Maddie Williams (Fashion - BA [Hons], 2017) was one of ten finalists from around the world invited to Hong Kong for the 2019 Redress Design Award. Her designs that apply up-cycling and reconstruction techniques to reclaimed textiles impressed the judges and she walked away with first prize. Maddie will now work with fashion brand REVERB, one of Mainland China's largest fashion houses, to create a new collection.

The event was attended by 1,000 fashion industry experts, and served to shine a spotlight on the critical need to address the global textile waste crisis. Maddie's winning collection explored the loss of biodiversity, planetary health and our humanity.

Maddie adds this success to Graduate Fashion Week wins while studying at Edinburgh College of Art, where she won first prize in the Catwalk Textiles Award and second place in the Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainable and Ethical Award.

“Taking my catwalk competition collection into a commercial up-cycled collection will be a steep learning curve and I’ll be trying my best to keep sustainable, circular principles at the core of what I do," said Maddie, "This is our time to tackle the environmental problems that we have inherited - we won’t get another chance!”

The competition - which is in its ninth year - attracted hundreds of applications from designers in 43 countries which were whittled down to ten finalists from Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Spain and the United Kingdom. The finalists visited Hong Kong for 10 days leading up to the Grand Final, during which time they were immersed in the fashion supply chain and were invited to examine potential disruption points.

Redress Design Award 2019 - Meet the Finalists

""This is our time to tackle the environmental problems that we have inherited - we won’t get another chance!”"

Maddie Williams, Fashion - BA (Hons) graduate, 2017

International judge Tillmann Lauterbach, Creative Director, REVERB of JNBY Group, said “REVERB is committed to making sustainable fashion go mainstream. Working with Maddie, we want to give consumers more access to desirable sustainable fashion, particularly in Asia, where waste is a tremendous issue that needs to be addressed immediately.”

Redress is an environmental charity that focuses on educating designers, as they say that 80 percent of a product’s environmental impact is laid down at the design stage.

“Curbing waste and carbon is critical. Waste is an urgent concern, especially in Asia, which is home to one of the fastest growing fashion consumer markets and where 50 percent of the world’s clothes are made," said Christina Dean, Redress Founder and Board Chair, "Redress is uniquely positioned to galvanise change and to inform the public about the dire need to make drastic changes in the fashion industry."

Are you interested in studying Fashion - BA (Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art?