Artisans and Advocates Ride High on a Sea of Sustainable Fashion

It’s summer! Time to kick off your shoes and frolic under the sun with Rags2Riches’ S/S ’14-’15 Collection entitled High Seas. Launched today at the Piazza in Privato Hotel, the collection’s nautical styles paired with Rags2Riches’ signature woven designs in red, brown, blue and sea green invoke within us the feeling of relaxing on a cool beach waters under the sun amidst our daily hustle-and-bustle.

 

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Model and online entrepreneur Kelly Misa also collaborated with Rags2Riches to design a few pieces for the High Seas collection. The designs will be sold exclusively through the online shop Pormada.

 

 
R2R High Seas Launch 2
 
 
 

During the launch, ambassadors for sustainable fashion and Rags2Riches highly-revered artisans also relaxed and bonded together in the sunlight-filled Piazza to work together on personalized purses made out of upcycled scrap cloth, canvas and Sharpie pens. It was really heartwarming to see many women come together to support a social business which seeks to sustain their fellow women, the environment, livelihood and Philippine artisanal culture through its products.

 

 
R2R High Seas Launch 4

 

 
An artisan sews together the canvas designed by the ambassador with the woven base she created.

 

 
 
R2R High Seas Launch 6

 

 
 
 

“This is the first time that we’ve done a workshop during the launch,” said Reese Fernandez – Ruiz, founder and director of Rags2Riches. “We wanted the advocates to work with the artisans, so that they can see the artistry that goes into the product,” she added. And to see that come into fruition is “a very fulfilling feeling” for Reese. She and their team are looking forward to having more collaborative activities between their revered artisans and the ambassadors, and even fans and shoppers of Rags2Riches.

 

 
Rags2Riches is the Philippines’ foremost for-profit social enterprise. Their High Seas Collection is available at the Rags2Riches Store in Glorietta 1, Makati, Metro Manila. You may also check their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.
 

 

View more photos from the event here:

 

 
 
Rags2Riches
Store: 3/F, Glorietta 1, Makati, Metro Manila
 
Pormada

Lessons from University Long After Graduation

Amidst the everyday traffic chaos, the pushing and squeezing in the rail transit stations, the general feeling of frustration brought about poor national governance and corruption and other worries and disappointments came messages of hope from the university I graduated from – messages that I used to hear on a daily basis before that gave me so much optimism, but are rarely heard now, save for the occasional homily given by a Jesuit priest. These are the messages that I’ve longed to hear.

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These messages of hope from this evening’s of testimonials entitled “Women Leaders: In the Footsteps of St. Ignatius” which is part of “40 Years Half the Sky: Celebrating Co-Education in Ateneo de Manila”, a campaign celebrating the presence and contribution of women in the university. Ateneo first opened its doors to women in 1973 and now women slightly outnumber the men. The women spoke about how Ignatian values and spirituality are making an impact on their lives.

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Ateneo President Father Jett Villarin gives the Opening Remarks

The women leaders who spoke were CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Filinvest Development Corporation President and CEO Josephine Gotianun-Yap ad Rags II Riches Founder and Director Reese Fernandez – Ruiz.

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Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Chair of the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

Dr. Licuanan shared lessons on balancing one’s career with a rich and relaxed personal life, balancing leadership, the zest for change and courage with management, systems and prudence and being a voice of hope by finding comfort in advocacies and reforms and even afflicting people’s comfort zones.

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Josephine Gotianun-Yap, Filinvest Development Corporation and Filinvest Land Inc. President and CEO

Josephine Gotianun – Yap shared that in business, having a sense of responsibility and vision trumps power. In business you have to set a moral tone which will guide the mission, vision and general operational direction of the company.

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Reese Fernandez Ruiz, President and Co-Founder, Rags2Riches (with Monch, and Dan and Bem in the photo)

Finally, Reese Fernandez – Ruiz shared that being more reflective or in her words – “disturbed” – has helped in her growth as an individual and how it has helped grow her social enterprise, Rags2Riches. Her testimonial actually hit home because I actually went through what she went through. Like her, I prepared a plan on how to be rich and successful and life, and found myself deviating from the plan after encountering prisoners from Bilibid, having an internship in UNICEF, volunteering for a non-government organization, working for another non-government organization and having the heart for development and business. Her questions struck me and her answers pretty much validated the path I’m taking now. Her parting words to the audience were, “Never stop asking ‘Why?'”.

I’ve actually stopped asking myself that after graduation. From my short healthcare stint post-graduation and in my business and development sector career now, I’ve never really asked. I just kept going, and feeling and knowing it’s the right way to go.

On my way home, I found myself asking myself “Why am I doing what I am doing?”.

And after 7 years of exploring the world through healthcare, education, development and marketing, I now have answer.

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