CEBU CITY -- Stunning the crowd with a portfolio that starkly contrasted dark shades with bright hues in an attempt to evoke the triumph of human resilience amid pain and suffering, the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) edged four other schools to win this year’s Aboitiz Green Fashion Revolution Cebu 2017 held at SM City Cebu Trade Halls 1 and 2 last November 25 – incidentally, National Day for Youth in Climate Action.
UP Cebu fashioned a winning collection dubbed “Sufrimiento” (Spanish for “suffering”), inspired by the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, out of flour sacks and worn-out clothes for apparel, and wood, weaves, and local fabrics for non-apparel pieces. UP Cebu previously had previously won the Aboitiz GFR Cebu in 2014.
“Much like Frida, we, as advocates of a greener world, could also channel all the negative energy brought about by irresponsible inhabitants of the Earth….into something we could reuse not only once, but until our descendants have made great use of them,” Lira Princess Cadorna of UP Cebu said.
In the process, UP Cebu bested the Fashion Institute of the Philippines Cebu Branch (1st runner up), Cebu Technological University (2nd runner up), and Saint Theresa’s College of Cebu (3rd runner up).
Cadorna noted: “For the apparel pieces, we used worn-out clothes which we cut into the strips. Some of them, we also made into macrame ponchos and capes. For other parts, we used flour sacks Aboitiz gave us. Most of our accessories are scraps. UP Cebu has these machines that can cut wood precisely using 3D modelling, so we gathered these scraps and made them into shoes.”
UP Cebu also managed to bag the competition’s four special awards: Best Bag Design, Best Footwear Design, Best Clothing Design & Best Accessories Design.
“The Aboitiz GFR is not only a fashion show -- it goes beyond the runway. We are excited to see how this eco-creativity will inspire a lifestyle change that will ease our impact on the planet,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
“Indeed, Inspiring people to protect our planet is a major focus area in Aboitiz, a manifestation of our desire to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities,” Marasigan added.
This year’s GFR Cebu featured an esteemed panel of judges comprised of actors and resource allocation-oriented CORA Foundation members Antoinette Taus and Alex Godinez; Jess Ouano of Anthill Fabric Gallery; Ben Gomo of the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority; and Dave Devilles of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.
"I am amazed at the talent and creativity that the schools showed here at the Aboitiz GFR, which is a timely project that the youth can participate in. I believe that now is the time for the youth to act. Everyone here demonstrated talent and innovation and it gives us hope. We can save the planet and the Cebu youth is showing us how," Taus said.
A brainchild of a group of Aboitiz scholars during the Aboitiz Scholars’ Corporate Social Responsibility Summit in December 2011, GFR and was first staged in Cebu and Manila in 2012 and 2016, respectively, through the auspices of the Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group.
Since then, it has become an annual favorite among the college and university fashion circuit, challenging students to create clothing, footwear, and accessories that make use of recycled materials and highlight the importance of the 3Rs—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. It is currently an initiative under the Aboitiz Group’s Race to Reduce 2.0 program that promotes waste management, carbon emissions reduction, and resource efficiency. Approximately 1,600 kilograms of waste material from various Aboitiz business units are repurposed annually for Aboitiz GFR since it began in 2011.
This year's GFR continues to support two of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Life Below Water (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development) and Life on Land (protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss).