Olivia & Diego jewelries made of upcycled materials like used t-shirts and office supplies. (Ma. Dyza B. Libong/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Fashion experts and entrepreneurs gathered in a forum to bring awareness on sustainable fashion, warning of pollution as a consequence of turning out fashion materials.

Yana Santiago, founder of the ethical brand Olivia & Diego, said fashion is seen as glamorous, high class or upscale “but it is one of the most polluting industries in the world.”

Santiago said it takes about 3,000 liters of water used in producing just a single t-shirt.

“Tons and tons of fabric scraps, clothing, and garments are being produced and discarded every year but only 20% of it is being recycled,” she added.

Santiago’s fashion brand crafts jewelry out of upcycled materials like used t-shirts and office supplies in order to raise awareness of a massive global problem which is the textile waste.

Textile waste is the waste being produced during and after fabric production and consumption.

“I realized there are lots of initiatives and businesses that advocate for a sustainable business model or zero waste through refashioning textile waste,” said Santiago.

Juliana Hellmuth, a fashion designer and an advocate of textile waste fashion, introduced the ‘haulternative’ fashion which means “upcycling clothes according to your style.”

Haulternative fashion can be associated with ‘ukay-ukay’.

“In order to start styling, you must first figure out your own style. Then you can collect all sorts of trims and embellishments. Make it a habit and unleash your creativity,” she said.

Hellmuth added creativity comes out when we are faced with limited resources.

The “Green Wardrobe: A Forum on Sustainable Fashion” is a one-day event organized by the Global Shapers Davao Hub with the topics about eco-ethical fashion, refashioning textile waste, and responsible consumption. (davaotoday.com)

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