Sustainable wear with Kaftan One: Honoring tradition in a liberating style

Sustainable wear with Kaftan One: Honoring tradition in a liberating style

Fast fashion drives overconsumption by convincing consumers they must constantly update their wardrobes to match fleeting trends, encouraging a disposable attitude toward clothing.

Swimming against the current, indigenous textiles are a labor of love that takes six months to years of production. The lengthy process reflects both its technical complexity and profound cultural significance and heritage.

Recently, Kaftan One by Nikki Coseteng made its grand entrance in Cebu for a Trunk Show fashion event that extended well into the evening. Yet, much like its sustainable garments, its presence lingers and promises a lasting impression of what environmentally conscious fashion should be.


The visionary behind this truly empathizes with women and inspires a paradigm shift in how women view clothing and make purchasing decisions. Former senator Anna Dominique “Nikki” Marquez-Lim Coseteng is no stranger to breaking boundaries and challenging conventions for women’s empowerment. With her latest endeavor, Kaftan One aims not for earth-shaking impact but for a quieter, yet profound movement in the fashion industry — one that centers on empowering women with choice and freedom.

“First of all, I am not a well-known designer and PH fashion has been largely influenced by Western trends and lately fast disposable garments have become best sellers. Kaftan One is neither,” shared the former senator in a digital interview.

For those intrigued by history, kaftans have adorned diverse cultures for centuries. With its characteristic wide sleeves and flowing ankle-length design, this iconic garment has left its mark in historical texts and artistic depictions spanning generations. Nikki has been collecting fabrics from her travels around the world for over five decades. Her encounters with artisans and different cultures have deepened her appreciation for the cultural significance woven into each thread. Trips to Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Belgium, France and more, Nikki has re-introduced the joy of collecting indigenous textiles into wearable garments during the pandemic.

“I would like to see women appreciate the work painstakingly crafted with creativity, precision, fulfillment and joy. Work mostly done by women ought to be appreciated and respected especially since weavers, embroiderers, beaders and batik makers of the highest quality are a rarity these days,” shared Nikki.

Every kaftan designed by Nikki undergoes rigorous quality control, a stark contrast to the fast-fashion garments widely consumed today. Nikki emphasizes that her kaftans are not only unique and special but also incredibly comfortable and elegant. Versatility is a hallmark of her designs, suitable for all occasions. As she aptly puts it, her Kaftans offer the convenience of effortless wear, granting wearers the freedom of movement due to their flowy nature.

“Women can carry themselves elegantly, comfortably, and proudly using handmade and handcrafted fabrics made into timeless, versatile kaftans. I would like to see women enable other women who support themselves, their families, and their communities through their weaving and processing of these traditions. When the wearing stops, the buying stops. And when the buying stops, the weaving culture dies,” shared Nikki.

Kaftan One by Nikki Coseteng helps clients realize that the preservation of exquisite textiles is a cause truly worth championing. With a kaftan, there’s no need to overdecorate; the true jewels of these garments lie in the textiles themselves, each one telling a rich and meaningful story. Personally, Nikki wears her kaftans the way she desires, and that’s a message she aims to convey — women have the freedom to wear what they choose.

“I do not like to be boxed in by people I may not even know, may not even pay for what I buy and do not know how I feel wearing what they expect me to. I hear comments like ‘you look much bigger or older in a kaftan.’ It does not bother me at all. I wear what I want and how I want to. It makes me feel good. And that is the ultimate statement of freedom and liberation. And over the decades, one gets to hear more often than not, ‘you haven’t changed over the years!’ That is a precious compliment we all value,” she shared.


These hand-woven and hand-printed textiles reflect values of individuality over conformity. Aside from that, Kaftan One’s aspiration to mitigate environmental impact and bolster long-term resilience is commendable.

“I am working toward the day when Kaftan One will carry only handmade, natural textiles from here and from all over the world. It helps keep the environment clear and clean and keeps creativity, innovations, and sustainability at the forefront of every endeavor,” she shared.

Nikki also plans to introduce a men’s line, alongside her aspirations to debut collections of bags and jewelry, inspired by her passion for bead collecting.

“I hope to launch my jewelry collection. It is quite extensive and truly only one of a kind. I am a beads collector, too, and have, over the years, come up with a significant number of pieces that have been admired whenever I wear them. This I would like to share with more women. I also have bags on the drawing board. A few prototypes have come out. But I will still have to do some fine-tuning. I would like to come up with lightweight, versatile, elegant bags with unique simple accessories,” she shared.

Although the inception of sustainable and ethical fashion didn’t begin with Kaftan One, its steadfast dedication ensures the movement’s enduring presence. Kaftan One by Nikki Coseteng’s butterfly logo flutters with enthusiasm for the future of indigenous textiles, advocating for women who are struggling to keep their art and culture alive.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.