Noreen & Anne – Transforming Filipino Weed into High Eco-Fashion
Noreen Bautista (right) is an accidental entrepreneur and a purposeful change agent.
Anne Mariposa (middle) hails from a family with a long history of fashion manufacturing expertise.
And together they are a match made in eco-heaven.
What started as an assignment to create a business plan and thesis among friends taking a social entrepreneurship class at Ateneo de Manila University, morphed into the blueprint for Jacinto & Lirio (which is Spanish for hyacinth and lily), a company dedicated to marrying fashion and sustainability.
After winning a contest to fund their idea, the enterprising college seniors partnered with designer Cora Jacobs for their first collection. J&L’s gorgeous, durable and eco-conscious high-end “leatherette” handbags, journals and limited edition iPad cases are derived from one of the Philippines’ most abundant resources, the invasive water hyacinth plant. While beautiful to look at, the shrub is considered a plant pest because it clogs waterways, causes floods and prevents the fisherfolk from acquiring their daily catch. The government has poured dollars into controlling its speedy growth, including turning the plant stalks into woven goods, like mats.
Jacinto & Lirio iPad Cover
Jacinto & Lirio Hand Bag
After watching local artisans transform the stalks into leather-like sheets, Noreen and Anne knew its sleekness and versatility of color could be influential in their country’s growing handbag market. And like many eco-conscious women around the world, they saw more than just a paycheck for themselves. By purchasing wares from the craftspeople, this venture became an opportunity to provide income for the talented female Filipino artists living in Pasig, Rizal, Pampanga and Laguna.
As buyers focus on the importance of green living, the J&L team plans to use more of the Philippines’ untapped treasures like weed grass, banana and hemp for new products.
A line of super cool bags for young professionals.
–Taiia Smart Young
Jacinto & Lirio Plant Leather Journal
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