Scale 360 PH


Bayo’s JourneyToZero Initiative

Closing the Loop on Fabric Waste



After almost two decades pioneering the mainstream fashion industry in the Philippines, Bayo’s journey to sustainability started in early 2010 when CEO Anna Lagon’s daughter noticed the staggering amounts of waste being produced in their factories. Bayo’s manufacturing practices at that time resulted in 35% of their materials ending up as retaso or scrap fabric. This realization prompted the company to take a more intentional approach to design, with the goal of addressing the fashion waste created in their manufacturing process.

Recognizing this problem, Bayo marked its 25th year last 2017 and saw it as an opportunity to formally connect the dots and start their journey to sustainability. The JourneyToZero internal blueprint was created, with the aim of achieving zero waste — serving as their starting point towards a circular economy. In 2019, the company cemented their commitments towards sustainable fashion by publicly announcing their JourneyToZero initiative through a video campaign. The video showcased their commitment to reducing waste and their journey towards a more sustainable future.

Closing the Loop on Fabric Waste: The JourneyToZero Initiative

In an effort to reduce textile waste, the JourneyToZero project was initiated to close the loop on fabric waste. The project aimed to recycle the bits and pieces of off-cuts and maximize fabric use. Moreover, the project aimed to raise consumer awareness and promote earth-friendly fashion practices to both consumers and producers.

In practice, the company scraps are transformed into new textiles by their weaving partners. The Bayo Foundation then buys the textiles back and sells them to partner brands, with the proceeds going towards student scholarships. This closed-loop system not only reduces waste but also helps create a more sustainable future and positive social impact. Overall, textile waste in their factories has been reduced from 35% to 25% and the company is taking steps to further reduce this. Their end goal is to fully transition towards circular fashion by completely designing out waste where possible and closing the loop.

Bayo also recognizes the role of engaging with communities and producers in building a circular system. One such effort that started during the pandemic involved working with farmers in Kapangan, Benguet to revive sericulture in the region. Upon entering the community and talking to the mayor, the team was met with excitement as sericulture has been a longstanding tradition in the community which died down due to low demand. At that time, there were no existing sericulture farmers in the area, so the team took on the task of reviving the industry, using natural methods and no fertilizers or chemicals.

The challenge of working with regenerative materials such as silk from sericulture is ongoing, and requires hard work. The advantage of natural fibers is that 100% of it is converted into fabric, minimizing waste and resource use. However, practices such as sericulture tend to be costly due to the lack of advanced technology and a relatively limited market. What keeps the team going is the knowledge that this practice not only gets them a step closer towards circular fashion, but also celebrates Filipino heritage and provides livelihood opportunities for communities like Kapangan. Bayo continues to work towards improving efficiency and making these sustainable materials more accessible to everyone.

Transitioning Towards Circular Fashion

The road towards circular fashion is an ongoing journey requiring continuous effort and engagement from all levels of the organization. Recognizing this, the company worked to engage all employees of the company to understand their sustainability goals, current processes, and areas for improvement. Bayo took the time to talk to its employees and make sure everyone was on board with this crucial transformation. What started as a shallow understanding of sustainability, initially prompting employees to bring reusable containers to work and avoid single-use plastics, was developed into a deeper understanding through intentional communication and education. Organizing Sustainability 101 seminars where sustainability practitioners broke down concepts and the importance of practicing sustainability provided a comprehensive overview of the topic. Now, Bayo can proudly say that its employees have been able to appreciate the good behind sustainable practices, and are committed to making a difference.

Bayo also looked into their current practices, starting with workable areas that had negative impact, and redesigning them with a focus on efficiency and sustainability. One example of this is improving efficiencies of their inventory system by carefully studying demand planning in order to produce reasonable quantities of their products and reduce fashion waste. This allowed them to plan their production ahead of time so they can respond to the market quickly without sacrificing quality. The company is also deliberate about their designs, challenging their teams to exercise creativity such that designs are timeless but still on trend. Technical teams are trained to make sure that waste is minimized when these designs are laid on clothing patterns.

The leadership of the company was instrumental in championing sustainability efforts. Fostering a culture of sustainability within the company, Bayo moves away from traditional profit-making towards a Principles-Based Approach that ensures value creation and contributes to larger movements such as achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Bayo Foundation was launched, an initiative aimed at reflecting on what the company can do for its advocacies. This approach creates a platform for Bayo to support communities and have them be a part of the value chain, promoting sustainable markets and livelihoods.

Despite their achievements, Bayo knows there is still much more to do in order to create a sustainable future. It is a continuous journey and they are committed to making the necessary changes. The road to sustainability is not an easy one, but Bayo is not doing it alone. They have formed collaborations and partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations to help achieve their sustainability goals. These partnerships have been instrumental in helping Bayo reach their objectives and make a positive impact in local communities. This holistic approach is what sets Bayo apart and has allowed the brand to thrive in the industry. By looking beyond just financial profits, Bayo has set an example for other companies to follow and create a more sustainable and equitable future.

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