DOST promotes sustainable use of natural resources

In celebration of Philippine Bamboo month, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute’s “Kawayarn: The Bamboo Textiles PH Launch” was held last 21 September at The Manila Hotel. It showcased a variety of all things bamboo, including clothing, footwear, bags, accessories and many more.

The project’s promise of developing bamboo toward an innovative, creative, circular and inclusive textile economy will promote bamboo as a developing environmental resource in the production of more sustainable and quality textiles. This is a significant initiative that holds the potential to bring about various positive impacts for the Philippines.

The Philippines is naturally rich in bamboo resources, making it a good source of textile fiber. And with the advancement of science and technology, bamboo textile fibers will be more accessible and available, opening up new possibilities in strengthening the country’s textile industry.

Senator Cynthia Villar stated in her speech during the event that bamboo contains 35 percent fiber compared to other sources of fiber that only contains two percent. This offers a unique opportunity to leverage the sustainable in versatile material for a textile production, if consistently executed well and self-reliance be prioritized, benefiting not only the environment, but the local economy as well — especially local farmers.

Senator Loren Legarda stressed in her keynote address that self-reliance is very much necessary in this project. “Much of our bamboo supplies are still imported from other countries,” she added. She added that policy makers must make sure that any external sources are from industries with ethical and environmental practices.

DOST-PTRI aims to locate more bamboo textile innovation hubs all over the Philippines in collaboration with local communities, state universities and colleges. So far, the department already has three existing bamboo textile fiber innovation hubs located in Maragondon (Cavite), Naguilian (La Union) and Cauayan (Isabela) and will establish at least three more in 2024 — one each for Abra, Bukidnon and Pangasinan, which will capture and capacitate farmers and weavers to have additional and alternative livelihood.