KILUS Foundation is a community-based cooperative that is committed to living in a clean and healthy environment and to increasing the quality of life of the people in Barangay Ugong in Pasig City. Its vision is to empower the residents and provide livelihood opportunities. KILUS stands for Kababaihang Iisa ang Layunin Umunlad ang Sambayanan (Women with a Unified Vision to Improve Society). It is working towards its mission by recycling non-biodegradable doypacks, or plastic pouches commonly used for juices, and turning them into colorful bags and fashion accessories.Through this, the community members can earn an income and acquire skills for meaningful employment.
KILUS started in 1997 as an all-women volunteer group that helped in the neighborhood’s clean-up projects through recycling. However, then Barangay Chairman Alejando Santiago and his wife Editha wanted to go beyond recycling and provide livelihood. From a seminar, they came across the idea of using recycled doypacks to create marketable handicrafts. Through the help of patrons and
government agencies like TESDA and CITEM, they were able to secure the necessarily capital and technical training to pursue this undertaking. In 2001, they participated in CITEM’s FAME International Trade Show. It served as their introduction to the foreign market, getting buyers from countries like Japan, United States, and Denmark.
KILUS manufactures an assortment of sewn and handcrafted bags, lunch boxes, and other home and fashion accessories. Its first and trademark design is made by sewing doypacks together to make various products. This style forms a pattern of colorful juice packs that make for a cute and funky motif. Soon after, they introduced a new design to cater to the varied tastes of the market. Instead of being sewn, doypacks are folded into strips and handwoven to form equally colorful but more stylish patterns. KILUS also branched out to fashion accessories made from paper beads, handcrafted by rolling strips of recycled papers into different shapes and sizes and strung together to form necklaces
and bracelets. Currently, 90% of the products are sold abroad to more than 18 countries, with Japan as
the biggest market.
Since its formation, it has collected and repurposed doypacks equivalent to well over 100 tons of solid waste and given employment to more than 200 families. KILUS Foundation’s work in Barangay Ugong is an example of how environment and economy can be integrated, with community members
reaping the financial and social benefits.