ANTHILL works on a community centered ecosystem model that honors the significant role each of our weavers, design collaborators, and production partners play in keeping our mission and vision alive. These stakeholders form the tapestry of ANTHILL and shape the solid foundation that makes us resilient and sustainable.
Over the years, these meaningful connections that build our community paved the way for our growth and allowed us to weave forward despite difficult times. She Talks Asia, a community and safe space that amplifies the message of empowerment, diversity and inclusion, has always been a valuable partner in change. Weaving shared values together, they have always stood by our advocacy on women economic empowerment and cultural reclamation.
In a special collection, together, we weave life to //KINAIYA//: “inner being”, a Visayan word that pertains to a person’s defining traits and qualities. This collaboration with She Talks Asia features pieces that celebrate the fearless spirit of a modern Filipina, and the unique stories that shaped it.
More than a collection, Kinaiya is a solidarity response that empowers ANTHILL to continue its impact work and provide livelihood to its partner artisans.
WHO MADE OUR FABRICS
The beautiful Binakol fabrics curated in these limited edition pieces are heart-woven by the Mang Abel ti Abra, our very first partner community enterprise. Led by head weaver Natividad Quiday, the community of weavers and farmers founded back in 2009 had only 6 weavers to start. They banded together to pursue this ancestral gift of weaving to contribute to household income.
Mang Abel was the first to benefit from our Community Enterprise Development Program that built their capacity to be independent entrepreneurs. Our application of their weaves in contemporary and circular design grew their business and community grew their members to 50 weavers. Since graduating from our program in 2020, the mother artisans have used their savings to send their children to private schools, build their homes and invest in other entrepreneurial ventures. Sadly when the pandemic hit, they had to leave their looms and find other income opportunities.
WHO MADE OUR CLOTHES
Apart from our partner weavers, our Sewing Chamber, our in-house production team, also plays a vital part of our operations. They are the amazing artisan that transform our weaves into wearables, turning designs into reality. Sadly, the pandemic threw a few curveballs that led us to end 2021 sending off our Sewing Chamber to keep things afloat. But we also welcomed them as our production partners, allowing the extension of their services to other markets and beyond our humble hill.
Left: Ate Vema. Right: Ate Belen.
Ate Vema and Ate Belen are two hard working mothers who are the independent makers of the Chaketa and Alitaptap blouses featured in the Kinaiya Collection. Both artisans have worked in ANTHILL for over three years. Now working on her own business, Ate Vema hopes to save from this project so she can loan a new sewing machine to replace her old one and take more jobs. Ate Belen found a new job in a new workshop but needs the extra income to save up for the graduation requirements of her son who is about to pursue his dreams of becoming a nurse. Kinaiya does not only support our weaver artisans and production partners but will also help in funding She Talks Asia’s workshops for disadvantaged women.
Change cannot be achieved by working alone. We are grateful for partnerships and collaborations where we are able to grow our work by weaving dreams together. Collaborating with She Talks Asia for these story pieces expands our community among the She Talks tribe and gives more reason for everyone to wear their pride!