This Manila-based clothing brand supports your journey in choosing to be mindful, positive, and better, one small step at a time.
If supporting more local brands and taking small steps toward sustainability are some of your resolutions for 2022, you can cross them out of your list already with Something Better. Founded in November 2021 by Marty Buragay, Kyohei Numata, and German Ng, Jr., the Manila-based clothing brand offers ethically-made wardrobe staples that support your journey toward choosing mindfulness, positivity, and sustainability, one small step at a time.
A Passion Project with a Cause
With their shared passions for fitness and clothing, the founders have always been on the lookout for healthier and better options. So, when they began thinking about offering a new clothing brand for the market, they knew that it had to go beyond just style or fashion.
“We looked into the market that we wanted to serve—millennials and Gen Z, in particular—and we found that they’re always looking for brands with a cause or purpose. If you want to create a brand for them, it’s not just enough that you have a marketing campaign that talks about your cause: it has to be embedded within the brand,” says Buragay.
With these insights in mind, the co-founders developed clear messages that they wanted their brand to represent. “We thought about this: what if we can create a sustainable brand that’s more inclusive and welcoming? What if clothing can be more positive? And what if it can help us be more mindful?” Buragay adds.
These values translate not only into their marketing campaigns, style, and designs, but also with how the brand’s clothes are made. “Our main position is that we are ethically manufactured—All throughout our value chain, we chose our partners and made sure that they are here locally. We ensured that they are paying their workers beyond the normal wage, offering them overtime benefits, and providing leadership opportunities—and that’s very rare in the Philippines,” Buragay shares.
“We must have talked to fifty to a hundred suppliers. We realized that this was going to be hard, and we wondered if we would be able to find a partner. But along the way, we were able to find that manufacturer who was aligned with what we wanted,” he adds.
Something Better currently works with Everyday Ethical Manufacturing, the custom-production arm of Candid Clothing, a slow-fashion brand owned by Sam Dizon. The company works with a group of home-based workers from Rizal. Buragay admits that being steadfast with their brand principles made it challenging to find partners that were also on board with their values, so eventually finding one was a godsend.
Small Steps, Big Leaps
While the co-founder admits that there are more sustainable options than their choice of fabric (100% organic cotton), he considers this a big step already, given that they are not using the more commonly used cotton blend or polyester, which has plastic.
“We are mindful that our fabric choice is already something better than what’s widely available in the market. But we are still working hard to get to a point where we can communicate that we are ‘sustainable,’ which is a challenge in itself,” Buragay says. “But for us, as long as you are trying to be conscious with your choices, as long as you’re striving to do something better every day, then that is already a great step.”
This mindset is also encapsulated in their cause of choice—donating 1% of their annual sales to their chosen nonprofit organization through 1% For the Planet. “You can think of 1% For the Planet as a network of people who want to give back to our planet. They make sure that the businesses that they work with are being transparent about their environmental advocacies. In a way, they’re like an auditor that can assure our customers that we are walking the talk, that we are doing our job.”
Their nonprofit of choice—Waves of Water, an organization that provides far-flung areas with access to clean water—ties back to their current choice of fabric and how they’re taking small steps toward better and more sustainable options, all while being responsible for the impact that they’re currently creating. “As much as we’re not using polyester or plastic, we are still using organic cotton, which requires a lot of water to produce. So we thought, while we’re still looking for more sustainable options, is there any way that we can offset our waste, our impact? That’s where Waves of Water came in.”
Buragay stresses that their partnership with 1% For the Planet underscores their continuous commitment to their chosen causes. “Instead of just doing cause campaigns whenever events like calamities happen, we want our advocacies to be embedded within our products themselves.”
The team behind the brand is a dynamic mix of millennials and Gen Z individuals—a conscious decision that the founders made for something Better. “If we said that we wanted to create a more inclusive brand for young adults, the things we put out cannot just be about our own biases. We needed the perspectives of those younger than us,” Buragay explains.
This reflects not only in the brand’s messaging, but in their product designs as well. A nod to the minimalist aesthetics that are popular among millennials, Something Better’s Core and Signature Collections feature plain tees, shorts, and hoodies marked with the brand’s name and logo, available in colors like Black, White, Ivory, Beige, and Dark Green. A new logo colorway, a beige iteration on their signature tee will be available soon.
Meanwhile, the Play and Trust Ur Eyes collections, a collaboration with young visual artist Gabe Mabazza, feature more whimsical designs—the Play collection works with happy reds, blues, and yellows, and has sun and cloud motifs; while Trust Ur Eyes is described as a “creative illustration portraying the importance of looking within something.”
A new line, the Onwards Collection, will feature “dynamic, flowing graphics that [will] stir us to move forward.” It will be launched on January 24, 2022, on their official website. You can also check out Something Better on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube for more information and updates.