Sustainability is a topic that’s been talked about over and over again in the fashion industry. But there always seems to be one key ingredient missing from getting the movement going: the youth. They are arguably the most fashionable generation, and with the domination of fast fashion still reigning supreme, all it takes to make fashion more sustainable is a change in mindset.
And that’s what the Green Fashion Revolution (GFR) is all about. A project by the Aboitiz Foundation, the GFR is a fashion design competition that encourages the youth to make more conscious decisions about the clothes they put on their backs, making use of sustainable components like natural fibers and up- cycled materials such as flour sacks and cloth scraps from factories.
Several schools are invited to participate in the GFR, and for this iteration, the competition went back to its roots in Cebu, which was held last Nov. 25, which was also, coincidentally, National Day for Youth in Climate Action. Partici- pating schools included the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, Fashion Institute of the Philippines (FIP) Cebu, Cebu Technological University (CTU), Saint Theresa’s College (STC) of Cebu, and the Cebu Institute of Technology- University (CITU).
The finals night of the competition was held at Trade Halls 1 and 2 of SM City Cebu. Winning the competition by a land- slide was UP Cebu, which, aside from winning the top prize, also took home the special awards for bag design, footwear design, clothing design and accessories design. Talk about a powerhouse. The runners-up were FIP-Cebu in second place, CTU in third place, and STC of Cebu in fourth place.
Aside from drawing inspiration from recycled materials, UP Cebu’s winning collection also influenced by the artist Frida Kahlo. The collection was composed of mainly black and gray in different treatments, including a reversible vest made of woven cloth strips, macramé ponchos, and ruffles running down the sides of pants and sleeves. Despite having a somber color palette, the collection still evoked the vibrant energy of Frida’s self-portraits and Mexican culture. The clothes were elevated even more by the collection’s accessories and shoes: headpieces were crafted out of twigs and flowers gathered from the students’ own backyards, and platform shoes made out of recycled wood, designed using 3D modeling.
Apart from the inventive collections shown by the competing schools, another highlight of the event was the number of students in the audience. Cheers were loud and abundant as the designers took to the stage for their final bow. This showed not only strong sup- port for young design talent in Cebu, but also a glimpse of how these fledgling fashion designers can make a difference in creating sustainable fashion. It’s a cliché at times, but the youth really is our future.