Tech-Savvy Partnership for Sustainable Fashion
Armando Carandang | The Manila Times
PHILIPPINES. The Manila Times (06 December 2023) - The knowledge and the technical know-how afforded by technology should not be merely remembered but should be used in actual application.
Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology raised this point at the conclusion of the DoST-Philippine Textile Research Institute's (PTRI) Philippine Textile Congress held during the 2023 National Science, Technology and Innovation Week (NSTW) in Iloilo City on November 24.
With the theme "Futures Thinking for Philippine Textiles," the DoST-PTRI congress aimed not only to convene textile academics but also to pave the way for increased economic activity and entrepreneurship in the industry.
The DoST secretary highlighted the importance of research, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and stressed that "more benefits will redound to our people if we can really do research, technology, innovation with entrepreneurship."
He said textile is one of the industries that offers a stable source of income for Filipinos.
The Philippine Textile Congress served as a platform for collaboration among researchers, students, creatives, industry partners, and textile experts.
During the textile congress, a 12 session research colloquium covering textile innovations, digitalization, designing, product development, education and training, as well as its significance in biomedical, security, and defense, were conducted.
Innovation dialogues with textile stakeholders in various sectors were also held for potential collaboration.
Meanwhile, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising Chairman Olivia Lopez announced that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has approved the implementation of a Bachelor in Textile Design in their college for academic year 2024-2025.
The program will use a transdisciplinary methodology in studying textiles, including fashion design and merchandising, architecture, interior design, industrial design, arts management, production design, and export management, explained Lopez.
"These programs all involve the use of textiles, either as a material, a product, or the systems and processes and management involved in producing textiles," she added.
The curriculum will be based on CHEd Memorandum Order 43, Series of 2017, outlining policies, standards, and guidelines for undergraduate programs in Fine Arts and Design, requiring three years or two terms for completion, Lopez noted.
Co-CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Bayo clothing Anna Lagon acknowledged DoST-PTRI's role as their partner in promoting sustainability and innovation in the fashion industry.
"The government's role through agencies like PTRI provides the necessary resources that cushion the financial strain of developing new supply chains," Lagon said.
Lagon shared that Bayo aims to achieve zero waste, zero carbon emission, and a circular economy business model. Besides locally made apparel, Bayo offers training and workshop opportunities to marginalized individuals for sustainable livelihood.
Raymond Tan, a university fellow and current Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at De La Salle University (DLSU), noted the growing interest of buyers in sustainable fashion and how life cycle assessment (LCA) could help certify that textile products in the Philippines are eco-friendly.
Tan explained that LCA is a methodology used to evaluate the environmental impacts, both direct and indirect, of product systems. He cited the potential for the Philippines to reach lucrative export markets by offering certifiably sustainable fiber and textile products at a premium price.
Tan, however, mentioned the shortage of human resources, particularly LCA users and experts in the industry, government, and academia. He said an agreement between DLSU and PTRI to collaborate on various research projects and conduct training for scientists and researchers in PTRI to develop LCA expertise.
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