Jacinto & Lirio: Making Indigenous Look Sexy

February 7, 2017 12:00 am by Katrina Castaneda

J&L was part of our top picks for Gift Ideas for Moms and Dads last December as the team found it very useful yet appealing. Aside from planners, the brand also has other items to offer that takes inspiration from the environment. “We thought of the idea of using Philippine indigenous materials, because our country has so much abundant natural resources, but the potential hasn’t been fully tapped yet”, the brand claims. One of the co-founder’s aunt works for DTI and she advised us to take a look at the water hyacinth, the most damaging aquatic plant worldwide because of its ability to reproduce at an extraordinary rate, which affects communities in the Philippines. Some of the effects are felt through hampered marine transportation, irrigation problems, fish kills, clogged waterways which can lead to community evacuation and high rates of water borne diseases like malaria and dengue. This led us to travel to various areas in the Philippines with water hyacinth, (communities like Las Piñas, Pampanga and Laguna) where we saw its devastating effects. We asked ourselves, “how can we transform the challenges of the poor into opportunities?” said Anne Mariposa-Yee, co-founder of J&L.trends-jacintolirio2

The Burda wrap is a resizable tablet wrap with a pocket for gadget cords. It also doubles as a purse. It has a polyester body with water hyacinth plant leather accent on the flap and back zipper with suede lining P1,135

Hence, this led to the creation of Jacinto&Lirio, which actually means “Hyacinth and Lily”. Through the creation of well designed, functional and Philippine-inspired plant leather goods, Jacinto&Lirio aims to make a social impact in the livelihood of water hyacinth filled communities, to push environmental protection and level up product innovation.

Gregoria bag in Crimson Gold and Gabriela bag in Mint Green P3,000 each

 “We make INDIGENOUS LOOK SEXY through our woven native products”, Yee proudly said. “Our locally made products also make unique corporate giveaways for multinational and socially conscious firms and resorts who want to stand out and increase marketing impact because of the high chance of usage and appreciation by the recipients.”


DTI already had a head-start in solving this problem by initiating skills training programs to transform this pest into products like woven water hyacinth handicrafts. “We thought there has to be something more than just weaving baskets and mats out of the plant, not to mention the lack of appreciation by Filipinos towards native products. We realized that indigenous handicrafts could only be competitive locally and in the global scale through materials development and quality design. So we researched more about the plant, which led us to our “AHA!” moment when we discovered that it actually could be marketed as a plant leather!”, said Yee.

The uncontrolled growth of water hyacinths in places like Cotabato, Batangas, and the Calabarzon region has affected the education and livelihood of families living in the said areas. “Environmentally, instead of just throwing out the water hyacinth, we provide another use for the pest-plant. With this, we can not only help breathe life back into these lakes, but also give livelihood to the affected marginalized communities who lost their jobs after the onset on typhoon Ondoy, specifically the mothers who are given the opportunity to work from home while taking care of their children.”trends-jacintolirio8

The government has a lot of skills training all over the Philippines but these communities lack market reach, which is where our strength lies. We empower them with the opportunity of a promising market, and the chance to be part of a synergy that will put Philippine fashion and design at par with world-class quality.

As we scale up, we will be able to tap more impoverished mothers to earn under our water hyacinth livelihood program, regularize this added income and provide a holistic social and spiritual program to aid their other needs in order to transform their adversity into prosperity.

Find out more about their latest products and projects by following Jacinto&Lirio

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