MANDAUE CITY, CEBU – While others adhere to a more personal aesthetic or design philosophy, Christine Hamoy-Kintanar’s idea of fashion and design is geared toward promoting her hometown.
Established in 2004, the concept behind Earth Works Fashion Accessories is centered on handcrafted pieces made from natural materials that are indigenous to Cebu.
“It all started as a casual idea that my friends and I thought of after getting laid off from our previous jobs,” she recounts.
Venturing into the eco-fashion business at that time was quite a challenge for Christine because the trend was still at its early stages locally.
“There wasn’t a lot of information available at that time. So it took a lot of researching online. I also went to where the actual craftsmen were,” she explains.
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That same year, Earth Works debuted at the bi-annual Manila F.A.M.E , which opened export opportunities to different parts of Europe and in Asia.
“It was there when we met our foreign clients and the rest was history,” Christine says.
Earth Work’s unique, contemporary “wearable art” became its signature design and has made the enterprise one of Cebu’s prominent exporters of handmade fashion accessories.
It was also handpicked to exhibit its products during the recent EKO Fest Exhibit, which seeks to promote environmental sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives as a business platform.
This particular collection, which Christine conceptualized herself, is made from bones and palm wood.
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The discarded bones are collected from local eateries and restaurants that serve pochero, a local stew made from beef shanks, a lot like bulalo in Batangas.
“We shape them (bones) and combine it with palm wood. Normally there’s a dyeing process involved but for this one, the colors of both materials are in its natural state,” Christine explains.
The need for local businesses to adopt sustainable practices has become more apparent in this generation. But Christine believes her hometown has a lot to offer especially in terms of ingenuity and craftsmanship.
“Cebu is blessed with abundant natural resources as well as very creative and resourceful people. Most of our local crafters all learned from practice and experience. And it shows how we have improved so much over the years,” she says.