PMA Highlights Sustainability Marketing in Fashion Show, Auction

The Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) put the spotlight on sustainability marketing at the recent PMA RAMP Fashion Show and Charity Auction Ball.

The Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) put the spotlight on sustainability marketing in an evening of glitz and glamour at the recent PMA RAMP Fashion Show and Charity Auction Ball.

The Sheraton Collab at Newport World Resorts Manila hosted the event, which highlighted eco-friendly fashion in line with the PMA’s year-long theme of “SustAInability Marketing.” The theme advocates for green marketing campaigns rooted in circular economy principles and integrated with artificial intelligence.

In a collaboration with sustainability advocate Tati Fortuna, President of Ucycle, the PMA’s fashion show showcased designs by esteemed PMA members, including past presidents and community leaders. The designs emphasized the organization’s focus on maximizing resource utilization, reducing waste, and prolonging product lifespans.

PMA President Kathy Mercado
PMA President Kathy Mercado

“As we celebrate 70 years of advancing marketing excellence, the PMA is proud to spearhead a move towards a more sustainable future,” PMA President Kathy Mercado said. “With a focus on educating and inspiring our members and stakeholders to embrace sustainable practices, this event also serves as a celebration of sustainability, innovation, and camaraderie as we look forward to another decade of making a difference.”

The theme focuses on how businesses can be sustainable even in a volatile market, PMA Vice President Marco Antonio Montes said. “The Philippines is a very young market in terms of adapting to the global standard of sustainability. Marketers should integrate these things because we are supposed to be brand ambassadors. We have a very clear voice to represent [it].” 

PMA Executive Vice President Michelle Ballesteros
PMA Executive Vice President Michelle Ballesteros

Speaking more about the theme, PMA Executive Vice President Michelle Ballesteros said, “AI is a tool that will help us sustain planet Earth and humanity. We’d like to call on all marketers to adapt this concept to help sustain the next generation.”

“Sustainability, as supported by the concept of Recycle, Reuse and Repurpose, is [at] the heart of Philippine marketing,” Mercado added.

PMA Vice President Marco Antonio Montes
PMA Vice President Marco Antonio Montes

Fortuna highlighted the concept of responsible consumerism in the collection. “Responsible consumerism in fashion is all about being conscious about how we consume or use fashion. If we buy better, buy less and make our clothing last for as long as possible, then we are already contributing to sustainability and helping the planet.”

Tati Fortuna, President of Ucycle
Tati Fortuna, President of Ucycle, receives flowers from PMA President Kathy Mercado

“The concept of this evening’s PMA fashion show is inspired by the book I wrote called BossManual – a book of sustainable style for men,” she continued. “For the show, we didn’t use any new items. We shopped in the closet of the PMA models and we repaired/altered some items; we reused old items they had in their closet. We accessorized them with handmade upcycled/repurposed items such as camellia flowers, earrings, lapel pins all made from fabric off cuts.”

The Role of Marketing in Advocating Sustainability

PMA past president Yayu Javier

According to PMA past president Yayu Javier, marketing is very important in educating people on sustainability. “The role of marketing in [sustainable development goals] is to promote sustainable consumption and communicate effectively to help change the consumer mindsets. Marketing must integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of marketing such as product innovation, brand messaging and influencing consumers to participate in sustainability,” she said.

Former PMA president Henry Tenedero

Former president Henry Tenedero has always believed that “the heart of marketing is marketing with the heart in mind.” He adds, “Sustainability marketing touches on the triple Ps of marketing namely: People, Planet and Profit. As responsible professional marketers we must educate our publics by fully embracing the idea of taking good care of our one collective humanity, enriching one ecosystem.”

Former PMA president Pinky Yee

Former president Pinky Yee said that marketing professionals in our country can educate their target market on the importance of sustainability through leadership by example and integrating sustainability into their own business practices. “They can also utilize educational campaigns, collaborate with the right stakeholders in order for individuals to see the value of changing, or even transforming their habits that will benefit their families, communities and the planet,” she added.

Aligning with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

PMA Board Secretary Mark Vincent Co

PMA Board Secretary Mark Vincent Co explained that the PMA is a key partner of Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP). The GCNP is the local chapter of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a platform for businesses to align their strategies and operations with the 10 Principles of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals. The GCNP provides a platform for participating companies and non-business stakeholders like the PMA to advance the UN Global Compact and its principles at the local level. 

Sy Bryan Lato, another past president of the PMA, shares that the organization, as the country’s marketing thought leader, has been emphasizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through various talks in conferences, general membership meetings and fellowships.

PMA Chair for Creative Communications Jelo Reyes-Reyes

PMA Chair for Creative Communications Jelo Reyes-Reyes said that PMA’s strong commitment to nation-building was the primary driver in the development of its advocacy on Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence for 2024. She added that sustainability is the way forward for businesses noting that “[p]ivoting may still cause operational hiccups but recognizing the value of sustainable marketing is a great strategy.”

She added, “AI has become an enabler for businesses to streamline processes and at the same time allow [the] workforce to become more strategic and productive. The beauty of AI is empowering people to do more relevant activities and think more creatively. However, AI entails a responsibility in using it only for the good.”

Artificial intelligence and Marketing

PMA past president Sy Bryan Lato

With regards to AI, Lato said, “AI has been rapidly maturing and a lot of tools now are available to make things faster and easier. One topic I’m most excited about is the faster understanding of data through the help of AI. Marketers/brands can now potentially adjust their offerings through the actual needs and wants of the market through data analytics. Also, the usage of predictive AI in helping groups make the right decision and making sustainable practices easier to accomplish.”

PMA past president Vince Reyes

Vince Reyes, a PMA past president, noted that the use of AI in marketing is “a great aid to stay competitive and agile in this digital age.” He added, “As AI facilitates the processing and analysis of data at super speed, marketers can more effectively anticipate consumer needs and wants, and even more accurately predict market trends. With AI, marketers can comprehensively understand their clients who in turn can communicate and serve their customers with heightened efficiency. Everything leads to doing business better.”

PMA Research Chair Mary Ann Cortez

Research Chair Mary Ann Cortez shared that for the past two years, PMA, in partnership with her company Strategic Consumer and Media Insights, has been conducting the Media Trends and Outlook Study, which captures the value of AI and sustainability among PMA members who serve as CMOs in their respective companies. She noted that there is “growing expenditure” in AI technology, based on the study.

Former PMA president Faith Abano concludes, “As marketing professionals, we are influencers. We influence not just buying behavior but also thoughts and actions. When our brands stand for something, we inculcate this in the consciousness of our consumers. When we integrate sustainability as part of our brand’s narrative and identity, we bring this movement forward. The more we talk about it in our marketing efforts and plans, we don’t just treat it as a buzzword but make it a standard.”

Charity Auction Ball

The evening also featured a Charity Auction Ball, which showcased donated luxury items, artwork, and collectibles. Notable highlights included exquisite gowns by renowned fashion designers such as Michael Cinco, featuring Pia Wurtzbach’s iconic dress, as well as artwork by national artist BenCab.

Pia Wurtzbach’s iconic dress by Michael Cinco up for auction

A percentage of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Upskills+ Foundation, Inc., which aids communities in severe poverty through employment and income generation via community-managed micro-enterprises that promote circular and sustainability practices. The auction will also benefit the Betis Symphonic Band 46, which offers musical training and international competition opportunities to Filipino youth.