(First published on Homegrown.ph on February 21, 2014)
How does a country recover from the unprecedented disaster unleashed by a supertyphoon? By creating new opportunities and creating a thriving center for enterprise.
by Niña Terol-Zialcita
Can the Philippines be the social enterprise capital of the world?
This was the bold question raised by Jourdan Sebastian, a filmmaker, producer, actor, and spoken word artist who recently co-organized “Operation Airdrop” to airlift much-needed relief goods to remote areas that were hardest hit by Yolanda.
A self-proclaimed “Dreamer Warrior,” Sebastian threw the question to guests at Homegrown’s Hanap Buhay jelly in December 2013, which was the stage for a forum on sustainable efforts in response to the catastrophe brought about by supertyphoon Yolanda.
He has since gone around to share this dream with audiences who want to listen.
Note: I’ve always been a fan of Travel + Leisure–I even placed in one of my old dreamboards (ca. 2010) the desire to write for this magazine and to live the “travel + leisure lifestyle.” So you can only imagine how thrilled I am to finally be able to write for them, and to feature no less than one of my favorite Filipino brands, Rags2Riches. Happily sharing an excerpt here for all of you 🙂
Social enterprise Rags2Riches transformed the lowly foot rug into a high-fashion statement. By Niña Terol-Zialcita
A dumping ground hardly seems like the proper incubator for high fashion, but for Philippine brand Rags2Riches (R2R), it was the perfect jumping-off point for an “eco-ethical” revolution.
In Payatas, where half a million of Manila’s urban poor reside, scraps of cloth are turned into foot rugs and sold to traders for US$0.20 a day. Enter a group of young idealists out to change the lives of Payatas’s poor, an haute couture designer willing to make a difference, and the audacious goal of turning rags into coveted fashion items–and just like that a stylish social statement was born.
This is an excerpt only. To read the full article, grab a copy of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia’s October 2013 issue.