“Sustainability is somewhat of a trend among the new generation. We care more about the planet as mass media pushes concerns of global warming,” says Namo Satjarattanachote, an 18-year-old student from King’s Ely School in the United Kingdom. He is one of the 11 finalists of the RECO Young Designer Competition 2020 organized by Indorama Ventures. He further explains the inspiration behind his recycling design, “it actually originates from the movie – ‘2012’. After watching it, Igot a feeling that sometimes, humans do not realize the value of nature until it is destroyed. I felt like giving back to nature because it has given so much to the world. That’s why I came up with the idea that this project would not create any further waste.”
Naweensuda Krabuanrat, Joint Vice President – Corporate Communications at Indorama Ventures PCL, one of the competition’s judges says, “From year to year, it is great to see new generations join RECO Young Designer Competition to create sustainable fashion designs uitilizing recycled materials such as polyester fiber, yarn and especially fabric made from recycled PET bottles. In the ninth year of the competition, our key concept is ‘REVIVE: Start from the Street’, which is derived from the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – a key objective behind the whole competition. It is about transforming what people may see as trash into creative designs. It allows a change of perspective, for the public to realize the value of materials which can be extended to other uses through practical innovations that can be used in daily life.”
“Recycling is no longer a distant part of our lives,” says Naweensuda. “Each year Indorama Ventures collects used PET plastic bottles for our recycling process. They are transformed into 3.3 tons of recycled plastic pellets and synthetic fibers for our clients who produce packaging and apparel in both domestic and overseas markets. We want to increase awareness among the public that used plastic bottles are not waste if you recognize the value of ‘recycling’ or reusing them in innovative and creative ways. This can in turn create income, reduce industrial waste and lower the amount of total waste, which is a major cause of environmental problems. This is the idea behind our sustainable fashion design project –RECO Young Designer Competition”
Outstanding designs that have made it through to the top 11 finalists include “Revive” by up-and-coming designer Worameth Monthanom and Silpakorn University student Thanakorn Srithong. They explain the concept behind their “Revive” design. “Like the revival of life, the concept makes us think of the continuous changes in nature. From the lifelessness of a severe cold winter, the world blossoms once again with life in the spring. It is a comparison of death and rebirth, so we decided to revive materials too. We selected used materials to create a piece of art. I applied a garbage print to convey a deeper meaning, using an ironing technique on the material to create creases as another layer of textures. There were some imperfections in the outfit, giving it an aesthetic quality and reminding us that these materials do not need to be disposed of. We adapted used x-ray films from an animal hospital for our embroidery. The polyester fabric made from recycled PET bottles was easy to dye, resulting the exact colors we wanted. The outfits we have created can be 100%used in daily life and I also take into consideration how my work can be expanded commercially.”
Bangkok University student Sarin Saowapakprayun, one of the finalists says, “The concept behind my work is inspired by Nogaku– a form of traditional Japanese dance-drama which involves silence, serenity and a sense of humor. I drew inspiration from kimonos used in Nogaku and integrated them with modern designs. I took materials from used cars such as safety belts and car seat covers along with materials made from PET and experimented with cutting, stretching and transforming the materials. In another part, I used polyester fabric recycled from PET bottles by Indorama Ventures which was easy to print on. Of course, this design may not look like a normal outfit sold today but the most important thing is that it is made from recycled materials. Most people are unaware that recycled fibers are no different from regular polyester fiber,I want this to become a normal thing.”
Finally, the piece of work entitled “Passionate” by young designer Sorawuth Pokang is presented. He says, “I worked with used camera films, an object with no particular use. I used it to play with light and shadows, adapting various visual techniques to create a ready-to-wear outfit. Once I started working on the project, I discovered that it was not difficult to work with discarded or recycled material to create clothes that everyone can wear.
“Actually, when I saw the recycled fabric, I had no idea that PET could be transformed into new fabric like this. However, after I started to work on it, gained knowledge from the workshop and got advice from the competition’s mentors, I found out that it is possible to create quality work from recycled materials. So, it is up to us, the designers, to find ways of adding value to sustainable fashion,” says Sorawuth.
Indorama Ventures hopes this competition will inspire, encourage and cultivate the concept of sustainable fashion. It aims to inspire the next generation of designers to create environmentally friendly designs and REVIVE recycled fashion to life and gain the acceptance it deserves.