This Mid- to Plus-Size Clothes Swap Event Is Tailored Towards Inclusivity and Sustainability

Yes to inclusive, sustainable fashion.

Size Matters: A Mid- To Plus-Sized Clothes Swap, held on October 14, is an event that aims to champion inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability in fashion.

Related: Just Do It: This Stylist-Led Upcycling Workshop Made Sustainability More Personal

One of the most prominent concerns regarding sustainable fashion is that of inclusivity and accessibility. Fast fashion is cheaper, easier to access, and often carry bigger sizing. How many of us have ever wanted a sustainable, upcycled garment only to find out the brand carries it only in one size and it costs an arm and a leg? Often, the notion is that sustainable fashion is only for the skinny and privileged. But it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of initiatives and brands that addresses these concerns, and plenty of other ways to promote sustainable fashion.

One such initiative is the upcoming Size Matters: A Mid- To Plus-Sized Clothes Swap event organized by a set of young women championing change from Basically Borrowed, a Manila-based content and community platform focused on fashion sustainability, Hi Smithy! Body Acceptance Community, Likhaan Creative Lab & Collective, and Fat Girl Glow Photo by Elora Picson.

The event will be held on October 14 from 1:00-6:00 PM at Spotlight Creatives Studio in Quezon City. You can sign up to participate here.


Size Matters is a clothing swap event tailored specifically for people in the mid- to plus-size sizing range who are looking to give their clothing new life or refresh their wardrobe in a sustainable way. Jessie Jiang, founder of Basically Borrowed, says that the goals of the event were to “present a fun and accessible way for mid- and plus-sized individuals to participate in sustainable fashion” and “create a safe space that fosters authentic and intimate connections.”

At Size Matters, once you’ve signed up and contributed clothing for the swap, you simply show up at Spotlight Creatives Studio on October 14 and browse for size-inclusive secondhand clothing you want to take home. The event has a P500 initial registration fee, but you can take home up to 8 pieces free of charge.

According to Likhaan founder Kaitlyn Roque, there will also be a “panel discussion about personal styling with mid- to plus-size people from different creative industries.” Moreover, there will be snacks from a Centre Place Café stall and a a camera confidence workshop hosted by Elora Picson, who champions body-positive and body-empowerment photography.

The event is a direct response to conversations Jiang had with people facing challenges concerning size inclusivity and access to sustainable fashion options. Basically Borrowed held a swap party earlier in the year, but the community clamored for more size inclusivity in such initiatives. Size Matters is, more than just a unique “shopping” experience, essentially a gathering of people who love and advocate for body- and size-inclusive and sustainable fashion.


The organizers agree that unfortunately, sustainability and size-inclusivity don’t always go hand-in-hand. Sabina Yulo, founder of Hi Smithy!, says, “People are now looking for more sustainable options, but locally, mid- to plus-sizes are hard to come by.”

This is where secondhand clothes swaps come in. Besides being sustainable in that it can slow down and prolong the use of clothes that would have been discarded otherwise, as Roque says, it allows for people to easily find pieces that would fit them. Yulo adds that these days, “people are more empowered to find choices that actually fit, rather than changing their bodies to fit limited choices.”


A large part of inclusivity and sustainability efforts require participation, conversation, and community. Besides individuals making more intentional consumption choices, brands, communities, and organizations can come together to re-evaluate priorities and practices. The questions to ponder on: how can you, as a consumer, be more mindful with your purchases? How can you, as a brand, actually show that you care about your diverse set of consumers and the environment?

“There are genuine efforts, though, and the amount of that is growing—steadily and surely,” Roque remarks of the current state of fashion. “Secondhand clothes swap, albeit imperfect in how we can’t be sure of how the materials affect the environment, is a genuine way to practice sustainability.” Of course, there’s still a long way to go. Mindsets have to shift, processes and practices have to be re-examined, and difficult conversations need to be had if we want to move toward a more inclusive and sustainable state of fashion.

“To make sustainable fashion more inclusive, we need more community awareness and initiatives like the Size Matters clothes swap, but it’s also a major challenge for the entire fashion ecosystem,” Jiang notes. “We’d love to see more innovation in fabrics, design, and across the supply chain, more government support for the local fashion industry, more size-inclusive representation in media, to name a few!”

Continue Reading: These Filipino Youth Activists Used A Fashion Show To Highlight Climate and Social Justice

These Filipino Youth Activists Used A Fashion Show To Highlight Climate and Social Justice

Fast, fair, forever.

Young environmentalists and activists brought art and politics to the runway as they held a fashion show highlighting calls for climate justice, social justice, and the end of fossil fuels. Read all about Fashion Against Fascism and Fossil Fuels 2023 below!

Related: 3 Local Sustainable Fashion Brands Founded by Young Women

When we think of fashion shows, we often think of cosmopolitan elegance, glittering sophistication, and high-speed, high-intensity glamour. We think of extravaganzas, publicity stunts à la America’s Next Top Model challenges, Victoria’s Secret Angel wings, or questionable avant garde fashions. Fashion shows are often criticized for catering to the privileged, negatively affecting body image, or being wasteful and pointless.

And while critical discourse on the current state of fashion is much needed, what is woven through the very essence of fashion is the human desire to communicate through art. Given its deep roots in human and social experience, art and fashion are inherently political. As such, in fashion there is space for creativity, artistry, and expression. It is an avenue by which humanity can speak out, influence, criticize, and amplify calls for justice.

Fashion Against Fascism and Fossil Fuels is an annual fashion show hosted by the Youth Advocates For Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), a nationwide alliance of youth organizations and individuals fighting for climate justice. This year’s show was held on September 15 and had the theme Empire of the Son: Drought & Deluge, an effort to highlight the calls of those impacted the most by systemic issues and shed light on how the current system has failed to address environmental and human rights concerns in the Philippines.


Reclamation at fashion against fascism and fossil fuels

Photo courtesy of Angela Kyla/AGHAM National

The fashion show was divided into two sections: Part 1 – Drought, and Part 2 – Deluge. Drought focused on the environmental issues that plague the nation, featuring themes surrounding reclamation, El Nino, and environmental plunder.

Deluge focused on socio-political injustices experienced by Filipinos, such as disinformation, the mental health epidemic, and impunity.

The show featured pieces from Filipino brands Himaya, For Elimari, Pinsel, Regina Villanueva, Season Pass, Worn Expressions; partner designers Alaga, bice crafts, Joanna Rizza David, Santi Obcena, Cha Reyes, and XCA; and shirt designs by artists Bry Barrios, Kill Joy, Rusty Flores, Tokwa Peñaflorida, and The Sinner Collective. Instead of focusing on singular designs and designers like regular fashion shows, FAFFF put pieces together to represent each theme.

Alaga designs at FAFFF 2023

Photo courtesy of Angela Kyla/AGHAM National

For instance, outerwear pieces in the finale—jackets with the backs cut out to make elaborate “windows”—represented shields as they are worn over shirts featuring environmental and human rights defenders. The outfits showcased designs by Joanna Rizza David, Season Pass, and Worn Expressions.

Denim at fashion against fascism and fossil fuels

All pieces were ready-to-wear designs by Filipino designers from different sectors, and styles varied, ranging from casual-wear to more extravagant Filipiniana-inspired ternos. Each outfit conveyed strong messages of resistance, unwavering pride in identity, and rootedness in environment and humanity.


Sarah Elago modeling at fashion against fascism and fossil fuels

Photo courtesy of 350 Pilipinas

Fashion has long been a medium not just for creative expression, but also political expression. From using fabric and weaving techniques by indigenous peoples facing threats of violence and displacement, to having people from marginalized sectors model the clothing, FAFF 2023 brought together art and fashion in a show of solidarity and resistance.

Models walked barefoot, slow and solemn, every aspect of their presentation from makeup to demeanor indicating the gravity of why this fashion show was happening. The final walk saw all the models come out with signs and placards calling for action to address environmental and human rights issues and calling attention to their inherent interconnectedness.

Photo courtesy of Angela Kyla/AGHAM National

Sustainability, for instance, is not just an environmental issue. Sustainability involves not just an ethical and environmentally-conscious acquisition of material, but also an ethical process of creation and consumption. FAFFF and YACAP endeavored to foster a collective understanding of such interconnectedness, and build solidarity founded on a desire for change.


Photo courtesy of 350 Pilipinas

There’s no doubt that the youth is passionate and steadfast in their participation to combat environmental and social injustice.

Upon entering Studio 72, I heard an usher remark to another, “Mukhang mapupuno, noh?” It hit me at that moment how many people gathered to watch the show—whether they were merely fashion enthusiasts or activists or both.

The line to enter was long, winding around twice in the parking lot, and the seats were full. Students, designers, artists, and advocates of all ages were decked out in the encouraged black attire, marveling at the clothing, internalizing the messages, and reflecting on what the entire night truly meant.

YACAP itself is a youth-led organization, the Philippine chapter of Fridays For Future. A global movement sparked by young environmental activist Greta Thunberg, Fridays For Future helms the Global Climate Strike, in which students joining the movement across the globe skip Friday classes to strike and protest for swift action against the worsening climate crisis.

Fashion Against Fascism and Fossil Fuels is part of the Global Climate Strike, which, according to YACAP, “registers [a] call for immediate climate action.” The call to end fossil fuels is a priority of the movement, as fossil fuels cause environmental damage and the industry is said to hinder actions to address the climate crisis.

As the youth and marginalized sectors are growing more aware—and more discontent—at the lack of action to address the climate crisis, they emphasize the need to “come together and put pressure on national and international bodies to address the crisis by putting an end to fossil fuels, and spearheading a transition to a more just, more sustainable future.”

In using art, performance, and fashion as a medium, Fashion Against Fascism and Fossil Fuels illuminated the intersectionality of environmental, social, and political issues and amplified the call to put an end to fossil fuels and injustice fast, fair, and forever.

Continue Reading: For a Better Future: Filipina Climate Advocate Ann Dumaliang Champions Conservationist Cause at COP27

3 Local Sustainable Fashion Brands Founded by Young Women

Support local, support sustainable.

Be stylish and environmentally-conscious at the same time with these 3 female-led fashion brands.

Related: In Its Sustainable Efforts, Is Fashion Really Changing the Alarmingly Wasteful Ways of the Planet?

At the intersection of sustainability, creativity, and empowering entrepreneurship lies 3 local fashion brands that champion self-expression as well as the environment. Spearheaded by young Gen Z women, these brands promote ethical practices in slow fashion as they create beautiful clothing pieces.


The state of fashion today is marked by overproduction, overconsumption, and waste production. As consumers urged to simply point, click, and buy, it’s worth considering that we’d be much better off making conscious decisions about the things we use, wear, and consume.

Conscious consumption entails an active awareness of how your consumption affects things beyond yourself, such as the environment and ethical labor. While consumers do bear a responsibility to minimize the negative impact they have on the environment, it’s also important for brands and designers to do their part as well. This is where Sanina, Nin and Yang, and Fantaisie Gaze come in.


Sanina Creative Hub upcycles preloved clothing, deadstock, and last-cut fabric and turns them into not just clothing pieces, but works of art. Sanina features colors and geometry at the forefront of their distinct style.

Sarah, founder of Sanina, started out selling curated pieces. However, she found out there wasn’t much use for items like winter clothing and long-sleeved tops in the country. So instead, after learning new sewing methods and techniques, Sarah turned to her hobby of reworking clothes and sold her pieces to others.

What was left with the young designer were scraps of fabric that she didn’t want to throw away just yet. As such, she started on a new journey to making patchwork art pieces that the Sanina brand is now known for. They sell intricately-patterned tops in a variety of colors and styles.

As the brand grew, so did Sarah’s confidence.

“Making clothes in these specific silhouettes, colors, patterns, [and] sizes that are outside my comfort zone, and seeing my clients wear them, made me feel more confident about myself,” she shares. Making others feel good about themselves in her pieces is just as integral to Sarah as the effort of sustainability.

“If we can just contribute even just .00001% of textiles [and] old clothes not going to landfills, but instead to closets and drawers, we gladly will continue to do so.”


Want to live out your fantasy of dressing like a fairy princess? Fantaisie Gaze can adorn you in romantic, flowy, bespoke garments that will make you want to wear them all the time. Their tops and dresses are perfect for frolicking in a forest or having a picnic with a loved one.

Frankie Lapiz, at the young age of 20, appreciates the importance of being conscious and deliberate with purchases. She initially made and sold trendy reworked clothing on Fantaisie Gaze, formerly named Gaza, but has since taken a leap of faith and started accepting bespoke orders and releasing her own designs.

She mentions that it’s so easy for people to get caught up in trends. Made-to-order and bespoke clothing promotes sustainable slow fashion in that “customers get to own pieces they truly like and could wear repeatedly, since it’s their personal style.” Frankie also wishes the inclusiveness and diversity that bespoke clothing offers to all body types could be more prevalent in the fashion industry.

“I hope we all start to customize our clothes more and be intentional with the clothing pieces we purchase.”


Retaso is central to the Nin and Yang brand. Sister duo Nina and Thea (nicknamed “Yangi”) Morales maximize the use of fabric scraps to create fun, original clothing pieces that they say “breathe new life into discarded fabric.”

Nina and Thea grew up crafty. They often transformed regular, everyday objects into handmade gifts and treasures. The sisters also grew up with relatives who work in the clothes manufacturing industry. As such, they were made aware early on of the existence of unused scrap fabric leftover from production.

Nin and Yang offers bold pieces made from upcycled scrap fabric and deadstock that caters to the young fashion-lover of today. Their pieces are made to be versatile—multifunctional, adjustable, and reversible to maximize the wear and lifespan of each.

In line with their philosophy of sustainability, Nina and Thea encourage their customers to live sustainably by repeating outfits, learning how to mend/repair clothes, and the like. They always knew they wanted a brand that 1) allowed them to have creative freedom, and 2) did not pose harm to the environment as fast fashion has been proven to do. They also hope other brands take importance of not just how they source their materials, but also how they treat their workers—with fair wages and ethical working conditions.

“Let’s offer beautiful and unique designs that will show consumers that choosing circular fashion doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice style, and that they can rely on homegrown talent any day.”

Women and the youth have been at the forefront of the fights for climate action and justice for a long time. So, it’s no surprise that these young designers and creatives have taken it upon themselves to resist unsustainable practices to help the environment in their own little ways.

There’s much to be done to address the concerns regarding the social and climate justice aspect of fashion. However, patronizing slow fashion and small, local businesses that advocate for sustainable practices if you are able to is 100% a start.

Continue reading: These 6 Sustainable Filipino Brands are Turning Old Clothes and Retaso into Statement Pieces

Earth Day 2021

This Earth Day, Here Are 7 Ways You Can Help Out The Environment In Your Local Community

You don’t need to be in a position of power to make change

Happy Earth Day! Here are 7 things that you can do at home or in your surroundings to help the environment.

In the past decade, the climate and the environment have become important issues due to the rise in global warming and the steady decline of the environment around the world. Now more than ever, it is important that we do what we can to help the environment because we literally do not have that much time left to prevent irreversible damage. Truth be told, the climate crisis has become so central to the conversations of today’s youth, and with good reason, too. After all, who is to inherit the world that we are not properly taking care of now? While we are far from where we are supposed to be in the shift to eco-consciousness, steps have been taken in terms of information and practice. It is with great hope that this becomes a way of life for all, especially that we are responsible for this planet we live in.

This Earth Day, even though most of us are at home, we can still do our part to support the environment. Here are 7 simple things that you can do (and should do even after Earth Day).

Related: Make The Planet Great Again: Demanding Sustainability in Fashion


Support local businesses by buying local products. Not only do you get to help your local community, but you also get to lessen your carbon footprint. This also works when buying local produce as you get to hit two birds with one stone: you support our local farmers and fishermen and help the environment. If you have space, resources, and know-how, you can even grow your own vegetable garden so that you can get your vegetables right in your own backyard.


This may sound obvious, but thinking before shopping is one of the best ways to reduce waste and help the environment. Before you buy something, think first if you really need it or if it’s just an impulse buy. Rather than buying a lot of products, use things that you have at home first. And while you’re online, you may also want to consider deleting old emails. Emails actually contribute to the carbon footprint and that’s the last thing you want to do.


By sustainable, it means products made out of recycled materials or those that won’t ruin the environment easily. Try to substitute the products you have at home with products made out of sustainable material. It also is not that hard to find animal cruelty-free and environmentally friendly make-up brands that are both great and affordable.


WHO: Fabric Face Masks Should Have 3 Layers

Mask-wearing has now become part of our daily lives. Because of this though, there has been an increase in masks littering beaches, oceans, waterways, and other spaces. Even when it comes to masks, you have to still throw them away properly. Before you throw the mask, remember to remove the straps of the mask. This is so to prevent animals from possibly being caught and entangled in the masks.


This age-old adage remains true today and will remain true for years to come. There are many things you can do at home to follow this and help the environment. Composting your own food or donating it to a local composter is a viable option. Upcycle your old things can also help you reduce waste. If your old gadget is still working and you don’t need an upgrade, don’t buy. For broken electronics, there are programs that deal with the proper disposal and recycling of these gadgets. Bring reusable plates, utensils, and straws when you go out to prevent the use of plastics. When out shopping or groceries, use cloth bags so that they can be reused multiple times. And if planting trees are your thing, then you may want to use Ecosia as your new browser. Go on the web and help plant trees at the same time if participating in tree-planting projects are to inconvenient for you.


Read up and educate yourself on environmental issues. It just takes a google search to get up-to-date information on pressing issues regarding the environment. You can also use what you learned to educate (not humiliate) others as well. Talking to people about the issues and spreading awareness may seem really small, but that’s where big environmental movements start. But always make sure that your information is reliable and comes from credible sources (spreading false information can be more damaging to the cause).


As good as it is to do individual action, it also greatly helps that large corporations and governments also do their part considering their potential impact to the environment. And in this aspect you can help. It does not hurt to tell or inform your local government unit (LGU) about environmental things that can be improved or implemented such as more sustainable practices. Support local NGOs, charities, and organizations who are keeping up to good fight against climate change and for the environment.

You can even talk to your local barangay and inform them about possible environment-related programs they have or the possibility of starting one. An example of this could be advocating for the maintenance of parks and green spaces in your village or local community. There is also the possibility of starting a community garden or a donation system within the community. At the very least, your vote is important in helping usher in politicians who actually care for the environment. Remember that you have the power to vote people in and out of office.

Continue Reading: Introducing Local Sustainable Packaging: Finally, An Alternative Solution To Plastic