There is marked beauty in handwoven fabrics, the art that sustains social enterprise Creative Definitions. Handwoven fabrics speak of longstanding traditions. Handwoven fabrics are, by virtue, environmentally friendly. Handwoven fabrics, due to its manual nature, are unique. Since 2017, Mike and Banj Claparols have been continuing to develop ways to best manufacture and present these cultural textiles to a wider stage.
Creative Definitions is more than a purveyor of cotton and abaca fabric. Its business has created a stable livelihood for various weaving communities in the Negros Island. Its determined promotion of handwoven textiles has put a spotlight on locally grown natural fibers, such as cotton, abaca, and pineapple. Its rigorous innovation has pushed these textiles further into the mainstream, incorporating them into daily life from home décor to fashion.
The weaves themselves, unique and varied, are enough of a design to create snazzy blankets, soothing throws, soft cushion covers. The Amion shawl, which has a weave originally designed by Valladolid master weaver Helen Managuit, uses gray, lavender, and natural warp yarns, adding a new color to the weft to create a unique product every time. Blends of abaca and cotton produce a lovely sheen on table runners like the Puso and Baybay. Creative Definitions is especially in demand for its sustainable handwoven fabrics, which are sold by the meter and ideal for tapestries, purses, and runners.
In 2019, after two years of research, the company introduced LAKAT Sustainables, a line of hand-sewn footwear made with its signature handwoven textiles, indigenous fibers, and virgin and recycled rubber. The entire project was born in partnership with skilled shoemakers from Marikina. These stylish loafers will be especially highlighted in this year’s Manila FAME.
When the pandemic reached the Philippines, Creative Definitions had to cut production levels to nearly half the usual capacity, but it persevered to sustain the many communities dependent on it. Trade fairs shut down, institutional buyers stopped ordering—traditional channels of marketing ceased for over five months, but it had to be business as usual. The workaround was to strengthen e-commerce: with its website, Creative Definitions has just made buying indigenous textures more convenient.