Inclusivity, diversity and sustainability continue to be the driving forces behind many brands’ latest moves
Thanks to the Internet, shoppers today can easily get information about the clothes they are wearing. For many, it’s important that the choices they make not only represent their personal styles, but also the causes they support, and there are many. This current shopping attitude has made manufacturers listen and incorporate purpose into their latest collections and campaign moves.
Among them is Armani Exchange. Since 1991, the brand’s goal has been to make fashion accessible to many. And when it arrived in the Philippines in 1998, it became a go-to store for many Filipino shoppers looking for timeless pieces to include in their wardrobes. Today, the label continues its mission with the launch of its Fall-Winter 2022 offerings focused on inclusiveness, positivity and sustainability.
Designed for everyone, her “You.Me.Us” collection features pieces that could easily be worn by people, regardless of gender and culture. Her contemporary luxe pieces—hoodies, crew-neck tops, footwear, and handbags, among others—are examples of the blurring of clothing lines in fashion.
The brand’s second proposal, the “Armani Exchange x Smiley” collection, plays with the idea of positivity. Of course, putting on a new garment doesn’t really change anyone’s living situation. But if a happy face on a shirt can remind people of the simple joys of our chaotic world, then why not wear it? The collaboration between the brand and the lifestyle brand Smiley World presents items such as bomber jackets, parkas, sweatshirts, T-shirts and accessories marked by the iconic smiley that has been reproduced with the A|X logo, together with the glasses and the Smiley.
A sense of sustainability is also alive in Armani Exchange’s autumn-winter offerings, which explores recycled nylon, organic cotton and organic Pima cotton blended with cashmere or wool for knitwear for its current iterations.
Pushing sustainability even closer to Filipino buyers is Uniqlo with its new headquarters in Nuvali. The roadside store, which opens Nov. 18, puts the Japanese retailer’s commitment to sustainability in the spotlight. In addition to educating people about its products, the store has a Re.Uniqlo box where shoppers can leave their pre-loved Uniqlo pieces for upcycling.
Outside the store, customers can enjoy and appreciate nature and be educated about the brand’s efforts in the Green Park, which has been made possible in partnership with Ayala and Uniqlo Sustainability. The space has a bicycle rack to promote a sustainable mode of transport, an active zone for children and a pedal charging station for the community to experience and enjoy. In the store, you can also see a mural painted by local artist AG Saño conveying the brand’s campaign on caring for the environment.
Designing with purpose is also alive in the local fashion scene. Among the latest to showcase conscious fashion is Filipino brand Aire (@aire_mnl), the new sustainable brand under Creative Definitions led by Mike and Banj Claparols. With the aim of revolutionizing local menswear, the brand fuses tradition and technology, producing garments made with fabrics extracted from discarded pineapple leaves.
As a progressive and sustainable brand, Aire is guided by three pillars. The brand uses only natural fibers, all ethically sourced from pineapple and cotton farmers of Don Salvador Benedicto and Bayawan in Negros Occidental. The community plays a vital role in the development of the menswear brand. Therefore, the team has been dedicated to supporting local farmers by giving them the opportunity to earn extra income. Fair trade practices are utilized as the team works with local farms and IP communities at Negros Occidental.
As a result of the efforts and processes undertaken by the team, it has emerged as a sustainable brand that is 100% made in the Philippines. Bring tropical pineapple fabric to the forefront of fashion. Founders Mike and Banj add that through the brand they hope to create strong demand for the all-natural, sustainable material.
While we have yet to see the result of the efforts of brands and designers reflected in our environment, it’s nice to know that fashion, after its past damage to nature and communities around the world, is projecting a future where diversity, sustainability and and inclusiveness supreme.
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