Arts & Culture, Previous Events, Shopping & Consumption

#MUNIonFashion: Insights from Muni's Eco Fashion Workshop

All photos c/o Photography X.D.

Muni on this:

What if in a humble effort to start a conversation on the possibilities in eco fashion, we could also create a greater appreciation for social entrepreneurship, our rich weaving & textile traditions, and conscious consumption?

Muni PH Eco Fashion Workshop at Co.lab with Rags2Riches, LumagoDesigns & Jacinto & Lirio

Start a conversation.
At Muni’s core, that’s what we aim to do for topics and causes worth spreading through our articles and events. The question: “What if in the otherwise materialistic and excessive industry of fashion, we can support or create pieces that encourage more meaningful consumption and sustainable production?” was what sparked the Muni Eco Fashion workshop, which we held at Co.lab Xchange last March 11.

Muni PH Eco Fashion Workshop at Co.lab with Rags2Riches, LumagoDesigns & Jacinto & Lirio
Creativity-inducing co-working space, Co.lab!

Sustainable fashion or eco fashion is part of the growing inclination towards a sustainable lifestyle, which translates to everything from how we eat, get around, and in this case, make, buy, and use stuff.

With eco fashion, designers aim to craft pieces with the community and the planet in mind. Whereas companies used to simply offset their carbon footprint by donating proceeds to an environmental cause, the gravitation towards a more eco-conscious mindset has encouraged entrepreneurs to experiment with the use of more eco-friendly materials and socially responsible production methods.

Muni PH Eco Fashion Workshop at Co.lab with Rags2Riches, LumagoDesigns & Jacinto & Lirio
Getting the conversation going at our workshop area at Co.lab

Discussions at the Muni Eco Fashion Workshop

Noreen Bautista of Jacinto & Lirio shared about the use of indigenous materials like plant leather. Whitney Fleming of Lumago Designs shared about the different upcycled materials they use, how they source and sanitize them. And while all of them shared about working with communities, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz touched the most on the positive impact of the work on their artisans.

Muni PH Eco Fashion Workshop at Co.lab with Rags2Riches, LumagoDesigns & Jacinto & Lirio
Speakers Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches, the author, Whitney Fleming of Lumago Designs, and Noreen Bautista of Jacinto & Lirio

Reese shared, “Your wallet is your vote for someone else’s life”. More than showcasing the speakers’ work in the field of eco fashion, the workshop also helped make participants aware of their efforts as social entrepreneurs, with big hearts for the communities they worked with. Truly, the Philippines is ripe for eco fashion with the awakened consciousness, creativity and compassion of our fellow Filipinos.

After the speakers shared their stories and lessons, dinner c/o Edgy Veggy was served, while participants were free to address their questions to the speakers.

Muni PH Eco Fashion Workshop at Co.lab with Rags2Riches, LumagoDesigns & Jacinto & Lirio
Tofu mushroom bulgogi and bibimbap from Edgy Veggy
Muni Eco Fashion Workshop with Rambie Lim of Tepina & Rurungan sa Tubod
Rambie Lim of Tepiña

Preserving Filipino weaving traditions

With T’nalak (indigenous textile from Mindanao) mentioned in Noreen and Reese’s shares, it also opened up a discussion with Rambie Lim of Tepiña and Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, who strongly advocates for the preservation and support for our country’s weaving traditions. “The most eco way of doing things is the traditional way of doing things,” Rambie shared.

It’s high time that we used our local weaves and celebrated the talent of Filipino artisans. The industry, our culture and tradition, woven into our textiles, will die if we do not support them.

How To Become More Eco-Conscious Consumers

More than just learning how eco fashion can be created, we’re glad a question was raised on how we can be more eco conscious as consumers / in our daily lives. Here are some of our tips:

  1. Think before you buy. Do I really need this? Is it something I’ll  use frequently or will it stay in my closet with its tag on for months? Each purchase you make has an impact on the planet. (ex. Cotton for 1 T-shirt requires 2500L of water to produce.)
  2. Buy pre-loved. Extend a products embodied energy (total energy used to create a product) by prolonging its life span and preventing it from going to a landfill.
  3. Buy locally-made. Products made in the Philippines require less fuel to get to you. (NOTE: Just because a brand is local doesn’t mean their products are! Check the labels.)
  4. Buy eco-friendly. Choose products made from upcycled and natural materials that minimize waste in landfills and toxic chemicals from highly processed materials and methods.

We’re sad the night had to end because we know discussions would have continued, but it just leaves more for a part 2 perhaps. 🙂

We hope all attendees continue the conversation that we started. And whether or not they pursue eco fashion businesses of their own, we hope that the workshop has helped you realize your true purchasing power – how you can encourage entrepreneurs to change the way products are made.

What are your other thoughts on insights on eco fashion?
And what other discussions would you like us to start? 🙂

Muni eco fashion workshop

All photos c/o Photography X.D.