Supporting Social Enterprise
The Fibre Arts Festival philosophy is to create more than an event, but an experience where practicing fibre artists, budding artists and hobbyists would meet, connect and share their ideas and skills, but we have also created the festival to serve as a platform for social enterprise and social good projects.
We are extremely excited to work with a brand new social enterprise Kabukasan, that was actually born out of last years festival.
Kabukasan is a social enterprise started by brother and sister, Nerida and Mitchell. They have been working with women from the island of Socorro, Surigao Del Norte in the south of the Philippines on weaving projects since September 2018. The women have always used weaving in their day to day life for as long as they can remember. Weaving baskets and containers for everyday use out of Pandan was a necessity.
Over the years Pandan and other natural handmade, sustainable products are being replaced with plastic and synthetic goods. This is very convenient for life on the island however this has seen a loss in the production of handmade products, an increase in pollution and the younger generations aren't learning the skills from the older generations. The children are more interested in the internet and movies than the slow, old way.
Many of the women on Socorro don’t have an opportunity to work or provide for their families. Weaving is a way for them to be able to care for their children, tend to the home and earn some money. The women can be left with the responsibility of earning for the family as widows or due to injury with children to support and no way to provide for them. Kabukasan works with the women in the community to provide empowerment, independence and a
provide a platform for them to continue to weave. Kabukasan ran a natural dye workshop on the island with DOST- Philippine Textile Research Institute facilitators from Manilla.
The women (and some curious men and children) practiced gathering local plants, extracting the dye and applying the dye to the Pandan. From this workshop three women have taken responsibility of this part of the process and distribute work out to the community so more
people can benefit from the opportunities. In 2018 we purchased a small farm and planted indigo and other natural dye resources, our first indigo harvest will be in 2020. To date there have been over 30 women directly involved in the weaving and fibre prep with countless men and children assisting in the gathering of resources and being entertained. Kabukasan means for the future and that is what we working towards; a future of sustainable practice, healthy conditions and empowering women through weaving so they can support themselves and their families.
This year you will have the opportunity to buy hand made yoga mats, that were woven just for the festival!
Learn more and follow Kabukasan here: