Binky Pitogo, the Iloilo-based designer behind Lin-ay, has spent the last few years dedicating herself to sustainable Filipiniana fashion. She started out selling ready-to-wear clothing online and later opened a shop that offered custom-made gowns in response to a growing market.
Her success sparked an interest in her, and she went on to study at the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA) in Makati to learn about sewing and construction of clothes. Pursuing this newfound passion, she proceeded to study sustainable fashion at Central Saint Martins, a world-renowned design school in London.
In 2019, Binky started her brand, Lin-ay, which produces handwoven Filipiniana clothing for every occasion. This project came about at the intersection of her passions: promoting Filipino culture, reviving the local weaving industry, and sourcing materials sustainably.
Weaving culture into modern fashion
Since launching Lin-ay, Binky has become more in touch with Filipino culture and heritage, which continues to influence her in making fashion more inclusive to local communities. Through her work, she has designed clothing made with handwoven hablon, jusi, and piña from all over the Philippines. The Filipino culture ingrained in these weaves has served as her inspiration, and she hopes to help revive Iloilo’s weaving industry by creating more demand for local textiles.
This ties in with Binky’s passion for sustainable fashion, which she interprets as making the fashion industry more inclusive to local talents – treating them as partners and paying them what they deserve. She believes that sustainability can be achieved through uplifting artisans and encouraging them to create long-lasting heirlooms rather than fast fashion.
Finding value in “Kapwa”
Working with artisan communities has also provided an unexpected synergy for Lin-ay. The artisans’ passion imbues their weaves with a value that is unattainable in commercial textiles. Binky has also learned that, by involving the artisans in the production process, she provides an opportunity to truly highlight their skill and talent. Because of this experience, the value of “Kapwa” truly resonates with Binky, and she works towards a fashion industry that enriches both the designers and the artisan communities they collaborate with.
With this in mind, Binky co-designed a Lin-ay collection with Panublix. Her inspiration stemmed from the idea of fashion nomads – free-spirited individuals who walk freely through life.
Modern Filipiniana for the Modern Woman
The Lin.ay collection is contemporary Filipiniana made by women for women using handwoven textiles from all over the Philippines. This piece is embroidered with the word "Lin-ay" which means "goddess" or "lady" in Hiligaynon.