Mercado Vicente Calls For Recognition of Filipinos After P10,000-Worth T-Shirt Waste Loom by Foreign Artists Went Viral

LikeMindedObjects designer Elise McMahon was recently featured on Vogue for her t-shirt waste loom creations. In collaboration with textile artist Francesca Capone, they created products like jackets, chairs, cushions, and weighted blankets using discarded novelty t-shirts. These reportedly cost around $200 (roughly P10,269).

However, the founder and creative director of Mercado Vicente was quick to react as the collection resembled our basahan weaving technique.

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“Basahan” is a Filipino term for “rags” that are usually made from t-shirt waste loom. On Shopee, a piece of basahan costs from 17 to 30 pesos only. Check them out here.

MERCADO VICENTE is a multidisciplinary creative platform with a mission to shift the cultural paradigm by fostering exemplary global Filipinx creativity. Founder and creative director Jan Vincent Gonzales pointed out that McMahon’s woven textiles use an existing technique from the Philippines. The Filipino American told Vogue Runway, “The basahan has been around for generations in the Philippines. Why don’t you give that a little more light?”

“Our people have inherently been sustainable. We just haven’t been labeled as such,” Gonzales wrote on Instagram.

In another post, Gonzales featured a few Filipino designers/artists who have reimagined the basahan and nodded to its cultural significance. These were Carl Jan Cruz, Bon Gilles, and Kristoffer Ardeña.


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A post shared by Carl Jan Cruz (@carljancruz)

McMahon acknowledged the similarities and has released a statement on Instagram.

I appreciate you making me aware. This is a complex conversation. Throughout the last few days, I have learned about the t-shirt weaving style which results in basahan, or what has been translated to me as “rags”, and is often seen in floor/bath mats in the Philippines and South East Asia and sold very inexpensively. Since being made aware, I have been focused on educating myself and asking myself how I didn’t know about this and what I can do now that I know.


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A post shared by Elise McMahon (@likemindedobjects)

Read more about Elise McMahon’s creation here and her full statement on the matter here.

How about you, what are your thoughts on this? Tell us in the comments.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. The actual color, appearance, size, and shape of the item might be slightly different from the ones shown in the pictures.

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