MANILA, Philippines – A member of the Industrial Technology Organization (ITO), Vanessa Alejandre, a third-year student of the BS IndTech Major in Clothing and Fashion Design of the College of Technology won a pitch on sustainable fashion during the international THREADS Summit on October 25 – 29, 2022 at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Pasig City.

THREADS Summit (Technology Hub Research Entrepreneurship Academia Design Sustainability) organized by FIBERS Collective (Fashion Innovative Businesses for the Environment, Reformation & Sustainability) in support by the UK Embassy in the Philippines and the Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF) was attended by delegates from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Laos.

THREADS Summit is a four (4) day event with talks on Environmental, Social, Economic and Cultural Impact in Fashion Social Innovation; Fashion for the Ocean; Social Entrepreneurship Roadmap in the Philippines, Fashion Social Entrepreneurship Across Southeast Asia; Technology, Research & Policy, and Design for Fashion Social Innovation.

The British Council Creative Innovators, Cheveners Alumni with Social Enterprises and the British Ambassador to the Philippines, Laure Beaufils spoke at the event.

Congressman Toff de Venecia, who authored the Philippine Creative Industries Bill, discussed the role of fashion design in the creative industry.

Ms. Alejandre was Top 50 and awarded a spot in the THREADS Summit after besting 140 applicants nationwide with her fashion social enterprise concept, “Ginag-Kamay,” minimalist handmade earrings and necklaces made from discarded fishing lines and shoreline debris like seashells and washed up corals. She envisions it to help the fishermen and their wives from her community in Leyte.

At the summit, Ms. Alejandre was teamed up with three designers – Paula Villasper and Gerald Farofaldane from SoFA (School of Fashion and the Arts) Design Institute, and Jema Gamer (MODISTA La Union) to pitch for the Ocean Restoration Design Challenge. Their group based their design solution on Ms. Alejandre’s concept research and collaborated to come up with KOORMA, phone + fashion, “change swims in your hands.” The KOORMA product is an innovative phone and money holder accessory that is knitted from upcycled fishnets made in Baybay, Tacloban City by the fishermen and their wives. The goal with this initiative is to reduce plastic waste in their community by 20% every month. Ms. Alejandre’s team won the “Ocean Restoration Design Challenge.”

Meanwhile, BS IndTech, Clothing and Fashion Design Instructor, Ma. Stefanie I. Caintic (Tipay Caintic) was a moderator at the summit. There as a Design Thinking Workshop culminating with a Pitching Session

Ms. Caintic was invited to join the pitching session representing the academe. She was grouped with another fashion design educator Emi Englis (Philippine Women’s College of Davao), Alexa Blas (Twin Starr Tailoring) and Aling Vongphachan (Laos). They won the “Academia: Schools & Universities Design Challenge” with their proposal – “Developing a Contextual Fashion Curriculum in Light of R.A 11904 the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act.”

With Ms. Alejandre and Ms. Caintic’s participation at the THREADS Summit, came networking opportunities. Noteworthy collaborations and partnerships in the pipelines with the Philippine Fashion Coalition (PFC), incubator Panublix (www.panublix.com) and the United Nations Development Programme in the Philippines (UNDP) are just among the exciting opportunities for BS IndTech Major in Clothing and Fashion Design students.