Garments, textile industry expo pushes sustainable fashion

5:14 PM
"There is nothing more to be done on our environment and people in the future will be doomed forever."
I hear these words all the time but if there's life, there's hope. Right?
Let's learn from the elders. My mom would get scraps from my house and reuse them rather than simply thrown away. If you have to buy new clothes find textiles which are more sustainable.
Have you heard of Piñatex? I've just heard about this from the recent “Philippine Garment, Leather Industries and Textile Expo” held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

The 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 by Chief Executive Officer of Ananas-Anam Philippines Chuck Lazaro and Founder and Creator of Maison Metisse Adrienne Charuel.

Piñatex is a material made from the leaves of pineapples grown here in the Philippines. Its production is much more sustainable than traditional leather and is completely animal-free. It requires less water and no harmful chemicals that are ecologically toxic to wildlife. The leftover leaf waste is recycled and used for fertilizer or biomass. Currently the material is being used for upholstery in the first vegan hotel suite in London.

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) to pursue sustainability in local fashion practices.
“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.
Now in its second year, the Expo gathered manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and stakeholders to help boost the country’s potential in producing garments, leather goods, and textiles for export.

With exports amounting to 1.02 billion USD in 2017, the textile, garments, and other wearable industries, the Philippine economy is set to grow in these areas with continued investment.

Endorsed by the Philippine Board of Investment (BOI) and the Confederation of Wearables Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP), a variety of garment machinery and parts, textile machinery, non-woven machinery, dye machinery and chemicals, industry 4.0/factory automation, quality control, design and computer-aided tools and software, and many more were showcased at the event.

Last year, the Philippine Garment Industry Expo 2018 was held with the Philippine Textile & Fabric Expo and brought over 81 exhibitors from nine countries, namely China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Philippines; and 4,800 trade visitors.
Among the local companies participated in this year’s event were Armena Embroideries, D & A Edge Polymer Phils. Inc., Golden Island Fashion Accessories, Kelin Graphics System Corp., Printway Marketing and Services, Shanghai Global Corp., and Testex Philippines Representative Office.

An industry forum also coincided with the opening last Dec. 5, at the nearby Conrad Manila Hotel, Forbes Ballroom 1. Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Vice-Chairman and Managing head of BOI and Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry delivered the event’s keynote address.

From De La Salle University, Dr. Myrna Austria and Dr. Mitzie Irene P. Conchada, full professor and associate dean respectively, presented the “Philippine Garments and Textiles Industry Roadmap,” showcasing the proposed goals and strategies the industry has planned ten years down the line toward achieving their vision.

Managing Director Dr. Andrew Kay of CP Exhibition LTD talked about the success story of Vietnam’s garments & textile industry.
The Expo was organized by CP Exhibition LTD, a company that was established in Hong Kong in 1976 and has representative offices in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA and Vietnam. CP Exhibition has organized trade exhibitions in different areas such as Textile/Garment/Fabric, Aviation, Transport, Railway/Subway, Oil/Gas, Coal, Electricity, and others.

Co-organized by Philippine Exhibition and Trade Corporation (PETCO), the Philippine Garment, Leather Industries and Textile Expo is supported by Textile Producers Association of the Philippines (TEXPAP), LGU Marikina / Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO), Garment Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (GARMAP), DOST-PTRI, and Department of Science and Technology – National Capital Region (DOST-NCR); with radio partner 105.1 Crossover FM.

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