Students upcycle old fabric and turn them into fashionable clothes
In just a short amount of time, we’ve seen a lot of businesses grow and describe themselves as sustainable. From transportation, food, skincare products, down to fashion, sustainable living has become the norm.
As someone who loves dressing up, fashion is probably the area where I’ll struggle to be sustainable the most. While I vowed to only shop in ukay-ukays because of their cheap finds, I still find myself ogling at fast fashion brands and end up buying their clothes.
As one of the biggest contributors of environmental wastes, there’s definitely a need to address fashion industry pollution. For teachers at the Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship and University of Santo Tomas, the best place to start is in schools.
Last September 28, students from the Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship - Fashion, Arts and Design (ICE-FAD) showcased their fashion designs through a method called upcycling.
For George Buid of Fashion Revolution Philippines, upcycling is a way to introduce the circular economy. “It means to recycle for a greater value,” he said.
George was invited for the preliminary judging of the students’ creations. “Each piece was made out of clippings and/or recycled fabrics from old clothes. Most of them are handsewn by students with the guidance and support of mentors from ICE-FAD. By looking at each design you can see how creative they can be in putting the pieces together,” he said.
One of the teachers at ICE-FAD, Irene Grace Subang, believes that it’s her duty as an educator and designer to inform her students about the global pollution that the fashion industry is causing, come up with solutions, and inspire them to take action.
Meanwhile, Reah Benedicta Goodwin, an instructor at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design said that she sees the opportunity to teach as a way to inspire more people to not just care about aesthetics but also be mindful of how their creations will impact the environment.
"Awareness makes people have informed decisions about their purchases. Tell people to be curious by examining the label of their clothing and point out the materials and where they were made. For starters, if the clothing label says polyester, nylon, spandex, latex, acrylic, amongst the few, these are synthetic fibers which are man-made, chemically produced plastic filaments. It can take approximately 500-1,000 years or longer to fully degrade," George said.
Fashion Revolution PH also advocates a transparent and sustainable fashion industry. They aim to guarantee safe and ethical working conditions not just for Filipino garment workers in the country but also abroad. They strive to create a community that is conscious of their environmental impact.
"We encourage consumers to ask who made their clothes. A simple, but powerful question that can change the fashion industry, starting with little steps towards transparency. In addition, we organize a yearly campaign called Fashion Revolution Week, which happens every last week of April. We activate all our networks and connections to mount awareness-raising events, from panel discussions to film screenings, from clothes swaps to repairing sessions," he said.
They currently have an exhibit at the Activity Center of Ayala Malls Circuit to show what sustainable fashion is all about. Titled The Walkthrough, this project seeks to take the conversation on sustainable fashion further through collaboration with other known artists such as Anina Rubio, Pam Quinto, Tanya Villanueva, Tekla Tamoria, and Zeus Bascon x Jas Fernandez. The exhibit will run until Sunday, October 27. Admission is free. To know more about how you can contribute to sustainability in the fashion industry, visit Fashion Revolution’s website. – Rappler.com
#GoodRap is a column published every Friday that aims to feature lighthearted yet meaningful stories from here and around the globe. We hope this provides an oasis for anyone who wants to take a quick escape from the gloom and doom of the everyday world.