For Hong Kong designer Vincci Ching, old is the new fashion glamour – and Golden Globes stars agree
Hong Kong accessories brand Heritage ReFashioned a hit with Hollywood stars at the Golden Globes ceremony as goody bags feature its sustainable fashion accessories upcycled from vintage textiles
Eco-conscious accessories designer Vincci Ching is on a mission to increase the use of old materials and reduce fashion’s carbon footprint.
Her Hong Kong-based brand, Heritage ReFashioned, upcycles vintage fabrics into clutches, coin purses, cufflinks and other accessories – and Hollywood celebrities are among those impressed. Most recently, Ching’s products were included in the much-coveted Golden Globes goody bag.
“Many of the event’s attendees were actually surprised to hear that the products were made from vintage fabrics. So whilst they come from the fifties to eighties, they are premium materials that are both well crafted and long-lasting,” says Ching.
“To the celebrities who attended, or really to anyone who touches the product, it’s an opportunity to feel something that is culturally authentic. It showcases that upcycling can be glamorous and colourful too.”
She says her interest in vintage fabrics was fired on a trip to Tokyo. “I walked into a secondhand kimono store by chance, where I noticed in a back corner a pile of fabric scraps. The store owner explained that the material came from damaged garments, and that sometimes people bought them to salvage and reuse in various ways. So I brought a few bags home, and that was really the start of my journey.”
A few bags she made for a Christmas craft market sold out quickly and Ching has since expanded her product range. She also now works with other materials, including secondhand fabrics from the traditional Chinese Qun Kwa bridal dress and fabrics woven by women from Bhutan.
Ching sources Qun Kwa fabric from bridal rental stores in Hong Kong. “It took a bit of convincing to get some store owners to come around, but I was lucky to meet a couple who thought it was a nice idea to popularise the designs of the Qun Kwa. The dress is an intangible part of Chinese heritage, so when they saw what I was doing with the clutches, they were happy to see that I could give their gowns a new lease on life,” she says.
Ching uses all of the fabric – larger pieces for clutches, the smaller pieces for jewellery and cufflinks.
Her passion to preserve the environment stems from her childhood. The backyard of the family embroidery factory in Hong Kong’s Shek Kip Mei district was piled high with waste.
“Seeing the amount of waste, even if it was from my own family factory, motivated me to minimise my footprint. We’ve reached that stage in society where being sustainable in design is what every designer is hoping to achieve. Creating things that have less impact, this is what everyone is now trying to achieve.”