Community partner in Rizal by Anne Mariposa

Our product design head, Anne Mariposa shares her experience with the Rizal communities!

The Mariposa Girls

Today was a tiring but purposeful day for me. My entire day was spent visiting Ecoingenuity Inc.’s community partners in Rizal.

My first stop was in Cainta, Rizal. Inside my car, I immediately noticed the water hyacinth filled lake behind their houses.It’s been quite a while since I last saw fresh water hyacinths.

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Our Cainta Community recently moved out from the government’s leadership and is now an independent organization ran by their local NGO.  It seemed like a good thing  from an outsider’s point of view, but it actually is a scary beginning for our nanays since this is their first time to apply the piece rate scheme unlike their previous day rate salary scheme.

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Nanay Eds inlaying the box with water hyacinth stalks

—Inspired by the shoe box we had them make for our upcoming collaboration with Risqué Designs by Tal de Guzman

Below are their latest designs which…

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Impact Night: A whole new level of sharing

By Melissa G. Bagamasbad

The Jacinto & Lirio Impact night last May 16 was an evening that was really about sharing.

Of stories, ourselves (physically, our listening and understanding abilities, as well as our ideas), what we had to say on the freedom wall upon entering, and so much more.  Jacinto & Lirio aimed to raise awareness on its brand, and raise funds for the social impact efforts that would develop its livelihood communities. Thus, the Impact Night held last May 16 at UP Ayala Technohub.

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Being out of the loop for some time, I knew briefly about Jacinto & Lirio’s involvement with GirlTank, and how the brand had obtained more international exposure, with efforts to join a new community, promote the enterprise, and gain funds.

Impact Night gave us a chance to be informed and updated on the enterprise’s projects.  Additionally, we got to know others, and shared ideas on what can be done to improve the brand in its various aspects.

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The program began with the Department of Trade and Industry giving a talk to connect us to the brand’s happenings in the provinces.  Interactive brainstorming by SPIN then proved to shake us, we knew that this wasn’t just any ordinary talk.

Richard “D-cal” Dacalos of SPIN Manila giving the interactive brainstorming session
the Jacinto & Lirio founders Anne (leftmost) and Noreen (rightmost) with DTI Rizal Provincial Director Ms. Mercy Parreno (middle)

We were divided into three groups, with each group having its own challenge that we had to find solutions to.  We were social entrepreneurs ourselves.

My group’s challenge was how to use other natural resources in the creation of other SE products.  During the discussion we talked about alternative natural products: from foldable shoes, to creating products that were animal-friendly, since there was also a rising consciousness in animal rights.  We also thought of tapping the support of one of the most famous politicians who supported businesses.  Her being a woman might help gain support for the female products.

During the latter part, we watched a video of GirlTank about Jacinto & Lirio.  Admittedly being feminine, this hooked me, and made me relate to the brand more.  From the group of young, dynamic women all over the world making an impact, to how enthusiastic the foreign owners were about Jacinto & Lirio catering to women with its products, and helping the government and the country, and how ingenious its concept was, it made me proud that the brand was not only growing bigger globally, but also being proactive in gaining more resources.

Different kinds of people attended the talk, from entrepreneurs, to designers, to students.  Impact Night allowed us not just to be informed audiences, but also to be our own social entrepreneurs who were given the chance to think up ideas, speak up, and have the chance to contribute these ideas, that could be seriously considered in building  the enterprise.  After the event, and looking at the displays of beautiful water hyacinth products in the area, the people bustling around making connections, old and new, we hope we were able to do our best in sharing.

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The author, Mel Bagamasbad is a journalist. She has been a long time advocate and writer for social enterprises.

See more pictures and videos of the events in our previous post!

Thank you to our GIRLTANK Backers!

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We have 9 days left for the campaign.

Currently, we’ve been on the ground coordinating with new partner communities and we’re moving to a new exciting project, WHICH WILL REALLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT:

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMUNITY-BASED BAG MANUFACTURING in our partner community!

This will help us strengthen the product design, and sustainability AND greatly increase the income of our community partners WHO ARE AMAZINGLY TALENTED in bag-making as well!

HELP US MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
Support: http://girltank.org/campaigns/filipino-innovative-technique-makes-beautiful-and-eco-friendly-handbags/

Let’s keep the conversations going!

Jacinto & Lirio Impact Night 2013 from Jacinto & Lirio on Vimeo.

The Jacinto & Lirio Impact night last May 16, gave us a lot to think about! There were many interesting input from the audience as they tackled the 3 things that our whole enterprise (EcoIngenuity Inc.) is trying to solve —

The fact that our country is innately blessed with abundant indigenous materials and talented craftsmen, weavers, & bag-makers.

But despite this, there are 3 gaps:

1.Philippines still does not play a competitive role in the global design industry
2.Our indigenous materials are undermined and untapped
3.Most of our artisans / bag makers, etc are still living in poverty in the Philippines

The audience was divided to brainstorm for the 3 problems challenge areas.

Some of them we’re already working hard on! But we like what they mentioned!

* On growing the Filipino global competitive brand — a group talked about engaging our fellow Filipinos overseas since we’re everywhere! This is something we’re already trying to do, especially with the girltank campaign — reaching out to many Filipinos worldwide about social enterprises like us and the work that we’re doing! Hopefully they get to invest so we can do more good work (hope you can support! we have a few days left to raise funds for our social impact work. Click here)!

* On optimizing our indigneous materials — we loved Sir Vic’s input on the “ting-ting” material. We’d definitely take you up on that Sir, to explore the material more!

* On the sustainability of our community partners — one group mentioned the creation of a concept paper so we can strategically and effectively execute our plans towards this complex problem. We’re hoping that they can help us do this! It’s not our core competence, but we do agree it needs to happen!

I’m sure YOU have an interesting tidbit to share?

What would you like us to know so we can make a bigger, better impact?

Let’s keep the conversation flowing, as we’d like to hear from you!

Testimonials

Messages from our supporters and partners during our 2nd year (2012) anniversary.

We are now entering our 3rd year, and the challenge continues!

But thank you to everyone who have always been there to support!

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