WVN Home: A Local Brand With A Purpose

Last Christmas, I was given a towel by my dear friend Kristine.

A towel might seem like the type of Christmas gift that the eccentric Tito (uncle) in your family might give, but this wasn’t an ordinary towel. Aside from your standard towel fabric, this beautiful piece had local weaving from La Union on the other side. I soon learned it was from WVN Home and quickly snatched one of their latest designs and it has since become a staple in my out of town bag.

I’ve invited Kylie Misa, one of the founders of WVN Home to share more about the brand and its mission with my readers. I hope you can support their cause and nab yourself a towel or two using Spark Project. All links are below!

What is WVN Home? How do you pronounce it?
Filipino weaves are at the heart of our ideas. We reimagine the use of local handwoven textiles and we try to lend a fresher treatment to it for the modern home. We chose the name WVN (“wo-ven”) because symbolically it looks like patterns of rice crops, mountains, or even water.

Our advocacy: There is a tendency to underestimate the quality of our local craftsmanship because we do not understand the creative and technical process to produce this. We have come to know weaves as something “old”. WVN Home Textiles would like to change this mindset and raise awareness of the beauty of our local handloom industry through our products. We want to rally people behind supporting local products and help communities grow their economic potential. We ultimately want to make weaving more relevant to the younger generations.

How did you and your partner Yvette start the brand? 
Yvette and I had an instant connection with this business idea. After consulting with the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the government agency that works with weavers all over the country, we decided to go to Bangar in La Union. Upon seeing the quality and design of products that they showed us, we fell in love and went all in.

We decided to start the brand after we went through a rigorous but fulfilling validation process with our prototype. We produced a batch of towels that were our MVPs (minimum viable product) and saw that people were interested in the product, thought it was innovative, and purchased the product as gifts or for themselves. We also observed that there is a lot of interest in understanding weaving better, which was a good indication for us that there was an untapped market need.

What separates WVN from other local weaving brands available?
While we have similar advocacies with other brands that are into local textiles, perhaps it is our mission to make weaving relevant to the younger generations that sets us apart. This is very much part of the identity of our brand.

Thanks to technology, our fast paced world has led us to adopt a fast fashion culture. With our product, we want to encourage appreciation of the beauty of handcrafted and artisanal products — something that the younger generations is losing touch of.

Many also associate handwoven blankets and table runners with what “their lola has at home.” We want to change this perception, so that the younger market can also appreciate and support handwoven products. Hence, we try to make our designs young and fresh.

Tell us more about your Spark campaign? How can people help?
With the help of this Spark Project crowdfunding campaign, we hope that we can spread the word about WVN. We want to promote our brand and use a reward system to incentivise people to support our product. The funds will go directly to financing the production of our double-sided towels: weave on the outside; terry cloth on the inside. The towels are 100% cotton so they are absorbent, soft, and good for the skin!

Our ultimate goal for this is to be able to put creative direction and innovate with the weaves.

People can simply check out the Spark Project page and choose from the different rewards they want to get when they back us. Generous backers can also opt not to get a reward in return. (Click here for their SPARK campaign)

Tell us more about the community you help?
In Bangar, you will find a weaving community well known for their abel blankets. Many of the weavers there grew up with handlooms all their lives as they learned from their maternal influences. Some of the women have been weaving since they were young girls and continue until this day.

Can you share a bit about the local cotton and weaving industry? How is WVN Home playing a role?
After spending time with the community, we realised that weaving in Bangar is actually a good business that can sustain a family and send kids to school. In fact, there are many small weaving houses in town that are productive and lucrative. However, as time passes, there is a scarcity of younger weavers who want to take up the craft. Weaving in Bangar will slowly disappear if there are no successors – and this holds true in other parts of the country.

What plans do you have for the brand in the future?
We hope to expand our horizons and explore other parts of the Philippines. We want to discover other materials, textiles, designs, and techniques from around the country. While we are curating many of our products from different weavers now, soon we want to develop things you can use for the home (homeware) that is uniquely ours, like our double-sided towels.

Learn more about WVN Home through their:

Instagram | Facebook

Check out this video:

Order your towels at a more affordable rate through their Spark Project crowd funding till May 22.

(Additional images in this blog post care of WVN Home) 

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