Friday, December 06, 2019


Use what you produce; produce what you use.

This is the principle behind the efforts of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI) to pursue sustainability in local fashion practices.

The Philippines’ garment, leather, and textile industries take centerstage at the “Philippine Garment, Leather Industries and Textile Expo” currently happening from December 5-8, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. It is now in its second year which gathered manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and stakeholders to help boost the country’s potential in producing garments, leather goods, and textiles for export.

Last year, the Philippine Garment Industry Expo 2018 was held with the Philippine Textile & Fabric Expo and brought over 81 exhibitors from nine countries, namely China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Philippines; and 4,800 trade visitors. 

Among the local companies participating in this year’s event are Armena Embroideries, D & A Edge Polymer Phils. Inc., Golden Island Fashion Accessories, Kelin Graphics System Corp., Printway Marketing and Services, Shanghai Global Corp., and Testex Philippines Representative Office.

There was also an Industry Forum that also happened last December 5 at the Forbes Ballroom 1 of the Conrad Hotel Manila. This coincided with The 2nd Philippine Garment, Leather Industries, and Textile Expo.

Among the Forum speakers are:

1. Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Vice-Chairman and Managing head of BOI and Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry who delivered the event’s keynote address. 

2. From De La Salle University, Dr. Myrna Austria and Dr. Mitzie Irene P. Conchada, full professor and associate dean respectively, present the “Philippine Garments and Textiles Industry Roadmap,” showcasing the proposed goals and strategies the industry has planned ten years down the line toward achieving their vision. 

3. Managing Director Dr. Andrew Kay of CP Exhibition LTD  spoke about the success story of Vietnam’s garments & textile industry. 

4. Environmental issues played a big part as well. Celia Elumba, Director IV of the DOST – Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), led an informative talk on sustainability in the garments and textile industry.  

5. A detailed talk on sustainable and inclusive business models in the Philippines were shared by Chief Executive Officer of Ananas-Anam Philippines Chuck Lazaro and Founder and Creator of Maison Metisse Adrienne Charuel. 

“Sustainability is producing our own textiles because it’s higher in the value chain. Using our own raw materials, having our own local skills and talents, and using our technology and processing here—it’s an industry that can enable more people to come to the workforce,” shares PTRI director Celia Elumba.

To enliven the country’s garments and textile industries, the PTRI has already developed a number of technologies to assist local businesses in the production and processing of locally made textiles and fabrics. With raw materials and technologies now readily available in the Philippines, it is apparent that the Philippines’ garment sector is ripe for revitalization.

“We have the technology. Now we’re looking for adaptors of it,” says Elumba. “We want to encourage enterprises, businesses, and investors to go and take a second look at textile production because we have more than a hundred million Filipinos now to market to.”

One example of a sustainable model is the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center (RYPIC) in Miag-ao, Iloilo, where PTRI collaborated with the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) to create a microscale facility that produces blended yarns that assists small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The project, which is supported by the local government of Iloilo, uses natural materials available in Iloilo—positively impacting the environment by not leaving microfibers in the water when washed. In keeping with PTRI advocacy TELA (Textiles Empowering Lives Anew) Pilipinas, they have also partnered with Great Women Philippines to create and market products commercially and further promote locally made quality textiles.

With the country’s abundance of raw materials, the PTRI looks forward to more opportunities of putting up RYPICs in other locations, where all the resources are localized and all the benefits will be enjoyed by those directly involved and the local population—creating an ecosystem that can be sustained for future generations.

“There’s no better time to invest than today. We believe in the technology and its ability to change and moderate lives and improve our conditions,” Elumba says of her hope for the local garments and textile industry. “We’d love to have the collaboration and cooperation of the private sector because their creativity will surely help us find ways to improve what we have.”

The expo is still ongoing until December 8, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. It is organized by CP Exhibition LTD, a company that was established in Hong Kong in 1976 and has representative offices in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, UK, USA, and Vietnam. CP Exhibition has organized trade exhibitions in different areas such as Textile/Garment/Fabric, Aviation, Transport, Railway/Subway, Oil/Gas, Coal, Electricity, and others. 

Co-organized by Philippine Exhibition and Trade Corporation (PETCO), the Philippine Garment, Leather Industries and Textile Expo is supported by Textile Producers Association of the Philippines (TEXPAP), LGU Marikina / Marikina Shoe Industry Development Office (MASIDO), Garment Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (GARMAP), DOST-PTRI, and Department of Science and Technology – National Capital Region (DOST-NCR); with radio partner 105.1 Crossover FM.

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