the Asian region. In addition to Hong Kong welcoming its first sustainable fashion festival, we have seen an uptick in eco-friendly fashion pop-ups and events in recent months, bolstered by increased consumer awareness – especially younger buyers who are especially attracted to purpose-driven businesses – about the environmental impact of fashion. Not only are we seeing the Chinese online secondhand and resale market boom in the past few months, we are looking at mainstream brands from fast fashion to luxury upmarket labels all making the push too. Here in Hong Kong, independent brands such as The R Collective and Unspun are gaining traction for their creative upcycling pieces, while international sustainable companies such as Save The Duck have arrived landing in the city to appeal to green tastes among shoppers. 

Future Fashion Lab, Kapok, 5 St Francis Yard, Wanchai, Hong Kong. 1st – 15th November, 2019. 

Future Fashion Lab, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. 8th – 17th November, 2019.


Lead image courtesy of Fashion Clinic.

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