To celebrate Philippine independence, Inside the Industry spotlights two local brands on its Kumu live stream: Team Manila and Saan Saan. Together, they show us just how vast and diverse the local market has grown over the years.
For Team Manila founders Jowee Alviar and Raymund Punzalan, their mission was to promote graphic design in the Philippines and represent the Philippines in the street fashion world.
At CalArts, my classmates from New York and Amsterdam had their own design identities. So for us, through graphic design, we wanted to represent Manila.
Jowee Alviar, co-founder of Team Manila
Since its inception in 2001, Team Manila has accomplished a lot on both fronts. Most recently, they released their first non-fungible tokens. A Trese t-shirt, in honor of the Netflix animated series, is also on the way.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Zavalla founded Saan Saan in 2018 to take on the import-heavy scented candle market. Mark always had a passion for travel, but found it to be unsustainable, especially nowadays.
He discovered another outlet in candle-making and capturing the scents of his favorite travel spots. Bringing Filipino aromas into the household, the Saan Saan scents range from “No. 19 Old Manila” to “No. 36 Mindoro Coast.”
Because we’re so used to digital living, the act of lighting a candle can be a de-stressor because you’re going back to something so primal.
Mark Zavalla, founder of Saan Saan
Despite inhabiting vastly different industries, both Jowee and Mark find that both supply and demand with local brands is growing in the Philippines, especially under the current lockdown.
In this episode, the founders of Team Manila and Saan Saan tell us why they believe more Filipino consumers are going local. If you like this episode, you might also enjoy Sustainability and small business with Mimi Clothing MNL and Filipino shoemaking with Stride Collective.
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