Empowering through craft! AirAsia Foundation names Rags2Riches as its first grand recipient in the Philippines. R2R is Manila based social enterprise works in empowering artisans to produce beautiful bags and home accessories from upcycled and indigenous materials, the opportunities for them to earn fair wages.
The AirAsia Foundation chose to support Rags2Riches with US$13,275 to fund the training of 100 more artisans to produce eco-ethical fashion and home accessories using upcycled scrap cloth, organic materials and indeginous fablics. Through this help, AirAsian Foundation shared R2R Inc. vision of “helping young entrepreneurs find jobs and raise their little businesses.”
The artisans, who come mainly from underprivileged communities in the Philippines will participate in skills upgrade, design improvement and knowledge exchange workshops at the Rags2Riches Artisan Academy over a 12-month period.
Starting July 7, two exclusively designed bags, a wristlet and a foldable beach bag will be available on board AirAsia’s flights originating from the Philippines and Malaysia. This will gain unique access to the ASEAN market through the new partnership with AirAsia Megastore that will see products from the artisans being sold on board AirAsia’s flights!
During the press conference last July 3 held at the Vask Modern Tapas and Gastronomic Cuisine , Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, AisAsia Foundation Chairperson Atty. Katrina Legarda said, “Rags2Riches has successfully transformed the lives of hundreds of artisans through its innovative approach which combines ethical business and environmental consciousness. It is a business model of the future and through the grant, we aim not only to help the business grow but also to share their success story around the region.”
Marianne Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines CEO, said “The partnership between AirAsia Megastore and Rags2Riches gives us an unique opportunity to support a home-grown social enterprise while offering our guests desirable items that are not available anywhere else. It is perfect for showcasing the quality of Filipino handmade products.”
Rags2Riches started way back 2007 in Payatas, one of the largest dumpsites in the country, a home to half a million people to harness the creative skills or artisans.
Rags2Riches founding partner and CEO Reese Fernandez-Ruiz’s said that R2R has so far trained about 800 artisans across 21 communities in the country in collaboration with notable fashion designers like Rajo Laurel, Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Olivia d’Aboville and Oliver Tolentino.