Fashion for a Cause: CustomAid

Hi, everyone! Last week I told you about our experience with kids from the Smokey Mountain, a landfill in Metro Manila. We got to the place and met the people through our Norwegian friend-slash-model Marthe Olsen, who came to the Philippines to do volunteer charity work. I can’t help but admire this woman, who at 21 years old already knows what she wants to do in life. Aside from volunteering for Gawad Kalinga, she is also spearheading CustomAid, a lifestyle company focusing on fashion, health and HELP. Here’s what she wants to share to all of you fashionistas who want to do some good:

Right now, our aim is to start Yoga & Creative workshops at Gawad Kalingas livelihood center in Smokey Mountain—to help the less privileged children to get focused, creative and artistic. We had many kind souls donating us their fashion that were dusting down in their closet, so that the fashion can be passed on to someone else. Maybe that someone is YOU? All profits will go towards our charity project; each item we sell will go to a whole gym outfit, t-shirt and pants. So help a child to get dressed while getting new fashion for your closet, and supporting a good cause! Contact Marthe on marthe.olsen@customaid.org for more info, clothing donations or inquiries. Blessings to all of you!

Here are some of the awesome stuff CustomAid is selling, modelled by Marthe:

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All the items cost Php150 each only. That’s very cheap right? I actually like the pink blazer! To purchase, go to www.customaid.org/products.

I am not paid to do this. It’s just that a lot of us are blessed with a good life and helping the less privileged can be a good way to share our blessings. Joanna Ladrido, one of the country’s first and most influential fashion blogger, supports CustomAid.

By shopping at CustomAid, you will not only look good, but you will also help out and do good. 🙂

Unforeseen

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as frequently, but Chad and I have started a project and we’re concentrating a lot of our efforts on it. I’m still going to post updates here though  at least once or twice a week (and on my Twitter of course). Like I said earlier, I will never abandon blogging and the small group of people who read my blog (and who I love dearly).

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Before I share my usual narrative, let me skip to the outfit first. I won’t necessarily call it stylish, but it’s my lazy day look. Chad and I had to interview some people and do a photoshoot on the same day so I chose the most comfortable ensemble I could wear—that is an oversized hipster shirt and my trusty maxi and wedges. I was going for a functional, modern-day hippie look so I “forced” myself to wear some earrings, which I kinda abhor. But hey it worked. Lol. That’s about it really.

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So what’s the project going to be about? I can’t reveal the whole thing yet, but it does involve documentary photography and a bit of social work. No complaints though, I’m even more excited to see where this project is going. Chad will be leaving for the States in two months (*teardrop*) and we won’t be seeing each other for a year or two, so we’re making good use of his remaining days in the country. Yesterday was no doubt a very good experience for both of us.

We went to Smokey Mountain to document our friend and the place while also helping out the kids with their costumes for their upcoming festival presentation. No, I’m not pertaining to the band nor the mountain range, but we did see heaps and heaps of trash. Smokey Mountain is the term used to identify a large landfill in Manila. Decades ago, the area was surrounded by slums. Later on, the government provided public tenements to the people, most of whom pick trash for a living, and they stayed there since then. We visited them yesterday and made their costumes for the parade. 🙂

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I got to talk to a lot of kids and asked them about their life in Smokey Mountain.  Oblivious of their brutal surroundings, they told me about the death of their brother (gunshot), their sister’s incarceration, and other horrible things. I even saw one child with his forehead bleeding because his parents couldn’t attend to him. Chad saw a kid using drugs. Outside the tenements are stores selling pagpag, leftover food scavenged from garbage dumps. There was trash everywhere. I felt and am still feeling very sad for the children for living in such an atrocious environment. What’s worse is, there’s a big possibility they’ll never rise above their situations—unless they are assisted by the right people.

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Nevertheless, I’m happy I experienced it. I would have not known their lives and stories if we didn’t go there. I came from a poor family as well, which made me more determined to help out. So I decided to use my blog and my influence to encourage you, the person reading this blog, to help impoverished kids have a better future.

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 Any kind of assistance will suffice. We are young and we can do a lot. If you’re reading this, you know you’re lucky to be in a safe home, with healthy food and nice environment. These kids don’t. We have to remember that when small good deeds come together, they make one big impact. Gawad Kalinga is helping Smokey Mountain, now named as Paradise Heights, rebuild the community. Click THIS LINK to know how you can help out. 🙂