Sustainable rayon fiber producer Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) collaborated with three Indonesian designers for a fashion show on Saturday featuring fashion-forward styles cut from comfortable yet sustainable materials. The collaboration is expected to revitalize the creative industry, especially the Muslim fashion trade, during the pandemic.

The fashion show, titled Sustainably Modest, was part of the annual Muslim Fashion Festival (MUFFEST) held at Kota Kasablanka mall from March 18 to 28. The occasion marks the third year APR has collaborated with MUFFEST.

In a press conference, APR marketing communications head Sheila Rahmat said the aim of the continuous collaboration with Indonesian designers was to boost the fashion industry.

“APR continues to support the domestic market potential of modest fashion to rejuvenate the textile industry, the creative industry, as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises amid the pandemic,” she said

“This collaboration is in line with the Everything Indonesia spirit by encouraging the use of materials sourced and made in Indonesia to help Indonesia become the hub of the global Muslim fashion movement.”

The Sustainably Modest show featured three designers, each presenting 10 different looks with their own styles.

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INEN Signature featured ecoprint as the main star in its Secang Enchantment collection. The method, which involves the strict use of natural materials in manipulating the fabric, combines APR’s eucalyptus and acacia fibers with the brand’s secang (sappanwood) based dye and leaf prints.

In its collection notes, Inen Signature’s choice of sappanwood reflects on its use during the pandemic as a health drink in the form of wedang. The widespread availability of sappanwood and attractive colors result in a range of hues, from soft purples to understated beiges.

The style was very feminine, with loose and airy silhouettes that suggest comfort, but not at the expense of style. Details like belts and bows accentuate flowing lines, providing a hint of structure to the collection.

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Menswear label Salt n Pepper went for simple, straightforward cuts in bold colors, such as a line of tie-dye print shirts fit for a beachside getaway or layered under a jacket for a pop of color. Neutral tones are also available, coming in the form of versatile trousers or Islamic shirts for the upcoming Ramadan month.

Meanwhile, Geulis took inspiration from Japan with its HARU collection, which means spring in Japanese. Decorative styling elements like puffed sleeves and ruffles enliven modern, easy silhouettes, while the floral embroidery and soft color palette spoke of the brand’s message of honesty, purity and longevity.

“This collaboration challenges us to create a collection from APR’s finely textured viscose-rayon that still showcases Geulis’ characteristics. It shows that there are more variations and innovations in rayon clothing for all occasions, from formal to casual,” said Markus Happy Ganesha, Geulis marketing and communication manager.

Along with the fashion show, APR also collaborated with Hurem by Fia and Mukena Arrumaisha during the exhibition part of MUFFEST 2021.

Sustainability has been the name of the game for APR, Asia’s first fully integrated viscose rayon producer that sources its raw materials from a renewable industrial plantation.

While sustainable fashion has been making waves in recent years, the global COVID-19 pandemic has arguably put sustainability at the forefront for many industries, including fashion and textiles.

Ali Charisma, national chairman of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber as the organizer of MUFFEST, said in a statement that while the pandemic had certainly battered the industry, initiatives like strengthening local brands and utilizing eco-friendly materials were much needed during this tumultuous time.

“The changes during the pandemic have made us realize the importance of supporting local brands and the use of eco-friendly products. Sustainable fashion and circular fashion will be very important in the future, and that’s what we try to showcase in this fashion show,” he said.

Sheila noted that reflecting on the state of the Earth, the pandemic has made the issue of sustainability even more important. Because of this, she continued, responsibility needed to be taken into account during production.

“Like resources, for example; it needs to come from a sustainable source. The output itself also needs to be of high quality so that the product can last a long time. And when the time comes that we feel we do not need the products any longer, we can recycle, refurbish, donate or even return them to the Earth [to biodegrade].”

On the side of the designers, INEN Signature founder Inen Kurnia explained that along with her collection’s ecologically minded production method, leftover materials were recycled and reused in some way or another, like minimizing waste by creating accessories from leftover fabric or using the plant materials as fertilizer after the dyeing and printing process.

“The beauty of viscose-rayon is that it becomes a part of the ecoprint, combining both comfort and style.”

APR’s viscose-rayon is widely known as a sustainable material in the fashion industry for its renewable, biodegradable and traceable nature. The use of APR’s fibers also supports the government’s #banggabuatanIndonesia (#ProudlyIndonesianMade) initiative in incorporating more Indonesian-made materials and products.

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