Fashion designer Louis Pangilinan designs a traditional garb with environmental awareness in mind

Kelly Day in a Louis Pangilinan creation (Photographed by Rap Yu, styled by Francis Chee and Vhee Co)

In our pandemic time, it is pretty inspiring to see Filipinas excel in global beauty pageants. The recent addition to the Philippines’ achievements is the first runner-up finish of actress Kelly Day at the Miss Eco International competition, held in Egypt last April 4, 2021. 

Apart from sharing advocacy and winning the national costume award, her eco-dress is also worth talking about. As a beauty contest that promotes environmental awareness and eco-tourism, it is just right for Miss Eco International to have a segment that promotes the use of waste materials in fashion. 

Her eco-dress is a traditional Filipiniana garb designed by Louis Pangilinan, the same creator of her national costume. According to him, the look is made of rubber and plastic, which have been major contributors to Earth’s pollution.

“This Filipiniana-inspired eco-dress is made from recycled materials which was synthesized from different rubber products such as slippers, household foam mat, and more,” he shares on social media. “It is painted with silver-gray and executed in a ball gown form embellished with hand-crafted art made fully of recycled rubbers.”

“This costume was made to raise awareness to undertake proper, effective, and proactive actions about poor waste disposal activities,” he continues.

The world’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic pushed many of the fashion industry’s giants to discover new ways of creating clothes with less environmental impact, from using discarded materials to using vegan alternatives. Locally, patronizing items made of local weaves, a sustainable practice in crafting garments, gained new interest for its worker-friendly initiatives. Seeing these kinds of creations on the stage of an international beauty pageant brings the move toward a greener (but glamorous) fashion up to the next level. 

As we are about to celebrate Earth Day the second time in a pandemic, it is worth keeping in mind the old challenges of our time, the many ways fashion designers can help to draft solutions, and us, as fashion-loving people, taking action and making better choices for our closet and beyond. And it seems that Louis’ creation is among the first silver linings in pursuing ethical style in beauty pageants.

Source: Manila Bulletin (