Seeking to make sustainable activewear more accessible in the Philippines, Leslie Yu and Shiaira Bautista launched Mvment, a homegrown brand offering activewear from recycled bottles.
The duo launched the brand in 2021 after seeing a gap in the local market for sustainably sourced, fairly priced, and comfortable activewear that can withstand high-intensity workouts.
To produce sustainable activewear, the company sources its fabric from its partner mill in Taiwan where post-consumer plastic bottles are turned into environmentally friendly yarn. The plastic bottles are sterilised, crushed, and spun into a string of yarn, then turned into fibre blended with traditional fabric. The resulting fabric is then made into different activewear pieces.
According to the company, while it hopes to source locally, there’s no textile manufacturer in the Philippines capable of producing fabric from recycled plastic.
“This is definitely our goal (producing the fabric locally) since a big chunk of post-consumer plastic bottles (unfortunately) come from the Philippines,” shares the founders in an interview with Viable Earth.
The Philippines is the third-largest contributor to global ocean pollution, producing nearly 2 million tons of plastic waste. Around 800,000 tons of this end up in the ocean every year.
“It’s heartbreaking to see first-hand how the increasing volume of single-use plastic and other unrecyclable materials are affecting our waters.”
The company shared that the journey wasn’t without any challenges. For example, it took nearly two years to launch to verify that its partner suppliers and manufacturers have certification for sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices.
To ensure that the brand doesn’t add to the waste of fast fashion, it designed sturdy pieces built to last in customers closets for as long as possible, with classic cuts and colours that would never go out of style.
“We hope that we can help shift the mindsets of people to believing that there’s value in investing in good quality activewear. You might think you’re saving by purchasing cheaper activewear, which you’ll eventually have to replace and will cost more in the long run,” the founders concluded.
The company plans to be able to recycle its activewear pieces that reached the end of its life and become 100-per-cent circular in the future. In addition, it plans to include menswear in future collections.
Mvment activewear is available for purchase online through www.mvment.co