NEW WEAVE

Fash­ion girls, stay woke: The move for sus­tain­able fash­ion is pick­ing up.

Preview (Philippines) - - Mood - BY CHICA VIL­LARTA

The doc­u­men­tary The True Cost by An­drew Mor­gan fleshes out just how much dam­age the fast-fash­ion in­dus­try does to the environment and the peo­ple who work for it. From the ex­tremely toxic con­di­tions of pro­duc­ing cot­ton to the thou­sands of ca­su­al­ties pro­duced by un­safe work­ing con­di­tions in gar­ment fac­to­ries, there’s a laun­dry list of trans­gres­sions al­most un­com­fort­able to talk about in the pages of a fash­ion mag­a­zine. Thank­fully, our radars at Pre­view point at ev­ery which way, so imag­ine our col­lec­tive gasp of ap­proval (and re­lief) to find that sus­tain­able fash­ion—fab­rics, par­tic­u­larly—is slowly be­ing sourced and de­vel­oped in the coun­try. Thanks to tech­nol­ogy, the most com­mon Filipino plants are be­ing re-en­gi­neered to pro­duce fab­rics that can be used as less threat­en­ing al­ter­na­tives to traditional tex­tiles such as leather. One of them is Piña­tex: De­rived from pineap­ple fibers from the Philip­pines, it’s a strong, light­weight yet high-per­for­mance fab­ric that's poised to be­come an al­ter­na­tive to leather. Just last year, Puma de­vel­oped a pro­to­type sneaker made out of the fab­ric. De­vel­oped by Span­ish tex­tile com­pany Ananas Anam, Piña­tex isn't re­liant on ex­cess wa­ter, fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides; plus it gives Filipino pineap­ple farm­ers an en­tirely new means of earn­ing money. Even though Piña­tex, like many sus­tain­able fab­rics, has yet to crack the main­stream tex­tile mar­ket, the whole move­ment is tak­ing a step in the right di­rec­tion. Aquafil, a man­u­fac­turer of new sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als, de­vel­oped Econyl, a brand of car­pet fibers and tex­tile yarns de­rived mainly from ocean waste and dis­carded fish­ing nets all around the world, in­clud­ing the Philip­pines. A syn­thetic ny­lon fab­ric, Econyl is used in more than 70 ap­parel and swimwear brands glob­ally, in­clud­ing se­lect bikini and sports­wear col­lec­tions from Adi­das, Tri­umph and Mara Hoff­man. La­bel of the mo­ment Gucci used Econyl in its 2017 menswear pieces. Sev­eral other fash­ion la­bels have used sus­tain­able fab­rics. Newlife, cham­pi­oned by eco-fash­ion ad­vo­cate (and wife to ac­tor Colin) Livia Firth, is a polyester yarn made from re­cy­cled plas­tic bot­tles. Livia is known to have fash­ion la­bels make be­spoke cre­ations out of the ma­te­rial, such as a Gior­gio Armani num­ber and an An­to­nio Ber­ardi gown she wore at a Met Gala. In the Philip­pines, life­style and fash­ion brand Piopio—the brain­child of Paloma Zo­bel—started to in­cor­po­rate lo­cally sourced nat­u­ral dye from indigo plants into its pieces, some­thing she dis­cov­ered from The Indigo Project, a lo­cal ini­tia­tive that aims to re­vive the use of lo­cal and sus­tain­able dyes and fab­rics. Celia Elumba, di­rec­tor of the Philip­pine Tex­tile Re­search In­sti­tute—the or­ga­ni­za­tion that helped de­velop Piña­tex with Ananas Anam—is op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of sus­tain­able fab­rics. "In the fu­ture, there will be no other way but to look for sus­tain­able sources of cloth­ing ma­te­ri­als. Def­i­nitely, pe­tro­leum ma­te­ri­als will be scarce be­cause [their] raw ma­te­ri­als are fi­nite. When this hap­pens, al­ter­na­tive raw ma­te­ri­als will need to step up to fill in the gap." The dis­cus­sion of sus­tain­able fab­rics might be a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing, but know that there are ways to prac­tice sus­tain­able fash­ion with­out rock­ing the boat too hard: swap clothes with friends, and re­sell your used clothes (Carousell is a user-friendly app that fea­tures a nifty in-app cus­tomer mes­sen­ger tool). Sus­tain­abil­ity can start sim­ple, too.

Th­ese Puma shoes are made from a pineap­pled­erived fab­ric called Piña­tex, which is a sus­tain­able ve­gan op­tion to leather. Philip­pine fash­ion brand Piopio uses lo­cally sourced nat­u­ral dyes for its pieces.

Gucci nails yet another trend: eco-friendly fash­ion with Econyl, a tex­tile made from up­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als.

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