“We have the passion to create a strong and ethical fashion movement here in the Philippines,” Fashion Revolution Philippines Country Coordinator Sophia Calugay said at the launch of Fashion Revolution Week, a week-long campaign for a more sustainable fashion industry.


Photos by George Buid

Fashion Revolution Week will be celebrated among the global fashion organization’s international chapters to call for an industry that values people, the environment, profit and creativity in equal measure.

Last April 22, Fashion Revolution Philippines kicked off the week with a press conference entitled “Fashion for the Future: People and the Planet” in Acceler8 by UnionSPACE. This was attended by various individuals, from university students, fashion designers, to policy makers.

The non-profit organization had announced its findings on its groundbreaking initial study on the impact of the importation of second-hand clothing in the Philippines. Fashion Revolution members Ysabl Dobles and Tere Arigo conducted and presented their study on how second-hand clothing retailers or ukay-ukay’sin the Philippines have impacted the country economically, culturally, and environmentally – both positively and negatively.

The research studies a supposedly illegal yet prevalent shopping culture in the Philippines. It showed that there is a stark lack in information and accountability of the second-hand clothing that enters the country for retail.

Ukay-ukay’s may also impede the growth of a local textile and garment industry as clothes are sold for a much cheaper price.

Although ukay-ukay’s promote recycling or reusing garments, the results proposed that they can be as harmful as the fast fashion industry if consumers retain their frequency of shopping and disposal.

A 2017 survey conducted by YouGov finds that 65% of Filipino adults have thrown away clothes in the past year… There is a worrying trend among millennials. Their tendency to dispose their clothing than the older generations suggest that there is an uphill battle for those keen to tackle this issue head on,” Ysabl Dobles raised during their presentation.

Although the study is just scratching the surface of the industry, Fashion Revolution Philippines have planned an itinerary of educational, creative, and accessible events towards creating dialogue and awareness on April 23 to 28.

These events are in partnership with FIBERS Collective, an organization for sustainable fashion enterprises, Pineapple Lab, a creative hub for local art, TELAStory, anethical garment startup, MUNI, a grassroots movement towards mindful living, UP Writers Club, the University of the Philippines’ finest literary club, and Global Shapers Davao Hub, a network initiated by the World Economic Forum.

With a myriad of events for sustainable fashion, in the words of Country Coordinator Sophia Calugay, “Be curious, find out, and do something.”

For more information, follow Fashion Revolution’s Facebook and Instagram page.

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