Arts & Culture, Design & Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Shopping & Consumption

Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Fashionista

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[Part 2 of our 3-part Conscious Christmas Shopping series for the traveller, the fashionista, and the urban dweller; also check out Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts and Conscious Christmas Being: A Holiday Self-Check]


When Christmas time comes around, many of us run around like headless chickens to cross everyone off our Christmas list, as if in an Amazing Race to get everyone that matters (and even those that really don’t) something (anything) for the age-old holiday habit or perceived (and poorly conceived) social responsibility of gift-giving, while braving through traffic and mall queues in the least amount of time.

Gift-giving is not among my strong love languages, and I believe that gift-giving should come from a place of gratitude and sincerity, and from a place of understanding what really matters to a person and what can really make their day.

I don’t believe that gift-giving in itself is always a bad thing, but I do when it becomes a chore. Part of the act of gifting someone is giving it with a smile and the hopes of seeing their face light up with your thoughtfulness, and how well you seem to know them through your choice of gift/s.

In this 3-part series, I’ll share some of my ideas of more unique, personal, and mindful gift that your beloved recipient/s may appreciate, and that your local community and the planet would prefer that you support too.


As I mention in Part 1 of this series, I like having items that mean something to me and make a personal style statement. And in my opinion, nothing makes more of a style statement than supporting local weaving and handicraft traditions, and here are just a few brands that are doing just that, and products that you may want as much (if not more) for yourself, than you would for your loved ones.

1. Anthill Fabric Gallery clothes and accessories

Long before it was hip for designers to integrate more tribal prints and artisan textiles, Anthill Fabric Gallery was already collating, curating, and promoting our local weaves in its showroom in Cebu. Now, Anthill is making a name for itself as the go-to if you’d like to integrate Philippine handwoven textiles with your wardrobe or the wardrobe of friends and loved ones – whether it’s with their sleek and sexy line of Tagpi skirts, their made-to-measure garments, or their recently launched line of men’s shirts. (Coupons available in the Bo’s Coffee travel journal)

(Clockwise from left) Princess Ant Anya Lim in a yellow cover from Anthill with author in her made-to-measure Anthill custom design; with other weave-wearers (infinity scarf on advocate and design collaborator Enzo Pinga in the center); Anthill bowties (photos c/o Anthill Fabric Gallery)

2. Filip+Inna clothes

Just last November 26, Len Cabili of Filip+Inna just launched her latest collection of weaves and handicraft traditions spanning across the Philippines at the Ayala Museum. Going beyond her signature style of Laku Sebu embroidery, Len uses other embroidery techniques like calado, traditionally used in barongs and Filipiniana (which we showcased at Biyaheng Burda), and other Philippine handwoven textiles. Try and see if any of her Bayo collab pieces are still available at a Bayo store near you.

Filip+Inna Bayo
Intricate stitching in Filip+Inna pieces and one of the pieces in the Filip+Inna and Bayo 2014 collaboration (photo c/o Filip+Inna and Bayo)

3. Rags2Riches (RIIR) bags

A style statement and staple for both fashion-forward and socially-relevant events, RIIR bags are now iconic symbols at social gatherings that you care about the things you buy, that you support products that are both excellently made and rich in story and significance. RIIR kiosks are located in Glorietta, Rockwell and Podium.

[Relevant read: Rags2Riches: Designer Bags with Eco-Ethical Style]

Rags2Riches RIIR Bags
Rags2Riches bags integrating handwoven t’nalak fabric from Mindanao (photos c/o

4. Vesti bags

Mindanaoan designer Martha Rodriguez, whose roots lie in Cagayan de Oro continues to passionately promote Mindanao textiles through her chic, urban bags made with beautiful Yakan textiles from Zamboanga and t’nalak from South Cotabato.

[Relevant read: VESTI: Preseving Mindanao Textiles Through Designer Bags]

Vesti bags and clutches made with Yakan textiles (photos c/o VESTI)

5. Tala Luna boots & brogues

Whether traveller or urban dweller, you’ll definitely make a statement and turn heads with the comfy, classic boot and brogue styles of Tala Luna footwear, amped up with our own Philippine local textiles from the Cordilleras and Marawi city. Each pair also comes with an upcycled cotton bag woven in Buhi, Bicol.

Tala Luna Boots and Brogues
Women’s boots and brogues made with Bontoc textiles from the Cordilleras, and balod textiles from Marawi city in Mindanao (photos c/o Tala Luna)

Related reads:
Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Traveller
Conscious Christmas Shopping for the Urban Dweller
Conscious Christmas Celebrations: Mindful Foodie Feasts
Conscious Christmas Being: A Holiday Self-Check

Jen HornJEN HORN (@nomadmanager) is a wanderer, writer, and designer out to build the MUNI community, create a culture of caring for self, others, and the planet, and make choosing better a way of life as MUNI’s Chief Collaborator. A graduate of AB-Psychology from De La Salle University, she has always had a fascination with the inner workings of the human mind, though she opted to pursue entrepreneurship, writing, and design after graduation. She is also a lover of handwoven textiles, and aims to keep weaving traditions alive through the use of Philippine textiles in modern fashion with her side project Tala Luna.


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