Sustainable Energy

This designer couture is made from car parts

From meat dresses to double-denim and fluorescent pink faux fur. It's safe to say that the fashion industry has seen it all… or has it?

Step in a new fashion trend: designer couture made out of recycled car parts. U.S. automaker, Ford has teamed up with sustainable fashion charity, Redress, to launch "The Redress Forum: Ford Design Challenge," which was held during last month's Hong Kong's Fashion Week.

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Credit: Redress

In the morning of the challenge, the 10 up-and-coming designers from Europe and Asia were paired up to design a piece of couture together, which incorporated fabric made from recycled parts from Ford vehicles – all within a three-hour time limit.

The objective behind the designer challenge was to showcase sustainable design in both fashion and the automotive industry, by making designs without wasting very much material.

The winning team were emerging fashion designers, Amandah Andersson, from Sweden, and Veronica Lee, from Malaysia. Andersson and Lee's final design incorporated felt and cloth from the car seats of a Ford Mondeo and Ford Kuga. They were awarded "educational funds" to help fund their future designs.

After the event, Lee said in a statement: "I never expected plastic bottles could be transformed into appealing materials and eventually into such an unexpected garment."

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The 10 competing designers were finalists in the 2014/15's EcoChic Design Award, which was sponsored by Ford. The EcoChic Design Award started in 2011 and aims to make sustainable designs more prominent in mainstream fashion, however, the award only expanded out past its Asian barriers in 2013.

Emily Lai, manager of colour and materials design at Ford Asia Pacific, said that "designers have the power to affect environmental waste through their designs, and can minimize this total impact through the creative use of materials."

To build upon its sustainable image, Ford's latest designs of the Kuga and Mondeo, have interior door panels that use kenaf (a hibiscus plant) and plastic. The cars start from $32,050.

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