More sustainable startups at the Philippines capital are levelling things up
Siklo Pilipinas by Clarice and Lyndon Ecuacion
The backstory: When drybags weren’t easily available, island trippers Clarice and Lyndon got creative and turned the inner rubber tubing of tires into rucksacks. The tough material protected their gadgets from bumps and the elements. In 2011, after a plastic bag ban was mandated in parts of the metro, they considered making a business out of the rubber bags.
The big idea: The pair began with Lyndon’s prototype bike-tire belts before moving on to totes and doctor’s bags, the result of client requests. Since 2012, the couple has upcycled over 17 tons of tire interiors that would’ve otherwise ended up landfills. Note: tire tubing has no known disintegration rates!
Greenelas by Camille Albarracin
The biz: Launched in August, entrepreneur Camille Albarracin positioned Greenelas as a B2B supplier of eco-friendly abaca slippers. IG: @greenelas.ph
The backstory: In 15 years of working in the hospitality industry, Camille has witnessed the distressingly large amount of waste accumulated by hotels and their guests. Disturbed by what she saw, but just as much inspired by the prospect of doing something about it, she began a search for green alternatives to the standard hotel amenity products. She and business partner Hazel Alfon stumbled upon dried abaca leaf sheaths in Bicol and decided to turn them into simple footwear.
The big idea: Compostable slippers — it’s early days, but Camille and Hazel are in negotiations with some hotel chains to include the slippers in their amenity kits.
Buy from: Old Manila Eco Market (fb.com/oldmanilaecomarket)
Daily Conversations by Czareena Macaspac
The business: Started as a passion project in early 2018, Daily Conversations — affiliated with Czareena’s travel diary website, Conversations of Us (conversationsofus.com) — offers handcrafted, eco-friendly kitchen supplies. IG: @dailyconvosshop
The backstory: Czareena had been looking for ways to help her family cut back on using disposable kitchen essentials — she wanted to replace the paper kitchen towels used to drain oil from her family’s favorite deep-fried foods. Czareena, a crochet hobbyist, went to online tutorials, where she discovered that she could sew towels
The big idea: “Unpaper” (flannel and cotton) towels and sponges made out of crocheted abaca strings and jute twine cords. Her production process produces no waste material — fabric scraps, left over from making the towels, are stuffed inside the sponges to help create lather. Both products are washable and reusable for years — they can also be sent back to the Daily Conversations team for proper composting on their farm
. . .
Trend within a trend — two dessert brands get creative while going zero-waste
- Mango Grill Manila: The Sorsogon cassava cake specialist packs its bestselling Big Cheese cassava cake in a tampipi (native chest made with woven bariw leaves). Customers can reuse the boxes as keepsake cases. IG: @mangogrillmanila
- Le Sucré Lab: This Manila chocolatier offers its rich and luscious chocolate Dreamcakes in tins that can find a second life as catch-all containers, cookie boxes or even flower pot trays. IG: lslchocolatesph
. . .
Single-use plastics are off-limits at these zero-waste markets:
- Good Trade’s Zero-Waste Lawn Party (November 24 to 25) at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Look out for handy bamboo tumblers by Kawayan MNL and beautiful “terrbulbs” (handcrafted moss terrariums in lightbulbs) by Studio Hábil.
- Old Manila Eco Market (every Sunday until December 30) at Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila. Make a beeline for package-free shampoo bars by Mayumi Organics, which always sell out!
This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of Smile magazine.