Every year, according to the UN Environment Report titled “Single-use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability” published in 2018, about 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced globally, and half of all plastic produced are designed to be used only once and thrown away. A significant fraction — approximately 8 million tons — end up in the ocean every year killing millions of marine animals and coral reefs, and negatively affecting the marine food chain. But plastics do not only affect biodiversity, ecosystem services, food security, and human health; it also exacerbates climate change.
A report by the Plastic Pollution Coalition establishes the strong link between plastic and climate change, the drilling of oil and processing into plastic releases harmful gas emissions into the environment including carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, ozone, benzene and methane, a greenhouse gas that causes a greater warming effect than carbon dioxide.
Taking a sensible approach on how we use plastic and transitioning away from our massive waste problem, we can help mitigate the prevailing climate crisis. Ending our plastic pollution is a form of climate action.
One of the many ways to make use of our plastic waste is to create innovative designs and showcase it in a trashion — a term derived from trash and fashion — show.
Together with trashion designer, Maria Purple De Viri, we conceptualized a trashion event with the young minds of the Information and Knowledge Management Division of the Climate Change Commission (CCC).
The fashion show, titled “Trashion: Changing the Way You See Waste” was part of the opening day of the 12th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week spearheaded by the CCC.
Some of the innovative designs were:
The Weaver Filipiniana
Hans Carmel Crisostomo of the Information and Knowledge Management Division wore a design inspired by the stunning craftsmanship of Filipina weavers. The costumes highlights to preserve traditional weaving practices and to revive the age-old tradition of weaving by introducing innovation. The costume was made from plastic straws and recycled fabrics.
The Sumalongson Warrior
Ronaldo Magsakay of the Information and Knowledge Management Division wore a design inspired by the ancient deities in Philippine mythology, the god of rivers and lakes. Based on folklore he would punish everyone who would destroy his rivers and lakes. The costume was made from empty 3-in-1 coffee sachets and recycled fabrics.
The Purple Phoenix
Aliza Mae Ardiente of the Human Resources Management System wore a design inspired by the ancient Greek folklore, a phoenix was a long-lived bird that obtains new life by arising from ashes of its predecessor.
The costume was made from empty sachets of fabric conditioner, shampoo and recycled fabrics.
The Autumn Goddess
Corin Villar of the Office of the Secretary wore a design inspired by the Roman goddess of autumn. She represents the abundance of nature and time of the fruit harvest. The costume was made from empty sachets of fabric conditioner, and recycled fabrics.
One of the highlights of the show was the participation of Mister Glam International Jun Rey Tajonera and Miss Scuba Philippines 1st Runner-Up Maricres Castro.
Jun Rey wore “The Golden Maya,” a design inspired by the maya bird, was made from 3-in-1 instant coffee sachets and pieces of industrial fabrics. As we all know, Maya refers to a variety of small, commonly observed passerine birds, including a number of sparrows and finches.
Maricres, who walked last wore “The Mother Nature,” a Greco-Roman personification that focuses on life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it. The gown depicts how humans abused mother nature by throwing their trash everywhere. The costume was made from recycled pieces of industrial fabrics.
About De Viri
De Viri is a young, multi-awaded trashion designer who came from humble beginnings. Purple is the official eco-wear designer of Mister Earth Philippines this year. Among her local awards were Bigkis Kabataan Achiever’s Award as a promising fashion designer of 2018, and one of the 2019 Young Pillars of Fashion in the Philippines awardees.
Purple’s designs were paraded during the Trashion Runway Singapore last July 2019. She was recognized as Sustainable Fashion Designer of the Year at the National University of Singapore and, at the same time, Channel News Asia Singapore betowed upon her the title of Trashion Empress and showcasing her life story in a documentary film titled “De Viri Trash Transformation.”
This January, Purple will be awarded Asia’s Top 50 Young Advocates in Tokyo, Japan.
The author is the executive director of the Young Environmental Forum. He completed his climate change and development course at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom) and executive program on sustainability leadership at Yale University (United States). He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.