10 Pinoy-Made Gifts That Give Back
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
There’s nothing better than finding someone the perfect present…except finding a gift that empowers people and helps save the environment too. Luckily for us, there’s been an influx of Filipino brands that give livelihoods to disadvantaged communities, produce eco-friendly products, and promote local culture. The best part is that most of them deliver to your doorstep, so you can skip the Christmas traffic and crowds this year.
Anthill Fabric Gallery
This Cebu-based store collaborates with weavers from all over the country to create products using indigenous fabrics. The variety of items in their holiday catalog is pretty overwhelming—they have everything from neck ties, scarves, and skirts to card holders, bag tags, and checkbook holders. If you’d like to add a Filipino touch to your Christmas decorations this year, they’ve got those too. Place your orders by messaging their Facebook page.
This general store makes a point of advocating for zero waste—that means no plastic products that will clog up our drains and kill sea creatures. Ritual has everything from food and drinks to bath products and non-toxic cleaners. We especially like this green cleaning box set—perfect for that OC friend whose idea of de-stressing is cleaning his apartment.
This brand specializes in making reusable straws, and now they’ve come up with the SIP Burrito—a sustainably-produced bamboo utensil and metal straw set. They’ve even thrown in a nifty cleaning brush. Order this for your friend who buys frappucinos or smoothies everyday, or your coworker who always brings a packed lunch to the office.
This passive bamboo amplifier is made by Filipino craftsmen in Cebu. It comes in different colors, and makes a great conversation piece. Gift it to someone who likes throwing house parties.
By buying Bayani Brew, you’re taking part in giving the farmers of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm a sustainable livelihood. Their fresh brewed ice tea is made using Filipino heritage recipes, too. This drink makes a great gift for practically anyone you know.
Good Food Co.
Got a friend who’s jumped on the keto bandwagon? Make sure they’re getting their share of vegetables along with their meat and dairy by getting them a vegetable subscription. By doing so, you’ll be making sure small organic farmers are able to sell their crops. There are subscriptions for people who are into juicing or want a variety of hearty vegetables, too.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past ten years, R2R or Rags to Riches is a brand known for empowering marginalized women by teaching them to weave rugs and bags. All of their products are created using upcycled or indigenous fabric. Their Artisan Academy also teaches their employees financial literacy and business skills. On top of this, their artisans can sign up for a savings and microinsurance program called Quality of Life. Their products make great gifts for the stylish women in your life.
This brand specializes in responsibly made espadrilles. The way it works is that Habi makes their shoes from rugs bought directly from four communities in Quezon City, ensuring that these workers get about five times the amount middle men would have paid them. The rugs are made of cloth scraps from local shirt factories, then sent to shoemakers in Marikina. Their espadrilles come in styles for both men and women, so grab a pair for both yourself and your girlfriend.
This brand hires people displaced from Metro Manila to grow the fruits, herbs, and spices used to make their teas. And this year, they’ve launched a tea pottery collection inspired by Cordilleran culture. Gift this set to your tita who’s always at TWG.
Got a friend who’s constantly dropping his phone? Get him a Funk Trunk phone case—not only is it durable, it’s made out of responsibly sourced wood and biodegradable plastic.