Text and photos courtesy of HABI: The Philippine Textile Council
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, major challenges have confronted the Philippine weaving industry. This includes issues on the supply chain, lack of credit and funding facilities, and the price and supply of cotton available to Filipino weavers.
While there has been a renewed and vibrant interest in Philippine textiles, these challenges disrupt the revival and sustainability of the Philippine weaving industry.
To flourish in the new normal, the Philippine weaving industry needs support not only from consumers but also from key decision-makers in the Philippine business community.
HABI: The Philippine Textile Council launches HABI Connects, a campaign to encourage more entrepreneurs, MSMEs, and big businesses, both local and foreign, to support the Philippine weaving industry and the many skilled weavers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Since 2009, HABI: The Philippine Textile Council has been at the forefront of promoting, preserving, and sustaining the local textile industry. Over the years, HABI has connected Filipino weavers with more consumers through the annual Likhang HABI Market Fair. Through #HABIConnects, HABI aims to link more local and global brands and businesses with Filipino weavers from different parts of the country.
The HABI Connects campaign has started with a collaboration with Bayo, a like-minded homegrown Filipino fashion brand.
The HABI and Bayo collaboration rolls out a collection that uses natural fiber textiles in cotton, abaca, and piña from La Herminia in Aklan, Ambension weavers in Bulacan, and Argao weavers in Cebu. It also features weaves of polyester worked with cotton threads to upcycle industry scraps or production offcuts and avert them from ending up in landfills. The collection is now available at www.bayo.com.ph and at www.shophabifair.com.
“We’re elated that more brands are using sustainable and local materials in their products,” says Laida Lim, president of HABI. “Our collaboration with Bayo is just the beginning. With the HABI Connects campaign, we hope that more entrepreneurs and businesses, not just in fashion and lifestyle but also in other industries, will follow suit and support our local weaving communities.”