In light of our celebration of Philippine Independence Day this June, we're giving a much-needed shout-out to Filipino brands and items we're head over heels for here at the R2R HQ! These are products, places, and people we’re in love with because they embody everything the R2R team personally believes in: excellence in quality, proudly homegrown, and an empowering social or environmental vision.
This week, it's all about 10 proudly local brands that we advocate for at R2R!
This local makeup brand was built to make women (and their skin!) happy and well-cared-for. We especially love the special attention they put to the ingredients to make sure that our skin is, well, happy!
Our marketing associate, Nicole, shares, “I've always loved makeup since high school but I can't fully enjoy wearing it because I have very sensitive skin. When I read about Happy Skin's uniquely formulated lippies that make it easy to achieve that gorgeous matte finish while also moisturizing your lips, I tried them and my lips loved it! I have two shades of their Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippies.”
Photos from Happy Skin Facebook page
Human Heart Nature, a Gawad Kalinga brainchild, is already getting quite known as a Filipino social enterprise. They create organic personal hygiene and beauty products, successfully competing against big, international brands stacked along your grocery aisle.
What we love most about it is its founders started the Human Heart Nature journey because they wanted to start a revolution of inclusive enterprises that promote caring and restoring communities. In the R2R HQ, we use their Natural Hand Soap in our comfort rooms and Natural Dishwashing Liquid in our pantry!
Photos from Human Heart Nature Facebook page
This one is another organic home and beauty brand that we use in the R2R HQ! Zenutrients bottles the best that nature has to offer. They have everything from bath soaps and shampoos to massage oils and room deodorizers without the harmful chemicals!
A personal favorite of ours in the office? Their Room Freshener & Linen Spray!
Photos from Seek the Uniq
ANTHILL is another social enterprise that infuses our country’s beautiful, traditional weaves into fashion fit for the modern Filipina and Filipino, reviving a dying art that we really should continue to cultivate, patronize, and boast about internationally – lest it disappears!
Steph, our culture and systems manager, loves that with ANTHILL, indigenous cloth could be part of our daily lives. “They’ve been advocating for this (wear your tribe with pride!) and as a result, we have beautiful clothes that we can wear everyday that have amazing stories behind them.”
Fun fact: Did you know that we source most of our indigenous fabric for our R2R bags through ANTHILL? Yes, partner with them not just through pop-ups shops and shopping parties but also in our product design!
Photos from ANTHILL Fabric Gallery Facebook page
Renegade Folk’s everyday leather sandals are handcrafted by talented Filipino artisans (just like R2R!) and that’s why so many of us at the HQ love them. Their sandals’ styles are so simple but very elegant, perfect for everyday wear. Our president and co-founder, Reese, admires that “their style is so laid back, fun, and still sophisticated! I believe their style, values, and aesthetics are so Pinoy!”
Photos from Renegade Folk
On the other hand, the shoes from Risqué Designs are those one-of-a-kind pieces for those extra special occassions. They’re a Filipino lifestyle brand that brings forth modernity and luxury with its meticulously handcrafted artisan products, working with the far-flung communities of Negros Occidental and Paete, Laguna, to the busy show town of Marikina City.
“I love the innovation they do with indigenous fabric and their advocacy to support local cobblers,” Reese shared.
Photos from Risqué Designs
We’re pretty sure you’ve seen Kenneth Cobonpue pieces and you’ll know why we love them – what’s not to love about them? He’s hailed as "rattans first virtuoso" by TIME magazine, among many other awards and accolades, and he’s a designer that shone and proved that Filipino quality and design are world-class, even having clients as big as Brad Pitt! The dream is to have a Kenneth Cobonpue piece in our homes!
Photos from Kenneth Cobonpue
We love and support local crafts at R2R and that’s why we can’t help but gush over Common Room along Dela Rosa Street, Katipunan Avenue. It’s home to 30+ local brands on decor, arts, and craft, showcasing the talents of our up and coming Filipino makers! Among our many favorites are the succulents from The Greenhouse Project, stuffed toys and pillows by PopJunkLove, and the mugs and paper products by Pluma.
Common Room also hosts a variety of arts and crafts workshops in its cute space, perfect for those weekends with friends where you're tired of going to the mall again. Workshops such as these are the perfect opportunity to try something new!
Photos from Common Room
Again, we adore social good enterprises that carry items of excellent quality because they’re a win-win for both the people making the products and the ones buying them. One example of such is Tsaa Laya, a line of premium tea products made by women and mothers who are the beneficiaries of Kapwa Greens Lifestyle, an organization that provides entrepreneurial capacity building for underprivileged members of the community.
Tsaa Laya has an exciting variety of flavors ranging from the classic mint tea to more complex ones such as lemon ginger.
Photos from Rappler
Another idea that started at Gawad Kalinga is Bayani Brew. This social enterprise started out organically (pun intended!), when the people of one Gawad Kalinga community would offer hot, casserole-brewed tanglad or pandan leaves.
Now, Bayani Brew gives sustainable livelihood to farmers of these native leaves! These organic ingredients are also known to ward off all sorts of diseases.
Photos from Marketa
The country’s entrepreneurial landscape is bursting with fresh ideas and passionate people and there’s no other way to keep the momentum up than to support these proudly local and sustainable brands. For this holiday season, we’ve curated more local products that you can give as meaningful gifts for this season of giving. Here are some of our favorites under the fashion and beauty brands category.