Winner crowned for RECO Sustainable Young Designer Competition, hosted by Indorama Ventures
Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global sustainable chemical producer, named the winners of ‘RECO Young Designer Competition’, Thailand’s largest upcycling fashion design event, parading haute couture garments containing at least 60% recycled materials.
Eleven finalists showcased 33 handmade sustainable outfits at the 9th edition of the fashion show at IVL’s headquarters in Bangkok, using recycled PET and polyester items to craft creative fashions. Under the concept of ‘REVIVE: Start from the Street,’ RECO supports young Thai designers while raising awareness of recycling. The designs use a range of recycled materials including recycled PET yarns, discarded fabric from factories, and even repurposed safety belts.
RECO awarded finalists and winners with 500,000 baht in prizes to support their careers. First prize of 125,000 baht was awarded to 23-year-old emerging furniture designer Mr. Prem Buachum for his ‘The Origin of Rebirth’ collection, using fabric recycled from post-consumer PET bottles. The first runner-up, Mr. Sathitkhun Boonmee, was awarded 75,000 baht for his ‘Remembering Your Favorite Teddy Bear’ collection, using old dolls made of polyester fibers. Second runners-up, Mr. Worameth Monthanom and Mr. Tanakorn Sritong, received 50,000 baht for their ‘Regeneration of Nature (into Spring)’ collection, using unused fabrics and discarded PET film. Mr. Napat Tansuwan, a finalist with his’ Don’t Judge’ collection, will go on to create designer merchandise for sponsor Buriram United Football Club using local weaving techniques from communities in Buriram province.
Mrs. Aradhana Lohia Sharma, Vice President at Indorama Ventures and RECO Young Designer Competition Chairperson, said, “Since 2011, RECO’s ambition has been to uplift recycling and inspire people to realize the value of recyclable materials to produce great new products for daily life. We have witnessed many thoughtful initiatives on upcycling through the collections created by our talented young Thai designers. The designs this year showcase stunning wearability and innovation while using a large percentage of recycle materials. Public interest in recycling has been growing immensely, and we are grateful to strengthen the relationship with partners like Buriram United Football Club.”
Mrs. Lohia Sharma added, “Indorama Ventures hopes this competition will be a driving force in nurturing sustainable fashion concepts and increasing the acceptance of recycled materials, especially post-consumer PET. We are proud to be a stepping-stone for our youth’s design journey and our community’s sustainable future.”
Ms. Chidchanok Chidchob, Director of Merchandise Department, Buriram United Company Limited, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with IVL on the RECO project, which is inspirational and drives sustainability-conscious living. We have seen the next generation of designers taking advantage of this initiative to create innovative ideas, support sustainability, raise awareness and make recycling possible. Buriram United is honored to increase awareness of the importance of recycling and protecting our planet.”
First prize winner Mr. Buachum wants to establish his own designer brand and textile studio to bring sustainable design into people’s lives and pass on his knowledge to others. He said, “The Big Bang Theory is the inspiration for my collection, and the challenge to use more than 60% recycled materials drove my creativity. I upcycled scrap brand labels into beautiful cloth, using techniques that added beauty and maximized usability. The weaving process can generate income for local communities and produce a ready-to-wear collection for the broader market. I am honored to be part of RECO and for the positive change it stands for and hope it can change the face of sustainable fashion in Thailand.”