30 April 2021
Mountain Yam’s designs have been showcased in New York and at Paris Fashion Week.
Sustainability has become a core component of global business value, and a key feature of the sustainability movement is upcycling, the practice wherein waste is turned into value-added products. “Upcycling, where durable material is being reused and made into something new, is now used by individual designers and by big brands,” explained Hong Kong fashion designer Mountain Yam

2020 was a year of reflection for Yam. He spent his time thinking about what the traditional fashion industry meant to him. “Do we need that much clothing when we stay home most of the time? Do we need a change in the way we produce clothes?” he asked himself.
Yam collaborated with Nina Hospitality to reimagine team members’ uniforms in 2020. The project allowed Yam to put his ideas into action, with recycling driving the design. In order to make the uniforms aesthetically pleasing and practical, Yam visited every single hotel of Nina Hospitality to understand the needs of the staff members.

“Upcycling is rare in hospitality since the process consumes a lot of time,” noted Yam. “It’s challenging but also rewarding. And this approach has aligned with the direction we are exploring for our own fashion brand.” Yam’s team have collected more than 1,000 old uniforms from Nina Hospitality, disinfected them, pulled them to pieces and reused up to 40% of that material in the new uniforms. Yam said that the biggest reward of this project was the positive feedback from the staff.

Mountain Yam earned his master’s degree in Fashion Design from the Institute of Textile & Clothing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He studied abroad at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design in New York. In 2014, he established two labels, a couture label MYAM Atelier and a ready-to-wear fashion label 112 mountainyam. He was selected to represent Hong Kong in the Belt and Road International Young Fashion Designers Showcase Tour in 2018. In May 2020, he held a fashion show in the midst of pandemic, which has become a talk of the town.

New uniform designs for Nina Hospitality created through upcycling