WVN: Weaving a New Perspective

Early morning shoot in my cube

Early morning shoot in my cube

I first learned about WVN earlier this year, when I chanced upon their dreamy Instagram page. I have been a fan of local textiles thanks to my exposure to Philippine handicrafts through my mentor, Mitzie Icasiano of Manlilikha. I have supported Rags2Riches and Habi Batangan, which are both social enterprises that incorporate indigenous weaves into their fashionable products. Naturally, I will gravitate towards items which reflect my design sensibilities, functional requirements, and social enterprise advocacy. I am also a believer that buying local is the way to go.

I was only waiting for WVN to produce shawls or scarves because their hallmark product is their beach towel, which features an indigenous weave on one side, and a towel on another (I am not a beach girl so I am always looking for a city alternative!). I think their towel is genius, because it is a fresh way of using indigenous weaves and a cool one at that. I then followed their tasteful posts until I saw that they were crowdfunding with Spark Project. One of their rewards was a pair of chic sarongs which could be used as shawls. I did not hesitate and pledged my support for the set. 

My Spark Project crowdfunded sarongs are here! 

My Spark Project crowdfunded sarongs are here! 

I was expecting them to be thin sarongs but I was wrong! They are thick and the weaves are intricately done. I am using the green one here in our chilly office and it is comforting. It gives off just the right warmth and yet it is still thin enough to wear as a wrap during hot summer days.  

Beautiful, intricate weave

Beautiful, intricate weave

My shawl blanket is perfect for work and play! 

My shawl blanket is perfect for work and play! 

I am happy to have discovered another social enterprise, and it is also noteworthy that a couple of 27-year old women are running this biz. Now is really the best time to buy local and be stylish! 

Habi Batangan: Woven Dignity

Rocking my own Habi Batangan shawl!

Rocking my own Habi Batangan shawl!

Social Entrepreneurship has become a hot topic of late due to the proliferation of shops that choose to include helping others in their business plan. One of my favorite examples is Habi Batangan, a Batangas-based online shop selling wraps, shawls and infinity scarves. Their beautiful pieces are all hand-loomed by mothers. I could attest to the quality and inherent loveliness of their goods as I have become a frequent customer. I am the type of girl who is always cold, whether it's the air condition at the mall or the office. Their long shawls have saved me from suffering and they made me look chic at the same time. They are also more affordable than other hand-loomed scarves in the market, without sacrificing quality and of course the social aspect of their business. I have experienced fantastic customer service as well, which is getting rarer and rarer these days.

Photo from Habi Batangan's  Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's  Facebook page

Photo from Habi Batangan's Facebook page

I encourage you to check-out their Facebook page. For orders, you may message them and expect a response within the day. They are perfect presents to the ladies in your life, or even for yourself!

The best thing about social enterprises is that shopping is guilt-free. Please consider buying a scarf or two from Habi Batangan, and wear a woven piece made with love and dignity by a mother in need.

 

Rich Earth Jewelry: Investment Bling with a Heart

Every girl needs a little sparkle in her life. However, traditional jewelry can be made of materials which are not sustainable and ethically-sourced. As a result, millennials like me have become selective of our personal adornments. This is why I was delighted to find local brand Rich Earth Jewelry. Their pieces are ethereal and made of sustainable materials which enhance the quality and craftsmanship of their work.  

Rich Earth Jewelry Signature Artwear™ Pieces are handcrafted with hammered, 24k gold plated aluminum metal, intricately linked for that truly one of a kind design. The hammered links have an elegant finish that will complement and grace one's ensemble.

Aluminum is Rich Earth Jewelry's metal of choice for its dedication in promoting a conscious effort on protecting the environment and passion for social responsibility. This type of metal is highly sustainable for it is 100 percent-recyclable, without compromising quality. It is currently the third most recycled material in the world. Aside from its lightweight feature, Aluminum is a non-toxic metal. It is lead and nickel free, so it won't tarnish nor cause skin discoloration. 

-from the Rich Earth Jewelry website

I personally like the fact that part of the proceeds of their sales go to worthy causes such as Save Philippine Seas and the Mano Amiga Academy. In addition to that, their pieces are lightweight and guaranteed to keep their beautiful appearance for years to come (with proper care of course).

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website 

Their lovely jewelry are fairly priced too so you can buy yourself an investment piece which will not break the bank.  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

They look classy with either casual clothes or your fiercest ensembles. There is something for everyone, whether you prefer dainty pieces or statement necklaces.  

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's  website   

Photo from Rich Earth Jewelry's website  

This Filipino up and comer will definitely sail the seas of the fashion landscape while helping save our natural resources and educating our future movers.  

I hope to own a piece from Rich Earth Jewelry someday. Their dreamy Instagram account will definitely be one of your favorites in no time. Go check them out now! 

DesignTrip: Our Tribe Outlet Maginhawa

I've been reading Daniel H. Pink's   A Whole New Mind these past few days and one of the assignments given in the book is to go on a walk to observe what I find is great design-wise. I chose to drop by Our Tribe Outlet Maginhawa (yes, the foodie street in Teacher's Village, Quezon City). Tucked along the hip restaurants and a convent (it's unassuming after all) is this fabulous shop selling bags and sandals made of genuine leather. It celebrates Filipino craftsmanship and really, they have superb quality goods. (Fact: Back in uni, I saved up for an Our Tribe handbag. It was a black hobo. Sadly, it was stolen inside our cafeteria. As in the whole bag with my cards, phone, valuables and books inside. Really traumatic. Key takeaway from that incident? Our Tribe bags look fancier than their price points!) 

 

A decades-old brand opens a shop along foodie haven Maginhawa  

A decades-old brand opens a shop along foodie haven Maginhawa  

Contrary to popular belief, their Maginhawa outlet is not a factory or discount store. It is simply their HQ and flagship store. You can expect their widest stocks and fresh-off-the-cutting-board bags and sandals. There are even some bags which cannot be found in their mall branches. I love looking around here because the staff are kind and accommodating even if I don't have money at the moment to afford anything. In fact, when I asked them if I could take pictures so I could feature them on my blog, they gladly obliged. They asked me if I could write that they offer repairs and zipper replacements. Of course, I said yes.  

There's something for every taste and budget here.  

There's something for every taste and budget here.  

They have small leather goods too like wallets, card holders, and cute animal keychains. They even have coin purses for those of us who take public transportation and want to separate those coins from our main wallets.  

Their sandals are comfy and sturdy. Mine lasted for years- even sturdier than Havaianas.  

Their sandals are comfy and sturdy. Mine lasted for years- even sturdier than Havaianas.  

I used to own another black satchel from them four years ago but I have since donated it to Human Nature's fundraising garage sale last year. I also owned a pair of pretty turquoise flip flops from them which have outlasted my Havaianas. I have worn them through rain and shine and they only left my feet when I gave them away to charity. 

They have since incorporated the latest trends in their designs to cater to a younger crowd

They have since incorporated the latest trends in their designs to cater to a younger crowd

Now that I'm 30, I find that my taste has evolved to quality, sturdy goods. I have a neutral palette preference now. I also find myself gravitating towards items which will last me through. I have stopped giving into fast fashion, so local brands like Our Tribe is on my radar. I will definitely buy a handbag or a pair of sandals from them again when I have the means to do so.  

If you want Filipino-made leather goods which are reasonably-priced, go for Our Tribe! Always keep an eye on your Our Tribe bag though because they do look posh so don't be like me!