As far as the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” goes, these fashion designers are turning anything and everything into wearable art.
With the persistent reality of a climate crisis, more people are now doing their part in making the planet a better place—big or small. Whether it’s through actively lessening our carbon footprint or reducing our excessive consumption habits, there is now a collective, conscious effort in caring for the environment.
As we all know, the fashion industry is one of the most notorious when it comes to contributing to textile waste with almost 92 million tons being dumped or burned in landfills. Luckily, Filipino designers like Neric Beltran, Jaggy Glarino and a number of other creatives are now taking baby steps to make a rippling effect when it comes to our fashion choices. No bluffing or green-washing in sight, see how a handful of Filipino designers have now started incorporating recyclable household materials in their garments.
NERIC BELTRAN – PET BOTTLES
Filipino designer Neric Beltran has been around in the industry for more than a decade, but he just recently discovered how to use recycled PET bottles on his works. He’s used the technique a number of times—on Kelsey Merritt’s pink bustle dress (zoom in on the petals), and Nadine Lustre’s corset where it mimicked water droplets when she was the guest judge for Drag Race Philippines. All of which were meticulously handcrafted, of course.
JUDE MACASINAG – 5 CENTAVO COINS, PLASTIC BALLOONS, FOOD PACKAGING WASTE
Probably the youngest designer on this list, Jude Macasinag is a rising couturier in Manila. Packed with cultural references, an insane obsession with detail, unconventional techniques, and sensitivity in sustainability, the 20-something creative just doesn’t know when to stop. In his intricately-detailed collections, he used unexpected materials presented in either avant garde or kitsch form (there is no in between) like 5-centavo coins and food packaging waste as embellishments, balloons as shoes, and even tents. Hello, campers.
JAGGY GLARINO – PLASTIC BOTTLES AND CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
One of the most-sought after Filipino creatives, nurse-turned-fashion designer Jaggy Glarino is known for his cutting-edge work and pristine craftsmanship. If you like Vice Ganda’s show-stopping, out-of-this-world outfits, it’s most probably his doing. Very recently, Jaggy explored a new technique with Catriona Gray as his muse. He used several plastic bottles as embellishments on the dress she wore for the Vogue Philippines gala, molded, painted and beautifully sewn by hand. On another piece of his, Jaggy used Christmas ornaments on a mini dress reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face era. Bet you didn’t even notice.
RAFA WORLDWIDE – UPCYCLED PLASTIC, SAFETY PINS, DISCARDED FABRICS
An architecture student-turned-fashion designer, Raf Villas of Rafa Worldwide’s brand is all about destroying things, in a good way, of course. The ingenuity in using the most unexpected materials like upcycled plastic has led him to create pieces for stars like Nadine Lustre, Andrea Brillantes, Rhian Ramos, and content creator Jaz Reyes. Best believe he can create anything from scratch with his imagination, guts, and experimental style, whether it’s a box of safety pins reworked into a chainmail top or discarded fabrics turned into a dress.
LE NGOK – DISCARDED ELECTRICAL WIRES, OLD CELL PHONE CHIPS
Carla Z, the brains behind new brand Le Ngok, may be a fresh graduate from School of Fashion and the Arts (she recently showed her graduation collection last month), but she’s already making waves for her cyber-core aesthetic. It all goes down with the details that most times remain unseen. As part of her manifesto, she’s used tons of household items like electrical wires, yarns, and discarded cellphone chips styled in a futuristic, almost dystopian manner. Le Ngok also shared some of her works in the past, using even the most mundane pieces like foam fruit wrappers and air bags.