EXCLUSIVE: ‘2022 RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge’ reshapes the future of China’s fashion industry

What happened: Mainland China’s only sustainable fashion award was officially launched on April 21 as RISE Sustainable Fashion Lab kicked off its second edition. It aims to discover a new generation of Chinese designers pioneering the sustainable revolution of the local fashion industry. Initiated by Impact Hub, one of the largest social innovation and sustainability platforms in the world, it aims to support, empower and incubate up-and-coming talents by connecting them with key players in the fashion ecosystem. .

After a successful edition last year, the platform’s RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge 2022 calls for collaboration and collective action across the industry. The papers will be reviewed by a jury that reads like a roll call of the industry’s top experts: Director of Global Strategy at fashion for good, Brittany Burns; ballroom founder Lucia Liu; deputy editor of Vogue Italy, Sara Sozzani Maino; and Daily Jing Gemma A. Williams.

RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design Challenge 2022 Jury. Photo: RISE Sustainable Fashion Lab

The Jing plug: Although sustainability is still a nascent field on the continent, many western brands have already built a solid reputation in the sector. And while it comes at the perfect time to fill a growing appetite for sustainable fashion, encouraging local designers to compete with a cohort of Western green labels is the challenge for RISE.

Admittedly, his support is generous: the three finalists will present their collection during Shanghai Fashion Week Spring 2023. They will also be offered additional components such as 6-12 months of mentorship, free and sustainable supply chain (and resources), opportunity to present at notSHOWROOM, expansion of retail channels and collaborations potential with trade names. Additionally, the overall winner will receive $23,275 (150,000 RMB) from global specialty materials company Eastman for business development.

This is an important opportunity and an important step forward. However, the big picture remains: until a mature and sustainable supply chain has been established, price-sensitive consumers will continue to shy away from expensive green products.

The Jing Plug reports on major news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the main implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product declines and mergers to heated debates popping up on Chinese social media.

Joseph E. Golightly