Here are five local brands to know—and how we took them for a spin on a weekend trip to Singapore.
In the past decade, circularity has been touted as the future of fashion, where garments are reused over and over to prolong their shelf life—and keep them off landfills. In the Philippines, more and more homegrown brands are elevating the resale and vintage markets and raising awareness for eco-conscious consumerism. While vintage was previously considered a decidedly less glamorous way to shop, especially in the outskirts of the country, local brands like Glorious Dias and It’s Vintage Vintage are giving reused goods a stylish rebrand. Similarly, rental brands are also upping their offerings. Vestido, for example, even employs personal stylists to cater to shoppers’ specific dressing and event needs. Here are five local rented and vintage brands to know—and how we took them for a spin on a weekend trip to Singapore.
Vestido asks: What if we don’t buy the goods, but the service? Renting eases the industry’s environmental burdens by giving clothes a longer service life while cutting back on material use and carbon dioxide emissions. The go-to rental site even goes a step further than just renting, it also offers a stylist subscription program for pulling out garments, and offers “Vend,” a destination where you are able to purchase your favorites. With a vast evening wear selection from Amina Muaddi heels to Thierry Mugler velvet dresses, you can find pieces for less than half their retail price. They even have highly-coveted pieces from renowned designers like Jacquemus to Carolina Herrera.
Although the majority of rental services require a membership, Vestido doesn’t. So for those wondering how Vestido’s rental works, start by scheduling a 45-minute studio appointment or choosing items directly through their platform. Fit the pieces in the studio or opt for the home service, which the brand started during the pandemic. When you’re done, pack them in the same shopping bag they came in and schedule a pick-up by the designated return date. Vestido even takes care of the delivery and the dry cleaning. Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds.
More and more people are looking towards “conscious brands” that believe in garments being fed back into the system. The opportunities that lie in circularity aren’t just about the design of the product, but how it relates to people’s values. The way we behave and relate to clothes is shaped by the collaboration of brands that share the same vision: clothing can be a visual and kinetic language communicating the beauty of circularity. Perhaps, through fashion, we can accelerate a little bit of change, while looking unabashedly and optimistically towards the future.
How I Wore It
Paired Vestido’s Miu Miu jacket with a Dion Lee velvet dress and black stilettos to a restaurant nestled in an art gallery. The gown’s clean-cut silhouette exudes ease while the jacket’s sophisticated patterns are all about ’70s glamor.
At Vestido, I found a voluminous Ha.Mu top, a modern take on a Victorian shape painted in a vivid blue. However, I quickly realized that visiting Singapore’s famed hawker centers in an oversized look was not the way to go. So I bundled up the sleeves quickly, keeping them safe from the laksa.
For a night out, a Dion Lee leather skirt from Vestido was the perfect uniform for a low-lit speakeasy. Paired with my own Vivienne Tam top, it made me feel like I was on a Wong Kar Wai set.
With an artisanal approach to design, RIOtaso’s hand-manipulated textiles, carefully created out of fabric scraps, are rich in identity and meaning. Designer Rio Estuar reached out to non-profit organization Gawad Kalinga and their local communities to help with sewing joy-inducing pieces in riotous colors. To begin the brand’s zero waste process, RIOtasotakes material donations from local brands to lessen textile pollution, and after meticulous sorting and cleaning, each piece is sewn by the non-profit communities or by Estuar herself. Individuals can browse their site for the brand’s vibrant and customizable Cozy Set 2.0,which is available in ten styles.
How I Wore It
For my next outfit, I wore It’s Vintage Vintage’s Fiorucci tee with RIOtaso’s green patchwork joggers for a laidback look that puts day-to-day sweatpants to shame.
With vintage embroidered barong options, flared pants with shimmery trimmings, and blouses with Edwardian, oversized frills, Glorious Dias takes shoppers on a journey through time. Located in HUB Make Lab, a retail incubation space for creatives in Metro Manila, the vintage boutique’s eclectic references act as an homage to Filipino traditions and the LGBTQIA+communities including San Diego’s 1996 Pride March and oil paintings by Dr. Toribio Herrera. For PHP1,000 per kilo, you can buy one-of-a-kind vintage finds in bulk. Chat with founder Jodinand Aguillon, who’s typically on site to lend a helping hand.
How I Wore It
I wore this Glorious Dias white kimono covered with electric-hued flowers draped over my dark denim jeans. Exploring Singapore on foot was easy thanks to the breezy, loose silhouettes—the perfect accompaniment to Peranakan architecture featuring colorful two-story shophouses with ornate façades and intricate motifs.
With its innovative business model, Ucycle’s unique approach mirrors nature by having a take-back system that allows you to return, repurpose, and recycle them as well. With circularity that starts on the drawing board, Ucycle champions recycled cotton and makes it convenient for the average person to recycle. They demonstrate that clothing can have it all—a long lifespan, be locally produced, and be made with fabrics that don’t cost the Earth. A confident blend of practical design and utilitarian details, their pieces redefine functional fashion. Through their easy to navigate website and R3Denim Digital Zine, the brand offers a no-fail way to find unique tailored pieces.
How I Wore It
I paired these bold, statement-making RIOtaso Wavy Patchwork Pants with a black bralette for a laidback yet striking look at home. A Ucycle’s Original R3DENIM 3-Pocket Work Jacket provided effortless fashion to the fore through sleek, minimalist tailoring in a dark blue hue.
It’s Vintage Vintage & ATOMIC
For Sailor Moon tees, reworked shorts, and vintage racing jackets, the Instagram-only It’s Vintage Vintage is the go-to destination for graphic tees and beyond. With pieces that range from PHP594 to PHP9,990, they have a treasure trove made for vintage aficionados. Similar to It’s Vintage Vintage, ATOMIC’s distinct, grungy character, brings a playful perspective to reworked fashion. With just a few clicks, access reworked gems consisting of denim Vintage Missy Bags and ATOMIC’s homage to Filipino roots, the Happi Jacket. ATOMIC’s prices range from US$50 to US$195.
How I Wore It
I wore ATOMIC’s reworked Happi Jacket with a pair of flared slacks—this set echoed ’70s shapes with post punk flair. I felt like I was transformed by what I was wearing, like an outré character with the unkempt charm of grunge.