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Where to shop for indigenous textiles

Kicking off the Christmas shopping spree, HABI Philippine Textile Council stages a trade fair featuring products made by the country’s traditional weavers on Oct. 12-14 at Glorietta Mall’s Activity Center. 

Where to shop for indigenous textiles
Manila Collectible Handwoven Philippine Cotton by Charisse Tugade
The three-day trade fair, dubbed “Woven Voyages: 8th LIKHANG HABI TEXTILE FAIR 2018,” will feature more than 80 local exhibitors as well textile exhibitors from Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Vietnam—making it HABI’s biggest trade fair to date.

HABI is placing special emphasis on products made of natural fabrics and will include the colorful merchandise of established brands that use the fabrics made by the weavers. 

There are fashionable bags adorned with the resplendent cloth made by the Yakans of Basilan. Not to be outdone are the hand-woven blankets, covers, and napkins from the Ilocos region. While toys and novelty items made by local craftsmen are expected to be popular with early Christmas shoppers.

Among the exhibitors are established brands and manufacturers such as Rurungan sa Tukod Foundation, Interweave, Yakang Yaka, Manila Collectible, Casa Mercedes, Filip+Inna, Gifts & Graces Foundation, Good Luck, Humans, La Herminia Piña, Liwayway Handicraft, Creative Definitions, Kalinga Weaving, and Ayala Foundation, Inc. Items by noted Filipina artist and designer Ditta Sandico will also be displayed.

According to the event’s organizers, the fair is held each year to provide local weavers with a venue to present their wares. It offers them the opportunity to tap Metro Manila’s consumer market by giving them free space in the show. It also allows them to deal directly with wholesale buyers, foreign buyers, and stores. 

“This way, the middlemen, who had been buying the products from them at lower rates and selling them at much higher prices, are eliminated,” said HABI co-founder Maribel Ongpin.

With the fair, HABI aims to capture a market composed of fashion-conscious female shoppers, especially younger women.  

“We also want to attract more fashion designers,” said Adelaida Lim, a Baguio-based businesswoman and an active member of HABI. “We want them to discover how these fabrics can be used for contemporary fashion, and not just for traditional costumes.”

The participation of the weavers from the Asean countries may also open new doors for their local counterparts, said Ongpin. “The weavers from each country can learn from each other and they may have the opportunity to tap each other’s markets,” she said.

During the three-day event, HABI is presenting various programs that will impart the organization’s advocacies in an entertaining way. 

A fashion show highlighting the woven fabrics by Patis Tesoro, Len Cabili of Filip+Inna, Lara Samar, Jor-el Espina, Boy Guino-o of Alfonso Davao, Twinkle Ferraren, Malaysian designer Edric Ong, and Laura Fontan of Vietnam fashion house Chula promise to impress shoppers and mall-goers. 

Where to shop for indigenous textiles
HABI taps more than 80 local exhibitors to present their products made of natural fabrics at the three-day textile trade fair at Glorietta Activity Center.
There will also be an exhibit featuring the textile art of Filipina-French artist Olivia d’Aboville, and the works of the winners of the Lourdes Montinola Weaving Competition. Other highlights are workshops and lectures on sustainability, and a tribal food lounge.

Topics: HABI Philippine Textile Council , “Woven Voyages: 8th LIKHANG HABI TEXTILE FAIR 2018” , Maribel Ongpin
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