Fast fashion may be affordable, but it’s also infamous for the amount of waste it generates from start to finish.
On the production side, not only is fast fashion known for sourcing materials of poor quality, but studies have also shown that the industry is responsible for 10% of the planet’s CO2 emissions, which is more than what international flights and maritime shipping produce combined. After their rapid consumption — i.e. probably a few cycles of laundry and wear — a majority of fast fashion clothing ends up in landfills to make space for new closet space. And then the cycle wastefully continues.
But it doesn’t have to.
In the last few years, sustainable fashion brands have begun to emerge as viable options for buyers who could afford to be a little more responsible in their fashion choices. It’s a given that they’re a bit more costly, but that’s the price you pay for quality and longevity. These are pieces that will last.
For instance, one of the latest Filipino brands that we’ve discovered is Sebastian & Savannah, a pandemic-born fashion label that showcases handcrafted vegan leather footwear made for the modern woman. Founded by Filipino-Chinese student-designer Kat Padilla, Sebastian and Savannah is definitely one classy answer that aligns with the evolution of responsible fashion.
“Sebastian and Savannah is a conscious posh label as passionate about reshaping modern fashion as it is about sustainability and local production. [We are] committed to designing and creating timeless and modern feminine pieces that elevate the everyday woman’s wardrobe and exude natural confidence,” explained Kat.
Chic, vegan, and cruelty-free
At the start of it all, there was a passion project inspired by the unique blend of business and the arts that Kat had grown up seeing in her family: her mother was an interior designer, her father an entrepreneur, and her uncle an haute couture fashion designer based in Dubai. According to Kat, all of these influences came together, and that’s how Sebastian and Savannah came to be.
Originally established in 2017, Sebastian and Savannah sold read-to-wear women’s clothing before it shifted its focus to footwear last February. Since its transition, the shoe brand has dedicated itself to creating unique handcrafted pieces out of sustainable materials like vegan leather, which is composed of plant products designed specifically to mimic real leather.
“We only use vegan and cruelty-free leatherettes in Sebastian and Savannah,” said Kat, expounding on the brand’s identity as a sustainable luxury. “I make sure that I give what my clientele want and more. We go beyond just creating a well-crafted item. We aim for everyone to enjoy this affordable indulgence that it becomes an experience.”
Alongside their commitment to protect the environment, the best thing about Sebastian and Savannah is that its elegant selection of heels is a fun mix-and-match addition to both your daily and formal wardrobes.
“All the pieces I design are crafted to look good on every woman’s feet. It’s meant to look bold, sleek, and chic,” said Kat, proudly.
Although Sebastian and Savannah’s self-reinvention was only a recent occurrence earlier this year, the brand has already taken its first steps to exposure with local celebs showcasing its pieces on fashion spreads across Preview and Mega.
As a graduating Fashion Design and Merchandising major of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Kat is optimistic about the future of her flourishing label. As of now, she is looking forward to designing new products, as well as expanding Sebastian and Savannah’s partnerships. In the long-term future, she also hopes to check off a couple more goals off her bucket list, such as opening her own store, creating pop-ups in upscale malls, and collaborating in a collection with the most stylish names in the industry.
Eventually, of course, the dream is to be able to feature her pieces internationally.
“I get so excited and inspired when my designs come to life,” Kat expressed. “It’s a fulfilling feeling seeing your pieces out in the world, making women happy and empowering them. This is really something I look forward to doing to my heart’s content.”