Youth-phoria with Upcycling
Story by Amira Ismail
At the Youths Celebrate! Sustainability event at Gardens by the Bay over 19-20 May, the Denim Design Competition drew youth designers together to compete with one another and create eco-friendly pieces onsite.
In collaboration with Levi’s, participants were tasked to work on a Levi’s jacket and challenged to use their artistry to design with upcycling in mind. The completed pieces were stylish runway hits. The showcase ended on a high note with ShiGGa Shay bringing on the groove.
First prize winner, 24-year-old Jamela Law, shared the revelation behind her winning piece. “The structure on my jacket was inspired by dead intertwining plants and branches, which to me is a reminder to love the environment, “ said Jamela.
Tying her piece back to the idea of sustainability, the design on her jacket was made using bio-silk filaments, a biodegradable and eco-friendly material that is made from a combination of bio plastic and silk obtained from left-over strands, which means no silk worms were harmed in the process of making the materials.
“In this way, we are changing the industry, which is pretty revolutionary. We are the future and there is only one earth, so it’s an effort every one of us has to put in to save our world,” she added with a smile.
Clinching a position as the second prize winner, the inspiration behind Jessical Chen’s piece is something she held close to her heart. “I really want to bring awareness about over-consumption. People tend to buy more things than they really need, and the amount of wastage in the fashion industry is especially large,” she said.
Named “Fashion for Fashion”, Jessical’s design revolved around the concept of recycling. She turned her old clothes that she would have thrown away into colourful fashion accessories, that were put together on the denim jacket to create a piece that spoke of the 18-year-old’s vibrant personality.
“It’s about time we open our eyes to more important things that affects our earth than to spend and waste money on things we will eventually throw away,” she emphasized.
Awed by the beauty of the Supertree Grove and its environmentally sustainable functions, 19-year-old Tan Wei Qiang expressed his talent by replicating the design of the Supertrees. “I want to show people that many beautiful things can be made if all of us start using eco-friendly initiatives.”