When in Manila, big names in the global fashion and design scene have made their way to our malls. Because of how convenient it is to purchase these items, they have occasionally been more accessible and visible compared to our local, homegrown brands. Despite this irony, Philippine-made items have continued to thrive. These 15 brands exemplify quality and creativity. Most of them also have powerful and moving advocacies. From hats to clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, mugs, and more, these local brands have you covered!
Bags and Wallets
1.) Wear and Bare
Wear and Bare sells solid-colored rucksacks, but they also sell printed bags like the ones in the photos. The bags are made in Bulacan, and are designed by make-up artist and interior designer Gela Martinez. Wear and Bare has many designs that cater to their customers’ various preferences: ragged and polished, neon and pastel, plain and printed. Their bags are spacious enough for day-to-day essentials including laptops and folders–making it a recommendable bag for school and work. The prices of Wear and Bare‘s bags are also very student-friendly.
Wear and Bare
Photos by Zeus Martinez Photography
HMU by Gela Martinez Make-up
2.) Vela Manila
Vela Manila is a young and promising brand that sells bags, pouches, and passport holders that are all grounded on two things: “the art of past traditions and the the vibe of the contemporary lifestyle all while retelling the story of the vibrant Filipino heritage.” Through its products, Vela Manila aims to highlight “the traditional Filipino artistry and craftsmanship.”
Innovation is a prerequisite to remaining relevant and competitive. While Filipino craftsmanship and indigenous fabric are already useful as they are, Vela Manila creates more ways for us to use them by incorporating them into new products. Among the materials they use are the native ethnic fabric from the Cordillera Region, Yakan Fabric from Lamitan in Basilan, T’Nalak Fabric from Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Mangyan Ramit from Oriental Mindoro, and Abaca Pinangabol from Dalwangan in Bukidnon.
The products in the photos have useful pockets and dividers, making it easier to organize gadgets and everyday items we bring to work and school. It’s great how something so modern such as gadgets could be stored and protected by products lovingly designed in traditional handwoven fabrics.
3.) Harpoon Co
Harpoon Co is a Las Piñas-based surf and skateboarding lifestyle brand. One of Harpoon Co‘s special features is its uniqueness. Their items are hand-crafted, and are made available only in limited quantities. However, more important than their uniqueness are the products’ design and functionality. A close look at the products would make it obvious how much effort, time, and focus the makers invested in the product development.
It’s like every product from Harpoon Co has a special feature that allows the owners to use it in many ways. The Pack N’ Tote bag in the first two photos functions both as a shoulder bag and as a knapsack. The straps for the knapsack could easily be inserted in the back pocket. It also has a separate case inside for laptops or gadgets.
The black rolltop bag is also very convenient to use because of all the pockets it has. The bag can be used as backpack and can be mounted on bikes. For some reason, it is much more spacious than what it looks like.
Aside from selling bags, Harpoon Co also sells hats. True to its branding of having products that could be used in many ways, some of the hats by Harpoon Co are reversible.
So far, Harpoon Co is one of my favorite local brands. Their prices are also fair and competitive, especially considering the items’ excellent quality and functionality.
We’re giving away the reversible hat in the photo to one winner! Just follow the mechanics in the Rafflecopter link below: