Having multiple small and sustainable businesses all striving to be unique, innovative, and better can result in a healthy marketplace and well-served consumers. Supporting local businesses also helps our fellow community members who work at them.
I believe that our local craft can compete abroad when it comes to quality and design. I owned some of the best bags and mules (shoes) from some of the best designers here, that I found on social media.
Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) pursues sustainability in local fashion at the recent forum held at Conrad Hotel last December 4.
Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Vice-Chairman and Managing head of BOI and Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry delivers the event’s keynote address.
While an informative talk on sustainability in the garments and textiles industry was led by Celia Elumba, Director IV of the DOST – Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), and a detailed talk on sustainable and inclusive business models in the Philippines was rendered by Chief Executive Officer of Ananas-Anam Philippines Chuck Lazaro and Founder and Creator of Maison Metisse Adrienne Charuel.
Use what you produce; produce what you use.
This is the principle behind the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI).
“Sustainability is producing our own textiles because it’s higher in the value chain. Using our own raw materials, having our own local skills and talents, and using our technology and processing here—it’s an industry that can enable more people to come to the workforce,” shares PTRI director Celia Elumba.
To enliven the country’s garments and textile industries, the PTRI has already developed a number of technologies to assist local businesses in the production and processing of locally made textiles and fabrics. With raw materials and technologies now readily available in the Philippines, it is apparent that the Philippines’ garment sector is ripe for revitalization.
“We have the technology. Now we’re looking for adaptors of it,” says Elumba. “We want to encourage enterprises, businesses, and investors to go and take a second look at textile production because we have more than a hundred million Filipinos now to market to.”
One example of a sustainable model is the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) in Miag-ao, Iloilo, where PTRI collaborated with the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) to create a microscale facility that produces blended yarns that assists small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The project, which is supported by the local government of Iloilo, uses natural materials available in Iloilo—positively impacting the environment by not leaving microfibers in the water when washed. In keeping with PTRI advocacy TELA (Textiles Empowering Lives Anew) Pilipinas, they have also partnered with Great Women Philippines to create and market products commercially and further promote locally made quality textiles.
With the country’s abundance of raw materials, the PTRI looks forward to more opportunities of putting up RYPICs in other locations, where all the resources are localized and all the benefits will be enjoyed by those directly involved and the local population—creating an ecosystem that can be sustained for future generations.
“There’s no better time to invest than today. We believe in the technology and its ability to change and moderate lives and improve our conditions,” Elumba says of her hope for the local garments and textile industry. “We’d love to have the collaboration and cooperation of the private sector because their creativity will surely help us find ways to improve what we have.”
Celia Elumba will speak about “Sustainability in the Garments and Textile Industry” at the 2nd Philippine Garment, Leather Industries, and Textile Expo’s Industry Forum on December 5 at the Forbes Ballroom 1 of the Conrad Hotel Manila.
The expo will run from December 5 to 8, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. It will feature its own Philippine Pavilion, where exhibits from local industry associations, including PTRI, will be showcased.