HABI; The Philippine Textile Council and Kultura Filipino will, for the first time, together weave stories with a common thread to promote locally grown Philippine cotton, textiles, traditional crafts, and uniquely Filipino products at the Likhang HABI at Kultura Fair, happening on April 13 to 15, 2018, at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong.
Though their advocacy started years ago, this is the first time HABI tied up with MNLGrowkits, an organic plant kit corporation, for a full guide on Philippine cotton. HABI will also be hosting a lecture on cultivating and growing cotton—further emphasizing the fiber’s importance as an integral part of native Filipino rituals and lore and indigenous culture.
Since 2009, HABI has been providing the weavers and vendors an avenue to further enhance their skills in creative design and modern marketing through the exchange of ideas with consumers, designers, and traders. Since then, the weaving community’s level of product development has also grown: from placemats and blankets to apparel such as jackets and dresses as well as shoes.
One of the exhibitors, Rosal Lim of Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation, revealed that being with HABI all those years has made a huge impact on the foundation’s brands and the people behind it. As they launch their first cotton line, Lim expects to help more weavers. “The more people that we can get to join, the more they can get exposed to the possibilities that their crafts can give them. What’s good about weaving projects like ours, or the ones all around the Philippines, is they empower the craftspeople to make a living off what they do best. The more you give them an opportunity to live off this craft, the more people will stick to it,” Lim said.
Also for the first time, HABI is joining forces with Kultura Filipino, a pioneer cultural supporter of Filipino craftsmanship. Kisha Roxas, senior marketing manager of Kultura, said that their collaboration for this year’s market fair is an exciting one, getting to highlight brands in the same bandwagon. “What we’re trying to do is, for HABI, they’re trying to promote the importance of Philippine cotton,” said Roxas. “For Kultura, what we want to highlight is really keeping traditions alive and keeping the heritage alive, the craftsmanship that goes into making all these beautiful textiles and materials. A lot of the products now are [made by] shortcut, machine work, but the items that we have here are all handcrafted. There’s really meticulous labor that goes into it.”
Support Filipino artisans and help keep the cultural tradition of these crafts alive by dropping by the first Likhang HABI x Kultura Market. Part of the proceeds goes back to the weavers.
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