Meet Your Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe: Bayo x Ella Collection
Fashion

Meet Your Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe: Bayo x Ella Collection

Aya Cabauatan

Filipino clothing brand Bayo’s collaboration with Ella Pangilinan shines the spotlight on regenerative fashion and eco-friendly textiles.

For Bayo, sustainability is central to their creativity. The thirty-year-old Filipino clothing brand views fashion as an open-ended and collaborative exploration where change occurs: like-minded individuals come together to share everything—materials, ideas, inspirations, and creative philosophies.

This is what led to their latest partnership with Ella Pangilinan, the 26-year-old creative consultant and influencer who hails from a family of entertainers. Pangilinan is known for her refined, feminine style, often supporting local designers, and a proponent of rented fashion. This is well-suited to Bayo’s own aesthetic, which veers towards classic and lady-like silhouettes, and their efforts towards regenerative clothing. “This collection is a celebration of our culture in everyday life. It’s inspired by the women closest to me—my mom and my sisters,” Pangilinan tells Vogue Philippines in an exclusive interview.

The Bayo x Ella Collection, which drops December 8, is a fifteen-piece capsule wardrobe that capitalizes on vibrant colors, intricate weaves, and an interplay of textures. It uses deadstock fabrics, recycled materials, cotton, and piña, rooting itself in circular fashion.

Re-Establishing Fashion

The collection comprises garments that open up the conversation about fashion’s relationship with nature. “I used to struggle with [sustainability] a lot because I thought that you had to be a minimalist to be sustainable,” admits Pangilinan. “How can you support local artisans, brands, and [at the same time] find solutions that are less impactful to the environment?” Without having to limit herself to a specific style, the young designer ventures towards other alternatives that don’t skimp out on maximalism. She continues, “It’s that conscious effort of looking at alternatives [instead] of completely removing different kinds of styles.”

Through this collaboration, Pangilinan set out to create an unconventional capsule wardrobe composed of accent pieces in mood-boosting colors. “We wanted to work with Ella because we share the same values. We wanted to translate [them] into our pieces with [eco-friendly] materials and methods,” remarks Alyssa Lagon, sustainability and brand executive of Bayo. “Sustainability doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, unique, and versatile.”

The Beauty Of Re-Wear

Versatility underlines the entire collection composed of floral-printed lightweight pants, woven Santan-inspired designs, wrap-around skirts, and joy-inducing separates that bring traditional weaves to the forefront. “We wanted to highlight outfit repeating [by showing that] you can mix Ella’s pieces with pieces you already have,” says Lagon.

Bayo’s creative marketing head Meg Manzano says, “We [envision the person wearing the garments to be] someone who can see the lifestyle span of [every piece] and the values attached to it. This is a garment that they have now, but it’s something that their sister or their mom would appreciate.”

They wanted to tackle outfit repeating because giving a second life to pieces should be celebrated and not criticized. Manzano continues, “We want to show that you can repeat outfits [without being] minimalist. You can be colorful and playful with it.” She asserts that for a garment to be sustainable, one should be able to use it over 30 times.

For these particular pieces, clothes can be mixed and matched for unexpectedly chic combinations. Pangilinan says, “It’s okay to repeat. I [tend to] gravitate [toward] pieces that I can wear multiple ways even if they are quite colorful, have patterns, or different textures.”

Throughout the collection, both Bayo and Pangilinan wanted to challenge people with the notion that rewearing isn’t limited to basic items. She wanted to include versatile pieces that can be worn by your family members—garments that can be shared and that transcend the generational divide.

A Narrative Of Progress

Bayo is the first and, as of the moment, the only Filipino fashion brand to become a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a UN network of global companies that are committed to responsible business practices. It was also awarded the Champion for Gender Responsive Marketplace for the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region at the 2021 Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) Awards by UN Women and the European Union. Lagon says, “Every year, we submit our progress report which shows our ongoing initiative on sustainability.”

She continues, “In 2017, our waste was at 35%, but now it’s at 5%. We’re converting that 5% into construction materials.” Premised on true circularity, Bayo hopes to reach a zero-waste model. Steering away from greenwashing, the brand has partnered with a third-party auditor from San Francisco, the government, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to make sure they have all the data to support their programs.

The brand sees fashion as a center of community, a testament to the power of putting authenticity and transparency first. “We don’t see [other] local brands as competitors, [instead] we try to learn [from each other]. With Bayo, we have programs and communities in place to bring sustainability forward. We want to be open in a sense [by] helping designers or students who want to learn more or [aspire] to design slow fashion collections.” They see collaboration as fashion’s everyday language with the belief that “we really have to wear our values from here on out.”

Community Spirit

For this collection, Bayo worked with the Ambension Weaving Community, a long-time partner based in Bulacan. “We get to inspire these communities that their traditions are worth preserving and celebrating,” Pangilinan shares in their press release. Through Bayo x Ella, the burgeoning designer wanted to “highlight our heritage and celebrate the artisans who were involved in the process.”

Lagon adds, “I really wanted to help the weaving community because [weaving] is a dying tradition. [Through working with them] we were able to support their livelihoods, and more weavers were able to join the community.

Moving forward, Anna mentions they hope they can work with more like-minded individuals [in the future] guided by the belief that collaborating for the same advocacy will help society as a whole become more eco-conscious.

Lagon concludes, “Sustainability is a work in progress and hopefully we will reach it. We [always] try to be better than we were yesterday.”

The Bayo x Ella collection will be available starting December 8.

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