The art of loomweaving has always been part of the culture of various ethnic groups all over the Philippines. Unfortunately, interest in learning the art has waned due to the low market value of handwoven textiles. In recent times, members from indigeneous groups themselves view loomweaving as unprofitable, unequitable, and impractical.
Our company was founded in 2014 to provide an avenue for designers and local artisans to collaborate in the creation of timeless, high quality and high value travel bags. Each piece is designed to highlight the beauty and practical use of handwoven textiles, and the Filipino values of dedicated craftsmanship and hard work. Beyond the local market, our goal is to showcase the best of the Philippines to the rest of the world.
AKABA Ltd. Design Co. is envisioned to be at the forefront in the movement to create global Filipino brands that do not leave the poor behind. Joining us in achieving this vision is GKonomics, a social enterprise development platform of Gawad Kalinga, and HABI: The Philippine Textile Council.
Bridging cultural heritage with urban sensibilities is done by understanding the values and experiences shared by our weavers and customers. Together, we weave a story of hard work and resilience, and create a product that truly represents what it is to be Filipino.
Fair trade and skills training is at the core of our mission in preserving the dying art of loom weaving all over the Philippines. We believe that weaving can be profitable for businesses while still becoming equitable and sustainable for community-based artisans.
Our company is built around the principle of “bayanihan.” Simply put, our success and growth go hand-in-hand with the improvement of the lives of our weavers. Our commitment towards our social impact is geared sustainable change through long-term engagements.
AKABA has partnered with various weaving communities throughout the Philippine archipelago, providing them with the necessary support to pave way for their sustainability and the continuity of their artistic profession.
In Ilocos Norte, AKABA has spearheaded a livelihood program to educate residents of Gawad Kalinga Namnama Village in the art of inabel. Together with master loomweaver Charito Carriaga and the Philippine Textile Research Institute, we are working towards preserving the prized weaving technique as a means to bring over 30 families in the village out of poverty in 10 years.
AKABA also supports existing weaving communities in Ilocos Norte, Isabela Province, Oriental Mindoro, Zamboanga, Basilan, and Sulu through fair trade. Our company sources directly from weavers, at market price, often twice, or up to four times the rate as purchased by local traders and other clients. We believe doing so recognises the hard work put into each piece while promoting the learning of the art in local communities.
As our company grows, our partnerships become stronger and our impact, wider. #TeamAKABA travels all over the Philippines looking for more weavers and communities to partner with, as we produce even more products.