THE word “sustainable” has become a catchall term describing a better way of producing goods as sustainable processes are kinder to the environment. Because of climate change awareness, consumers nowadays are more conscious with what they’re buying. In effect, producers have become more conscious as well with what they’re offering.
The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. But homegrown fast fashion shop ATE (Alter to Enhance) by Tatah is trying to contribute in minimizing pollution coming from the fashion industry, most especially from fabric scraps, and created a zero waste initiative with its “Retaso Shoes” and “Ugly Bags.”
“Most people who don’t have any knowledge about these materials won’t be able to reuse them properly. Every fabric has its own unique characteristic and it is made of different materials. Some fabrics are best for making gowns, rugs or swimwear, while others are not.”
In search of ways to upcycle these excess fabrics, Tatah and her team met with a fellow advocate brand, Unyx, that made shoes out of tetra packs. From there, the idea of making shoes with retaso (fabric clippings) was born. Each pair of the sleek, cute and comfortable shoe, named Carmen—designed by branch manager, stylist and designer Alexandra Eturma—is unique. This is because of the various retaso prints and patterns per pair of shoes. One may also customize an order, based on the chosen excess fabric or for those who want to pair them with their gowns.
Aside from its retaso shoes, another innovation the team conceived using its excess fabrics are the “Ugly Bags.” This is the brand’s version of an eco-bag; an alternative for shopping bags. This was conceptualized by one of the team’s designers and stylists, Jephunneh Polancos. It is called an “Ugly Bag” because of its imperfections. Think unparalleled sides; uneven sizes. But these are very durable.
“We cannot please everyone to bring their eco-bag with them wherever they go. So, instead of providing paper bags or plastic bags, we’re providing these ‘Ugly Bags’ whenever they shop in any of our branches.” said Tatah.
According to her, there are so many ways to revamp clothing pieces. Just because an item of clothing has a stain or damage, it doesn’t mean that it has become useless. One can get creative; crop out the damaged part and do hand painting, patching, or add any other kinds of embellishment on it.
Drop by these following ATE by Tatah branch locations: Axis Entertainment Avenue, Robinsons Galleria Cebu, and on 16 President Quirino St., Villa Aurora, Kasambagan, Cebu City.