A new survey, commissioned by Greenpeace, of the shopping habits of people in Europe and Asia finds that regularly buying too many clothes, shoes, bags and accessories has become an international phenomenon. This is especially striking in China and Hong Kong, but is also widespread in Europe, with up to half of consumers buying more clothes than they need and use.
Overconsumption of fashion is now deeply entrenched in our everyday culture, both in old European economies and in emerging ones such as China. In many ways, China is currently leading this trend, with more than half of Chinese consumers owning more clothes and bags than they need. Almost half of Chinese consumers buy more than they can afford – and more than makes them happy, and around 40 percent qualify as excessive shoppers, shopping compulsively more than once a week. Young, high-income women are the most vulnerable. The spread of online shopping and social media makes people even more susceptible to overconsumption.
These people are not shopping because they need something new – their motivation is the longing for excitement, satisfaction and confidence in front of others. Shoppers also seek to release stress, kill time and relieve boredom.
However, shopping does not make them happy; people already own too much and they know it. Around 50 percent report that their shopping excitement wears off within a day. A third of the East Asians feel even more empty and unfulfilled afterwards. They also seem to know they are on the wrong path; around half of consumers are hiding their purchases from others, fearing accusations of wasting money or other negative reactions.
Shopping behaviour is widely influenced by people’s social environment and media consumption. Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or WeChat in China are driving shopping mania, especially among young digitally connected East Asians. Browsing fashion blogs or following friends and celebrities triggers even more buying. After excessive shopping people experience regular tiredness and boredom – the binge is followed by a hangover.
About this survey
For this survey commissioned by Greenpeace, independent survey institutes Nuggets, TNS and SWG asked European and East Asian consumers about their shopping habits (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy, Germany) – how often, where and for how long they shop for clothing. We also wanted to know why they go shopping, what triggers them to buy new clothes – and whether they get fulfilled by doing so. All surveys are representative and were carried out between December 2016 and March 2017 amongst at least 1000 people aged 20 to 45 in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Italy and Germany.
[13 May 2015] Today saw waste – reducing fashion NGO, Redress officially open The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 cycle of their sustainable fashion design competition for emerging designers alongside their Fifth Year Anniversary Exhibition at Hysan Place in Hong Kong. The event served to celebrate the competition’s growth since its inauguration in Hong Kong in 2011,when it accepted entries from Hong Kong only, to now including over 100 countries across Asia and Europe.
As the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition that challenges designers to reduce and reuse textile waste, the competition’s legacy is putting waste back into fashion.
‘The EcoChic Design Award is a powerful platform that is driving change in the fashion industry. Over the last five years, we’ve introduced sustainable fashion education to thousands of emerging designers, influenced global fashion brands to produce sustainable collections and reached millions of consumers,’ said Christina Dean, Redress’ Founder. ‘But whilst we pause for momentary celebration, we can’t be complacent because textile waste is still a critical environmental and social issue and our work to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be agents of change is far from over.’
The competition promotes the importance of rethinking fashion design education and the use of minimal waste design techniques as solutions to the growing issue of textile waste that is generated by the fashion industry and consumers globally. In China alone, the total annual production of pre and post – consumer textile waste is estimated to be around 26 million tonnes.
‘The EcoChic Design Award’s five year anniversary highlights the significant advances that Redress has achieved in raising
the agenda for waste reduction. It has inspired the fashion industry’s emerging talent to see waste as an attractive resource and highlights a viable future for sustainable fashion,’ said Mr Jerry Liu, Head of Create Hong Kong. Create Hong Kong is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and has sponsored the competition since 2011.
Announcing the 2015/16 competition cycle
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 is now accepting entries from designers with less than three years’ experience who live
in any Asian or European country until the deadline on 15 August 2015. In their bid to cut waste out of fashion, applicants must incorporate one or more of the three sustainable design techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction into their designs. An expert line-up of judges will select 30 semi-finalists in early September 2015 and the resulting 10 finalists, announced on 15 September, will then come to Hong Kong in January 2016 for the Grand Final fashion show at HKTDC Fashion Week. They will also take part in a series of educational workshops including a design challenge with Ford Motor Company, Gold Sponsor of the competition.
Chelsia Lau, Chief Designer, Ford Motor Company said, ‘Ford is proud to be partnering again with Redress this year. Design and sustainability are key goals of the competition as well as drivers in the development of our global Ford vehicles. This partnership allows us to push the boundaries of sustainable design into new realms of creativity, collaboration and innovation.’
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 continues its emphasis on prizes that support
designers’ career development in sustainable fashion. These include:
First prize: To design a capsule collection using up-cycled textiles for Shanghai Tang
Of partnering on this prize, Shanghai Tang Chairman, Raphael Le Masne de Chermont said, ‘As China’s leading luxury brand, we believe it is important to embrace sustainable design and collaborate with multi-stakeholders, from NGOs to emerging design talent, so as ultimately to influence consumers. The fashion industry ought to be more and more eco-responsible.’
Second prize: A six-month mentorship with distinguished sustainable fashion designer, Orsola de Castro
Special prize: To design a sustainable outfit for Hong Kong Supermodel Janet Ma
In addition to the main competition prizes, Redress will provide further opportunities for the competition’s alumni, who are the community of designers who participated in previous cycles, in order to support their ongoing development as sustainable fashion designers. The opportunities include the introduction of Redress’ The EcoChic Design Award Alumni Network to nurture emerging designers’ careers in sustainable fashion and a business development award.
International judges are Raffaele Borriello, Creative Consigliere, Shanghai Tang; Orsola de Castro, Fashion Designer, Co-founder of Estethica and Co-founder of Fashion Revolution; Susie Lau (Susie Bubble), Fashion Writer and Editor; Anderson Lee, Vice Chairman of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium (SFBC); and Stephanie Zhu, Fashion Editor ELLE China.
Key sponsors are The Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Major Sponsor), Ford Motor Company (Gold Sponsor), Shanghai Tang (Prize Partner), UPS (Logistics Sponsor), ADM Capital Foundation (Bronze Sponsor), EAST (Hotel Partner). Other partners include Bloomsbury Books, Ethical Fashion Forum, Hysan Place and Aveda.
The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 Ambassador is Supermodel Bonnie Chen.
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The EcoChic Design Award is a sustainable fashion design competition inspiring emerging fashion designers and students to create high appeal clothing with minimal textile waste. Designers are educated with the theory and techniques to enable them to create sustainable clothing via zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction. The competition puts emerging sustainable design talent in the spotlight, creating a platform for the next generation of designers to cut waste out of fashion. The inaugural The EcoChic Design Award was launched in Hong Kong in 2011. Previous cycles include Hong Kong 2012, China 2012 and the 2013 and 2014/15 cycles, which were open to eight and ten regions across Asia and Europe