The Department of Tourism (DOT) is widely upholds Cebu’s position as Asia’s Destination for eco-fashion with Bijoux Cebu, the country’s first grand showcase of fashion pieces made from sustainable natural materials and ‘reclaimed’ objects or scraps and trash.
With the world constantly faced with environmental challenges, communities are now taking a more proactive stance in responding to climate change, expanding their livelihood activities as they go.
Sitio Ilum in Catmon, Cebu, has been actively planting pangantuon trees, used for Philippine fashion accessories for export. This small town of less than 100 families, unassuming as it looked, grows the raw materials used for the country’s most eco-friendly jewelry. Being the source of the basic supplies such as indigenous fabric, textile, and wooden beads made into eco-fashion pieces, Sitio Ilum was one of the highlights of Cebu’s pioneering endeavor in promoting environmentally-conscious fashion.
DOT acknowledged the event as an effective way to raise public awareness and appreciation on the importance of caring for the earth and minimizing environmental impacts through being responsible consumers and tourists.
“The constantly growing green movement has had positive effects on people all over the globe. This has driven travelers to be more mindful of their carbon footprints; creating an advocacy for conscientious travel, and in patronizing products that promote sustainability and respect to the environment,” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said.
“Sitio Ilum is one of the local communities that can become a tourism destination because of its on-going program that grows thousands of pangantuon trees. The community has learned to sustain itself through the livelihood generated by the demand for this raw material,” Durano explained.
Eduardo Jarque, Jr., Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions, shared, “Filipino ingenuity is deeply expressed in our unique works of art, fashion pieces and accessories. We are proud to showcase the creativity and resourcefulness through the use of indigenous materials for jewelry.”
“The main aspect is bringing the tourists to visit the community itself where the raw materials are grown, processed, and made into the unique pieces that would surely attract attention from the growing eco-conscious market,” Jarque added, referring to the Go Green tours also tied in with the whole program, taking visitors to a pleasant hike to Sitio Ilum itself, where the pangantuon trees are home.
Organized by Cebu Fashion Accessories Manufacturers and Exporters (FAME) Foundation, the event featured 100% green products – from components, to the manufacturing, down to the product labels. The Foundation also established Go Green Philippines, a sustainable environmental program in response to the global call for social responsibility.
FAME Foundation President Janet Chua said, “This is to help revitalize the Philippine ecosystem and sustain the Philippine fashion accessories’ industry at the same time.”