29 Jul Working with Women Weavers
Written by: Kylie Misa, Co-Founder, WVN Home Textiles, alumni of IE’s Masters in Corporate Communication program.
It was the end of June and we had just finished all our school requirements for our Masters program in IE. We were just waiting for graduation to come and decided to visit Formentera for the summer, where a classmate had a beach house. Formentera is beautiful: a postcard-perfect island full of sand dunes, fisherman’s huts, and yachts lazily anchored in the strikingly blue waters. It was here where I chanced upon gorgeous Turkish towels. I wondered to myself why we don’t make anything like this in my home country, the Philippines, where it is practically summer all year long and where local textiles abound.
The thought persisted until I went back home, where I decided to try creating towels handwoven by local artisans. Together with my friend (now business partner), Yvette, we turned the idea into a product, and this was how WVN Home Textiles started. More than just offering towels, now WVN co-creates a broader offering of products for the home and beach with weaving communities in the Philippines using traditional weaving methods.
At WVN, we have made it our mission to be a driving force in reinvigorating weaving in the Philippines by showing its value in the marketplace and through its cultural preservation. The tradition of weaving is languishing in many weaving communities around the country. Being an intergenerational craft, it is dependent on those that will inherit it, but many of the young no longer wish to practice as they believe their hereditary profession to be non-remunerative. That being said, if we are able to encourage the younger generation that weaving is economically empowering and even fashionable, but also a way for them to increase their quality of life, then we have been able to both help preserve a vulnerable tradition and also support the economic ability of artisans. Our vision is to showcase Philippine-made crafts to the global stage. Now, WVN works with weavers in La Union, Cavite, Isabela and Bicol. Our products are available in some of the Philippines’ prime beach destinations. We have also been working with brands in Manila, Madrid and Los Angeles, and are open to more collaborations.
About the author: Kylie is the other half of WVN Home Textiles, a women-owed enterprise that works with weaving communities in the Philippines. WVN’s products are made traditionally with local handloom weaving methods, and they achieve the multiple goals of preserving handloom weaving, supporting local artisans, and having a Filipino living tradition take more space in contemporary homes. She is an alumni of IE’s Masters in Corporate Communication program.
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