On 31 August 2018 the annual RECO Awards, the Thai fashion design competition for recycled materials took place at the Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok. The RECO Awards is the largest upcycling fashion design competition in Thailand organized annually by Indorama Ventures and aims to raise awareness on re-using PET and polyester waste to create brilliant and inspiring designs.
In two days the historical residence of the ambassador on Wireless Road was transformed into a contemporary catwalk runway and exhibition venue. Thai influentials in the creative, business and government sector were invited.
Indorama Ventures is the biggest Thai investor in the Netherlands. Amongst others they have the largest PET recycling plant of Europe located in Spijk in The Netherlands. Mr Lohia, Board Member of Indorama Ventures stated: Every year with the RECO Awards, we showcase the knowledge and creativity of a new generation helping them create great designs for a better society and a cleaner environment. The winner of the competition Khun Chanajit Hnudat is going to the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in The Netherlands in October.
Dutch fashion designer Monique Collignon was invited to join the event, as she has been active in creating a ready to wear women’s collection, made out of RPET: fabric made out of plastic bottles. In her address to the audience she stated: When people ask me what kind of beautiful silk I used for a creation, I just simply answered: plastic. People always look at me with question marks in their eyes and think I am joking. Monique Collignon gave a talk on her journey to sustainable fashion on Saturday 1 September at the TCDC which is open to all public and a workshop for design students on Sunday 2 September at Kasetsart University.
Hosting the RECO Awards at the embassy is part of an initiative of the embassy to support our goal in becoming a global circular economy. To illustrate the need for a global circular economy, the Netherlands ambassador Mr Kees Rade mentioned the Earth Overshoot Day, the day that we consume more natural resources in a year than our planet can reproduce in that same year. This used to be 31 December in 1968. Last year, it was on August 2nd, meaning that on August 3d, we started to eat up our planet. The Netherlands is working hard on achieving an economy without waste by 2050. In the government-wide circular economy programme A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050, the cabinet outlines how to establish complete recycling and utilization of waste by 2050, with a plan to reduce the use of primary raw materials (minerals, fossil and metals) by 50% by 2030.
The Netherlands is on the brink of great changes as far as the circular economy is concerned. This not only means we will be facing challenges, it also offers significant and good opportunities for businesses and education, for instance. The key drivers for switching from linear to a circular economy are smart design with fewer resources, extended product life, and waste as raw material. If you would like to know more about A Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050, you can find all information on the programme at www.government.nl/topics/circular-economy.
The website also provides an overview of inspiring examples from the circular economy in practice.