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DOST officials with keynote speaker Senator Cynthia Villar. Image credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD

DOST-PCAARRD supports DOST-PTRI’s Bamboo Textiles PH

Meticulously extracted fibers, runway-ready outfit, sling bags, sneakers, home furniture, and crafts from homegrown bamboo fibers were showcased front and center in the recent launch of the “KAWAYARN: The Bamboo Textiles PH” organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI).

The launch on September 21, 2023 at The Manila Hotel was held in celebration of Philippine Bamboo Month.

With funding and support for the Bamboo research and development (R&D) programs from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), DOST-PTRI has been developing local bamboo fibers by profiling various local bamboo species, developing extraction and treatment processes, establishing innovation hubs, and exploring their use in wearables and other applications through the eight projects.

One of the exhibits displaying 13 different bamboo species and their form from raw fiber, then treated fiber, to finalized thread spools. Image credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD

The welcoming exhibit showcased 13 bamboo species from raw fibers to spooled thread, alongside their culms and woven fabric. The event also showcased accessories designed by brands like Adante, gouache, piesa, and home furnishings by tablewear, cotton canvas, and cura furn.

Wearables and beyond - from shoes, bags, and accessories to home furnishings - made of bamboo fabric designed by DOST-PTRI’s partner brands are also on display. Image credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD

The event also showcased bamboo fabric in Pinoy fashion with designs from brands like Maison Métisse, Likhang Maragondon, and fashion designer Anthony Cruz Legarda –  proving bamboo fabric is also ripe for the runway.

Designer pieces from local fashion brands prove that bamboo fabric also belongs in the red carpet. Image credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD

Filipino legislators showed their support during the launch including Senators Ronald Dela Rosa, Jinggoy Estrada, Sherwin Gatchalian, Sonny Angara, and Loren Legarda, who all served as speakers during the event. The senators recognized bamboo’s economic potential while Senator Angara declared his continuous support. Senator Legarda also called to continue the pursuit of local, nontoxic, sustainable, and self-reliant textile industry.

Senator Cynthia Villar, who served as the launch’s keynote speaker, emphasized the efforts and process of DOST-PTRI in developing bamboo fiber and challenged the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority in exploring both local cotton and bamboo fibers’ potential.

DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora delivers a special message to DOST-PTRI’s launch. Image credit: FERD, DOST-PCAARRD

As the program’s funding agency, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora delivered his message virtually. "This Bamboo Textile PH Launch not only provides diversification to bamboo utilization, but also presents more environment-friendly processes to extract its textile fibers," said Dr. Ebora. He also conveyed his gratitude for the Council's long-term partnership with PTRI.

To underline their support and encouragement, DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum and Undersecretary for R&D Leah J. Buendia also graced the event to deliver messages of acknowledgment, support, and gratitude for the efforts of everyone involved in funding, R&D, farmers, and industry players to advance the Philippine bamboo industry.

With the launch of Bamboo Textiles PH, increased awareness of its suitability for everyday among Filipino families is anticipated. More bamboo textile fiber innovation hubs are also expected to be completed and operational to boost production and aid Filipino families.