From ethnic fashion to heritage jewelry: How these Filipinas help tribes, revive culture through unique business concepts


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Helping out Yakan weavers

Looie Lobregat spent ten fruitful years in the banking industry, but an inner creative streak pushed her to pursue a road in fashion entrepreneurship.

In 2016, Lobregat—together with her friend and current Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte— launched the retail business Linea Etnika, which specializes in indigenous, hand-woven clothing materials.

In conceptualizing the brand, Lobregat wanted to form a social enterprise that would not only cater to the needs of the market—but also support local weavers in the process.

“In my case, I always wanted to work with the Yakan tribe in Zamboanga since my family is from there,” Lobregat said in an interview with The Source on Friday.

“To give justice to the Yakan weavers… Every time people hear about Zamboanga City, they have this... is it dangerous there? I wanted to do my own bit to be able to help the City of Zamboanga,” she added.

Dubbed as the “hearts and hands” of the clothing line, the Yakan weavers spend at least three months to complete one product. Placing the thread in a backyard loom takes four days, while weaving one meter of fabric will go on for another five days, Lobregat added.

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