When one talks about sustainability in fashion we often talk about reducing waste in production, fairer labour law or producing sustainable fabrics. One designer took it a step further and decided to work with what he has: used fabrics. Adding to the growing trend of circularity the young Filipino designer boldly expresses his creativity, taking a stand against mass production and scooping awards left, right and centre.
We caught up with the talented designer as he adds the finishing touches to his latest collection to find out more his vision for his brand, why sustainability in fashion comes in many forms and what the he hopes to accomplish in the future.
Firstly, what motivated you to start your brand?
What motivated me to start my brand is the notion that life is short. I started a sustainable brand to fulfil my childhood promise, when I was in middle-school, I saw a documentary entitled: “6 degrees could change the world” and it opened my eyes to the tragic reality of global warming and how we should take action (we are even 8 degrees hotter now.) At that very moment, I promised that whatever I do when I grow up, it is for the benefit of Mother Nature.
What does sustainability mean to you and how does that show through your brand?
Sustainability is truly hard to define as it can be categorized as many things as long as you are able to sustain your needs and the needs of other people till the generations to come; but for me it simply is taking actions to benefit our only earth- whether in the small decisions we make like taking the bus instead of driving a car to big objectives like creating a circular system in fashion or your company. As humans, whether you believe in religion or not, we are placed in this world to sustain and take care of what comes with it. We were given dominion towards all of them, so sustainability is our responsibility.
How has community shaped you as a designer?
Being able to grow between two islands: Cebu and Southern Leyte, I can say that I am exposed to both City and Rural life. This polarity made me realize that I have to understand myself first. As a designer, I always try to radiate what is inside me, as I always yearned for understanding for I considered myself an outcast and it is only through my art that I could truly express myself. My community’s disregard of the environment convinced me that change should happen, for even now, I still see pedestrians in my city littering, residents not segregating their garbage and employees not caring about electricity consumption just because they are not the one paying the bill. Most of my community has this “you should mind your business mindset” which fuelled my fire for sustainable fashion even more; because it shouldn’t be that way. Humans, should not be self-serving, we are here not as a unit, but as a species with the responsibility to take care of our surroundings.
Lastly, what do you what your brand to accomplish in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I want to have created a circular system that all brands practice. We can only be truly impactful if we changed the wasteful system altogether; which is why rather than always telling people that our products are sustainable we also educate people to make sustainable decisions and practices. Companies producing products or causing negative impacts to the world will continue doing so because there are still demands towards their products; by changing the mindset of the consumers and their buying behaviours we can halt damaging mass production. We do not just function as a sustainable brand, but an environmental advocate first and foremost who are not afraid to reveal the unglamorous behind the scenes of a sustainable lifestyle and production and convincing people that sustainable actions are very attainable and never far-fetched. In 5 years we hope to be one of the brands who will cause a shift in the system, making fashion the solution rather than the problem.
Shinning a light on the need to be eco-conscious Jann Bungcaras has carved out a space for himself to highlight his activism through his designs and we are all better for it. We can not wait to see what more the young designer has up his sleeve.
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Photographed by Gerald Gloton
Assisted by Jericho Mojares
Styled by Jnel Rabe
Hair and Make-up by Renz Guevarra
Assisted by Gerald Dimalanta
Modelled by Tiamsey, Kenneth Marcelino, Justin Aniceto and the Venzon Twins
Photographed by Briann Tan
Assisted by Maribel Lopez
Styled by Gee Jocson
Assisted by James Bradlee
Creative Logistics by Nina Amoncio
Modeled by Andrew Smith and Gio Guerrero of Certeza Model Managament