These homegrown brands are stylish and eco-conscious.
In recent years, the sustainability movement has taken the fashion industry by storm—and rightfully so. According to Lyst, a global fashion search platform, online searches for “sustainable fashion” more than tripled since 2016. Locally, homegrown brands are also subscribing to the eco-conscious ethos either through the use of recycled fabrics, raw materials like pineapple fibers abundant in Philippine provinces, or through making sure regional weaving techniques are passed down from generation to generation. Buy less, they advocate, but buy with history. Below, 11 local brands to shop to build your sustainable wardrobe.
Through slow-fashion and custom-made pieces, designer Jann Bungcaras sheds light on genderless sustainable fashion. A brand dedicated to the allure of idiosyncrasy, the label utilizes leftover fabric, resources, and waste from other designer houses and factories. Each thoughtful garment is crafted using more than 60% of recycled materials and connects the wearer to the designer.
TOQA’s vibrant “souvenirs” are one-of-a-kind garments that act as a visual vocabulary of island identities. With made-to-order pieces, their philosophy is to only make what is needed. Sustainable high fashion reaches unprecedented heights in TOQA’s newest collection, with polka-dot imbued prints, tropical designs that would put your Dad’s Hawaiian shirts to shame, and neon midi skirts.
RIOtaso awakens fabrics through creatively curated garments that contribute to a zero-waste lifestyle. By stitching together materials discarded by the fashion industry, they create meaningful pieces that help communities and the environment alike. With cozy sets covered in intricate patchwork and floral textile Tetris pieces, they level up your eco-conscious fashion game.
Since its inception in 2016, Candle Ray focuses on functional, architectural clothing. Every modernist piece is made-to-order with ethically-minded practices. Candle Ray, a master of denim, uses dead stock and damaged fabrics and transforms them to unique refurbished garments in monochromatic hues that compliment the figure.
Designer Bianca Jimenez of Ma Collecta reinterprets piña in her contemporary take on the indigenous textile. Through understated and relaxed silhouettes interlaced with intricate embroidery, Ma Collecta creates piña blends that are responsibly produced with the brand’s environmental impact in tow. Through asymmetrical blouses and impeccably detailed tube tops, Ma Collecta creates everyday pieces that revive the traditional art form.
Lady Gaga, Anna Dello Russo, Celine Dion, Paris Hilton, and Georgia May Jagger are a few of the household names to wear Mich Dulce’s ornate pieces. With eccentric hats and headpieces, Mich Dulce brings Philippine raw materials to the forefront, combined with European millinery techniques. In 2016, designer Mich Dulce participated in Selfridges’ sustainability initiative, “Bright New Things”. Each designer was chosen to demonstrate environmentally-friendly methods of production as well as innovative design. Dulce’s materials showcase the heritage and traditions of Filipino craftsmanship, while simultaneously contributing to a minimal waste lifestyle.
Circularity takes center stage in the collections of Alyanna Ferrer. The brand is partnered with Humble Sustainability for its one-of-a-kind pieces, a community that collects and distributes materials from households and businesses for recycling. Using collections composed of reissued pieces made from deadstock materials like school uniforms and discarded car seat covers, the brand uses fashion as a vehicle for change.
Since 2013, RJ Santos of Randolf Clothing has been a pioneer in sustainable fashion in the Philippines. Using recycled fabric scraps for each collection, the brand brings a playful spin to sustainable fashion with pop culture references. With deconstructed jumpsuits to an offbeat Barong Tagalog, Santos’ label merges forward-thinking fashion with environmentally-friendly processes.
Aptly named “munimuni,” which means to reflect or ponder in Filipino, the eponymous label’s ethos melds thoughtful design and quality. Muni Muni’s tie-dye collections bring a sense of warmth and belonging to community-based creations. Produced in small batches, slow fashion is at the core of the label, and each garment is handmade using traditional techniques imparted from generation to generation.