Phinix Footwear | The Asian Recyclers of Textiles

Phinix Footwear | The Asian Recyclers of Textiles: wear rare footwear

Metro Manila, PhilippinesMetro Manila, Philippines
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Textile Waste is one of the biggest environmental effects of the Fashion Industry. The Asian Recyclers of Textiles (TART) aims to give new function and extend the life consumption of old clothes and fabric scraps by transforming them into fashionable footwear under the brand, Phinix footwear.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could turn old clothes and fabric scraps into trendy, comfortable, and durable footwear?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In 2014 alone, there were 11.1 million tons of textile waste found. Only 15% were recycled, 30% ended up as rags, and others, in our landfills. These synthetic materials do not degrade and cause pollution. In the ASEAN Region, in the Philippines in particular, home to many garment factories, there is no Textile Recycling Company. Consumers keeping up with the trend, end up with unwanted clothing that they usually choose to throw away.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Asian Recyclers of Textiles (TART) want to extend the life consumption of old clothes and fabric scraps by transforming them into higher value products such as footwear. We envision TART to be the pioneer textile recycling program in the Philippines and eventually the rest of ASEAN region that aims to standardize responsible disposal of textile waste. TART encourages consumers, manufacturers, brands, designers and all other members of the fashion and garment industry to accept textile recycling and upcycling as the norm and implement environmentally sustainable practices within their operations and daily activities. Its end product will be Phinix Footwear. We offer our customers trendy, comfortable, and durable footwear.


Champion: YSEALI Vietnam Business Pitch Competition 2015 Champion: Gawad Kalinga’s “Be the Gkonomist” Social Business Competition. Champion: 8th Market of Creative Arts Business Pitch competition in Kuala Lumpur
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Just imagine there will be TART Thailand and Phinix Thailand, TART Malaysia and Phinix Malaysia etc. And as these textile recycling centers are put up in different ASEAN/ASIAN countries, the encouragement to recycle our simple household textile waste will be the norm. We want fashion brands, garment factories, and fashion schools to partner with us, and aim to be “TART” certified for practicing proper textile waste in their supply chain. Our footwear are designed in collaboration with local artists and designers. Our footwear will be made by shoe artisans from the shoe capital of the Philippines, Marikina City (who are losing business due to competition with China)

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

TART aims to be the venue that people will turn their textile waste to. If TART becomes established, Textile recycling will be a normal practice as one takes out their trash. Soon, fashion brands, fashion schools, and garment factories will aim to be “TART certified” for practicing proper textile waste in their supply chain. We want TART to have a branch in different ASEAN Countries, like Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc. PHINIX Footwear 1. Collection and Sorting of Textile waste: Providing employment for out-of-school youth, and unemployed mothers 2. Footwear collection will be in collaboration with local artists and designers, making our footwear their canvas to promote their art. 3. Shoe production will be sub-contracted to shoe artisans and factories of Marikina City, (Shoe Capital of PH) who are losing their business due to competition with China

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Asian Recyclers of Textiles 1. Establishing of TART Metro Manila and then textile recycling centers in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao 2. Establish TART Malaysia,Thailand, Cambodia,Vietnam 3. Partner with as many different household villages, brands, fashion schools, and garment factories, and celebrities Phinix Footwear 1. Make Phinix Footwear an established brand in the PH, then to the different ASEAN countries 2. Partner with local artists and designers 3. Partner with as many celebrities for clothing donation and marketing strategy Apply for grants & competitions for first year

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We are a for-profit business as we want to be a traditional business that has social and environmental impact. For us to be sustainable, we have to earn profit. For us to be able to collect more textile wastes, and turn them into products, we need revenue.We may depend on grants, investors, and business competitions at the start but we aim to be financially sustainable in the long run through the sales of our footwear.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

At present there is no known Textile Recycling Company in the Philippines or in the ASEAN Region. TART aims to be Textile Recycling Company of choice in the Philippines, and eventually in the ASEAN Region. In terms of footwear, there is one company called, Habi Footwear that weaves fabric scraps into rags and turns them into footwear. What we want is to collaborate with as many household villages, brands, garment factories, fashion schools, celebrities to make Textile Recycling the norm, and make TART the venue for that. Eventually if the government can support us, that will be beneficial too

Founding Story

My thesis was a case study on Fashion Social Enterprises in the Philippines. Inspired by my thesis, I decided to create my own fashion social enterprise. Through my internship in different fashion companies, I have observed that Fashion schools and garment factories accumulate huge amount of textile wastes. In our households, we tend to keep our old clothes in our cabinets, and wait for the next donation or turn them into rags. I thought why don't I do something with our family's old clothes? This is how I thought of The Asian Recyclers of Textiles. And because my former business and my passion is footwear, I thought of turning it into footwear. That's how I came up with PHINIX Footwear.


TEAM Pamela Mejia, CEO/Founder, Head of Design. She is a graduate of Clothing Technology. She has been a fashion entrepreneur since 2007. She is an active advocate and speaker of Entrepreneurship, and has represented the Philippines in different entrepreneurship and fashion programs abroad like, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangkok, and Malaysia. | Regine Salvador, Head of Sales and Marketing. She is a graduate of Entrepreneurship and has been an entrepreneur since 2009. She has experience in being the marketing head of different companies and restaurants. | Adie Torres, Head of Operations and Finance. She is a graduate of Fashion Design and currently owns a food start up. She has experience in working for fashion companies as merchandiser and operations manager. | This team has a great balance of entrepreneurship and fashion that can help implement The Asian Recyclers of Textiles and Phinix. The Team has the right mix of experience, passion, and interest to make the fashion social enterprise a success.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing, Consumption.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Advocate/Organizer, Brand Representative, Designer.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Consumers, Designers, Factory Workers, Factory Owners, Women.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Recycling or Circular Economy.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Certification, Policy, Standards.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

TART encourages members of the fashion and garment industry to accept textile recycling as the norm and implement sustainable pr

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Because we Joined many pitch competitions, we have connected to different people and fashion companies who want to partner w/ us