British entrepreneur Dr Christina Dean founded Hong Kong NGO Redress in 2007 to combat textile waste in the fashion industry. The idea was to promote a circular economy by reclaiming and redistributing textile waste to emerging sustainable designers, and hosting pop-up shops selling second hand clothes. “I was working as a journalist and writing a lot about the environment and human rights. I did so much research and asked so many questions and realised no-one was doing anything about it,” says Christina
The charity launched The EcoChic Design Award in 2011, a sustainable fashion design competition for emerging designers in Hong Kong, which later expanded to the rest of Asia and Europe, making it the largest sustainable design competition in the world. Its alumni include the likes of Kevin Germanier and Wen Pan.
It made sense, then, that Christina’s next move was to launch The R Collective, an upcycled fashion brand selling clothing created by reused waste materials collected by Redress, that, in turn, raises funds back for Redress. “I genuinely believe fashion is a beautiful thing,” says Christina, “and I think that when someone engages in the ethics, beauty and creativity of fashion, it becomes a lot more fun.”