January 20, 2015

A new Ford Collection: Ford challenges designers to transform recycled materials into fashion statements

Ford Motor Company and Redress announced Veronica Lee from Malaysia and Amandah Andersson from Sweden the winners of The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge. Held on January 19, the event challenged emerging designers to create fashion pieces
with sustainable materials used in Ford vehicles and textile waste.

The design challenge was organized by Ford Motor Company in collaboration with sustainable fashion charity organization Redress with the purpose of highlighting the importance and impact of adopting sustainable design thinking and materials in the fashion and automotive industries.

During The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge, 10 emerging designers from Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Denmark transformed sustainable seat fabrics from Ford vehicles into a couture design. This was done through the creative process of 'upcycling', which converts waste and abandoned materials into something new and of higher quality. The 10 designers taking part were The EcoChic Design Award 2014/15 finalists.

The winning piece, created entirely from an earthy color palette of Ford seat fabrics by the designers, was inspired by the bamboo scaffolding at the Hong Kong Legislative Council. Their asymmetric design is at once athletic and elegant, combining different textures and fabrics.

"We scored the foam on the reverse side of the seat fabric, revealing color and texture reminiscent of the stone walls of the legislature," said Andersson.

The award-winning, architecturally inspired outfit was handcrafted in three hours.

Emily Lai, Manager, Color and Materials Design, Ford Asia Pacific added, "We would like to congratulate these budding designers for successfully rising to this challenging task of creating fashionable outfits out of a technical material like car seat fabric."

"More than 80 per cent of the environmental impact of a product is determined during the design phase. Designers have the power to affect environmental waste through their designs and the design process, and can minimize this total impact through the creative use of materials and other innovations. All the creations we have seen today are examples of this, and we applaud each participant for rising to the challenge," she further added.

Christina Dean, Founder and CEO, Redress, said, "Waste-to-landfill is a big issue our planet faces and we at Redress work to raise awareness about how we can reduce this. The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge was a great demonstration of how sustainable design thinking is as relevant for fashion as it is for the automotive industry."

"The opportunity to work with recycled seat fabrics was an exciting experience. I never expected plastic bottles could be transformed into appealing materials and eventually into such an unexpected garment," said Veronica Lee, a recent graduate in fashion design from the Raffles Design Institute in Singapore.

"I believe upcycling and design innovation, both in cars and in fashion, are an important step towards a sustainable future for all of us," said winner Andersson, currently developing her own brand in Stockholm.


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