Panublix, in collaboration with the British Council Philippines and Forest Foundation Philippines, held "Forest-to-Fashion: Weaving the Connection of Bamboo Textiles to Forest Conservation" via Zoom on 29 November 2023. The event introduced sustainability-minded designers and textile enthusiasts to the potential of bamboo textiles and their role in forest conservation.
Bamboo innovation and sustainable fashion
The session delved into the potential of bamboo as a sustainable textile alternative starting with a presentation by our speaker Merryn Chilcott, the Sustainability and Technical Manager of BAM Clothing, a UK-based activewear brand known for using bamboo-based textiles.
Merryn highlighted the benefits of bamboo, stressing its double role as a raw material and a textile. Notably, the focus was on bamboo's rapid regeneration and root preservation during harvesting, making it an environmentally friendly choice supporting forest conservation efforts.
For BAM clothing’s textiles, Merryn pointed out that the bamboo textiles they’ve developed are breathable, soft, absorbent and odor-resistant with a highlight on its biodegradability. This makes them a comfy, practical, and eco-conscious option for those looking for sustainable clothing choices.
Her experiences and insights provided an overview of the bamboo textile supply chain for our audience. She shared the challenges that BAM Clothing has encountered as they strive to be as transparent and traceable as possible from the cultivation and sourcing of bamboo to fiber development and textile production. Stressing that each area in the supply chain must be considered on its impact to the environment and communities to truly aim for proper sustainability. This is a long journey the brand continues to take on for more than a decade.
Insights from the Philippines’ bamboo ecosystem
After Merryn’s presentation, we asked our two panelists to share their thoughts on the talk in light of their own experiences in bamboo innovation in the Philippines.
Florencio S. Gannaban Jr., a key figure in community initiatives and bamboo cultivation in Cauayan City, Isabela, expressed appreciation for the presentation. He shared that the local government of Cauayan has dedicated 5 hectares of land per barangay for bamboo cultivation, aiming to increase local supply and support forest conservation efforts such as through soil regeneration of barren land.
Dr. Freddie Orperia, the DOST-designated Focal Person for the Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Center in Northern Luzon (RYPIC), mentioned government initiatives to foster innovation including the Bamboo Textile Fiber Innovation Hub (BTFIH) Isabela and shared updates on the bamboo-cotton blend products being developed in RYPIC.
As a farmer himself, he expressed the importance of providing fair compensation to farmers to sustain a more ethical and productive bamboo supply chain in the Philippines.
Working towards a regenerative future
Through this webinar, we are happy to bring together experts in different fields to discuss bamboo’s potential as a regenerative textile and to further explore opportunities for innovation.
We extend heartfelt thanks to our speaker, panelists, and partners—British Council Philippines and Forest Foundation Philippines—and to every participant who contributed to making this webinar a success.
As a digital sourcing platform, Panublix remains committed to supporting material science research and innovation alongside the preservation of traditional weaving practices.
Together, let's continue weaving a brighter, more regenerative future with bamboo!
We're thrilled to announce that we are currently developing bamboo fabric products at Panublix! If you’d like to receive updates on when the products will be available, you can sign up for our waitlist below:
Furthermore, we extend an invitation to the exhibit titled "Re-Story-Ation: Weaving Creators, Communities, and Connections" which will open on December 12, 2023 at the UP CHE Costume Museum in University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.
As one of the exhibitors, Panublix will showcase the bamboo fabrics being developed through the Philippine government initiatives in textile innovations, and our work with partner weavers in Isabela. Follow UP CHE Museum on Facebook to stay updated on exhibit details.