Buy and Support Local Artisans
In the market for a new bag or laptop sleeve? Instead of shelling out thousands of pesos on US brands made in China, why not support local Filipino artisans? That’s what you actually get if you buy a knapsack, duffel bag, or laptop sleeve from AKABA, a company founded in 2014 that’s supported by GKnonomics (social enterprise development arm of Gawad Kalinga) and HABI: The Philippine Textile Council.
The goal of AKABA is to bring the very best that Filipino artisans have to offer to the rest of the world. They actually tap weaving communities in Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Oriental Mindoro, Zamboanga, Basilan, and Sulu. The company sources from local artisan weavers from these communities sometimes at double the market price (even up to 4x) so that they can promote and make the business sustainable for both parties (that’s why it’s a social enterprise).
However, don’t just buy because of the emotional sell. The products are actually very good. We fell in love with their laptop sleeves. The design is amazing (the weaves are from the Yakan people of Zamboanga and Basilan.) and it also has interior lining to protect/clean the laptop. It also has a separate compartment for your chargers, cables, and other mobile devices.
Other US brands sell their sleeves for over Php3,000. This one sells for Php1,900. It’s still pricey but you get a good, competitive, and unique product vs a generic sleeve made in China slapped with a US brand name.
Apart from the sleeves, they also have knapsacks with multiple compartments and a cushioned laptop pocket. The textile with the geometric pattern is handwoven in Hanunuo Mangyan tradition and is from Oriental Mindoro. It also has a built-in luggage strap so you can easily anchor it to luggage if you want to use this as your travel bag.
The knapsacks sell anywhere from Php2,500-Php3,500.
By the way, this is not a paid post. We were really impressed with the quality, designs, and the story behind the products. We highly recommend that you guys check them out. There are some products on display at Alter Ego in Shangrila Mall Edsa.
You can know more about AKABA in this corporate video that they have on their site.