Weaving is part of the Filipino culture and identity, and rather than just relying on new trends in fashion and in materials, it is important to have role models — whether in people or companies — that push for this industry to keep on going.
To continue the promotion and the education about the tradition of weaving, the Likhang Habi fair will carry on pushing for their advocacies with their first online edition.
From October 21 to October 27 — in line with Indigenous Peoples Month this October — the fair will be done through shophabifair.com, after being annually held at the Glorietta Activity Center. It is organized by the Habi Philippine Textile Council, a group with the goal to preserve, promote, and enhance textiles and weaving communities through education, communication, and research using public and private resources.
Aside from shopping for fashion and lifestyle items, people can also take part in webinars and summits about diverse topics in the weaving industry.
Since 2009, the organization has been providing platforms for traditional weavers and the local weaving community to further enhance their skills in creative design and marketing by exchanging ideas with consumers, designers, and traders. By participating in the fair, they are able to experiment with various styles, widen their capabilities, and be on the same level as modern trends.
For example, the popular and much-needed item today would be the face mask, which weavers have already been making and selling. More Filipino fashion designers are also using woven textiles in their couture pieces, and more local shops have also added it to their line of products.
As mentioned during the media launch, there are currently around 5,000 weavers across the country, composed on women and men of all ages. Supporting locally made products also means supporting around 5,000 weavers, farmers, and small-time entrepreneurs.
Aside from tradition, more and more people are shifting towards a more sustainable lifestyle in regards to the products they own. Knowing where a product comes from and how it is made is more important today, and buying from small Filipino communities is a good way to start.
“One of our main goals at Habi is to make sure that our traditional textiles will still be a part of our modern lifestyle as we transition to the new normal,” said chairperson and founder Maribel Ongpin. “The modern world is realizing the beauty of handwoven items, natural [products], and tradition. For us Filipinos, it’s part of our identity — we should be interested, we should study it and we should enjoy it.
“We have to show that these weavers are artists. They have [designs] in their heads, and you see that their imagination is put into reality. That’s a [process] that very few people can do,” she continued.
Ongpin added that the group is confident that the community will grow larger in time. Habi notes that the simple act of wearing a locally woven fabric will already be a source of pride because of the story and process that happened behind it.
Aside from the online fair, there will also be a series of webinars and a summit to further the education on Filipino history.