Cover Photo: Olivier Yoan for Tatler Hong Kong

Founder of leading sustainable design competition, Redress and upcycled fashion brand, The R Collective, Christina Dean's passion for sustainability and fashion gains her a spot on The Impact List 2020

The tragic events of 2020 have been a sore validation for Christina Dean, whose mission in founding Redress in 2007 was to promote sustainability without hindering business.

“I believe that industry must take place, but we have a responsibility to ensure we do not hurt public health,” she says. “Fashion has a tremendous role to play—it’s beautiful, it’s functional and it’s our second skin. But I think it’s wrong that our clothing causes so much suffering, ill-health and pain to millions of people around the world.”

See also: Introducing Asia's Most Influential: The Impact List 2020

Dean was a journalist and a dentist before her passion for adventure led her to move to Hong Kong in 2005. Her research on apparel manufacturing led her to realise the need for more environmental education for aspiring designers. To that end, with Redress, she has launched the leading sustainable design competition and provided materials for curriculums used by more than 140 university partners. In 2017, she launched the R Collective, an upcycled fashion brand that makes new clothing from waste materials collected from luxury designer brands.

“The biggest lesson for me this year has been that fashion is an interplay of three things: society, environment and economy,” she says. “It’s an industry worth fighting for, and I don’t think we should just roll over and say it’s too difficult. If we’re clever enough, we can make fashion a force for good.”

See also: Meet The 2020 Winners Of The World's Largest Sustainable Fashion Design Competition