Pinay HSW holds fashion exhibit on labor rights, sustainability in HK

MANILA— In celebration of the National Women’s Month, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong has opened an exhibit that features costumes made of upcycled materials by Elpidia Malicsi, a Filipino household service worker (HSW) based in Hong Kong.

The exhibit, titled “Sustainable Sunday Couture: Domestic Workers Upcycling Fashion,” was organized in partnership with the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

Malicsi’s works show the need for a more inclusive dialogue about sustainability – a dialogue that recognizes the connections between sustainability and labor rights, decent work and HSWs’ creative contributions to Hong Kong culture, according to Consul General Antonio Morales.

The exhibit opened at the Consulate General’s gallery on March 4 and runs until March 14. It showcases costumes made of everyday upcycled materials such as discarded garbage bags, coffee sachets and soda can tabs, all designed and created by Malicsi.

“Filipino workers should hone their talents and skills while employed here in Hong Kong so that upon their return to the Philippines, they can use these to achieve their financial and personal goals and aspirations for themselves and their families back home,” Morales said in his remarks.

Aside from Morales , present during the opening rites were Dr. Michael Manio, Filipino HKU Professor and President/Founder of the Domestic Workers Empowerment Project (DWEP); Dr. Julie Ham, HKU Assistant Professor and exhibit project leader; Dr. Doris Lee, Co-Founder of Open Door, a local NGO whose aim is to improve the overall working and living situation of HSWs in Hong Kong; and HKU students who served as docents during the exhibit.

Mobile catwalks showcasing Malicsi’s creations were also held on Feb. 25 in various areas in Hong Kong, including Chater Road and Causeway Bay to promote the exhibition.

The exhibit is being held under the auspices of Post’s Gender and Development Program, and is funded by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Office.