Zero waste couture makes its debut at EcoBank 2019

  • The impact of the fashion industry and over-consumption took centrestage at this year’s EcoBank, which championed sustainable living and mindful consumption through showcases, a zero waste bootcamp, and a new Grab Bag Sale to raise funds for charity.

(From left) 938NOW deejay Charlotte Mei, Actress Judee Tan, Managing Director of 100 Resilient Cities Lauren Sorkin, Founder of Green Drinks Olivia Choong, and Artist and Fashion Revolution’s Laura Francois walked the sustainability talk at the Fashion 3R Eco Fashion Show.

Singapore, 2 March 2019 – Five leading ladies from Singapore’s environmental scene took to the catwalk today in bespoke outfits upcycled from donated clothing at this year’s EcoBank Bazaar and Fashion 3R event to raise awareness of fashion’s damaging impact on the environment and the need to find more sustainable ways of consuming clothing.

Actress Judee Tan, Managing Director of 100 Resilient Cities Lauren Sorkin, 938NOW deejay Charlotte Mei, Artist and Fashion Revolution’s Laura Francois, and Founder of Green Drinks Olivia Choong walked the sustainability talk at the Fashion 3R Eco Fashion Show as part of the launch of this year’s EcoBank at City Developments Limited (CDL)’s City Square Mall.

The five, as well as Guest-of-Honour and Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Dr Amy Khor, donned hand-crafted garments made from second-hand clothing donated to EcoBank. Designed by sustainability non-profit The Fashion Pulpit, five of the outfits are on display and for sale until Sunday, 3 March, with proceeds to go to EcoBank’s chosen charity, Arc Children’s Centre, to support children with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Khor said, “I am heartened to participate in the second edition of Fashion 3R. These initiatives remind us to be responsible consumers, to recycle our possessions to prolong their useful lifespan, and to embrace pre-loved items as a fashionable choice.”

EcoBank is an annual zero waste event, organised by CDL and Eco-Business, in support of Singapore’s Year of Zero Waste in 2019. The fourth EcoBank Bazaar kicked off on Friday, 1 March and runs until Sunday, 3 March.

In addition to the fashion show, the fourth edition of the EcoBank Bazaar features a sale of brand name bags and apparel, exquisite art pieces, electronics and other premium items donated by the general public. Other activities include a zero waste workshop for youths by social enterprise Secondsguru, a style showcase by students from Raffles College of Higher Education, and booths to educate the public about responsible shopping and the threat of microfibres to our oceans.

EcoBank also launched its first ever Grab Bag Sale, which runs from 1 to 3 March at CDL’s City Industrial Building. For every $10 donated to Arc Children’s Centre via fundraising site, the donor receives one tote bag’s worth of pre-loved toys, clothing, accessories and books of their choosing.

Ms Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of CDL, Co-Organiser of EcoBank and Fashion 3R, said, “At CDL, we have a long-standing sustainability commitment to our business, the community and the environment. In the Year Towards Zero Waste for Singapore, our initiatives such as EcoBank and Fashion 3R bring the People, Public and Private sectors together to break the typical ‘consume and dispose’ cycle and provide an avenue for climate action.”

“We are glad to see that more and more people are giving their pre-loved items a new lease of life through recycling and are adopting more sustainable ways of consumption. At the same time, we are heartened by the strong support and donations from members of the public. Proceeds from the EcoBank Bazaar will make a difference to the lives of the beneficiaries and their families.”

Gracing the EcoBank 2019 event was Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (centre in purple dress), with CDL Group CEO Mr Sherman Kwek (centre in blue shirt), CDL Group General Manager Mr Chia Ngiang Hong (far left), Ms Geraldine Lee, Co-Founder and Centre Manager of Arc Children's Centre (in orange shirt) with the leading ladies of the Fashion 3R Eco Fashion Show, children from Arc Children's Centre and guests.

(From left) Ms Esther An, CDL Chief Sustainability Officer and Dr Amy Khor visiting the stalls at the EcoBank Bazaar.

The Bazaar concludes two months of efforts to raise awareness and collect pre-loved items to highlight the issue of waste generation in Singapore. From 8 January to 1 February, EcoBank collection points were set up at seven CDL commercial buildings across Singapore to collect pre-loved clothing, toys, books and accessories that can be reused.

More than 800 volunteers spent 3,000 hours sorting and curating the collection of about 18.5 tonnes or 18,500 kg of goods. According to partner organisation Turnkey Solutions, this initiative has resulted in savings of 9,300 tonnes of carbon emissions as a result of diverting clothes, toys, books and fashion accessories from the incinerator.

Proceeds from the Bazaar will be donated to Arc Children’s Centre, while unsold items will be donated to Singapore-headquartered Embodhi Foundation to benefit low-income women in Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam.

Ms Geraldine Lee, Co-Founder and Centre Manager of Arc Children’s Centre, said, “Here at Arc, we strongly believe in cultivating a sense of responsibility in our children to care for the environment at a young age. Our children may be battling with life-threatening illnesses, but they too use their creativity in projects involving the concept of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ at home and at the Centre. We are grateful to CDL and Eco-Business for their thoughtful contribution which will help us continue our mission at the Centre.”

Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor of Eco-Business and director at Embodhi Foundation, said Singapore’s response to EcoBank’s messages of responsible consumption and zero waste has grown stronger each year. “With 2019 having been designated the Year of Zero Waste by the government, it is more important than ever that all of us are acutely aware of how much trash we generate, its impact on the environment and how we can all make a difference by supporting responsible consumption and production practices. EcoBank has proven to be an increasingly critical platform for education and individual action.”

For more information about EcoBank please visit the EcoBank website or the EcoBank Facebook page.