The launch of the brand’s bulol shirts is the culmination of our yearend efforts for Rappler Shop’s Social Enterprise Line.
Kandama was founded by Victor Baguilat, Jr. to help keep the weaving tradition alive. In collaboration with the women weavers of Julongan village in Kiangan, Ifugao, Kandama produces wearable apparel, footwear, and accessories that showcase hand-loomed fabrics.
“The partnership with Rappler will definitely boost awareness and also hopefully increase the number of people who would demand the products. The thing with our products is that it’s hard to compete against cheap fabrics from China, Thailand, etc.
“So we realized that what we have to sell is the story and not just the product. Rappler can definitely help us tell the story, share it with everyone, and hopefully people will pick up and buy the products and appreciate them,” Baguilat, an Ifugao himself, said.
Baguilat and his team have been conducting workshops and donating looms and weaving materials to the weavers ever since Kandama was founded last year. However, despite these efforts, he discovered that many of the weavers are losing interest in weaving due to lack of demand for the products.
“Apparently, it’s because we were [only] addressing the supply side of weaving. Even if, for example, we produce a lot of fabrics, if people won’t buy it, then they don’t have the incentive to continue with the tradition of hand weaving. So that’s the reason why we are exerting more effort in terms of addressing the demand side.
“We’re very grateful to have a partner in Rappler because I feel that the cause has to be brought to the mainstream audience,” Baguilat said.
Kandama is our second social enterprise partner after ANTHILL (Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood seeker), whose scarves are also now available in the Shop.
Kandama’s unisex bulol shirt features a hand-loomed shirt pocket and an image of the bulol, which symbolizes an Ifugao rice god or guardian. It’s available in black (v-neck) and white (round neck).
Support indigenous Filipino craftsmanship by wearing these shirts by Kandama! – Rappler.com
All photos in this article by Martin San Diego/Rappler.