Mar 19, 2019

I was a sophomore in high school when my mom first took me to a thrift shop. I remember getting a tie-dyed tank top and a neon green knitted cardigan which I pretty much wore throughout summer that year. That’s how I was introduced to secondhand shopping, a hobby I take with me now even after I have gained financial independence.

Why do I still frequent ukay-ukay shops, you might ask. Well, for starters, I like that I’m less likely to see on someone else whatever I pick from a shop’s rack. There’s also that joy of knowing that I’ve extended a piece of clothing’s life, absolving the environment a few years of its destructive impact.

Going second-hand and being an eco-conscious dresser is gaining popularity now. But since taking the ukay route may not be for everyone, it’s a good thing, many labels, especially local ones, are making a move towards sustainability—not just in a secondhand sense, but also through upcycling old fabrics and clothing items.

Here are some local labels who champion sustainability and where you can get your upcycled wardrobe staples.


Re Clothing

This brand prides itself in using only secondhand clothing for their embroidered tops like blouses. You can also have your existing clothes embroidered with a design of your choice through their custom service—why buy new clothes when you can just re-design them?



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“Indayog” translates to: rhythm, pattern, flow, and cadence – a brand name that reflects our being Filipino (or Pili-Pino: Fine Choice). We aim to render the Filipino spirit and style – intricate and rhythmic patterns inspired by our diverse environments and cultures (art, dance, music), while advocating conscious consumption by using sustainable and sturdy materials. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All our products are locally sourced and made. Our bags and footwear are made of dried water hyacinth (water lily) sourced from Laguna de Bay. The fabrics we use are scraps and rejects from textile hub – Taytay, Rizal. —————————————- ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Here’s a peek of our latest collection: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ REEF TO RIDGE 🌊🌴 • Inspired by the interaction of Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve and Laguna de Bay — along with the vast amount of life they sustain. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • The clothes reflect blues and greens showcasing interconnected ecosystems, from coral reef fish under the sea to tropical coconut trees atop mountains. • Limited stocks available only at our store @kahilom in @hubmakelab and some pieces in @ateneoartgallery ‘s Areté ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Go local and support what’s ours: make it a fine choice, make it Pilipino. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸: @stuckatpostmodern ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . . . . . . #PiliPinoFineChoice #beyondthebag #indayogph #sastoreescolta #hubmakelab #escolta #holaescolta #supportlocalproducts #supportlocal #supportlocalph #sustainable #sustainableph #sustainablefashion #localfashion #localph #philippinefashion #woven #waterhyacinth #waterhyacinthbags #waterhyacinthslippers #bags #slippers

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Taytay, Rizal has a booming textile industry and along with it a looming textile waste problem. Indayog is among the many labels who salvage these scraps and make them into new clothing such as dresses and outerwear.



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Going deeper; We’re updating our Vintage & Reclaimed collection details. We are so happy to see a growing interest and appreciation for second-hand clothing and more love for vintage products here in Manila. What we do means a lot to us and it’s important we get our message across well:) Here’s a little snippet about the collection, which you can read more about on our site. – PHILOSOPHY Knowing that the estimated 20% of the Environmental Impact (EI) of any given garment lifecycle depends on the degree of integration and collaboration of its life-phase issues, we’ve made our Vintage and Reclaimed collection the principal avenue to support sustainable fashion. Deterrence (largely affecting the 80% EI that’s within the power of the designer/brand) is pivotal to restructure existing habits that contribute to industry practices of gross inequality and environmental destruction. Second only, is recirculation, wherein conscious measures to divert the need to create new garments fosters a healthier appreciation of garment value; nurturing its economic, artistic, artisinal and cultural importance. IMPACT The importance of this collection is its ability to shift common misconceptions towards second-hand garment through effectively elevating appearance, wearability, and social relevance while maintaining justifiable pricepoints that compete with global fast-fashion standards – pushing a question we want all to ask; “what do my clothes really cost?”

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Since 2012, this brand has been advocating for vintage and reclaimed pieces they’ve sourced from various private closets and from ukay-ukay. They also venture into upcycling deconstructed clothing and transforming deadstock fabric into new creations.

Glorious Dias

glorious dias vintage popup

In Poblacion, a vintage store is attracting crowds for its collection of Filipiniana and sustainable living staples courtesy of eco-preneur Daniela Calumba. Glorious Dias rummages through private collections and thrift shops for vintage pieces like intricately-embroidered deadstock barongs which they then wash and dye a new color—ready for the contemporary times.


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Read more:

Glorietta store sells sustainable clothes for P100 to P500

What happens when fast fashion doesn’t sell fast enough?

This OFW-turned-fashion designer made couture upcycled gowns in Hong Kong

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TAGS: close the loop fast fashion sustainability sustainable fashion sustainable living ukay-ukay upcycled fashion