HabinPh handmade bag
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8 Chic Sustainable Bag Makers from the Philippines

I  have been wanting to feature local brands on this blog for quite a while but just haven’t had the chance to sit and complete a post until now. I’m starting off with a round-up of local bag makers that promote and support slow fashion. These homegrown labels create their products by hand, using sustainable materials such as recycled cloth, vegan leather, or natural and traditional fabrics. I’ve found eight Filipino bag makers and they are presented here in random order. When I find the need to buy a new bag, I will definitely not have second thoughts about buying from these makers.

HABIN PH

You can tell that Habin PH is a home grown fashion label that is proud of the Filipino culture and craftsmanship. Their bags are handcrafted from traditional fabric such as the T’nalak – a woven cloth worn by the T’boli tribe from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; the Yakan from Zamboanga; and the Inabel from Paracelis, Mountain Province. Their basket bags are handcrafted by weaving communities in Abra.

Classic sling bag made of Yakan fabric and vegan leather.

A.L.T. MANILA

A.L.T. Manila makes vegan leather handbags that are simple, uncomplicated but elegantly-designed.  I particularly like their 3-way convertible bag which can be worn as a backback, a crossbody bag, or a handbag. It’s lightweight and water-repellent so perfect for this town’s unpredictable weather.

3-way convertible bag

YORKE STUDIOS

Another local bag maker that uses vegan leather is Yorke Studios. Their pieces are custom-made and are limited edition.

Classic Yorke Saddle

SHOP HUMI

Shop Humi advocates slow fashion and is just one of the many Filipino labels who has joined the fashrev. They have just recently launched their “Likha” Collection which features one-off pieces showcasing the work and design of talented abaca weavers from Southern Luzon.

Woven Abaca Slingbag

CATHY’S

Cathy’s bags are hadwoven using native Philippine materials such as the Tinalak made by the tribes in Mindanao, Sabutan mats from Aurora, and inlaid shell components from Cebu, integrated with modern design to create contemporary yet distinctly Filipino pieces.

Talitha handwoven rattan convertible bag

ABRE LINEA

Abre Linea Incorporated was born after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Eastern Visayas in November 2013. Combining craftmanship with contemporary design, Abre Linea is able to provide sustainable livelihood to weaving communities affected by Haiyan. The bags are made from Ticog grass (Frimbistylis globulosa) and Buri (Corypha) palm leaves, and lovingly handwoven by  local artisans. All proceeds of the sales go back to the communities in Leyte and Samar involved in the production process.

Abrea Linea handwoven bag

ANTHILL FABRIC GALLERY

Anthill Fabric Gallery creates bags, clothing, accessories, and home decor using indigenous hand-loomed textiles and vintage fabrics. Based in Lahug, Cebu, Anthill Fabric aims to promote home-grown tapestry and weaves through contemporary design.

The BUHANGIN handwoven abaca bag

RAGS TO RICHES

Last but not the least, and one of my favorites is Rags to Riches. I love the fact that they make their bags using upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics. Also, that they are able to provide a sustainable livelihood for their artisans. Recently, R2R has launched Things That Matter, a platform that connects artisans, advocates, and local brands that share their ethos of creating a positive impact and inspire an intentional lifestyle.

Upcycled cloth handwoven bag

Which of these local makers do you support? Have you bought a bag from any of these brands? Do you know of other local bag makers that support slow fashion? If yes, please do share, and I’ll gladly update this post.

Featured image: HABINph

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