Habi Footwear


I was recently introduced to a proudly local footwear company that’s doing some pretty great things: Habi Footwear. Since 2011, this little company has been making 100% Filipino made environmentally-friendly shoes for all members of the family.

Here are some answers to my questions by Aloy Roy Chua, their Operations Manager.

When did you start?

The seeds of what would eventually become HABI were sown in July 2011 as the business thesis (a standard for business majors at the Ateneo de Manila University) of the founders, at the time six. After graduation, when they were given a grant and thus more of an impetus to continue the business, three of them – Janine Chiong, Bernadee Uy, and Paola Savillo – pursued it, formally incorporating in November 2012.

What are your products made from?

All of HABI’s products incorporate to a certain extent upcycled scrap cloth woven by our partner communities across Quezon City, which defines the HABI business model. Its various styles then incorporate other kinds of materials: the Classic espadrilles contain canvas, abáca(Manila hemp), and recycled aircraft tires; while its sandals also use synthetic leather.


What makes your brand unique?

HABI is a social enterprise that attempts to not just fully integrate social responsibility into its business model, but also empower the communities it works with in the sense that the community members are not employees but full-fledged partner suppliers – their own business.

HABI is also one of the first brands in the country to incorporate recycled aircraft tires – a staple in military shoes and boots in Marikina – in casual shoes, which also helps the durability of the products.

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What makes HABI proudly local?

HABI is one of the advocates of the thriving shoe industry in Marikina, known as the shoe capital of the Philippines, with all its materials sourced locally. Its partner communities are all also based in Quezon City. It is now also experimenting in using fabrics woven by indigenous peoples.

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Where can people purchase HABI? 

Physical Boutiques:

Roots Katipunan: a hybrid community space for entrepreneurs (which also serves as HABI’s office and de factoshowroom);

Cinderella in Glorietta 3 and The Manila Collectible Co.

Online Boutiques:

Our own web site (www.habifootwear.com);

Zalora

Qamay: a US-based e-commerce for Filipino products; and World Bridge Club, a Japan-based e-commerce for community-based products.

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