3 JUN 2019

Youths Design Stylish Apparels Using Recycled PET Fabric to Create Change in the Fashion Industry

Singapore, 3 June 2019 – Three out of eight finalist teams clinched the winning prizes at the Fashion Show Finale of the Trash to Fash: An Upcycling Competition, organised by Temasek as part of Ecosperity Week 2019. Inspired by the rising ‘throwaway culture’ in the fashion industry, youths created stylish and fashionable clothing made from recycled PET1 fabric, leftover materials and recycled items.

Emerging as the winning team was Team Ethicals, a pair of fashion graduates whose design featured a three-piece set with a unique structured jacket made from rPET fabric and scrap fabric. The first runner-up and second runner-up were Team JIHK and Team ZP respectively. Winning designs were selected based on the level of creativity, feasibility and quality of clothing, the integration of upcycled materials in the design and the overall aesthetic value of the apparel.

Trashtofash (L to R) Winning team: Kee Kai Xuan and Teh Qian Yu from Team Ethicals. First runner-up: Ivana Karin and Jessica Hartono from Team JIHK. Second runner-up: Psalmist Peh and Goh Zi Qi from Team ZP.

Held for the first time this year, Trash to Fash aims to raise public awareness about the circular economy and inspire youths to develop sustainable solutions. The three-month competition challenged participants to design clothing using rPET fabric and other upcycled materials.

A total of 25 participating teams collected over 5,250 bottles to exchange for rPET fabric, attended workshops with mentors in the fashion and design industry, and spent time creating their apparel and developing pitch videos for their designs. Through the competition, participants learnt about the value of “trash”, what it means for the fashion industry to adopt a closed loop supply chain, and how materials can be upcycled into fashionable apparel.

“This is Temasek’s first time organising a competition like this. We do it to raise awareness of the issues, and to encourage the ‘circular economy’ – the concept that waste can be reused and recycled, as is evident in this case,” said Robin Hu, Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group, Temasek. “The pollutive nature of seasonal fashion is often under-appreciated, and we saw an opportunity to engage young people in sustainability through fashion design. In turn, the young designers have inspired and encouraged us with the sheer creativity of their sustainable designs using just recycled PET fabric and other upcycled materials. These young Trash to Fash participants have showed us that sustainability, too, can be fashionable.”

“Having the opportunity to meet participants from an array of backgrounds – from youths with no background in making clothes to experienced corporate teams with no experience in fashion – and seeing them come together to create change in the fashion industry for the cause of sustainability is certainly heartening,” said Coco Mercy Chu, Founder and Designer at KALAIA and Director of Branding and Comms at AntWorks™. “Reimagining the now and future of fashion and sustainability starts with the right intent, innovation and importantly, the collective participation of every individual.”

At the Fashion Show Finale on 3 June, the finalists presented their designs and showcased their apparel to a panel of judges comprising of:

  • Arthur Huang, Founder, Miniwiz
  • Chan Wai Ching, Head, Organisation & People, Temasek International
  • Coco Mercy Chu, Founder and Designer, KALAIA. Director, Brand and Comms, AntWorks
  • Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer, City Developments Limited
  • Yeo Piah Choo, Director of Special Projects & International Relations, DesignSingapore Council

The top three teams walked away with S$5,000, S$2,000 and S$1,000 cash prizes respectively. The designs of all eight finalist teams will also be on display to an international audience at Marina Bay Sands during Ecosperity Week 2019 from 4 – 7 June 2019 at the Ecosperity Showcase. Following that, they will be on display at Temasek Shophouse from 10 – 30 June 2019.

Information on the winners and finalists of Trash to Fash can be found in the annex below.

Trash to Fash: An Upcycling Competition is organised in partnership with local events curation agency Tabula Rasa and supported by Taiwanese engineering firm Miniwiz, DesignSingapore Council, Temasek Shophouse and MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore). To learn more, please visit https://www.ecosperity.sg/trashtofash.

About Ecosperity

The term ‘Ecosperity’ twins ecology with prosperity, reflecting our belief that doing good and doing well can – and must – go together. It is the idea that growth and development go hand in hand with an abiding respect and commitment for a clean and sustainable environment, and that governments, businesses, civil societies and individuals must work together to achieve a “ABC world” of Active and robust economies, Beautiful and inclusive societies and a Clean and cool Earth.

Presented by Temasek, the annual Ecosperity conference pushes the frontiers of sustainable growth by exploring the latest megatrends shaping our future. The 2019 Ecosperity Conference is held in partnership with Ecosperity Week. Together with key partners, the week-long programme from 4 to 7 June 2019 will bring global business leaders, policy-makers, investors, entrepreneurs and academia together to drive action on sustainable development. Key highlights include an innovation showcase, conferences, roundtable discussions, pitch sessions, site visits and networking opportunities across events.

For more information, visit www.ecosperity.sg or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ecosperity/).

For media queries, please contact:

Celine Koh
Communications Manager (Ecosperity), Temasek
Tel: 6828 2299 / 9753 0547
Email: celine.koh@temasekfoundation.org.sg

Eva Chow
Edelman for Temasek
Tel: 6494 1596 / 9733 9637
Email: eva.chow@edelman.com


Competition Details

Phase 1 – Online Applications (4 Mar 2019 – 18 Mar 2019)
Interested participants applied as individuals or in teams of two or three. As part of the application and assessment process, applicants were asked to share their understanding of the need for a circular economy and their post-competition aims and aspirations.

Phase 2 – Project Development and Pitch (25 Mar 2019 – 12 May 2019)
25 shortlisted individuals/teams underwent a half-day workshop and mentorship sessions, who guided them as they conceptualised, designed and produced their apparel. Participants also had to collect PET bottles as “trash currency” to exchange for recycled PET fabric to produce their designs.

These collected PET bottles were processed by persons with intellectual disabilities and stored at MINDS Woodlands Employment Development Centre, before being recycled by engineering firm Miniwiz into rPET fabric.

Participants also had to submit a three-minute video to describe and pitch their finished apparel. They were judged based on the number of PET bottles collected, public voting on their pitch videos, creativity of design, and their success in meeting and addressing the needs of their target consumers.

Phase 3 – Fashion Show Finale (3 Jun 2019)
Eight finalist individuals/teams were announced on 21 May and shared more about their designs and showcase their apparel during the Fashion Show Finale held at Temasek Shophouse.

Winners and Finalists

Winning Team: Ethicals
Created by a pair of fashion design graduates Teh Qian Yu and Kee Kai Xuan, the piece titled “Deformed Soul” takes inspiration from sea turtles who have been harmed by ocean pollution. The outfit features a three-piece set with a unique structured jacket that gives the wearer a ‘distorted’ physique, but in a stylish manner. It was made using rPET fabric and scrap fabric leftover from fellow fashion design students.

First Runner-up: JIHK
Indonesian duo Ivana Karin and Jessica Hartono created a two-piece set titled “What You See is not What You See”, which they described as ‘high street style’. The outfit aims to convey the message of sustainability through the use of unwanted materials in its design, such as leftover fabric from school projects, spoiled charger cables, thread core and rPET fabric.

Second Runner-up: ZP
Fashion students ZiQi and Psalmist sought to design an outfit suitable for both work and play, which led them to create “Sustain” – a versatile three-piece set made from rPET fabric. It comprises an outer jacket over a crop top and shorts, inspired by a rustic and futuristic theme.

Finalists: Elysian
“IN(visible)”, created by Jessica Christy and Yovita Ardina, seeks to inspire a sense of confidence and self-love for the wearer through a balance of strong, edgy styles and delicate embroidery details. It is made from rPET fabric and other leftover materials such as knit, elastane, cotton and PVC, along with unique details such as old photographs.

Finalist: Green Sprout
Titled “My Lifestyle Isn’t A Crime”, the design created by Raffles Institution students Cassandra Tan and Wu Xinyue was inspired by the idea of convertible clothing. With a top that can be worn front and back paired with pants that can be modified, the outfit aims to provide wearers with various style options in a single outfit as an alternative to buying more clothes.

Finalist: J.A.D
J.A.D stands for Jane, Anabelle and Dina – three Year 2 Fashion Design students at Temasek Polytechnic. Designed with youths aged 17-29 in mind, their creation FUNK! is a dungaree featuring bold patchwork, embellishments and bright colours made using materials such as rPET fabric, CDs and other recycled items.

Finalist: KALOPSIA
Taking inspiration from the polluted water bodies of Singapore and the world, this team from ITE College Central designed an outfit called “KALOPSEA”. The dress is made with rPET fabric and features elements such as plastic bottles, recycled rhinestones and fishhooks to represent the types of waste that are often left behind in the sea.

To raise awareness of sustainable lifestyles among youth, the fashion design students behind THREESHION created an outfit made from preloved clothes they collected in neighbourhood residences. The design is an asymmetrical, unisex, reversible coat titled “Mind Pollution”, which alludes to the idea that human greed and inconsiderate actions are some of the greatest causes of environmental pollution.