Published on January 18th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Designers Transform Ford’s Car Seat Fabrics into High-fashion Outfits
Ford Motor Company and Redress – an NGO dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability in the fashion industry – announced Pan Wen from China and Amy Ward from the United Kingdom as the winners of The Redress Forum 2016: Ford Design Challenge. Held on January 15, the event challenged the 10 finalists of The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 competition to create high-fashion outfits from the sustainable seat fabrics used in Ford vehicles.
The up-and-coming designers – from Hong Kong, mainland China, Thailand, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom – put forward an eclectic mix of designs, ranging from couture dresses to spiritually inspired suiting. The winning piece was a floor-length asymmetrical dress in hues of neutral fabrics and contrasting copper, and was inspired by a quiet underpass on Hong Kong’s famous Victoria Peak, near where tourists take shots of the city’s iconic skyline. The design itself embodies the sustainable fashion industry.
The award-winning outfit was handcrafted in just three-and-a-half hours, following an educational workshop about the impact of design on product sustainability. The dialogue in the workshop promoted cross-industry thinking for sustainable solutions. All the outfits created in the challenge will be showcased on the runway at HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week, as part of The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 grand finale show. This will be Ford’s sustainable seat fabric debut at an official Fashion Week show.
Christina Dean, founder and CEO, Redress, said, “Every industry needs to take responsibility – and innovate – for a much-needed shift in business thinking to safeguard the future of our planet.”
Ford’s sponsorship of The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 reflects the company’s long-standing and growing commitment to sustainable design research. Beyond seat fabrics, Ford produces storage bins using wheat-straw, dashboards padded with scrap cotton from recycled jeans, and seat foam from a bioplastic made from soybeans.
Today, the company continues to experiment with new biomaterials, including the use of tomato fibers from discarded tomato skins, seeds and stems, and retired U.S. currency, to offset petroleum use in producing bins and other plastic parts for vehicle interiors. Research teams are also experimenting with biomimicry to develop a new sustainable adhesive for use under the hood. These efforts are all part of Ford’s global sustainability strategy to lessen its environmental footprint.