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Here at Trude Lizares, sustainable practices are essential in all parts of our business – from where and how our fabrics are sourced and processed, our daily operations, the development of our pieces, packaging and in the recycling and limiting of waste.
According to the United Nations (2019), the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Approximately 93 billion cubic metres of water (enough to meet the needs of five million people), is being utilised annually by the fashion industry. Furthermore, about half a million tons of microfibre (which is equal to three million barrels of oil), is now being dumped into our seas each year (UNCTAD, 2019). With reference to carbon emissions, this industry is accountable for more than all international flights and maritime shipping collectively (United Nations, 2019).
Our commitment to environmental sustainability means that we only use natural fabrics such as 100% Cotton and 100% Linen sourced from Italy, Ireland, Japan and Korea, as well as indigenous fabrics from the Philippines, like Piña, (made of Pineapple fibres) and Silk Cocoon (made by Silkworms) handwoven by our local community and marketed as beautiful unique pieces.
We also use Hablon, made from 100% Cotton, handwoven by the indigenous people of the Mountain Province. The patterns of our Hablon are designed by the designer herself and handwoven exclusively for our brand.
For our 2021 initiative, we have also partnered with Negros Forest to plant a tree for every piece of clothing sold. Torrential rains and devastating floods plague the country every year during typhoon season. This partnership helps us combat the tragic consequences of climate change, rapid development, and deforestation that endangers the lives and homes of hundreds of Filipinos every year.
In our continued efforts to understand and strengthen social equity, we ensure that our local artisans are being paid fair wages. A fair wage is at least two times more than the minimum wage. Depending on the season, it is equivalent if not exceeding the income of corporate workers in the Philippines. Aside from their wages, annual bonuses, housing, health care, retirement benefits are also provided.
According to The Guardian (2016), there is an estimated 60 million workers within the fashion industry, and 80% of these workers are women. This industry is widely recognised for its abusive business practices, with low wages, unsafe working conditions, forced overtime, flexible contracts and harassment rather customary (The Guardian, 2016). This situation is worsened by the prevalence and familiarity of gender inequality in everyday life.
Trude Lizares exists to provide a hopeful alternative for women. We want everyone to know that they are an essential part of the community. In fact, research has shown that women play a substantial role in eliminating global poverty, thus are key to sustainable growth (Center for American Progress, 2013).
Aside from providing our women with fair wages and a safe working environment at our homegrown atelier, they are furthermore treated with utmost respect. They are inspired and empowered to believe in themselves and understand that they are not just seamstresses who only work for the income. They are respected as artisans, who have mastered their craft and produce pieces of art rather than ordinary pieces of clothing.
We have a core team of highly experienced women who have been working with our designer for almost 30 years, all of whom we consider family. Even with the pandemic, we try our best to give them work so they will not cease to have hearty meals on their tables. To us, this is ways of giving them dignity and opportunity.
For every Trude Lizares purchase, we want you know that you are supporting our women, their families and their communities. These artisans who made your pieces are well taken care of and loved.
And that ultimately, as we continue to foster empowerment amongst them, you too are an essential part of this journey.
We ensure that locally produced fabrics such as Piña, Silk Cocoon and Hablon are prioritised in our designs. This is due to our founder and designer’s heart for social awareness and patriotism. She takes pride in the Filipino talent and craftsmanship and sees the need to showcase these to the world.
Our tote bags are also made by the women of Gawad Kalinga, a nonprofit organisation which aims to alleviate poverty in the Philippines. Moreover, our threads are also locally made.
As compared to fast fashion, where labour is being subcontracted in different parts of Asia and is considerably lower, however business practices are unethical, we at Trude Lizares have our own homegrown atelier as mentioned above, where our founder and designer takes the time in conceptualising creations that Filipinos will be proud of.
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