By Jason Andrew Vila

As the world pushes for sustainability – because of the effects of pollution and greenhouse gasses and climate change – and more environment-friendly options become available, several brands are shifting to a more “green” approach.

With a problem as big as climate change, one might think that the biggest polluters on the planet will come from the transportation and energy industries. But have you heard that the fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits?

It’s a surprising fact that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon dioxide output according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

To put it into context, the fashion industry is responsible for more pollution than international flights and shipping combined. With this issue though, solutions and better alternatives are bound to rise to address the market and this is where brands like Sassy’s Creations are born.

Sassy’s Creations is a social enterprise that creates clothes following their mantra: Sustainable and Timeless.

It is the brainchild of Joy Rapsing, a mother who was once a corporate worker who wanted to create clothes that fit her. She shared that the reason why she started the business was because of her child.

 “May time na umiiyak yung anak ko tapos ako na Nanay niya hindi ko mapatahan. Parang yung kasambahay namin yung mommy niya. Pag umaalis lang ako nagsasabi lang siya ng bye pero pag kay yaya iniiyakan niya,” she said as she recalled the reason why she had to stop working and started businesses with the first attempts not being too successful.

She started buy and selling in 2015 until she decided to go with clothes in 2016 by making plus-sized dresses.

“Wala akong nakikita masyadong plus-sized na damit that time. Nahihirapan akong magbihis,” she said. “Shorts at T-shirt lang ang karamihan ng makikita mong plus-sized. Kung meron man sobrang mahal. Madalas kasi imported sila.”

She thought to herself that she should create a product that is local and have a reasonable price. This is when she met Ruby Rodriguez’s stylists in one of the bazaars they participated in. From there, they talked it out and decided to collaborate when Ruby started their own brand.

When the pandemic hit, Sassy’s Creations was one of the businesses that was affected. Rapsing was forced to downsize with shops reduced from seven to just two. It also didn’t help that fast fashion began to take off during the time period as most people are just at home and these fast fashion brands are easily accessible from people’s homes through apps which also affected the local weavers they are also supporting through the business.

 “Namamatay ang industriya ng weaving. Gusto namin ipagpatuloy kasi matatanda na ang mga weavers. Wala na halos bata. Pag nawala ‘yon, mawawala ang kultura,” she said explaining that the people they support through the business were also affected by the closing of some of the shops they ran.

  Going back to “Sustainable and timeless”, she said her advocacy of saving the planet and the culture by incorporating weaves into some of the pieces they make while recycling materials that bigger factories are about to scrap and use these cloth scraps to create new and stylish pieces through upcycling.

They only produce limited number of clothes in small batches which creates scarcity and rarity for each piece of clothing they release. They also enlist help from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in the Antipolo Female Dorm and mothers who are looking for extra sources of income and hire them as seamstresses.

Right now, they have four collections in Revive, Renew, Redesign and Lifewear. ‘

Revive are dresses for special occasions which are mostly plains with weaves. The designs which they are known for. Renew is the everyday essentials that they spiced up with classic designs and styled weaves.  Redesign is using old articles of clothing like jeans and turning them into new products like bags and tops and lastly, Life wear which is the everyday basics that they elevated.

In our current society that is driven by social media where pieces of clothing don’t even get to see another wear after it has been posted online, brands like Sassy’s Creations help remind us that we need to choose sustainable and timeless options not just in clothing, but with other products we use as well.

We should support more local brands like Sassy’s Creations that create products that have good advocacies that uplift not just themselves but the community around them as well.

Sustainable and Timeless – Sassy’s Creations makes clothes for all sizes both for men and women that are made from sustainable materials but still manage to look stylish and comfortable.