5 Size-Inclusive Local Brands That Offer Custom-Made Minimalist Casual Wear

Literally tailored for you.

Championing size inclusivity in fashion, these five Filipino-owned brands allow you to customize your clothing to ensure you have pieces that fit you well and will absolutely love.

Related: Every Body, Now! 5 Filipino Swimwear Brands For All Body Types

Have you ever seen a style peg or an outfit you badly want to emulate, but once you get the items, they fit strange on you? Tops are too cropped, pants fit at the waist but not at the hips, sleeves are too short—we could go on and on. Not to mention all the clothes in stores that are only offered in sizes far too small for most body types. Thankfully, as this generation pioneers a more inclusive and conscious movement in fashion, more options to build a more sustainable and beloved wardrobe are available.

Call it bespoke or custom-made—this kind of practice allows people to cut back on spending on items that don’t fit, that they won’t wear, or that they only “like.” If you love a piece and it’s comfortable and timeless, wouldn’t you wear it more frequently? You don’t need the same neutral top from 3 different brands, just get one that you know will fit your exact measurements, was made with care and quality, and will last a long time. Check out the size-inclusive local brands below where you can do exactly that!


From Cassy Legaspi to Bella Racelis, stars and influencers alike have been seen wearing Miu The Label—and with good reason! With a wide selection of tops, bottoms, dresses, jumpsuits, and more in both neutral and bold colors, Miu The Label creates handmade-to-order pieces that you could reach for whenever you want to feel simple and stylish.


Cariño the Brand makes classic, timeless linen clothing with upcycled fabrics and inclusive sizing. You can get their pieces altered or customized to your size altogether, or you could even get a quote for a completely new design.


Minimalist does not mean bland or neutrals. Stay comfortable in Yōbi’s handmade “sunsuits,” overalls catered to every body. Cozy, breathable linen is offered in combinations of bold contrasting colors and fully-customizable sizes, with tied straps and and an eye-catching simplicity.


Beyond Collective prides itself as “the ultimate destination for locally-handcrafted, eco-conscious, and accessible pieces.” A woman-founded label, Beyond Collective sells ethically-made, elegant, multi-way, and customizable clothes perfect for the versatile young woman of today. The label often does pop-up shops, so keep an eye out!


Sustainably made in Manila, Maude Street lets you pre-order their minimalist, feminine pieces in custom sizes. Owned by two friends who wanted to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle, the brand creates with purpose and ethical practices. They’ll also have an outlet sale at a pop-up on October 28-29 in Quezon City if you want to check them out.

Continue Reading: 3 Local Sustainable Fashion Brands Founded by Young Women

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

This Local Brand Turns Old Flour Sacks Into Corsets

Let's get this bread. And yes, they outsource them from local bakeries!

With the rise of reworked vintage and corsets making a comeback, who would’ve thought that you can actually breathe new life into the classic staple with flour sacks, or most commonly known as katsa?

Proudly Philippine-made, upcoming brand Habi (rooted from the word Habilin, or entrust) is all about slow and conscious fashion. In case you haven’t been on the radar of local fashion lately, Gen Z icon Vivoree Esclito, Asia’s Next Top Model alumni Maureen Wroblewitz to style maven Bea Marinx have all been serving ~flour sack fashün~ on the ‘Gram.

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

For their first collection entitled ‘Habi’s Panaderia‘ (or “bakery”), they brought back the traditional use of the katsa fabric—a material most Filipinos are familiar with as it evokes the feeling of nostalgia. From the bimpo towel that our moms would use to wipe our sweat-drenched backs after an afternoon playing outside, to blankets we’d tuck ourselves into at night under the kulambo. It wasn’t unthinkable that we’d soon incorporate our fabrics to modern day trends.

“For this collection, we wanted to make sure that we are not contributing to textile waste and the harmful effects of the creation of new fabric, since at the very core––we are a brand that makes the environment a priority.”


Of course, natural fabrics fade over time so each piece needs to be handled with care. “As we repurpose used textiles into new clothes, we hope that our customers will take care of them well to make them last.” This makes it all the more special. Aside from reducing the carbon footprint of excess fabrics, Habi also advocates for local artisans, especially with the pandemic taking a toll on businesses big or small.

“Alongside this, we also stand for ethical labor and proper wage of our laborers. Everything is made in the Philippines, with love.” This includes actively helping out those in need by donating masks, raising funds for learning aids in refuge centers, and pledging a portion of their proceeds to cities that were affected by the typhoon.

Vintage clothing

These Fresh Local Brands Are Reworking Vintage Clothing To The Next Level

New garms, who dis?

While thrift shopping (or ukay) hasn’t been easily accessible for the last few months, the Internet has its gems hidden beneath hashtags and shopping haul vlogs.

But first, what is reworked clothing? Simply put, it is redesigning old clothes or fabrics by sewing them into something new. Type in reworked on your search engine and there are tons of DIY videos on TikTok and YouTube on how to get started on deconstructing your next outfits. A newfound hobby to consider perhaps? If you’re in dire need of breathing new life into your old garms (in a sustainable way, of course), then look no further than these fresh local brands.

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


Fifi’s Vintage reminds us of Cady Heron’s wardrobe in Mean Girls, except it’s set in the tropics. A lover of slow fashion, their notable pieces are button-downs turned loungewear and old pajama sets reworked into stylish coordinates. Oh, and they have bucket hats, too.


If you’re into cut-outs, corsets, and everything cropped, Psyched PH definitely has a lot to offer. They even customized Nadine Lustre’s opening look in her visual album and one of the outfits from her birthday shoot with BJ Pascual.


They might be a fairly new brand, but their swoosh tops made from ribbed socks and reverse-stitched patchwork pieces are slowly becoming must-haves for the season.


This local brand has been recently noticed by Complex and we can’t blame them. LISE Laboratory is a Baguio-based brand that deconstructs designer fabrics and puts its own stamp into each creation. No wonder they’ve gained a following from all over the world, especially in the streetwear community.


Don’t you just love it when brands get creative? Even better when they show you other ways to wear their reworked pieces. They also make sure that no fabric goes to waste by trying to create more than one design cut from the same material. Ethical fashion all the way!


Strong Village’s deconstructed garments have been on the runway before the pandemic began, even landing a feature on MEGA Man. The clothes are all patched up fabrics from old jeans, button downs, and linen shirts.


In case you’re wondering, the fringed jacket that our cover star Yanyan de Jesus wore on the cover was actually upcycled. It was made out of table runners from the designer’s lola, fiber fills, gems, and ropes that were carefully quilted. One of our favorites is from Antonina’s previous collection in Bench, an oversized jacket made out of wheatflour sacks.


Make The Planet Great Again: Demanding Sustainability in Fashion

Save our planet, damn it.

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?

The word gets tossed around very often without truly understanding how sustainability is rooted from the choice of materials, to the ethical production (mostly to support underpaid laborers) down to the way your product communicates its message to the public.

RELATED: Meet the Local Designer Who Dyes Her Clothes Using Plants

gucci sustainability
Collage by Joe Webb

It’s a conscious cycle we have to uphold no matter how big or small your business is. Swedish retail brand H&M has been targeted by eco-friendly organizations ever since for the irony in their initiatives—pushing for their ‘Conscious’ line while remaining as one of the top contributors in the earth’s waste for their excessive production to cater to fast fashion’s fleeting needs.

Nowadays, most people think being a ‘sustainable’ brand is as easy as opting for paper bags instead of plastic packaging, plastering green thumb messages on your page’s feed as a reminder of ‘mindfulness’ yet forgetting the essence of the word itself.

Greenwashing is a trend most brands try to jump in but not all of them have the success rate to sustain. Sounds overwhelming? Start small. Research on materials that both have amazing quality at an affordable rate yet are ethically sourced and recyclable. Then identify what your brand stands for.

But never forget the afterlife of these products, too. Of course we want our garments to last forever but we all know it decomposes and can sit in landfill for the next few hundred years. You can work around this by looking into recycling schemes, upcycling or donating them to those in need.

As complex as it sounds, we are left with no other choice—and 2020 pretty much proves it. In 30 years, there will be more than 9 billion people on the planet, leaving resources continuously depleting and being in an industry churning out endless supply of waste. Honestly, the world really isn’t crying out for another pair of overpriced calf-skin leather boots. With this in mind, you’ll be surprised to know how much every little course of action matters. Take responsibility and normalize changing the system.

Collage art of Earth by Joe Webb