Weave got it all

With the overwhelming number of fashion choices out there these days, it’s always extra special to wear handwoven pieces that speak of our Filipino heritage.

In an effort to keep weaving traditions alive, Habi: The Philippine Textile Council, holds an annual Likhang Habi fair to encourage people to shop local and support ethical brands that partner with weaving and Filipino craft communities. As a prelude to the big fair in October, Habi is collaborating with Kultura for a pop-up to be held at the Mega Fashion Hall this weekend, April 13-15.

“Driven by its genuine desire to promote the preservation of Filipino weaving communities and Filipino artistry and craftsmanship, Habi: The Philippine Textile Council will, for the first time, weave our stories with a common thread to promote locally grown Philippine cotton, textiles, traditional crafts and uniquely Filipino products together with Kultura,” Habi shared in an official press statement.

Participating fashion and lifestyle brands at this weekend’s Likhang Habi x Kultura pop-up include: Akaba, Ancestral Crafts, Balud Crafts, Baro + Saya, Binalkay, Creative Definitions, Good Luck, Humans, Hola Lili, Interweave Concepts, MCV Designs, Milvidas, Narda’s, Risqué, Style Isle, TWWA Tagolwanen Handwoven (banig), WVN Home Textiles, Yakang Yaka Barter, and Zarah Juan, among others.

More than just a shopping fair, the Likhang Habi x Kultura event offers a chance to get to know artisans and the people behind enterprises that keep the Filipino traditions alive and relevant today. Curious about the origin of the weaves you wear? Meet and talk to the weavers who will be coming over from the different regions of the Philippines for the event, or listen to illuminating talks on the preservation of indigenous textiles in the Philippines.

In contrast to fast fashion, it’s in fairs like these where we develop a deep respect for storied, sustainable lifestyle brands. At the press preview for the Likhang Habi x Kultura fair, we spoke to Kylie Misa, co-founder of WVN (pronounced “woven”) Home Textiles, who works with weaving communities around the Philippines. She shares, “Our dream is to get younger people into handloom weaving, for these young weavers to recover the skills and tradition passed down to them by their mothers and grandmothers, and for us to drive more business to them so that they see that it’s financially viable.”

Kylie, who is also a Habi board member, reveals that the Likhang Habi x Kultura team up is not just a great way of “celebrating local,” but also to promote their advocacy of reviving locally grown Philippine cotton, a fiber that is endemic in the Philippines and an integral part of the native rituals and lore. “A long time ago, our ancestors wove with natural fibers. In the pre-colonial period, cotton from the Philippines was a big industry, but it died because of a number of factors; there was a push for tobacco instead of cotton, and recently, it’s become cheaper to import cotton from abroad, and there’s simply no support for our farmers.” Thus, Habi, in collaboration with Kultura, is helping revive the local cotton industry, as well as shine a light on the weaving industry, traditional textiles, crafts, and uniquely Filipino products.

“The Likhang Habi market experience allows weavers and designers to innovate and level up to modern trends. Through this, we hope that the Philippine indigenous fabrics industry will get the revival it deserves,” shares Habi founder Maribel Ongpin.

The Kultura x Habi Fair is from April 13-15 at the Mega Fashion Hall. Entrance is free of charge. For more info, go to habitextilecouncil.ph or follow @habifair on Instagram

Source: lifestyle.mb.com.ph

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