Most of our brand partners needed to pivot their businesses, in order to survive. Most of them are providers, not just for their immediate families, but for the communities they work with. Some of their partner artisans also became the sole breadwinners of their families, as their other means of livelihood were at a standstill during quarantine. Besides having to progress into shifting more towards creating a digital platform, we also needed to figure out how to maintain cash flow, and be able to give relief to our local communities (in providing a means for livelihood toward our partner artisans); when most consumers would not spend outside of what is essential.
For them, being resilient by staying in business is not just about their brand and their personal profits, but it is also about the people that are reliant upon them to stay afloat. One of their biggest challenges was to create a demand for their existing products in order to aid the actual people that their brands support.
Fashion doesn’t seem like such an essential during a crisis, but they needed to get creative and transition towards creating products that are in demand, and wherein fashion can come in to answer that requirement. With a stronghold vision on creating purpose-driven and meaningful products, most of them found a way to cover the “essentials.”
We are extremely proud of brand partners for shifting into creating protective wear without losing their core sense of identity. Most of our brand partners took the opportunity to highlight their creativity in presenting their own spin on fashionable protective wear, by making a seemingly “everyday” product more exciting. They have created these products using the materials available to them, and the creative capabilities of their artisanal communities. With this, they are able to contribute to flattening the curve, while securing jobs of Filipino artisans.
Although the creation of PPEs and face masks are the result of adapting to being more cautious and the world shifting in vigilance towards health and hygiene, let us remember why we are doing this in the first place. We are all connected as human beings and as a society, an action from just one of us can have a very considerable impact on another. Being considerate towards others is one thing, but at the center of it all is empathy, and knowing that whether it be someone we are close to, or a total stranger-- we all are responsible for one another.
Our community is the heart of our business, and without heart, businesses with a social mission like ours-- would not function properly. 96% of our economy is made up of our local industry, and we needed to infuse cash into our local SMEs, so this is where the Bayanihan Spirit comes into play. Supporting each other will help reboot our economy, as this global phenomenon has undoubtedly highlighted the serious significance of becoming more localized, collaborating with local brands to ensure support to the community, and maintain sustainability was of utmost priority.
We at the ArteFino community are committed to uplifting our nation and community, and being of assistance to our fellow Filipinos, not just in times of crisis, but in the journey towards a more united future.