Sun.Star Cebu <> Friday, October 03, 2008
BY NANCY R. CUDIS, Sun.Star Staff Cebu
DEMAND for “green” products is up—consumers are looking for environment-friendly cars and in the real estate industry, “green” buildings are gaining popularity in the country.
Recently, green thinking landed on the local fashion stage, prompting the fashion accessories sector to respond to the clamor for eco-fashion items, primarily through the “Go Green” hangtag or label.
This is no ordinary tag. Apart from it being a promotional tool, the payment for these labels, which cost $0.05 each, will go back to the “Go Green Philippines” program.
The tag, though, is only a small part of the program, which is the Fashion Accessories Manufacturers and Exporters (Fame) Foundation’s contribution to efforts led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protect the country’s natural resources and sustain the Philippine fashion accessories industry.
The two agencies noted that in Cebu, where most of the raw materials used in the industry are sourced, has 142,000 hectares of land classified as timberland but only five percent of these or 7,100 hectares are covered with vegetation. The DENR is targeting to reforest 18 percent or 25,560 hectares by 2015, with the Cebu Fame Foundation taking responsibility for 100 hectares to be planted with wild mamalis (pangantoan) trees—a preferred source of white wood by the fashion accessories industry—through the Go Green Philippines.
Go Green Philippines, launched in October last year during the Manila Fame International Show, aims to replenish natural resources used in production processes.
Under the program, the group will plant bamboo, pangantoan, ipil and sibucao trees; conduct coastal resource management by establishing coral reef protection and seashell sanctuaries; and provide livelihood projects to rural communities that support the fashion jewelry sector.
Through Go Green, a buyer who makes a donation of $2,500 for the planting of 2,500 trees on a one-hectare lot gets naming rights and the right to use the Go Green Philippines trademark in his marketing efforts. The license to use the trademark, however, is renewable every year with an annual donation of $2,500.
The minimum requirement to obtain a Green certificate is $50, which is equivalent to 100 trees at an estimated planting cost of $0.50 per tree.
Fame Foundation is tasked to give an update every six months on the status of the Go Green Philippines program.
“It positions Cebu and the country as Asia’s prime destination for green jewelry,” added Fame officials.