As American fashion designer and businesswoman Rachel Zoe famously said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” Fashion can tell us a lot about a person’s age, interests, and even how much they earn, so it goes without saying that style is reflective of who a person is. It’s actually not too hard to take a guess at someone’s personality by looking at something as simple as the way they dress. As this article on Psychology Today states, clothing does matter, and studies have shown that people’s first impressions are often heavily influenced by what the other person is wearing.
The clothing we wear isn’t just a personality marker— what we buy and where we buy it from can also be a political statement. ABS-CBN News recently reported that 93% of Filipinos believe buying from local brands or businesses is a patriotic act. Because of the rise of the internet, information about what we’re purchasing and who made it is now more readily available, meaning that Filipinos today are more aware of the sources of their clothing and other products that they purchase.
Supporting local brands and products isn’t only a patriotic act in name, but also has a concrete effect on the local economy. When you buy Philippine-made products, you support hundreds of other people from production to manufacturing to distribution, and you open more opportunities for Philippine products to compete in the market. With more support from local consumers, Philippine industries then have more breathing room to innovate and expand, keeping jobs and culture alive.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer recently revealed that times have never been better for the Philippine textile industry, and a large part of why that is was caused by the recent push to support industries closer to home. With Filipinos becoming more aware of the impact that consumption has on the environment, and with growing awareness campaigns centered around indigenous textiles and crafts, support for homegrown clothing brands is only growing stronger.
Of course, there are still certain hurdles that the industry has to face. One of the main issues that prevent people from buying local is the idea that foreign brands are better quality, but consumers would be surprised to learn that that isn’t always true. Big brands from overseas often outsource their production to factories in countries like China, and quality can often be hit or miss. Filipinos would do well to look at local brands that refuse to outsource the production of their clothing ranges – instead of investing in the local economy. BNY Jeans, which promise high-quality, local fashion at affordable price points is one brand that cares about its local workforce and sustainable practices. Local clothing brands such as these are actually more in tune with what the Filipino sense of style is, and carry clothes that are sometimes even better quality than those from big foreign brands.
Buying local supports the national industries, and can also serve as teachable moments in your daily life. When you wear clothes from local brands with pride, you not only show that you’re a patriotic consumer, but also that you aren’t afraid to explore different options that may be outside the well-trodden path. Your friends will be impressed with the quality of your clothes and the uniqueness of your style, and that might even encourage them to support Filipino brands as well— making the industry healthier and happier in the long run.