The future of sustainable fashion in mainland China is in good hands. That much was evident as the finalists of the 2022 RISE UP Sustainable Fashion Design were presented at Yongfoo Elite in Shanghai on October 14. 

The challenge was introduced by R.I.S.E. Sustainable Fashion Lab in 2021 to discover and support new generations of Chinese designers pioneering environmentally friendly fashion. This year, three finalists presented 30 new looks of ready-to-wear fashions made with sustainable yarns and fabrics.   

Selected from an assembly of more than 100 designers spanning seven countries and 52 top fashion and art schools, the top three—Hanqing Ding, Aqua Lixun Su and Designer 022397—jointly showcased their creations made with Eastman Naia™ cellulosic fibers and the world's first barley-based, water-based leather developed through collaboration between Budweiser China, Dow, and Vegatex. 

"Design, as the starting point of the fashion industry chain, has played a crucial role in environmental and social impacts of materials, production and manufacturing, consumer use, and even recycling and disposal stages,” said R.I.S.E. Sustainable Fashion Lab founder Yijia Du. “We hope to gather the resources and strength of sustainable aspects at home and abroad to become an incubator for China's new sustainable fashion brands in the future."

Hanqing Ding won the award of the year, sponsored by Eastman. A Royal College of Art MA graduate, she presented an evocative knitwear collection that embraced a sustainable approach throughout the supply chain. As part of the award, she received a pretax prize of RMB150,000. 

"This is the second year Eastman sponsored the challenge,” said Karen Yang, global marketing communication manager for Eastman textiles. “We are glad to see more and more young Chinese designers join the sustainable fashion industry with their enthusiasm and dreams."

Congratulations to all who participated!

Award-winner Hanqing Ding shows off her award with Yijia Du (left) and Karen Yang (right)

Stunning and sustainable—some of Hanqing Ding’s creations made with Naia™