Pursuits

8 Unique Social Enterprises You Need to Know

From sustainable pet accessories to compostable slippers, these are the brands that need to be on your radar.
IMAGE SQUEKY CLEAN KIDS, INSTAGRAM/@GREENELAS.PH
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Years ago, social enterprises were a novelty that simply piqued the interest of consumers. Nowadays, such cause-driven businesses are so prolific that it’s suddenly become the norm. This leaves consumers with a multitude of options, from well-established brands to promising newcomers. The latter are rising enterprises that are exerting their best efforts in fighting the good fight, and their advocacies demand your attention. Here, we present eight emerging social enterprises that are making a big impact in their own little way. 

Greenelas.ph

Having been in the hospitality industry for 15 years, Camille Albarracin is well aware of the amount of waste amassed by hotels and guests. This triggered her desire for change, and eventually, she started her Greenelas journey with her previous business partner. They discovered dried abaca leaf sheaths (or unprocessed abaca) in Bicol, which they upcycled into footwear. Aside from the revolutionary pair of compostable slippers, Greenelas also carries stylish sandalsl, slip-ons, and espadrilles. Essentially, Greenelas is B2B (business to business) in structure, but direct consumers are also interested in copping their own pair.

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Follow Greenelas on Instagram. Greenelas is available at Katha Lifestyle Store.

Candid Clothing

Samantha Dizon grew up with a seamstress grandmother in the garment capital of the Philippines (Taytay, Rizal). This greatly influenced her perspective on clothing production and opened her eyes to the massive amounts of leftover fabrics that overflowed in warehouses.

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And so, in 2017, Dizon established Candid Clothing, a sustainable brand that refashions leftover fabrics into stylish designs that are perfect for everyday wear. But more than that, her enterprise provides a stable source of income for all her employees. In a previous interview with T&C, Dizon talked about how the business has greatly changed the lives of her employees and continues to do so.

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Follow Candid Clothing on Instagram or visit the official website to shop for products.

Squeaky Clean Kids

Diseases can be prevented through the simple act of handwashing. Unfortunately, thousands of people in the Philippines are not educated about the importance of proper hygiene nor do they have access to basic necessities such as clean water and soap. To address this pressing concern, Dr. Winston Pascual established Squeaky Clean Kids.

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The brand creates handmade soap using organic ingredients that are safe for the environment and for one’s health. But ultimately, each purchase funds hygiene kits which will be given to underserved communities in the country. Dr. Pascual also holds outreach programs that teach children the basics of proper hygiene and are open to all.

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Follow Squeaky Clean Kids on Instagram.

Malingkat Weaves

Maridul Fawziyyah is the founder of Malingkat Weaves, a brand that started through a chance encounter she had with a weaver in Mindanao. Now, the brand partners with a group of Yakan weavers to create colorful textiles that make one appreciate the tedious process of weaving fabrics. Slowly, the brand is reaching out to more weavers, as told to T&C in an interview.

Some of the brand’s star products are foldable eco-bags and table runners. Given Fawziyyah’s mission to make these cultural gems accessible to more people, the products are priced within a relatively affordable range.

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Follow Malingkat Weaves on Instagram or visit their official Facebook page. Malingkat Weaves is available at Frankie & Friends, SM Aura.

Indayog PH

Woven bags have become a closet staple, even for the most discerning of fashionistas. What makes Indayog PH unique, however, is how it helps the community of artisans in Laguna. These craftsmen weave bags out of water hyacinth. The sling bag and backpack designs are the brand’s bestselling pieces that can be used for leisure activities, outdoor adventures, or even trips to the mall. Aside from that, Indayog PH also offers footwear and tropical-inspired clothing that make for luxe resort wear or casual outfits.

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Follow Indayog PH on Instagram.

Hinabi.ph

Founded by a group of social media marketers who were born and raised in Mindoro, Hinabi.ph aims to bring the products of their partner Mangyan group to a wider audience. Based on the brand’s history, one problem that the Mangyans face is poor compensation for their high-quality products. Through Hinabi.ph, these skilled artisans are not only paid excellent prices for their hard work but are also given a platform that can appeal to more people, especially in the urban areas where the demand is high.

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Three hero products on offer are the Amihan Sling Bag, Habagat Rattan Backpack, and the Lakapati Nito jar, which comes in small and large sizes for all your home needs.

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Follow Hinabi.ph on Instagram or visit the official website to shop for the products.

Astella Philippines

Astella is very much like other slow fashion brands in the country with a framework that centers on a partner community. In this case, Astella nurtures a community in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, where founder Gloria Lim was raised. This fashion venture started during her gap year right after high school, and after a little nudging from her mother, Astella was born. Now, the brand continues to grow its base in Palawan, but it is also available in Metro Manila at their showroom in Pasay City. Astella’s vibrant, nature-inspired prints are all painted and printed by hand.

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Follow Astella Philippines on Instagram for store location details or visit the official Facebook page.

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Alpas Pet Accessories

As a pet-centric social enterprise, Alpas is arguably a trailblazer in the industry. The pet accessories brand gives back to the planet through its sustainable products: collars are made of recycled rubber and chew toys are made of abaca fiber. There are even natural shampoo bars and healthy jerky treats for dogs.

The upcycled materials used for the accessories come from Smokey Mountain, Manila, where the brand’s partner community is located. It is this community that Alpas supports and empowers through livelihood opportunities. Other than that, the brand’s Instagram page is a platform for adoption announcements so that animals can find new homes.

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Follow Alpas Pet Accessories on Instagram.

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Nicole Cruz
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