Ambassador of sustainability, style, fashion designer presents fashionable solutions

Monica R. Lopez

FASHION designer Francis Sollano once again showed to the world the beauty and importance of thinking outside the box. Sollano was the only Filipino visual artist and fashion designer chosen to showcase his wearable art at the Sea of Solutions 2019 conference.

Held at the United Nations Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand last Nov. 11 to 14, the event was convened by SEA circular; an initiative from the United Nations Environment Programme and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (Cobsea) along with the support from the Swedish Government, to gather people in saving the environment.

“It’s always a humbling experience considering it was a high level gathering of state leaders, scientists and corporate executives,” shared the Cebuano talent. Prior to this, he has had two other opportunities to showcase his art installations with the UN Environment which, he recalled, they were very happy with.

He showcased one trashion (a portmanteau of trash and fashion) piece and an art installation, all of which were made using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles.

“The sculptural trashion piece was inspired by fish scales of the bangus. Hundreds of the sculpted plastic bottles were formed to become circles and attached individually,” he said. “We work closely with businesses and corporations in reusing their trash to become art installation. It was further inspired by our endeavors to push businesses to become more sensible on issues about marine pollution.”

As a sustainability consultant on both business and trashion art, he was also part of the convention discussions during the entire duration; talking directly to panel speakers and industry leaders, to name a few.

“Considering everyone was an expert in their industries, I felt proud that we represented the Philippines as part of the experts. While at the same time, it was humbling to learn so many things from equally competent leaders,” said Sollano, as he recalled some solutions discussed during the convention from alternative packaging, coastal cleanups and many more to help the environment.

In the end, it all comes down to everyone’s effort.

“The solution on marine plastic pollution is everyone’s responsibility. It is a multi- stakeholder engagement that needs comprehensive approach from ideation to policy-making.”


Photographers: Laika Bustillo and Kim Ramirez

Models: Cris Escobido and Shenae Matinao

Make-Up: Cris Escobido

Styling: Rachelle Huab and Bea Mahusay